Our state senator finally surfaced this week after two months of silence, while media demanded his resignation. Richard Martinez said last week he won’t resign and will run for re-election. It’s Rio Arriba County and Martinez has held the seat almost two decades. He’ll probably win.
We appreciate the thought behind other media calling for Martinez’ head. We’d rather let the judicial system take its course and stick with innocent until proven guilty but that city Police video will probably sink him. And then what?
He discarded a golden opportunity to get ahead of the story and admit he has a problem with alcohol, he needs help and then go seek that help. He should plead guilty to the DWI and take the punishment. Martinez could be an example for other people in the Valley with alcohol problems.
Instead he dove deep and stayed silent for months.
Media outside the Valley aren’t taking into account that we're not in a vacuum. We have this tenuous balancing act of who holds what position in the roundhouse. Susan Herrera just pried Debbie Rodella out of her decades long vacation in the state legislature. It was a gargantuan task and desperately needed. Herrera did more good for the Valley in the last session than Rodella did in the last 20 years.
Should Herrera try to unseat Martinez, guess who’s going to slide back into her cushy alcohol, tobacco and oil fueled fun ride? We need Herrera where she is.
Our other representative Joseph Sanchez is making a run for the third congressional seat. We believe this was a bad decision by Sanchez, who has neither the name recognition nor campaign funds to beat the likes of Marco Serna or Valerie Plame. We need Sanchez in the House district 40 seat because, win or lose, it will be open and we know who would love to get his grubby, greedy hands on it: Barney Trujillo.
Attorney General Hector Balderas continues to say his Office is looking hard at Trujillo for his illegal contracts with the Española School District and other malfeasance. Balderas insists legal action is near. This has been ongoing for over two years.
If Trujillo’s not in prison next spring, he would be a front runner for that seat. And it’s Rio Arriba County, where facts don’t enter election decisions, only favors and empty promises. Trujillo could win.
There are several other political retreads on the sidelines now, who would love to take a run at the state senate seat for their own benefit and the detriment of voters.
We don’t condone what Martinez did. He’s got some difficult explanations and reconciliation with voters ahead of him. He needs help.
He’s not been a great senator. We deserve better. His remark on the senate floor last March about not giving Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan funding for his vehicles because Lujan would not support Martinez’s gun control bill tells you he’s a tit for tat legislator (as are most of them).
However, he’s one of the few who returns calls, will genuinely listen to you and takes care of most of his constituents, whether they voted for him or not. That’s a lot more than you can say for Rodella during her time in the House.
If there were two or three solid, honest candidates for Martinez’s seat who would work with and for the constituency, we’d join the chorus for Martinez’s head. However, he’s the devil we know. If he can humble himself enough to make things right with voters, after all the chairs are shuffled, he’s a better choice than the hyenas in the shadows salivating over his senate seat.