politician

Photo Credit: Helen Fernandez | Daily Texan Staff

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said she emphasizes being a leader first and a politician second in a speech hosted Wednesday by the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Martinez, the first Latina governor in U.S. history, was elected as the first female governor of New Mexico in 2010. A Republican, her election platforms included cutting spending, lowering taxes and ending corrupt government practices. This year, Time magazine listed her among the world’s top 100 influential people alongside President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Before she was elected governor, Martinez graduated from UT-El Paso and earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. She went on to serve for 14 years as District Attorney of the Third Judicial District. 

In her speech, Martinez discussed the many ways she has been inspired as a public servant. She said her time as a district attorney greatly influenced her life as governor, and cases she prosecuted led her to see the huge impact public servants can have on peoples’ lives.

One particular case that Martinez said changed her life was the rape and murder of a six-month-old baby by both the child’s father and maternal uncle. At the time, the offense only carried a maximum sentence of 18 years in prison, whereas the rape and killing of an adult carried a sentence of life in prison. Martinez successfully campaigned to increase the penalty to life in prison in New Mexico. 

To this day, she said she carries a photo of the child.

“It reminds me why I’m a public servant,” Martinez said. “I don’t do it because I make a lot of money. I don’t do it because it will make me rich.”

Lauren Cresswell, public affairs graduate student, said the talk enabled her to learn about Martinez’s initiatives in New Mexico.

“I think it was interesting to hear her perspective as a female and as a Republican,” Cresswell said.

Sarah Melecki, public affairs graduate student, said she thought it was important to hear from women who are making a difference in the public policy process, even though she does not share Martinez’s political beliefs.

“I think it’s important to learn all points of view to see where we can come together to get things done,” Melecki said. “She talked a lot about [how] when you talk about policy, it’s not just about Democrats and Republicans. I gained a lot from that.”

BBC Director General George Entwistle, left, stands with Lord Chris Patten, the Chairman of the BBC Trust, as he announces his resignation as director general outside New Broadcasting House in central London on Saturday.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

LONDON — Few seem to be enjoying the management meltdown at the venerable BBC more than Rupert Murdoch, the News Corp. chief whose rival British newspapers have been caught up in their own lengthy, embarrassing and expensive phone-hacking scandal.

But the troubles for both media organizations highlight that the news industry in Britain is at rock-bottom in public esteem, and could face increased restrictions from the government of Prime Minister David Cameron, which appears convinced it has been unable to police itself.

The British Broadcasting Corp. has moved into full-bore damage control since it retracted mistaken allegations by its marquee news program that a politician sexually abused children. That serious mistake followed the BBC’s earlier failure to report on widespread child sex abuse allegations against one of its biggest stars, the late Jimmy Savile.

The scandal follows several years of turmoil over the phone-hacking scandal, which exploded with the discovery that employees of Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid hacked into a kidnapped girl’s mobile phone. The scandal widened when scores of celebrities, sports stars and politicians said they, too, had been hacked. The tabloid folded, Murdoch’s media paid out millions in compensation and still faces scores of lawsuits. Several news executives have been arrested.

A report due this month from Lord Justice Brian Leveson, based on months of jarring testimony about wrongdoing by Murdoch’s reporters and others, may prompt the government to impose statutory regulation on the British print press, which is overseen by an industry watchdog.

Many say the reputation of the British media is at an all-time low.

BBC chief George Entwistle resigned this weekend, and on Monday the head of news, Helen Boaden, and deputy Stephen Mitchell were temporarily removed from their positions, though the broadcaster said neither were implicated in the errors involving its child sex abuse reports.

Iain Overton, who was involved in preparing the “Newsnight” story about the politician, resigned Monday as editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit muckraking group that works with several news organizations.

Further resignations or suspensions at the BBC are likely as the investigation develops.

Glen Maxey speaks about his experiences as the first openly gay State Representative before University Democrats Wednesday evening. Maxey is currently working on a book of memoirs from his distinguished career.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

The University Democrats welcomed a Texas politician who overcame public misconceptions surrounding the gay community to campus Wednesday night.

Former state representative Glen Maxey spoke about his life and experiences before and after he was elected in a candid discussion at the University Democrats general meeting. Maxey was the first openly gay man to serve in the Texas Legislature and fought aggressively to establish health care and education facilities for Texans with HIV. He also played a key role in passing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Maxey began his discussion with many anecdotes about his early years in Texas politics and the different people he met when he registered voters. Maxey said he once helped register a 98-year-old African-American woman who was told she could not vote.

“After about 45 minutes, she had voted and I asked her what it felt like to vote,” Maxey said. “She looked at me and a tear was running down her eye and said ‘My, my, mister, it feels mighty fine.’”

To this day, Maxey said he personally registered more than 10,000 voters and holds the U.S. record for registering more naked individuals than any other politician by standing outside bars from dusk until dawn.

Holly Heinrich, public relations chair for the University Democrats, said Maxey was a very important person to the organization because he is a big supporter of the group and spends a lot of time speaking to students.

“In politics, so much knowledge is passed down in stories,” Heinrich said. “There is so much about politics that you can only learn from the people who have lived it. He has insights you’ll never find in a government textbook.”

Heinrich said students would enjoy hearing from Maxey because the initiatives he worked on in office still benefit people across the state today.

Government junior Robert Nunez said it was very exciting to see Maxey, who he had formerly learned of and met through the University Democrats.

“It’s always exciting to have people who spend time in politics come with the younger politicos,” Nunez said. “For the first openly gay man in the legislature to come speak to us [speaks] to the promise and opportunity everyone has.”

Maxey ended the discussion with the reading from his upcoming memoir and encouraged people to enter politics for the right reasons and not to step on other people.

“The most important thing you can ever do is make one person’s life a little better,” Maxey said. “And that’s what I hope you all can do in your political careers.”