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          Front Page  news  state

Padilla Named Revenue Chief

By Sean Olson
Journal Staff Writer
          Gov.-elect Susana Martinez named certified public accountant and business owner Demesia Padilla as her nominee for the state Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary on Friday.
        "I selected Ms. Padilla because she is a professional administrator, one who understands how New Mexico tax code affects businesses, families and certainly the parents that live in New Mexico," Martinez told an Albuquerque news conference Friday.
        Padilla has owned and operated her own tax preparation and consulting business in New Mexico for 18 years, formerly worked as an IRS agent and ran an unsuccessful campaign for state treasurer in 2006.
        Martinez said Padilla has a large agenda before her when Martinez's administration takes office Jan. 1.
        "Together, Ms. Padilla and I will promote reforms to our tax code to make it more understandable, business-friendly and fair," Martinez said. "And as overseer of New Mexico's motor vehicle department, I have made it a priority for Ms. Padilla to develop a bill that will revoke the driver's licenses that have been issued thus far to illegal immigrants, as well as to change the law to no longer issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants."
        Padilla has some government experience. She is the chairwoman of Bernalillo County's Internal Audit Committee, serves on the New Mexico Gaming Control Board and has been a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
        She said her experience will prove valuable, if she is confirmed by the Senate to the secretary position.
        "As a consumer and as a taxpayer, I understand New Mexico's tax code and the roadblocks that businesses and families often face," Padilla said.
        Padilla made waves during her 2006 campaign when she mailed out an advertisement that featured her opponent, Treasurer James Lewis, who is black, as a grinning puppet and outgoing Gov. Bill Richardson as the puppeteer.
        Some black community leaders and Democrats called for Padilla to apologize for the mailer at the time.
        Padilla did not apologize and said the caricature was not racist, but demonstrated Lewis' support for making the treasurer position a nonelected office under control of the governor.

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