Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More GOP vs. SGR

The war of words between freshman Rep. Stephanie Garcia-Richard, D-Los Alamos, and the state Republican Party continues.

Over the weekend, Garcia-Richard sent a press release denouncing Gov. Susana Martinez and her GOP allies over her votes regarding the bill to repeal the law allowing driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Garcia-Richard last week had voted with Republicans to blast HB 606 out of the Labor Committee, but voted against moving it to the House floor. In the House Appropriations Committee, she voted with Republicans against tabling the bill. Martinez in a radio interview had accused her of breaking her campaign promise of voting to repeal the current law.

Garcia-Richard's news release Saturday declared, "My vote will no longer be manipulated or held hostage by Gov. Martinez and until she is willing to come to the table and compromise, I will vote against any attempt by Republicans to once again blast HB 606."

The state Republican Party responded this morning with an email with the subject line "GARCIA-RICHARD: MORE FLIP-FLOPS AND INACCURATE STATEMENTS."

“Not only is Garcia-Richard apparently admitting to caving to political pressure, but her statement is also inaccurate,” said state GOP Chairman John Billingsley. “It’s a shame to see this issue diminished by falsehoods and inconsistent positions.”

The release also quoted House GOP Whip Nate Gentry who said, “Rep. Garcia-Richard claims that she received no support on her alleged amendments from Republican leadership; however, she never spoke to any of us in leadership regarding amendments.”

A few hours later, Garcia-Richard shot back:

“Over the last week, I have met with Gov. Martinez, Sen. (Stuart) Ingle (sponsor of a similar bill on the Senate side), and Rep. (Paul) Bandy (a fellow member of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee) regarding a possible resolution to this divisive issue ... Time is short but if all parties can set the political theater aside we can still get a good bill passed this year. I again call on the governor to sit down with leadership to develop a workable solution and to stop using this issue as leverage for 2014.”

Watch for further developments