The truth about the Baby Brianna bill


  1. John Fremont says:

    Good balance – thank you.

  2. wedum59 says:

    Reading the comments and especially Heath’s account of the passage of this bill, I feel that Martinez does show her ego in the ad. She had a wonderful opportunity to do an ad talking about ALL the people, Democrat and Republican, who worked on this bill (not just a dismissive “we”), and to segue into ‘and I will will work with all New Mexicans, regardless of political affiliation to …. something.’ But she blew it.

    I find it very impressive that all these good people worked together to make this bill the law in NM.

    So Garcia showed her ego too. But she is not running for governor.

    Gee, Sen. Sanchez is really a scumbag, isn’t he?

  3. galrepub says:

    I realize you all are not supporters of Ms. Martinez, but not one of you is concerned that Ms.Garcia’s account was not factual or that she made it seem that she alone got the bill passed ??

  4. PenPal says:

    I arrived too late to know about the Baby Brianna episode, and I have paid no attention to it since its has emerged in this campaign.

    I could care less about the particulars. Waving pictures of abused children, waving pictures of aborted fetuses, waving pictures of burned buildings, waving pictures of dead civilians–these are the bases on which we should make laws?

    I could care less about seeing tears in peoples’ eyes or hearing their voices break.. We are in serious trouble when our standard of what is right or wrong, what should be done or should not be done, hangs on signs of emotional display. First, emotional display as a sign of sincerity is no warrant for anything; as a recent book on the subject of BS concluded, “sincerity is BS.” Second, reliance on emotional responses as a standard or justification for anything spells trouble; otherwise, we endorse hatred and a whole lot else, which will have its day in deciding foreign and domestic policy.

  5. banghedhere says:

    Wow Heath! Make sure you are listed as an in kind contributor to the Martinez campaign after this gem! The point of all of this is that Martinez should not be using the death of a child for political gain however much she helped on the bill. You remember as we all do that Martinez was kicked out of the committee because she was trying to make a complete spectacle out of the bill with signs and cameras to boost her ego just as she is elevating her ego with the campaign ad. No matter how anyone spins this Martinez is crummy at best for using this issue to get votes!

  6. Heath Haussamen says:


    I have written about Martinez being fired, suing for wrongful termination and the state settling with her, and have told the story of how she says she became a Republican. It’s here:

    There is a fine line between exploitation and motivation. If Garcia had her facts straight, and wrote about how her campaign talk about Baby Brianna wasn’t exploitation but Martinez’s is, and explained the difference, she might have more credibility on this topic.

  7. Hemingway says:

    Heath – there is the matter of political exploitation as depicted in this story on Michael Schiavo in his shameful exploitation of his late disabled wife Terri Schindler Schiavo:

    Of course this is an outrageous case, but there is a fine line between political exploitation and what constitutes political motivation. In the case of Ms. Martinez, we have no information on her background before she got a job in the District Attorney’s Office. How did her wealthy father, Jake Martinez, El Paso boxing legend, motivate her career and her outlook? How did growing up in El Paso affect her views? Why is none of this discussed? This would show something about her character. As a journalist I would want to know something about her life. None of the newspapers and blogs mention that she was fired from the District office’s Attorney Office in 1994. This obviously would influence her political perspectives after she regained her job. Maybe this is why she became a Republican.

    I agree totally with you that “such experiences and the way in which people act in response tell us something about their character.” When I look at this ubiquitous TV ad on Baby Brianna it reflects more of her political campaign than her character. How successful was Ms. Martinez in convicting parents that abuse their children before and after the law.?That would interesting and more revealing of her character.

  8. Heath Haussamen says:

    Hemingway, I view it as a given that candidates are going to and should talk about their backgrounds, their records, and things that shaped their views and motivated them to act in ways they believed would benefit the common good. Don’t we want to know what motivates a politician to act?

    I have seen Baby Brianna’s photo hanging in Susana Martinez’s office. I’ve seen tears in her eyes as she showed me Brianna’s autopsy photos. I watched this baby’s death affect her and shape her views. I also watched it affect and shape Sen. Garcia’s views. I’ve heard her voice crack as she choked up talking about Brianna. Shouldn’t candidates share those experiences with us?

    I think so. Sen. Garcia has talked about how she passed Baby Brianna’s bill in her campaigning as well. Has she also exploited this baby’s death? In my view, no.

    Don’t we want to know about Sen. McCain’s POW experience, Sen. Kerry’s service in Vietnam, Rep. Teague’s experience with having to leave high school to help support his family, the personal way in which 9/11 changed President Bush, and how deeply Martinez and Garcia were affected by the senseless and horrific death of a child, and how they helped a city and state find meaning in that death and use it for change?

    I think we, as a society, do. At least, I do. I think such experiences and the way in which people act in response tell us something about their character. And I think that’s important. I don’t fault Martinez or Garcia for talking about what they did to help pass this bill… I’m glad they’ve both done it. They should both be proud of their work on this piece of legislation.

  9. ksparks says:

    Senator Michael Sanchez has a well documented history of sponsoring bills to weaken DWI laws and watering down tougher laws on criminals. He works for his clients to make it easier for him to get them off. In 2012, the people of New Mexico and especially Valencia County need to protest this “leadership” very loudly and elect someone who will represent ALL of the people instead of just the criminals.

  10. Hemingway says:

    “No one person gets credit for this” legislation is the bottom line. This excellent narrative of the bill passage misses the point. Why is Susana Martinez uses these “egregious” TV ads in the first place? More importantly this has nothing to do with being Governor. These ads should be dropped-ASAP.

    Ms. Garcia has rightly stated: “stop exploiting the murder of Briana Lopez in her campaign. Please let that little angel rest in peace”.

  11. galrepub says:

    Great background, Heath. I am always sickened by the child abuse that goes on regularly in Dona Ana County. Isn’t Ms. Gracia also the one who, several months ago, in a Sun News article, said that child abuse cases are on the rise and are not being prosecuted because Sheriff Garrison and Ms. Martinez are too busy campaigning? Dispicable. If I am not mistaken, she is working on the Denish campaign down here. Seems she is making comments to distract people and make them quesiton particular candidates. Where is the Denish campaign to at least comment on her inuendos?