The 'job creator' who clearly isn't

-A A +A
By Hal Rhodes

New Mexico’s Democratic State Chairman Sam Bregman is a cheeky fellow, so before our gallivanting governor trundled off to Ohio recently for another speaking-cum-fundraising affair, he dispatched a press advisory cautioning that state’s news outfits against buying into the hype being proffered by Ohio Republicans to the effect that Susana Martinez is “a job creator.”
It’s reportedly a stock line for GOP leaders out on the hustings when introducing Gov. Martinez.
This time, however, the “job creator” fiction abruptly came face to face with persuasive evidence that the governor is actually not so hot at the job of “job creation,” a point previously explored in this column.
Barely had the governor returned from Ohio before a new national survey was released, the product of business journalist G. Scott Thomas, who crunched the numbers and nailed down which of the nation’s governors actually deserves the title “job creator.”
Thomas’s research appears in “On Numbers,” an online consortium of business publications called “The Business Journals,” and what he discovered was that where job growth is concerned Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota reigns unchallenged.
Thomas didn’t consider the records of the five new governors who took office in January, but among the other 45 governors he examined, over the past two and a half years North Dakota’s Dalrymple has seen his state gain no fewer than 56,000 new private sector jobs at an annual growth rate of 7.32 percent.
New Mexico’s governor, on the other hand, tied for last place in job creation with Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Mind you now, North Dakota had an estimated population of barely 700,000 in 2012. New Mexico’s estimated population last year was almost 2,100,000.
And how many private sector jobs would you guess Thomas calculated New Mexico to have gained during Gov. Martinez’s two-and-a-half-year tenure? Less than 13,000, not even 1 percent, in the way job growth, and less than half the national average for private sector job gains during this period.
Governors routinely claim credit when their states’ economies are flourishing, and those claims ought always be taken with grains of salt.
Governors also routinely point fingers of blame at others when their states’ economies are floundering and those claims too ought be taken with grains of salt. What cannot be denied is that Susana Martinez’s New Mexico is not faring at all well, however you measure it.
No less disturbing than the “On Numbers’” report about New Mexico’s dismal job growth was an Annie E. Casey Foundation survey entitled “The 2013 National Kids Count Data Book,” which was also released last month. This survey probed key areas that shape the lives of our children over the long haul— family, health, community, education and economics. It is an annual survey that began in the early 1990s. And for the first time since its inception, New Mexico ranked 50th among the states in “child well-being.”
Think upon it. The well-being of the very ingredients out of which New Mexico must construct a desperately-needed improved tomorrow — our children — are among the nation’s most ill-prepared for the task.
Dead last: the well-being of our young people. It is becoming worrisome how often pictures of Gov. Martinez carried above news stories in our daily newspapers show the governor standing behind a podium, finger pointed outward as she holds forth.
Recently the governor has spent a good deal of time rambling about the country accepting kudos and campaign boodle from fellow Republicans in other states.
Clearly, she has more urgent business here at home.