Spaceport America Problems

People are making a big deal of the fact that the new New Mexico governor Susana Martinez has canned Rick Homans, taking it as a sign that she is opposed to the spaceport. Over at Space Politics, some are blaming it on the Tea Party.

My theory? It’s exactly what she says:

“The citizens of Doña Ana County and Sierra County have spoken. They’re the ones who voted on whether or not they wanted to have their tax dollars spent on spaceport,” Martinez said during an interview Thursday before her send-off gala. “We’re going to respect that.”

But Martinez said she wants to “make sure that the spending is in the best way.”

“We can’t just agree to give tax dollars and then not be accountable to the taxpayers,” she said.

Doña Ana County and Sierra County voters in 2007 and 2008, respectively, approved sales taxes to back spaceport construction. However, about three-quarters of financing originated from the Legislature.

Martinez said her transition team had requested information, such as a contract between Spaceport America and anchor tenant Virgin Galactic, from the Richardson administration and, as of Thursday, hadn’t received it. She said she wants to audit that contract and spending on the $200 million construction project.

In addition to scrutinizing spaceport agreements, Martinez said she’s also interested in “how we bring private industry to be part of the spaceport, so that eventually state tax dollars aren’t necessary.”

I actually think that she’s understating things here, and being politic. While I’m unaware of any particular issue with Homans himself, Governor Martinez is surely aware of just how corrupt the Democrat machine in Santa Fe is in general (some have characterized the state as “Louisiana with jalapenos”) and she’s simply assuming the worst, and wants to root out any problems if they exist as soon as possible, and start with a clean slate. I might do the same in her position.

2 thoughts on “Spaceport America Problems”

  1. Oi! Its GREEN CHILE ya jerk 😉

    Martinez ran on a platform almost entirely based on cleaning up the corruption in NM, just like every other Repub in the primaries (that and her record of protecting the children). That was pretty much it.

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