Gov. Susana Martinez has released financial disclosure forms she’s requiring from all cabinet secretaries in her administration.
Martinez’s office released the forms to NMPolitics.net in response to a request. You can view them here.
Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell said the governor is requiring such financial disclosure forms from all staff in the governor’s office and exempt employees. The forms are filled out when employees are hired, and he said they should all be posted on the governor’s website by the end of the month. Secretary of State Dianna Duran plans to post them on her office’s website as well, Darnell said.
In the meantime, there are some interesting tidbits in the cabinet secretaries’ disclosure forms.
For example, Cultural Affairs Secretary Veronica Gonzales, who is also acting tourism secretary, disclosed that she has worked for the nonprofit Tides Center, based in San Francisco, as a project director. Tides an organization Glenn Beck has repeatedly demonized.
Perhaps more relevant in New Mexico, Gonzales’ husband, John Ryan, is a federal lobbyist whose clients include the City of Clovis and the Eastern N.M. Water Utility Authority. Ryan is also a Republican state senator from Albuquerque.
Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela disclosed that he is a shareholder in the film technology company Cerelink and a partner in the real-estate company W Investments, and that his wife is a realtor in Albuquerque.
Cerelink gains business in part by promoting the state’s film incentives, which Martinez is now proposing to scale back.
Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Harrison Schmitt disclosed that he is a director for four for-profit companies, including Orbital Sciences Corporation and Edenspace Corporation. Click here to see how much he makes from Orbital Sciences Corporation.
Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla disclosed that she owns commercial property and undeveloped land in four counties in New Mexico, and that she’s co-owner of an accounting firm.
Disclosure is part of plan to combat corruption
Martinez promised during the campaign, in a guest column published by NMPolitics.net, to require the disclosure forms from all appointees in her administration and to post them online. It’s part of her plan to hold public employees accountable and combat corruption.
“Those who are found to have used their position to benefit themselves, their families or their business associates would be subject to harsher penalties and termination,” Martinez wrote in that column. “… Abuse in government cannot be tolerated, and it will be terminated in a Martinez Administration.”
Last week, the Democratic Party of New Mexico questioned in a news release why the disclosure forms weren’t yet online.
“I applaud Susana Martinez’s call for more government transparency, but like many New Mexicans, I am waiting to see the rhetoric actually turn into action,” said Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Forrester. “Promises matter, and I would think this promise should be fairly easy to fulfill.”
NMPolitics.net’s request for the disclosure forms followed the Democratic Party’s news release.