March 21, 2015

Session recap: Dem Senators say Martinez ‘furious’ after session

Two Democratic senators who were part of the committee put together by the Senate to inform the governor that the Senate adjourned said Martinez was “furious” at the death of capital outlay and a bill with tax cuts and said she would inform the entire state about what they did.

Susana MartinezSenators Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, and Howie Morales, D-Silver City, spoke to the press about the experience.

Ortiz y Pino likened her to a “dictator who had been thwarted.”

The Albuquerque Democrat said the two, along with Sen. Steven Neville, R-Aztec, informed the governor that the Senate had adjourned sine die, and that Martinez was ” threatening ‘the people of the state are going to know what you’ve done. Throwing seniors out of their centers.’ She was just so angry. She was furious.”

Neville had already left the state capitol, a Roundhouse staffer told New Mexico Political Report.

The Santa Fe New Mexican received a response from the governor’s office on the situation:

Asked about the confrontation, a spokesman for Martinez said, “The governor told the senators the same thing she said at her press conference — like most New Mexicans, she’s disappointed they put partisan politics ahead of moving our state forward.”

The failed capital outlay bill was one source of her anger, according to the Senators.

“The blaming the senate for the senior projects that were lost, educational facilities, the jobs that are lost is absolutely inaccurate and that’s the way they’re going to try to spin it,” Morales said. “The reality of it is we sent a good capital outlay bill it was in good faith and that was changed by the House and brought over to us with just minutes to go in this legislative session.”

Both House Republicans and Martinez did, indeed, blame Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez for the failure for capital outlay to pass.

Another source of Martinez’s ire, according to the two Democratic Senators, was the failure of a tax bill that was the subject of a short filibuster at the end of the session.

Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, spoke for over fifteen minutes blocking the bill at the end of the session, not only speaking about why he opposed the bill, but also about the noise in the room and even joked with Lt. Gov. John Sanchez about his hair.

“‘I’m going to make sure that Cisco McSorley and what he did this morning is known to everybody in this state,'” Martinez said according Ortiz y Pino.

When asked about it at her press conference later on Saturday, Martinez said, “You would have to ask Senator McSorley why he did that.”

Ortiz y Pino said they didn’t say anything inflammatory. “We said, ‘Governor, we are here to inform you that the Senate has adjourned sine die. And then, ‘Boom.'”

Asked if it was something related to the 2016 elections, when all 42 seats in the Senate will be up for grabs, Morales said it didn’t matter because it was not their job to be reelected, but to represent their district in the best way they know how.

The elections in 2016 seem to be on the mind of Martinez and Republicans.

When asked about a statement by Gentry blaming the failure of some legislation to pass the Senate on Michael Sanchez, Martinez said that was a question for Sanchez.

“Michael Sanchez can answer for himself and the failure of the leadership of the Senate Democrats and their failure for killing jobs, their failure to doing what New Mexicans want, their failure to make sure there are more people working,” Martinez said. “He can answer for himself.”

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