Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The New Mexico Competes Ad

Blog Updated Below 

It might be something of an omen that what might be the first ad of the 2014 governor's race is paid for by an out-of-state group whose backers may or may not have to report its contributors.

The group is called New Mexico Competes, Inc. and you can see their website ... oh wait, THEY DON'T HAVE ONE! But here's a previous article about the group by The Santa Fe Reporter a few months ago.

My story about the ad, which defends Gov. Susana Martinez's handling of the behavioral-health shake-up can be found HERE.

The text of the ad is as follows:

Medicaid fraud hurts those who need help the most: The poor, the vulnerable. A recent audit exposed $36 million in potential fraud.
The Albuquerque Journal reported one CEO couple pocketed more than $1.5 million a year in a sketchy leasing scheme. But it gets worse. KOB TV reported another CEO used Medicaid funds to fly his private plane to his vacation home in Mexico. Now records reveal the CEO got the loan for his private plane from a company receiving Medicaid funds.
Gov. Susana Martinez is cracking down on Medicaid fraud ordering the audit to root it out and turning over the findings to law enforcement. But now, special interest groups are attacking the governor, wanting her to look the other way. Call Gov. Martinez at 505-476-2200  and tell her to keep fighting the fraud, protecting Medicaid for the most vulnerable.
It should be noted that none of the CEOs mentioned in the ad have been charged with any wrongdoing.

The ad can be heard here:

UPDATE: 4:40 pm: The Associated Press is reporting that Compete New Mexico's executive director is Sara Lister, a long-time New Mexico Republican operative who has worked as former deputy cabinet secretary for the state Department of Workforce Solutions and as a senior adviser to Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry.

According to an old organizational list, Lister was a deputy executive director of the 2004 New Mexico Bush-Cheney campaign. She also ran former U.S. Sen Pete Domenici's PAC and worked on congressional campaigns for Republicans Heather Wilson and Darren White.