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National Hispanic group backs Martinez for VP

WASHINGTON – Gov. Susana Martinez keeps saying she’s not interested in the job, but some folks continue floating her name as a Republican vice presidential pick.

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce last week endorsed Martinez for VP on the GOP side and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro on the Democratic side. Chamber President and CEO Javier Palomarez said Martinez has made education policy a priority, helped erase New Mexico’s deficit and “has demonstrated a proven ability to work with America’s small-business community.”

“It’s time that Hispanic leaders of the governor’s caliber be recognized and chosen to assume one of our nation’s highest political offices,” Palomarez said. “We are confident that she is ready to take on the vice presidency of the United States.”

Michael Lonergan, a Martinez spokesman, reiterated the governor’s oft-cited lack of interest in the job.

“Gov. Martinez appreciates that such attention puts New Mexico in a positive light, but isn’t interested in serving as vice president; she is fully committed to serving as New Mexico governor,” Lonergan said.

ENERGY PITCH: A century after thousands of Americans bought federal bonds to help the United States in World War I, Sen. Tom Udall is calling for a similar program to finance a more aggressive move to a clean energy economy.

The New Mexico Democrat this week introduced an amendment to an energy bill under consideration on the Senate floor that would direct the Energy and Treasury departments to come up with a plan to develop “Clean Energy Victory Bonds” in denominations as low as $25. The money raised, which Udall’s office said could be as much as $50 billion, would be leveraged into clean energy innovation projects that create jobs.

“People across the country want to do their part,” Udall said in a Senate floor speech Monday. “They want to invest in a clean energy future and help fight climate change. But most of them can’t afford clean energy mutual funds – with 1,000 dollar and 5,000 dollar minimums. Many can afford 25 dollars, however, or 50 dollars, to invest in jobs and healthier communities. Clean Energy Victory Bonds will provide that opportunity.”

Udall said that the bonds wouldn’t require any new taxes on individuals or businesses, and would be U.S. Treasury bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Investors would earn back their full investment, plus interest that comes from energy savings and loan repayments.

Michael Coleman: