Posted at: 10/23/2012 5:55 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News
Photo: Susana Martinez
Governor Susana Martinez is using the TV airwaves to take a giant-sized swat at two of her chief opponents in the legislature.
It's like using a cannon to take out a mosquito, but the Reform NM Now Political Action Committee, closely associated with Gov. Martinez, is buying expensive statewide TV airtime to attack two state senators in local races.
The Republican Governor herself appears in the ad that targets Sen. Tim Jennings, a Roswell Democrat who is President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and Sen. Michael Sanchez, a Valencia County Democrat who is the Senate Majority Leader.
The grim ad recalls the Baby Brianna case - a horrifying case of child abuse and murder in Las Cruces ten years ago. Martinez was the District Attorney who prosecuted that case and won conviction's of the baby's father, mother and stepfather.
Part of the ad features Martinez talking, and it is believed to be part of a similar ad that she used in her 2010 campaign for Governor.
"Baby Brianna was five months old when she died," Martinez says in the ad. "She had many broken bones, over thirty bite marks, and she was beat to death."
Martinez goes on to describe the campaign she led to change state law, increasing the penalties for child-killers.
"We had to fight for those kids that were killed this way," Martinez says. "So we went to the legislature and fought for three years to make it a life sentence and we succeeded."
But in that fight there was opposition from a few Democrats. In the Senate they included Tim Jennings and Michael Sanchez.
"...but Tim Jennings and Michael Sanchez voted no," a narrator says as the ad shows pictures of the two lawmakers. "Voted no to let child-killers out after just fifteen years. Jennings and Sanchez must go."
Fact-checking shows the ad to be accurate. They voted against the "Baby Brianna Bill" that eventually became state law. Will it be enough for voters to give these two powerful veteran lawmakers the boot? We'll see. Early voting is going on now and Election Day is November 6.