Thursday, February 05, 2009

Still Stalled

Linda Martinez's nomination to head the Department of Economic Development remains at a standstill until next week.
Sen. Scott Rupp, who raised concerns about Martinez's immigration comments yesterday, again stalled her nomination Thursday.

UPDATED 9:15 FRI: Sen. Gary Nodler called to say he did not participate in Thursday's filibuster as previously reported here, and does not oppose the Martinez nomination. The Notebook regrets the error.

Rupp met with Martinez early Thursday, but a Capitol source says a later meeting between Rupp and Nixon Chief of Staff John Watson became heated. The source says Rupp wanted assurances from Nixon's administration about the enforcement of illegal immigration laws, but that Watson replied, "We're not signing anything." Tony Messenger has it from the horse's mouth here. Sen. Rupp was not immediately available for comment.
ALSO: Lou Dobbs' show is calling conservatives, becoming increasingly interested in covering Martinez's confirmation process.
UPDATED @ 4:35: Sen. Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield) told The Notebook he doesn't have problems with Martinez and will vote to confirm her. He said his role in Thursday's proceedings was to playfully chide Sen. Rupp.
"I was tired of all of Nixon's department heads coming and asking me what I needed. She (Martinez) had come by my office five times that day to try to catch up with me, so I was just chiding him," Purgason explained, referring to Rupp's complaints that Martinez had not come to see him personally. "It was a joke."
"I may not agree with her on policy, but that's what a Governor gets for winning an election," Purgason said. "He gets to have his team around him. I think Senator Cunningham still has some questions, but I think it'll eventually go through. It would surprise me if she weren't confirmed by next week."
UPDATED @ 9:52: Sen. Frank Barnitz said he has met with Martinez about the illegal immigration and job tax credit issues and is satisfied with her answers. "To ask about her relations with her clients is a little much," Barnitz said. "To ask the Governor to sign some letter, he's not going to do that."

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