Inside the Capitol

Thursday, December 22, 2011

12-28 Governors pulling the old switcharoos

122811 films

SANTA FE --—Republicans and the Hollywood crowd seldom seem to be a very good match. Good reasons exist for this standoff. With a few notable exceptions, Hollywood types are more liberal in their thinking than most Republicans, especially on social issues.
Family values are another place the two part company. Certainly not all Republicans behave themselves, but as a whole, their expectations are much higher.
And when it comes to money, Hollywood has been much more generous to the last two Democratic presidents than it has to Republicans.
But why, when a filmmaker wants to film in a New Mexico community is there so often resistance? They bring jobs. They buy in the community. They're not that seedy, are they?
And why, when a movie claims the 25 percent tax rebate, does the governor charge that the money is coming from children's education?
New Mexico needs jobs. We're in bad fiscal shape but does the 25 percent rebate further bust our budget? Other red states, such as Louisiana and Georgia, rebate even more and think they're getting a good deal.
So is it just New Mexico Republicans that don't like Hollywood? Or is it something we're not seeing? One factor we're not seeing is an accurate cost analysis of New Mexico's 25 percent rebate.
Two studies in the past showed that the state is getting back either 15 cents or $1.50 on the dollar for our 25 percent rebate.Gov. Susana Martinez promised a comprehensive study of the rebate when she vetoed a bill to do just that last April. We've seen nothing of the study thus far.
Further confounding this situation is news that with seemingly no additional information on the film industry, Gov. Martinez now is talking with top studio executives, which she hasn't done before and seems to have changed her mind about dealing with Hollywood.
State officials are being very vague about whether the uncertainty of the film industry about New Mexico's feelings is hurting business. We do know of productions that have left the state or are considering it. Maybe that is why Gov. Martinez is putting on her current happy face.
On the heels of Gov. Martinez's Hollywood shocker, comes an announcement from Politico magazine that former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson will switch his allegiance to the Libertarian Party today, Dec. 28, in Santa Fe.
Johnson is disillusioned with the GOP over its failure to accommodate his libertarian beliefs in the Republican big tent. About the only right path parties agree on is the right to bear arms. They are both in the same militia on that issue.
Johnson has maintained his dues-paying membership in the Libertarian Party wince before he first ran for governor. As I recall, Johnson also was a dues-paying member of Ross Perot's Independent Party at the time.
Johnson still will have to compete at the Libertarian convention Libertarian nomination 12 years ago when he still was governor when he still was governor and was being courted heavily by the party.
But the Libertarians still are interested in him, as they are with any Republican willing to defect.
Running as a Libertarian isn't going to help Johnson win the presidency any more that trying to get the Republican nomination. But it could make him a spoiler in a state or two and maybe enough to lose the race for the Republican nominee.
New Mexico is one of those states. Polling numbers show him still running strong here. Johnson could take away just enough votes away from the Republican nominee to throw the race to the Democrat.
Ross Perot may have done that in the 1992 presidential election between President George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Former New Mexico Lt. Gov. Roberto Mondragon, running as a Green Party member, may have taken enough votes from Gov. Bruce King to put Gary Johnson over the top in 1994.


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