During New Mexico’s 2011 legislative session, a tiny controversy erupted in the two press galleries overlooking the House and Senate chambers.
“The Governor’s videographer in the pressroom. Paid for by your tax dollars,” Albuquerque political strategist Keegan King tweeted on March 3.
In, fact, there were two—both employees from the Governor’s Office, both taking footage that often highlighted partisan differences and was later posted on the governor’s website.
“We’ve never had a governor do that,” House Speaker Ben Luján says. “The best way to try to accomplish things and govern is to reach out and try to have compromises, not to put in wedge issues or…try to use scare tactics.”
The state’s Sunshine Portal, which is required to regularly update salary information for all state employees by this July (and will add public school district budget data by July 2012) hasn’t been updated since Gov. Susana Martinez first took office in January. SFR requested a list of Martinez’ employees under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act.
Of the 24 employees hired by or transferred into the governor’s office this January, only four make less than $50,000 per year, including the two videographers, Morgan Nelson and Maralyn Beck, paid $42,000 and $43,000, respectively.
The average annual salary for an employee hired for the Governor’s Office this January is $70,916.67. Click here for the full breakdown.