Created: 05/12/2014 5:25 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
They are the odd couple of New Mexico politics – old rivals who appear together for a brief but memorable moment in a brand new Republican ad in the race for U.S. Senate.
It is a warm and fuzzy moment for Susana Martinez and Allen Weh in Weh’s first ad. Up until now it’s been mostly rock salt and rusty nails between these two – and that goes back to something that happened on KOB Eyewitness News 4 four years ago.
Back in 2010, during the Republican primary for Governor, Martinez crashed a Weh interview with reporter Stuart Dyson. Martinez, then the Las Cruces District Attorney, flourished a manila envelope at Weh and challenged the retired Marine colonel to release his tax information.
"I’m happy to show you my taxes any day to prove I pay them," Martinez says. "If you’re willing to present yours in an honest way, as early as tomorrow."
"Is this part of the interview, Stuart? "asks a clearly confused Weh.
"No," the reporter replies, equally surprised at the intrusion.
"Well, I work in the private sector," Weh tells Martinez. "There will be an appropriate time to present our taxes but I don’t think that’s germane at the moment."
"I just don’t want to be accused of not paying my taxes and I’ve got them ready, if you want to see them tomorrow at close of business," Martinez says, as she turns and walks away.
"Well, I tell you, this is the silly season!" Weh says to Dyson.
It was a defining moment in the campaign. Martinez whipped the pants off Weh and the rest of the pack in that primary and went on to her historic victory over Diane Denish in November. There was no love lost between Weh and Martinez, to say the least. During rare public appearances at the same events the hostility was palpable. You could cut it with a knife – maybe.
Now the new Weh ad features just a smidge of a quick embrace with Martinez on some stage at some event somewhere, while the ad narrators says "Allen Weh will protect our federal facilities." Gov. Martinez is not exactly the poster girl for federal government – but what the heck – cue the violins! They’re together again!
The 30-second ad features Weh’s military record and his commitment to job creation. He faces Las Cruces lawyer David Clements in the primary. The winner will take on Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall in the general election.