Those rumors and reports you’ve reading about Majority Leader Kenny Martinez challenging House Speaker Ben Lujan for the Speaker post are 100% true. We’re talking a full out battle between the old and the new.
Mr. Lujan is the epitome of the old guard. He is a power boss who rewards supporters with contracts, capital outlay, and appointments. His famous “Speaker’s Fund”, that every lobbyist and political supporter is required to pay into, is supposed to be for “legislative activities.” In reality, the fund has no oversight and is used for personal as well as campaign activities.
More importantly, every time a public corruption scandal breaks in New Mexico, Mr. Lujan is just “one degree” away. When the Treasurer scandal broke, it also broke that Mr. Lujan’s son was the Deputy State Treasurer while pockets were being lined at the taxpayers expense.
Mr. Lujan’s good friend, Smiley Gallegos, is being investigated for the fraud perpetrated by the Region III Housing Authority under his watch. Part of that scandal involves Lisa Ortiz, who earns more than $71,000 a year working in Lujan’s office at the Capitol in Santa Fe, yet was able to live rent and mortgage free in a manufactured home on nearly 78 acres just north of Stanley courtesy of New Mexico taxpayers. Mr. Lujan has not demanded the resignation of Ms. Ortiz and has been equally silent in asking for justice with regard to Mr. Gallegos.
And the worst I can say about challenger Mr. Kenny Martinez… well, he wants Peace on Earth.