It had been more than a week since the Republican Governors Association had blasted Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gary King on the TV. But the RGA is back this morning with an ad called "Pay to Play."
Here's what it says:
(Male narrator): We know Gary King is the worst attorney general New Mexico has ever had.
But there is one thing King was good at.
Taking advantage of the perks of his office.
Gary King took more than $100 grand in campaign contributions from lawyers and their spouses who benefited from a government contract from King’s office.
A $5 million pay day for the law firms.
The Albuquerque Journal says King’s record should make taxpayers sick.
The source for the ad was a January story in the Journal about Texas law firms contracted by the AG's office to represent the state in a suit over a diabetes drug, Avandia.
The suit resulted in a a settlement with GlaxoSmithKline with the state for $24 million.
A judge awarded the lawfirms of Heard Robins Cloud and Black and Baron & Budd $5.1 million in attorney fees and $118,000 in costs.
The two firms made $116,300 in campaign contributions to King. That includes contributions dating back to 2009.
King spokesman Phil Sisneros told the Journal at the time, “As a result of their expertise, the State received almost ten times more ($15 million) from the settlement than it would have under the alternative joint legal action by a number of other states on the same issues,”
Sisneros said the Heard firm was hired on a competitive bid. That firm, which also has an office in Santa Fe, subcontracted with Baron & Budd.
This hard-hitting ad could be seen as an attempt to inoculate Gov. Susana Martinez, who some critics have accused of "pay-to-play" over the controversial racino contract for The Downs at Albuquerque. An ad by King last week ripped Martinez for allegedly giving "no bid, sweetheart deals for her friends," which was a reference to another contract.
There will be more on this in Saturday's Santa Fe New Mexican.