Inside the Capitol

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Syndicated Columnist
SANTA FE -- What will Gov. Susana Martinez's administration look like? We can be sure it won't be much like Gov. Bill Richardson's. During her campaign Martinez didn't find much of anything she liked about the current state of affairs.
It won't be like former Gov. Gary Johnson's administration either. It is difficult to imagine two republican governors who are more unalike. Johnson was philosophically a libertarian.
He felt people should have the liberty to do what they want as long as they as long as they don't hurt anyone else. Martinez comes from a law enforcement background and believes in strong, well-enforced laws. We may see a few familiar faces from the Johnson administration but not many.
The appointment of former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson to head Martinez's transition team may give some indications of what Martinez's administration will look like.
Wilson was cabinet secretary of the state Children, Youth and Families Department during Johnson's first three years in office. Reports indicate she was a very demanding, no-nonsense boss. Could that be why Martinez tabbed her to head the transition team?
Wilson says she does not plan to stay on in the administration. Most transition team chairmen do not. But we must remember there are exceptions. Dick Cheney, who was in charge of finding a vice-presidential running mate for George W. Bush ended up recommending himself.
But Wilson reportedly is doing well with her consulting business and is interested in looking at another run for office if conditions look as good as they do now for Republicans.
Some additional hints as to what's coming might be drawn from looking at others appointed to the transition team.
Nicole McCleskey will be deputy chairwoman for the team. She did polling for a national polling firm, of which she is a partner, during the campaign.
Ryan Cangiolosi, who was Martinez's campaign manager for the general election, is director of personnel. Paul Kennedy, a former Gary Johnson appointee to fill a state Supreme Court vacancy, will be chief legal counsel.
Danny Diaz is communications director for the transition team. He operates a communication company from a Washington, D,C, suburb and served as a consultant to the Martinez campaign. He also is a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
These top-ranking transition team members all have political ties, some of them nationally. Presumably lower-ranking team members will have experience in areas served by agencies of state government.
It isn't likely that the campaign consultants, especially the national ones, will stick around to serve in the Martinez administration. Campaign types usually don't fare well in government jobs. They soon find them boring without the full-time action of political campaigns.
It is likely Martinez and the transition team will work with even more urgency than transition teams normally do because of items on the agenda of the Legislature starting in just two months.
Numerous proposals for executive reorganization have been made. At present, virtually all departments, despite a legislative mandate for cooperation with examining efficiencies of operation, are fighting any change in operation of their departments.
But the top brass -- all the governor appointees -- will be gone on December 31. That also happens to be the date for the final report of the interim legislative committee studying complete restructuring of state government.
But the cabinet secretaries chosen by Martinez -- all of whom are expected to be new -- may not have the same opposition to reorganization. In fact, they just might be chosen for their flexibility in accepting changes.
If any reorganization is needed, and if it is to happen, doing it during a change in leadership is the ideal time to move.
WED, 11-10-10

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)

So sorry. I went thru the motions of sending this column about this time yesterday. But but somehow no one seems to have received it.  Jay


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