The left-wing media’s war on America’s first Latina governor

Annaliese Wiederspahn Freelance Journalist
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Democrats fear the rise of tough, smart Republican women.

That fear raised its ugly head in a recent hit piece on New Mexico governor Susana Martinez in Mother Jones. Its only success is in highlighting the deplorable double-standard that women candidates face from the media, a problem that 2016 Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton lamented recently at the “Women in the World” conference in New York City.

It’s almost laughable to see a publication so keen on calling out Republicans for waging a war on women quickly about-face and wage their own war on America’s first Latina governor. The staggering shortage of facts, combined with an excess of gossipy detail about Martinez, is intellectually lazy and blatantly sexist.

Using secretly recorded audio, probably from some disgruntled former Martinez insider, Mother Jones asserts no illegal or unethical behavior stemming from the conversations captured on tape. The intent of the audio is merely to make Martinez and her team look petty. In effect, liberals are using these super secret recordings to accuse Martinez of being — gasp — bossy.

2016 may be a long ways off but clearly the left is preparing to wage a death by a thousand cuts campaign against any Republican woman who might thwart their hopes of keeping the White House.

Governor Martinez is getting results that suggest her policies are working, leaving liberals and the publications they control little material with which to attack them. Martinez has placed a tremendous focus during her first term on reforming New Mexico’s education system. Early results of those reforms are promising.

High school graduation rates are up 3 percent statewide since the 2009-2010 school year. New Mexico’s biggest graduation improvements have come from students for whom English is a second language, up 4.6 percent, and from Hispanic and American Indian students, up 3.8 percent each.

Here’s a graph of 4-year New Mexico high school graduation rates:

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The Democrat-controlled legislature has repeatedly stalled, balked and sidestepped opportunities to confirm or reject Martinez’s choice for New Mexico Secretary of Education. That maneuver has left the Martinez administration in limbo, forced to go it alone in their efforts to pull the state’s education system out of the doldrums.

Martinez’s solutions are not partisan ideas but common-sense proposals intended to improve New Mexico’s education prospects for kids. For example, her push to end the social promotion of students who have not mastered the skills of their current grade has repeatedly died in the state Senate. Meanwhile, a bill similar to Martinez’s social promotion proposal recently won approval in the Democratic enclave of the District of Columbia. The D.C. city council passed its own version of the same idea, putting a stop to the practice of social promotion, in December 2013.

Martinez has committed to not cutting money for the classroom. In a budget deal struck a little over a month ago she kept that promise. Martinez agreed to a 3 percent increase to teacher pay and a 6.7 percent increase in new teacher starting salaries. Prior to those salary increases average teacher pay in New Mexico ranked 47th in the country, according to analysis conducted by the National Education Association.

Not just in education reform but also in her administration’s economic development achievements Martinez can point to signs of progress. Earlier this month a massive Union Pacific freight facility opened in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The deal, struck by the Martinez administration in 2011, lead Union Pacific to make infrastructure investments totalling more than $400 million in the state and to move many of its operations to New Mexico from its previous hub in El Paso, Texas. The facility has the potential to become a national inland hub for logistics companies, shipping and storage businesses.

With expanding educational opportunities and better careers prospects, New Mexico’s next generation is clearly benefitting from Martinez’s leadership. That explains why she leads all potential Democratic challengers in her race for re-election this fall and maintains job approval numbers well above 50 percent.

Republican reforms are working in New Mexico and that has liberals in the left-wing media and in the halls of Democratic National Committee shaking in their boots.

Democrats will look to make boogywomen out of any Republican woman who poses a threat. If using coarse language during private conversations is the only thing the left can throw at Governor Martinez she is indeed worthy of the 2016 hype.