Guv’s cabinet secretaries disclose financial info

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Susana Martinez (Photo by Heath Haussamen)

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

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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.

7 thoughts on “Guv’s cabinet secretaries disclose financial info

  1. Show Me,

    Without any more information, I agree that $16,000 sounds like a lot of money to be given to a single cause or candidate. Without any more information, you would also wonder why they got this job.

    But what if the additional information revealed that the person who gave the $16,000 gave another $24,000 during the same time period/election cycle to others causes and candidates. Would that change your mind? Instread of $24,000, what if it was $96,000? or $124,000. I would also wonder if tis person had ever given any money to any candidate or cause in prior time periods/election cycles. In my opinion, you should put your questioning of the $16,000 in context to raise a legitimate concern.

    Additionally, the people who have $16,000 to give to causes and candidates are usually the experienced business people who give to all sorts of causes and candidates (progressive and conservative). We should be greatful to the various business people who have come forward to serve at a sacrafice. Mostly all have put their private business aside to take on a thankless job with a salary cut. As many progressives have reminded me before, “Just because you do not like their politics, it dies not mean that they are not qualified for the job.”

  2. Is there a pay to play box on those forms, where at least 2 of her cabinet secretaries can disclose that they were given top jobs for supporting Martinez? One gave her $16000 which wouldnt even be legal now under New Mexico’s new campaign contributions law. Its obvious that pay to play business as usual continues strong in the Martinez administration.

  3. It is very interesting to see that on financial disclosure forms, financial is optional on page 2. This is very open, to have a form that you do not have to report money on.

  4. Another victory for open and transparent government….courtesy of the Susana Martinez administration!

  5. Talk about rhetoric- DPNM has nothing better to do to make a story about something Bill Richardson failed for 8 years to do. His administration was corrupt, paid cronies with lush jobs. And Forrester is calling Susana out? Talk about hypocrisy.