My unpublished response to the NY Times: article missed real scandal harming our state

The New York Times recently saw fit to publish an article noting that New Mexico Democrats are looking to capitalize on recent scandals (both the Dianna Duran and APS scandals) in an effort to reduce Gov. Martinez’s popularity. The idea that a popular governor’s political opponents would attempt to bring them down no matter how tangentially they are tied to a given scandal is nothing new and it hardly seems worthy of a paper that touts itself as publishing “all the news that’s fit to print.”

But the Times has long been a mouthpiece for the liberal establishment. So, despite a terrible (non-existent) track record of having letters published in the Times, I penned the following and submitted it. Since I talk about economic freedom and question the very premise of the article in question, I had no illusions of publication, but I figured it was worth putting words to paper:

Political scandals are nothing new in New Mexico. The fact that some in the State’s Democratic Party are attempting to tie some recent scandals to Gov. Susana Martinez is no surprise given her popularity and her success in shifting political control of State government toward Republicans.

Unfortunately, the real “scandal” in New Mexico is its high poverty and poor economic performance. Both have been driven by the State’s relative lack of economic freedom and a strong private sector economy. Instead, the state has historically relied on a massive federal presence and extractive industries, most notably oil and natural gas.

This year several serious economic and education reforms passed the Republican House only to be killed, often without a vote, in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Examples include “right to work,” school choice, a reduction in worker’s compensation for workers who injure themselves while drunk or stoned on the job, simplified paths for alternative teacher certification, and a regulatory structure to make the state attractive to ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Political scandals will come and go, but Gov. Martinez’s efforts to undo decades of bad government policies in the Land of Enchantment should be applauded.