Santa Fe, NM – E-mails revealing that Governor Susana Martinez’s top political strategists began planning to create misinformation on a key state policy three years ago in order to gain political advantage today drew sharp criticism from Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez (D-29- Bernalillo & Valencia). Her closest political advisors discussed funding and writing a study to give the false appearance of academic or factual support for so-called ‘Right to Work’ (RTW) legislation now being pushed in the Legislature by Republicans. The E-mail discussions, which were released into the public domain long ago, show that the Governor’s team wants the policy in order to gain an advantage over their Democratic rivals at the ballot box, not because of any benefits to the economy. That contradicts Gov. Martinez’s statements on the policy, which claim that the policy will create jobs, and that is why she supports it.
“Facts should matter, even when we may disagree as Democrats and Republicans. We should care about the facts, and we should not make them up wholesale as the Governor’s people intended to do,” Sen. Sanchez said. “What we now know is that the Governor’s push for so-called ‘Right to Work’ legislation is all about politics, not about facts, or even policy to help New Mexicans get jobs. Her people cynically commissioned a study to ‘prove’ that it creates jobs, economic growth, and more businesses locating in New Mexico, even if this were not true.”
In the State of the State Address, Governor Martinez said, “Studies have shown that states where workers [have these anti-worker laws] have higher employment levels, and companies locate there more often”.
“Did she know that her advisors had commissioned a study with a pre-determined result, a study asserting phony facts to give Republicans a future advantage, in their view, at the polls at a date in the future? This Administration continues its culture of deception,” added Sen. Sanchez.
Presented by the Governor as a great economic tool, the policy is a smoke-screen for the failed economic policies of the past four years. Site location professionals say it’s ‘old thinking’ and not an important factor in business relocation decisions. Congressional Research Service says workers make on average of $7,000 less in RTW states. Quality of life is worse in RTW states, with higher poverty levels, less health insurance through their employers, and public education funding is weaker.
Democrats understand the daily struggles and anxieties of working people, and are on the side of working people and their children, and on the side of veterans and seniors. Democrats will continue work to find solutions to the big challenges we face.