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SANTA FE – New Mexico’s once-famed Spaceport America, the only purpose-built spaceport in the world, has lost its luster. No longer does it have two of the planet’s best pitchmen, Sir Richardson Branson and Gov. Bill Richardson, promoting it.
Richardson is gone and Branson is entertaining offers from other states and nations. The United Arab Emirates has purchased a big chunk of Virgin Galactic and has an agreement to build a spaceport in that country.
Meanwhile New Mexico has a new governor who began her term saying private money should finance the remainder of the spaceport and now has warmed to the point she is saying she would like to take a space ride and she will sign any future appropriations the Legislature passes.
But Gov. Susana Martinez is not out promoting our spaceport to aerospace companies around the nation and world. The only proposal she really has put a hip into is an effort to deny driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Martinez has gone all out with that effort, including spending PAC money and getting involved in legislative races. She says it will make us safer but it certainly doesn’t attract jobs or improve our lagging economy.
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