I have recently wrote about previous research I have done on the UNM Board of Regents, their backgrounds, and their campaign contributions to the Governor of New Mexico, who ultimately nominates them for the positions governing higher education institutions in the state. Now I will give information about the recent Regents at UNM and the current governor, Susana Martinez. It is noteworthy because of one, Susana Martinez an arch-reactionary being the governor of New Mexico, and two, her pizza party shenanigans at her holiday party for her staff that made national news. The latter involving a drunken call to the police after they were called on her entourage, showing an abuse of power and symbolizing her arrogant recklessness in her governing.
Now the regents are not solely responsible for Martinez being elected. It only shows how the current university governance system, where Regents are appointed by the governor, is flawed and undemocratic. The appointees are usually campaign contributors and other connected political allies. The recent Regents and Gov. Martinez shows it is no different.
Using information obtained from FollowTheMoney.org, here is what is found of the current regents of UNM and their connection to Gov. Martinez. Under the current rules, there cannot be one political party dominating the Board of Regents. There are seven regents total at UNM, including one student regent. Of the seven, four were found to be campaign contributors to Gov. Martinez:
- Jack Fortner. I have given information about Fortner before. He is the longest serving Regent at UNM, going through three different governors. Fortner, a prominent lawyer, is also an important campaign contributor to Republican candidates. Fortner has contributed almost $52,000 total to Susana Martinez in both of her gubernatorial races in 2010 to 2014.
- Robert M. Doughty, the Vice President of the UNM Board of Regents, and a Republican lawyer, contributed $1,800 to Susana Martinez’ campaign.
- Marron Lee, recently appointed in 2015, gave only $50 reported to Susana Martinez’ campaign, but is also a previous staffer for Sen. Pete Domenici, and is reported to be from “a Cibola County ranching family that has long supported UNM and in fact gifted the University with its first live Lobo.” In other words, a member of the New Mexico elite.
- Suzanne Quillen contributed $625 for Susana Martinez’ election. She is the CEO of Advanced Care Hospital of New Mexico.
So altogether, the Regents themselves are responsible for more than $54,000 to Martinez. Maybe one should message the regents to see why they supported such a terrible politician, and see what they say to justify it.