The Republican Party’s “super star” governors are collapsing under the weight of corruption that comes with an insatiable appetite for money and power.
It wasn’t that long ago when establishment Republicans were buzzing around Chris Christie’s bully the constituent style of “straight talk” Then came “bridgegate” complete with an expose of the secret’s to Christie’s success. Reward supporters, punish an “uncooperative” mayor by closing down a bridge, and then blame it on a former female employee’s ever so fragile emotions. Then we heard about Pat McCrory’s sweetheart deal (naturally at Taxpayer’s expense) with his polluting former employer. After that, Sam Brownback’s shady dealings came to light. These are just the “stars” caught in the corruption crosshairs this year.
The latest Republican “star” to find themselves in the midst of a corruption scandal is New Mexico governor, Susana Martinez. According to a 22 page complaint filed in February on behalf of two whistleblowers, a company owned by Martinez’s Secretary for New Mexico’s Department of Economic Development secretly benefitted from a state tax credit program. The complaint further alleges that Jon Barela and his Deputy, Barbara Brazil, “ignored waste and mismanagement” at the state’s Spaceport project in southern New Mexico. Brazil allegedly ran several Dairy Queen Franchises while she was on New Mexico’s payroll. The complaint goes on to allege that Martinez instructed a staff member to conduct “sensitive government business “on his personal email account to evade public record requests.
An attorney for Barela, Brazil, and the Economic Development Department denied the allegations in a response that was filed in March. As Mother Jones points out, the revelation of this lawsuit comes at a very bad time for Martinez and Barela because they are in a fierce competition with Texas, Arizona, and Nevada to get Tesla’s new car battery factory in their state. There are 6.500 jobs at stake.
Last month, Mother Jones published an article based on previously unreleased audio tape, text messages and emails that revealed a very different Susana Martinez behind the carefully crafted image of a “reform minded conservative Republican with a “great resume” that the Republican Party invested so much time and money to create. She was considered to be a top VP contender for 2016, with Mittens suggesting she could be “a contender” for the presidency someday.
Republicans hoped that women and Latinos would support Martinez because she is a woman and a Latina within a party that is anti both of those things.
The pristine image of a sheriff’s daughter, tough prosecutor, gun lover, tax hater “patriot” who loves Americans was already shattered by in an article that revealed Martinez has as much contempt for America and Americans as any man within the Republican Party.
This latest revelation may just send Koch brothers hunting through that binder to find a replacement for the Martinez model of a Tea Party Republican. On the other hand, the Koch brothers and their friends may find the cronyism and corruption allegedly within the Martinez administration just their cup of tea.
Image: Real Clear Politics