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Monday, November 08, 2010

Martinez Names Search Committee for Public and Higher Education; What About Heather Wilson?

Susana Martinez, New Mexico's Republican governor-elect, has announced the makeup of a search committee tasked with finding candidates to serve as cabinet secretaries and in other roles in the Departments of Public Education and Higher Education:

  • Dr. Jose Garcia, associate professor in political science at NMSU, who will serve as chairman of the search committee; formerly served two terms as chair of Democratic Party of Dona Ana County; helped create Democrats for Martinez;
  • Jack Fortner, Farmington attorney and UNM regent;
  • Michelle Garcia, Santa Fe elementary school teacher;
  • Bradley Hosmer, former president of the National Defense University from 1986 to 1989, and former superintendent of the Air Force Academy from 1991 to 1994, who commanded the 479th Tactical Training Wing at New Mexico's Holloman Air Force Base from 1978 to 1979;
  • Kari Mitchell, manufacturing executive at Las Cruces Machine who helped to develop the Regional Education Initiative, a project that emerged from the Education Committee of the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce and is now known as The Bridge;
  • Mike Phipps, superintendent of the Artesia Public Schools, who also serves on the board of the New Mexico Activities Association.

Heather Wilson as PED Secretary?
Rumors have been floating around about Heather Wilson's interest in heading the public education department, but Wilson has said publicly she doesn't want a job in the Martinez administration beyond her current role as head of the transition team. We'll see. Wilson just might consider the job to be a comfortable perch while awaiting her rumored 2012 run for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Jeff Bingaman. Remember how Dick Cheney decided he was the best guy to serve as Vice President when he headed George Bush's vice presidential transition team in 2000?

Wilson has ties to the Air Force Academy, where she was a Distinguished Graduate, as well as to the defense establishment, once serving as Director for European Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council, among other things. Note the inclusion of Bradley Hosmer on the search committee. Lieutenant General Hosmer headed both the Air Force Academy and the National Defense University. Like Wilson, he was a Rhodes Scholar. Even if Wilson has no plans to seek an education post in the Martinez administration, her stamp on the search process can be seen in Hosmer being named to the committee.

Let's hope Heather Wilson means what she says about not having any interest in serving in Martinez's education cabinet. It's bad enough that she's involved with the naming the education search committee.

Wilson's Record on Education
In the past, Wilson has advocated abolishing the Federal Department of Education, as well as the New Mexico State Board of Education, the forerunner of the current Department of Public Education. Instead, she backed a plan to have the Children Youth & Families Department monitor our schools. I'm not kidding (Human Events 4/10/98: Roll Call 5/25/98: For the Children's Sake: Reforming Public Education in New Mexico 1/98). Moreover, as chief lobbyist for former Govemor Gary Johnson's education plan, Wilson touted a school voucher program that would take away much needed money from our public schools and give it to wealthy private schools (Albuquerque Journal 11/7/98) -- a plan also strongly supported by Susana Martinez in her primary campaign for governor.

In addition, while serving as CYFD Secretary, Wilson concentrated on building prisons and putting kids in jail instead of helping to improve their education (Albuquerque Journal, 9121/95). Also while at CYFD, Wilson cut an average of 10% from the overall budgets of more than 75 day care and children agencies, including Esperanza, Inc.; Peanut Butter & Jelly; UNM-Young Children's Center; COPE, Inc.; La Buena Vida, Inc.; Families & Youth, Inc. and Ayudantes, Inc.

In other words, not good.

November 8, 2010 at 08:28 PM in 2010 NM Governor's Race, Education, Susana Martinez | Permalink


Well, I'm not surprised that party-jumper Jose Garcia is the chair of this committee. Still, it makes me sick. I hope he changes his party affiliation so I never have to see him again. He embodies the worst of the worst.

Posted by: Christy French | Nov 8, 2010 9:09:06 PM

Heather, like nails on a chalkboard, keep her far far away from education.

Her voice is teh creepy.

Posted by: bg | Nov 8, 2010 11:17:02 PM

I am very upset. Jose Garcia, in my opinion as the CD2 vice-Chair should be given a new registration form and asked to leave the democratic party. The newspaper article about this appointment mentioned that Garcia was a former county party chair for the Democratic party of Dona Ana County. My question is, was he ever a real democrat? Dona Ana lost two legislators Nate Cote and Jeff Steinborn. I wonder did Garcia's support of Susan La Tejana help to bring them down. If democrats do not take action against this guy. We have been once again weakened or the appearance of being weakened that democrats have to leave the party and suck-up the ENEMY the frickin Republicans. I do not respect garcia in anyway shape or form. I ran a very exhausting race for PRC as a yellow dog democrat while this jerk was feathering his own nest as a democrat for Susana. Unconscionable! Outrageous! And I know there will be those in my party that will say I am over-reacting.And they entitled to their opinion. But I think after this mid-term election and the losses we took I have a right to my opinion as well.

Posted by: Stephanie DuBois | Nov 9, 2010 8:03:05 AM

Jose Garcia is nothing more than a racist if you ask me. He would support a fascist dictator if they had a Spanish last name. I hate to say it but sometimes you have to say the truth. Read what he writes. He is against Anglos and Democrats and for anything where he can be a big shot. He should never hold any kind of post in the Democratic Party again.

Posted by: Cruces | Nov 9, 2010 10:34:35 AM

do all these people work for free? hope so

Posted by: mary ellen | Nov 9, 2010 10:44:42 AM

@Cruces the truth hurts but sometimes it has to be told.

Posted by: Stephanie DuBois | Nov 9, 2010 3:36:21 PM

Dr Jose Garcia is a friend of mine and it is not right for people to be attacking him on the web. If you were a true adult you would confort him and discuss the issues directly. As Americans we have the right for free speech.

Posted by: Steven | Nov 9, 2010 4:32:53 PM

Steven-Garcia is a traitor to the cause of Democratic values and working people. He organized in support of a candidate who is anti-gay rights, anti-women's rights, anti-working people and anti-making rich people pay their taxes. He deserves to be attacked. If he believes in the hate and lies that Republicans peddle he should leave the Democratic Party and join them.

I will stick with Dolores Huerta who strongly backed Denish and saw Martinez for what she is, a fake and a phony who will hurt working people, the poor and the sick. Garcia should be ashamed of himself for backing Martinez. I wonder what she bribed him with.

Posted by: Por La Raza | Nov 9, 2010 4:39:41 PM

Did you ever read his blog. He represents himself as a democrat but in blog and in person he always seems to demonize the democratic candidate. I ran for PRC and he and his wife live in my district but claimed all the time that they couldn't vote for me because they didn't live in my district. When you talk about confronting him instead of writing on a blog why didn't he just tell me he didn't want to vote for me period. We as true democrats have taken a great deal of crap from right wing republicans, like being spit on and having my 89 year old Dads glasses knocked off his face because we supported democratic candidates. Our system democratic or republic form of government isn't perfect but we do not have to put up with the likes of people like Garcia whose only focus is on getting what he wants and using the democrats to do it. I believe the party is stronger by ridding ourselves of these two faced hypocrites. I am a democrat, I will continue to be a democrat. And to those who tell me I vote for the person not the party. I say to them Bull Pucky.

Posted by: Stephanie DuBois | Nov 10, 2010 8:14:50 AM