By Barry Massey and Jeri Clausing
The Associated Press
SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez, under pressure from media groups to release more details about her work days and travel schedules, on Friday posted office calendars dating back to when she took office in January 2011.
The calendars were produced in response to requests from media groups and the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. The Associated Press has been seeking copies of the governor’s calendar since late 2011, but until Friday had been told the only documents responsive to its request were the listings of public appearances that it posts on her web site.
The Santa Fe Reporter last week filed a lawsuit accusing the governor of violating the state’s open records laws for failing, among other things, to produce copies of her calendars.
The calendars released Friday list her official appointments, but exclude political travel by Martinez, who is considered a rising star in the national Republican party and makes a number of out of state trips for GOP events. Also excluded are personal matters, such as visiting family.
Terry Schleder, the foundation’s executive director, commended the governor for releasing her calendars, describing it as “a substantial step forward for transparency in New Mexico government.”
However, the web site calendars don’t account for the governor’s whereabouts each day. There’s nothing listed on some days to indicate whether the governor was in New Mexico working in the governor’s office, had departed that day for an out-of-state political appearance or left Santa Fe to drive to another city in the state for a public appearance the following day.
On May 2, Martinez was supposed to leave the state to attend a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C., according to an announcement by the governor’s office. The event on May 3 is listed on her publicly released calendar, but there’s no notation of when she actually left the state. The lieutenant governor typically serves as acting governor when Martinez is out of state.
Likewise, Martinez was part of a presidential delegation that traveled to Rome in March for the installation of Pope Francis. The calendar lists the trip as an appointment from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 16 — the day she was to leave New Mexico for the nation’s capital. But there’s nothing on the calendar for the other days she was out of state with the delegation, including March 19 when she and others attended the pope’s inauguration and first mass.
The calendars also lack detail about who Martinez met with during the legislative session. While most entries about meetings with cabinet secretaries and other administration usually list their names, entries during the last legislative session provide a time for “legislator meetings,” but generally there are no names of who attended.
The governor’s office said it plans to update the web site weekly, starting the week of Sept. 23. The governor’s current schedule won’t be posted contemporaneously. Instead, the most up-to-date seven-day schedule will be for two weeks earlier.
On Friday, the website showed the governor’s schedule through Sept. 1.