It’s not just about cheeseburgers

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COMMENTARY: Last week Governor Martinez ordered a cheeseburger and then left with the cheeseburger without paying her bill. Not only did she not pay, she actually crumpled up the bill and threw it in the garbage.

Richard Ellenberg

Courtesy photo

Richard Ellenberg

She should remember who she works for – the owner of that business, the people working in that restaurant, me and you.

When you’re elected to office, people put their trust in you. They trust you to do the right thing, be a good person, to put New Mexico first — and they certainly expect, like the rest of us, that you’ll pay for your burger.

After all, the governor works for us, not the other way around.

In New Mexico we live by the golden rule, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, as New Mexicans we share a set of values. We value hard work, treat people with respect and believe in fairness.

It’s not just about cheeseburgers. Throughout her tenure in the governor’s office Governor Martinez has refused to pay for lots of things. Just this year she vetoed all state funding for higher education. It’s not only that, she took away funding from valuable behavioral health services, the Children Youth and Families Department is underfunded, and her priority to give tax breaks to corporate donors has left school districts across the state operating on devastatingly low budgets.

We need a governor who believes in New Mexicans and is willing to invest in our state and people — and we know that’s not Steve Pearce’s priority either. For eight years, our education system, police force, criminal justice system and roads have been neglected. The result is New Mexico is at the bottom in nearly every category indicating economic success.

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I strongly encourage all of us to take a good look at the candidates running for governor and ask ourselves – do they share my values and would they make good decisions if we hire them as our chief executive? Or will they crumple up the bill and throw it in the garbage?

Our governor should be working hard every day to make New Mexico a better place for our future. Respecting hard work and ensuring a fair and level playing field are minimum requirements. We need a governor that shares our values and remembers who they work for — you.

Richard Ellenberg is chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Agree with his opinion? Disagree? We welcome your views. Learn about submitting your own commentary here.

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