April 16, 2014 10:54 pm -

Susana Martinez is heard on audio discovered by Mother Jones saying not very nice things.

In the media, Martinez is often compared to Sarah Palin—”Susana Barracuda” read the title of a recent profile—a sassy small-town politician with national aspirations, an anti-Washington message, and an everywoman appeal (she loves Taco Bell, shops at Ross Dress for Less, and watches Dancing With the Stars).

But perhaps the best comparison is to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Both are former prosecutors and Republican governors in blue states. They serve side by side on the money-raising juggernaut known as the Republican Governors Association (RGA), and they campaigned together during Christie’s 2013 reelection campaign…

Despite numerous requests, the governor and her aides declined to comment for this piece. But previously unreleased audio recordings, text messages, and emails obtained by Mother Jones reveal a side of Martinez the public has rarely, if ever, seen. In private, Martinez can be nasty, juvenile, and vindictive. She appears ignorant about basic policy issues and has surrounded herself with a clique of advisers who are prone to a foxhole mentality…

Listening to recordings of Martinez talking with her aides is like watching an episode of HBO’s Veep, with over-the-top backroom banter full of pique, self-regard, and vindictiveness. As Martinez and her campaign staff rewatched a recent televised debate, Martinez referred to Denish, her opponent, as “that little bitch.” After Denish noted that the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce had given her an award, McCleskey snapped, “That’s why we’re not meeting with those fuckers.”

In a September 2009 email mentioning one of Martinez’s 2010 primary opponents, a former state representative named Janice Arnold-Jones, McCleskey wrote: “I FUCKING HATE THAT BITCH!” And in yet another debate prep meeting, Kennicott mocked the language skills of Ben Luján, a former state House speaker and a political icon to New Mexico Latinos: “Somebody told me he’s absolutely eloquent in Spanish, but his English? He sounds like a retard.”

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.