SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez’s office began posting the governor’s past calendars on the Internet on Friday, responding to media demands for more details about her schedule.
The week-by-week listing of Martinez’s meetings, media interviews and public events will be available only after the fact. Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office will continue its practice of listing limited coming events on its website.
The Associated Press had been seeking copies of the governor’s schedule since late 2011. In addition, the Santa Fe Reporter recently filed a lawsuit alleging Martinez, among other things, violated the state’s open record laws by withholding information about her calendar.
Terry Schleder, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, which also pushed for more details from the Governor’s Office, called the move a step toward greater accountability.
“The Foundation for Open Government urged Gov. Martinez to release her calendar, as others have been asking her to do,” Schleder said in a statement. “The governor has agreed to that request. We commend her for it and believe this is a substantial step forward for transparency in New Mexico government.”
As of Friday, Martinez’s past calendars are posted through a link to the Governor’s Office website and date back to when the Republican governor took office in 2011. The calendars will be updated weekly, Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said.
“We’d received several requests and inquiries for it, and already publish and archive her public appearances on the website,” Knell said. “Of course, most governors don’t put their official calendar online, but Gov. Martinez felt it was the easiest way for it to be provided.”
National practices regarding the posting of governors’ schedules appear to vary by governor.
While some governors allow the public to track their events, many other governors – including those of Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma – do not appear to have their schedules posted on the Internet.
The schedules posted Friday by Martinez’s office show planned meetings with various legislators, Cabinet secretaries and other groups.
For instance, they indicate Martinez had scheduled separate meetings last month with four Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants.
The schedules posted on the Governor’s Office website do not show Martinez’s political activities.