The following is the second of Duh Progressive’s two-part exposé on the news GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen a running mate, and who exactly is the mysterious woman many are calling “perfect” for the Republican 2012 ticket, but others are calling a “perfect joke.”
Romney’s Running Mate, Carla C. Martinez: Possible U.S. Vice President and Woman of Mystery (Part 2)
by Jonathan Lakeman, DP Editor-in-Chief
Tuesday, June 19th, 2012,
(NEW ORLEANS) —Mitt Romney surprised the nation and sent the American political class into feverish discussion over his peculiar choice for possible vice president Monday.
Indeed, as far as reaching out to various socio-demographics who have overwhelmingly favored Democrats, New Orleans’ Register of Wills Carla Martinez, 40, could not be a better choice. But to the American public outside of the District Court of New Orleans the last four years, Carla Martinez is more than somewhat of a mystery.
Carla Cynthia Martinez was born in Miami on October 7, 1972. Her parents, Carlos and Rosa Martinez, were immigrants from Barbados, where their ancestors had been brought from Angola as slaves in the 1820s.
Carla’s parents immigrated (legally!) to the United States in 1970, but soon found themselves struggling in the slums of Miami. Carla grew up in poverty, with her father working hard to create America’s first “Scrub-N-Scurry” business, catering to motorists who were in such a hurry that they could not stop to have their cars washed, thus necessitating someone to hang on the outside of their vehicles and wash them while they drove. Needless to say, Mr. Martinez’s career as the nation’s first literal “mobile car washer” was tragically cut short after Carlos was thrown from a 1979 Ford Fairmont and killed (ironically in 1978) when Carla was only six years old.
Despite her physical challenges, Carla excelled in school and was an outgoing, straight-A student, becoming class president of Miami Edison Senior High School in 1989. She edited the high school newspaper and wrote freelance for local Miami newspapers. Carla attended Miami University’s School of Communications on a journalism scholarship but soon fell under the crimpling affects of gambling addiction, beginning during a visit to one of Florida’s now outlawed tree snail races. Martinez had to drop out of college to support her tree snail gambling addiction, consequently moving in 1991 to New Orleans (a notorious hotbed of illegal tree snail racing). During this time she became an apprentice mortician at a local funeral home while sleeping on sofas of those she befriended from the tree snail racing underworld (commonly called “snailers” in the South).
“Those were rough, regrettable days,” Martinez told a local reporter running for New Orleans Register of Wills. “Tree snail gambling addiction is no joke, and it’s even harder for a ‘little person’ like me. I’d dress up bodies by day, then go to underground snail races by night.”
Martinez entered rehab for her “snailing” in 1993. Emerging six months later clean and snail-free, Martinez re-entered college, studying criminal justice at New Orleans’ Delgado Community College, eventually getting her law degree from Louisiana State University in 1999. Martinez was hired later that year by a firm dealing in personal and commercial property contracts, although New Orleans’ rampant crime rate began to ignite Martinez’s political passions during that time.
Despite her growing interest in criminal prosecution, Carla used her degree and estate expertise to launch a successful bid for New Orleans’ office of Register of Wills in 2008. Co-workers and residents who know Martinez describe her as profoundly amiable, hard-working and meticulous, personally and professionally.
“But I always had a part of me that wanted to prosecute; I was always tough on crime, and pro-capital punishment,” Martinez explained to the Associated Press Monday. “That’s what got me pointed more towards conservative politics. …I planned on shifting my career to criminal prosecution after another term as Register of Wills. But then I got the call from Governor Romney last week.”
Martinez also says coming from a background of hard-working entrepreneurs endeared her more to a conservative fiscal philosophy as well, however her stance on social issues remains moderate, except on the issues of abortion (a GOP must) and crime.
As for her Wiccan religious identity, Martinez said she was raised Christian and has great love and respect for Christians, “But I just couldn’t see over the people in the pews in front of me,” Martinez explained simply Monday. “Eighteen years of going to church and all I ended up doing was praying to some fat lady’s butt. With Wiccans, we stand in a circle, so at least I see what I’m praying to.”
Concerning her sexual orientation, Martinez is equally plain-spoken, stating, “Orientation? I didn’t need to go to any orientation to realize I was gay.”
Her lover of ten years, 66-year-old Bridget Katz, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006, but Carla’s love and loyalty to the former national park ranger and 1981 Louisiana state mud wrestling champion has never wavered, even as Katz inquires hourly where she left the car she owned throughout the 70s. “She’s been asking where that ’72 Pinto has been for five years,” said Martinez to reporters Monday. “I used to remind her she sold that car in 1980, but it’s no use anymore. Now I just tell her it’s at her aunt’s house.”
However, when it comes to how she lost her left eye, Martinez remains reticent; commenting only, “It may seem like fun during a party, but never feed your pet armadillo ‘shrooms —no matter what!”
America Reacts to Carla Martinez
It is not Martinez’s sexuality or stance on social or fiscal issues, nor her Wiccanism that is causing many in the GOP to start popping their valium as it is her lack of notoriety and extremely limited –some even deem “laughable”– experience in public office. A Gallup poll conducted yesterday found that only one out of every 955,700 Americans have heard of Carla Martinez, the famed Black-Hispanic lesbian midget with one eye and irritable bowels who presides over matters of estate taxes, dispensation, disputes, and Last Will and Testaments for New Orleans Parish.
“I have no idea who this poor woman is, but from what I’ve heard, if I saw her coming towards me on the street, I’d move to the other side,” said Tasha Simmons, of Richmond, VA, one of the 5.4 million registered African-America voters the Romney camp hopes Martinez will win over. Simmons said Romney’s choosing such a diverse person as a running mate was a “sweet gesture,” but not sweet enough to make her vote Republican in her now four-year-old voting career.
“I’m sure she’s nice and I’m glad (Romney) chose her,” continued Simmons to Duh Progressive Tuesday, “but I’m sticking with Barack. How else will I find out how he’ll let me never worry about how I’ll pay my mortgage again or put gas in my car again? …Why switch horses while I’m waiting for all that?”
Although a national Zogby poll has shown independent, swing, and even some Democrat voters warming to Martinez, as intended, many conservative hardliners have again cast Romney as too liberal due to his choice for Veep. And in some cases, their reasoning is surprising. “I don’t care she’s gay or Black or a midget that’s just held local office,” said Jasper Hitchens, 55, of Jacksonville, Mississippi. “I ain’t votin’ for no damn ‘snailer'!”
Hitchens is of course referring to Martinez’s status as a former tree snail racing/gambling addict, saying he would never trust anyone in high office who once suffered from such a debilitating addiction. Added Hitchens to Duh Progressive, “…‘Cause you know what they say: ‘once you snail, you’ll never bail’!”
Martinez’s response to those who worry her former addiction may rebound while in office has been swift and solid. “Just like with dog fights, as Vice President I will do everything to go after tree snail racing and shut down the snail peddlers once and for all!” Martinez declared to reporters Tuesday. “I’ve been ‘snail free’ for 19 years and I’ve never had the urge to go back. I ‘bailed on the snail;’ that I can assure the American people!”
AFTERMATH: Handling the Martinez Milieu
“I can’t tell you how honored I am to be chosen as the Vice Presidential nominee,” a teary-eyed Martinez has repeatedly stated since Monday morning.
Indeed, to possibly become the nation’s first openly gay, Black-Hispanic, one-eyed, midget Vice President with Irritable Bowel Syndrome has shocked the 40-year-old Register of Wills as much as the rest of the nation. And with her positions on economic, social, and foreign policy matters still widely unknown, the Romney camp is banking on hardline conservatives eventually accepting Martinez and all her peculiarities in the face of another four years of Obama‒Biden. But according to staunch Democrats like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Martinez’s nomination is counter-productive; working only to strengthen the GOP’s reputation as the “party of intolerance” by proving they had bigotry to overcome in the first place. Added Maddow Monday night on MSNBC, “Seriously, a woman with scant legal background who’s a minor court official in New Orleans? Please! I can’t wait to see her in a debate with Joe Biden. What’s she going to do when he has her cornered on a tough policy question, pull out her false eye and throw it at him?”
Likewise, claim Republicans, reactions like Maddow’s only help prove how intolerant the Left can be when a supposed “one of their own” jumps ship. Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie has been making his rounds on national television and talk shows since Monday’s announcement, espousing Martinez’s qualifications, but also not shirking from her physical and social attributes as pluses for the ticket. “We admit,” Gillespie told talk show host Sean Hannity Tuesday. “Martinez’s abundant personal qualities bring something to the table we rarely see in national Republican nominees. And we’re proud of that. It just proves that if someone with all of (Martinez’s) historically Democrat-leaning characteristics can agree with our platform, then why can’t anyone else who shares some of her two, three, eight dozen characteri…I, I don’t know anymore. I’ve lost count.”
Continued Gillespie, “All we know is that since Mitt has secured the nomination all we’ve heard is ‘How is Mitt going to connect with this group?’, ‘How is he going to connect with that group..?’ Well, we’ve answered that: Carla Cynthia Martinez! And notice, no part of her name includes the word ‘Biden’.''