NM governor’s calendar info incomplete

September 27, 2013 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Information that Gov. Susana Martinez has released in response to growing pressure for copies of her calendars is incomplete, inconsistent and contrary to what she has told media in the past, according to a review by The Associated Press.

Martinez, who bills herself as the transparency governor, recently released a list of trips she made for political rather than state business during the three months leading up to last year’s elections. The list was compiled in response to a request by the AP for copies of her calendars showing all state business and political appointments and travel for those months.

The list failed to mention at least one trip, an early August trip to Washington state that her political adviser, Jay McCleskey, at the time said she was taking to attend a fundraiser in Yakima for [auth] GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.

The list also is in conflict with other recently released information on Martinez’s comings and goings.

Daniel Yohalem, an attorney representing the Santa Fe Reporter in a lawsuit accusing Martinez of violating the state Inspection of Public Records Act, said the information doesn’t meet disclosure requirements.

“The AP, the Santa Fe Reporter and possibly others have repeatedly asked the governor to produce copies of her calendars as required under IPRA,” he said. “She has refused to do this. She points to her recently updated calendar entries on her web site, but these entries are incomplete and not responsive to the request for actual documents. She is not updating these calendars from memory, she has a document or documents that are her calendars of activities and she has not produced them. She is violating the IPRA.”

The governor’s records custodian sent a follow up email after the omission was pointed out, saying it was a “simple oversight” because the trip had begun at the end of July. At the time, McCleskey said Martinez went to Colorado, then to Washington state

Martinez has declined to say why she won’t release her actual calendars.

After negotiations with the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, she did earlier this month begin posting past work calendars, although those online documents clearly state they are not final, and they conflict with the list of political travel recently reported for the August, September and October of 2012.

For example, those online documents show her as having in-state appointments on the same dates of three of the eight out-of-state listed trips.

The governor’s spokesman, Enrique Knell, said the “fact that Governor Martinez has meetings on the same day as trips is not at all unusual. She will often have meetings right up until she leaves (which is often in the afternoon or evening) and will then have meetings on days that she returns from travel.

“Any other meetings shown on days where she was out for a full day would simply reflect the rapidly changing nature of her schedule, or in some cases, a standing meeting that she wasn’t able to attend that time around,” he said.

In addition to Martinez’s refusal to release copies of her actual calendars, even after the fact, the Department of Public Safety has completely ignored a July request and several follow ups from the AP for the release of past schedules and calendars Martinez has sent to her security detail.

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