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Sanchez takes different stances on ‘similar’ Ryan budget plans

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Sanchez

Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Sanchez recently attacked primary opponent Heather Wilson for praising U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s attempt to steer the budget conversation this year even though she voted against a “similar” Ryan budget amendment in 2007.

Sanchez’s assault came earlier this week in response to an NMPolitics.net interview in which Wilson praised efforts by Ryan to steer the conversation about the budget and said he had done a service to the nation by presenting substantive ideas. In that interview, Wilson didn’t take a position on Ryan’s budget plan.

Sanchez pointed out in a news release that Wilson was one of 40 GOP House members to vote against a 2007 budget amendment proposed by Ryan that Sanchez called “similar” to Ryan’s current proposal.

“Candidate Heather Wilson is the same liberal tax-and-spender as Congresswoman Heather Wilson,” Sanchez spokesman Corbin Casteel said. “She cannot run from her embarrassing record as a big-spending Washington insider. She has the conservative talking points memorized, but the voters of New Mexico will know better.”

The attack was the latest in the fighting between the two candidates. Both have declined to take a definitive stance on the current budget proposal from Ryan, which would cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget.

Support for one; no commitment on other

I wondered, if Sanchez is attacking Wilson for voting against Ryan’s 2007 amendment, does that mean he would have supported it?


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Yes, Sanchez would have voted for the 2007 amendment if he had been in the U.S. House at the time, Casteel told NMPolitics.net. The amendment would have cut $279 billion in spending, most of it out of health-care entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. It also would have extended the Bush tax cuts.

OK. If Sanchez would have supported that 2007 amendment that slashed health-care programs and extended tax cuts, and that amendment was “similar” to this year’s proposal from Ryan, does that mean Sanchez supports the Ryan budget?

Casteel didn’t directly answer the question, instead leaving Sanchez in limbo by pointing to the candidate’s prior statement on the Ryan budget:

“I haven’t seen a perfect budget solution yet, but Paul Ryan’s is a very good start. We must rein in government spending. It is immoral to spend money we don’t have.”

Casteel said Sanchez wants to ensure that seniors are protected and promises to them are kept. He didn’t say whether Sanchez believes the Ryan budget does that.

Apparently not ‘similar’ enough

There’s the rub – Sanchez, like Wilson and many other Republicans, is being noncommittal. The Santa Fe New Mexican has called Ryan’s proposal the Republican Party’s “Catch-22” because it would dramatically overhaul Medicare by changing it from a plan that directly pays for health care to one that subsidizes private insurance.

From The New Mexican:

“The problem for Republicans is that the Ryan plan is unpopular among older voters – and unlike their younger counterparts, older voters tend to vote. At the same time, the Ryan plan is highly popular with the GOP base, which is far more conservative than general-election voters.

“Fox News commentator Juan Williams warned in a commentary Friday, ‘The GOP had better come up with an effective explanation or defense of the Ryan plan before 2012, or the gains they made in 2010 will be erased.’”

So, while there may be some similarities between Ryan’s 2007 amendment and his current budget plan, they apparently aren’t “similar” enough that Sanchez’s support for one equals support for the other – even if he did criticize Wilson for voting against one and then praising Ryan’s efforts on the other.

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17 comments so far. Scroll down to submit your own comment.

  1. Previously Mr. Sanchez basically lied about the illegal immigrant problem in his half time company. Now he says about illegal immigration : ” I’d have the political courage and the strength to be able to address that openly”! Where did he suddenly get this political courage and strength? This is typical political rhetoric having no basis in reality. I know, politicians will say anything to get elected like in this case.

  2. Hemingway says: ” …Right Way Roofing, was caught twice hiring illegal workers. In late 2002, it was revealed that John Sanchez, employed 10 illegal workers at his roofing business. A 1997 INS inspection found 7 workers, and a subsequent inspection a year later found three more ( Albuquerque Journal, 8/26/02).”

    I am shocked, shocked to find out a roofing business (or most any construction, highway paving, landscaping, etc. business in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, etc.) would hire illegal aliens! This surely is a one-of-a-kind sort of occurrance only Sanchez would do. No other contractor would dare beak our tight immigration laws, would they?

  3. The actual ombudsman (woman) works out of the Lt Gov’s office and earns around $45K. I believe I came across that in a list of state employees. Beyond that, governmental oversight is perpetually underfunded; it’s part and parcel to the culture of corruption; it’s why we are where we are. State Auditor Balderas has said over and over; he could save the state tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of dollars if his office were adequately funded.

    Saving money by underfunding oversight is penny wise and pound foolish; if even that.

  4. Mr. MacQuigg:

    Ah, I missed that in my cursory search for such a law; thank you. However, this does raise a pair of questions: has anyone ever bothered to set up a mechanism by which the lieutenant governor may perform such activities, and (more importantly) has anyone ever appropriated funding to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor to fund activities pursuant to 8-3-1?

  5. IP,

    I stand corrected (thank you); it’s not the constitution but state statutes that point to the Lt Gov’s duties as an ombudsman; specifically 8-3-1, http://www.conwaygreene.com/nmsu/lpext.dll?f=templates&fn=main-h.htm&2.0

    8-3-1. Lieutenant governor; powers and duties.
    The lieutenant governor in addition to his other duties provided by law shall have the following powers and duties:
    A. the lieutenant governor shall:
    (1) facilitate and promote the cooperation and understanding between the people of this state and the agencies of state government, by assisting them in their dealings with such agencies, and by assisting the agencies to explain their functions, duties and administrative procedures insofar as they affect the people of this state;
    (2) refer any complaints or special problems of the citizens of this state to the proper agency;

  6. Now it is true Mr. Sanchez never graduated from college, and he was an American Airlines flight attendant. However, he was supposedly running a roofing business, which was part time because “”New Mexico winters are wet.” In fact his part time business, Right Way Roofing, was caught twice hiring illegal workers. In late 2002, it was revealed that John Sanchez, employed 10 illegal workers at his roofing business. A 1997 INS inspection found 7 workers, and a subsequent inspection a year later found three more ( Albuquerque Journal, 8/26/02).

    So I think he should stick to his Lieutenant Governor job or go back to being a flight attendant. Maybe he could do both since they are both part-time to him.

  7. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The time has passed for electing uneducated people like John Sanchez to the US Senate. This story shows he doesn’t know how to discuss the most important budget issue of our time.

    People need to know this is not the first time John Sanchez has been caught talking out of both sides of his mouth. Back in 2001 when he was in the state legislature, he voted for collective bargaining for state employees and was only ONE of TWO republicans to do so. The he said that if we elected him governor in 2002 that he would veto such a bill. HUH?!?

    Our ignorant Sun News had a ridiculous editorial today about why Sanchez shouldn’t be criticized for keeping his job and running for a new one at the same time. Hello Sun News, you’re missing the point, which is that John Sanchez is never satisfied with the job he’s in. How can one possibly accomplish anything in a brand new job when you’re spending most of the time running for a new one? I did some math. Susana Martinez was D.A. for 13 years before she started for governor. Heather Wilson was in congress for 9 years before she started running for senate. Ever single person the Sun News used as an example had been in their current job for SEVERAL YEARS, not MONTHS like John Sanchez.

    Hemmingway, you are right, this is an insult to New Mexican voters.

  8. Suzanna, stop wasting money and give this guy some work!

  9. Mr. MacQuiqq:

    Acting as ombudsman for the people may be a moral duty that you think the Lieutenant Governor should perform, but it is certainly not a constitutional duty that they are required to perform. The Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico has the exact same loosely-stated duties as the Vice President – presiding over the Senate and standing in readiness to replace his boss. That’s all. The authors of our Constitution didn’t even think that he needed to live in Santa Fe while in office; the position is specifically exempt from that stricture.

  10. Constitutionally, one of Sanchez’ most important responsibilities as Lt Gov is ombudsman; representing the people in their struggle against their government. Sanchez will, apparently, join a long list of Lt Govs who take that responsibility lightly.

  11. This story on Medicare is no surprise to anyone…just about anyone who’s ever had to listen to John Sanchez speak knows that he can’t talk himself out of paper bag. That is, unless, the topic of discussion is himself. But it’s like groundhog day. Different day, same speech about his rags to riches and conservative values this and conservative values that. Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard the same tired old speech since 2002.

    My Democrat friends tell me that they think Hector Balderas might just pull this thing off and defeat Heinrich in their primary. Then imagine the highly unlikely and very scary scenario where we Republicans would be dumb enough to nominate Sanchez. Sanchez would go head to head against Balderas…a Hispanic guy with a good success story…poor upbringing in a small town, but rises above and goes to college and gets a law degree.

    Then there’s John Sanchez. You know, the guy who didn’t bother to go to college (but he did graduate from the American Airlines flight attendant school).

    Which guy do you think people – particularly Hispanics - would vote for? (Hint…it’s not gonna be the guy who pushed a cart of drinks down the aisle of an MD-80).

  12. What exactly is Mr. Sanchez doing to justify his job as Lt. Gov.?

    In John Sanchez’s defense (a phrase that I promise you I never thought I would find myself using), Governor Martinez doesn’t particularly like him, and by extension hasn’t really made any effort to include him in her administration. Then again, who would?

  13. Mr. Sanchez recently arrogantly lectured New Mexicans about his campaign: “It won’t be a distraction whatsoever. I have to remind folks that most elected officials looking to run for another office often maintain and keep their seats!” This is a blatant insult to New Mexicans who elected this so-called public servant for a full term not a five month transitional period until he runs for another office.

    Mr. Sanchez should follow the advice of the comedian Groucho Marx: “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.”

  14. What exactly is Mr. Sanchez doing to justify his job as Lt. Gov.? As an elected official, shouldn’t he be concentrating on duties as assigned by the constitution and/or by the sitting governor? Are his new duties as assigned by the sitting governor “running for another elected office?” People reacted, as they should have, very negatively when the former governor spent months away from the office on the campaign trail. Some notable minority party members of the legislature went on record railing against misuse of public money by not fulfilling elected responsibility. Sounds like Lt. Gov. Sanchez is heading down the same trail. Can’t wait to hear the outcry.

  15. Sounds similar to what Palin did quitting the Alaska governor job. Probably a disease that afflicts most politicians regardless of party.

  16. Hemmingway, you and I don’t agree on much, but on this, we can completely agree. He’s a total opportunist. Can’t even answer Heath’s questions directly and needs his “spokesman Corbin Casteel” (aka political hack) to talk for him. What John, did you have laryngitis this week? Lose your cell phone? Too busy playing “acting Governor” while Susana is out of town? How embarrassing!

  17. Sorry – Mr. Sanchez is just an ambitious opportunist. New Mexicans just elected this guy to be Lieutenant Governor. He has accomplished zilch. Now he wants to be our Senator. This is an insult to New Mexican voters. He should drop out of the race.

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