Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Martinez-Denish Mesa del Sol War

This post has been updated (below, right before the video) with a response from state Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales.

In addition to the Susana Martinez ad about the teacher who appeared in an ad for Martinez's gubernatorial rival Diane Denish, the Martinez camp unleashed another ad yesterday regarding Denish's husband's work for the Mesa Del Sol development.

My story about those ads is HERE

Denish's campaign responded saying that Herb Denish did not lobby the state government for Mesa del Sol (or the parent company, Forest City Covington) -- though he did lobby Albuquerque's city government.

The campaign also said Diane Denish recused herself from discussion on the Mesa del Sol issue on the state Board of Finance, of which she is a member as lieutenant governor.

But the state Republican Party, in a news release pointed to several times in which Denish praised and promoted the Mesa del Sol development.

"Denish said for years, New Mexico fueled the nation with oil, gas and uranium. Now, she said, the state will lead with alternative sources of energy. 'We in New Mexico ... are in a perfect position to lead the green-collar revolution that people are talking about' that will provide both jobs and renewable energy, Denish said. 'If Mesa del Sol is anything like I expect it to be, it will have solar-powered homes, businesses and everything else dotting this mesa in a few years," she said. "It will be a model for the country.'" ("United States: Fed Lab, NM Private Development Partner On Energy," TendersInfo, 12/6/08)

“’The University Boulevard extension is an important milestone in the development of Mesa del Sol,’ said Lt. Gov. Diane Denish while U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) called Mesa del Sol ‘one of the most important economic development projects New Mexico has ever seen.’” (“University Boulevard Extension Paves The Way For Economic Development,” Forest City Covington’s “The Outlook” Newsletter, Feb. 2007)

“The solar research, development and manufacturing plant is the first structure to be built in the undeveloped Mesa del Sol area on the Southeast Mesa south of the Albuquerque International Sunport. … "This is a momentous day for Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and for the state of New Mexico," Lt. Gov. Diane Denish said at the ceremony. "I'd like to thank Advent Solar for choosing New Mexico.” (Debra Dominguez-Lund, “Solar Plant Breaks Ground; Company Promises Jobs, Attention,” The Albuquerque Journal, 1/15/06)

I've asked the Denish campaign for comment. I'll post that after I get it.

UPDATE: The Denish campaign never responded to my request for comment on this, but state Democratic Party Chairman Javier Gonzales provided the following statement:

“Diane Denish has consistently supported efforts to bring innovative industries and new jobs to our state, but that doesn’t make anything in Susana Martinez’s ad true. Even the Republicans know that Denish recused herself from votes on that project and Martinez’s ad is patently false. But there’s a reason she’s airing it. It’s all she has. Martinez can’t defend her plan to cut funding from public schools or her beliefs that big corporations should be allowed to run wild with no accountability, and that’s why New Mexicans are getting a heavy dose of desperate attacks like this."

Here's the Martinez ad: