For five years, a Catholic community health organization has tried to get the Legislature to dip into the Land Grant Permanent Fund beyond a prudent level with vague promises of investing the money in “high-quality early childhood programs.” For five years, lawmakers’ fiscal pragmatism has prevailed over emotional pleas.
So now Catholic Health Initiatives St. Joseph’s Children, under CEO Allen Sanchez, is trashing the state’s successful tourism campaign to make its political point. After all, why do anything that might help the state’s economy and provide jobs when you can have more social programs?
New Mexico True is the ad campaign started under the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez to put the Land of Enchantment’s amazing landscapes and cultures front and center in an effort to draw visitors, dollars and investment to the state.
Ironically, while many supporters of raiding the permanent fund point to poverty programs as economic engines for New Mexico, tourism actually is one. And the negativity of the New Mexico Truth campaign can’t be good for those New Mexicans whose livelihoods rely on tourism.