Governor Nixon’s choice to head the agency that recruits business for Missouri faces a Senate vote this week that will determine if she keeps the job.
Linda Martinez has left a major St, Louis law firm to become economic development director. Her work with that law firm has delayed a Senate confirmation vote. One Senator wants a list of her clients, some of whom have business with the department. Senator Brad Lager of Maryville had to get the list indirectly because Martinez cites ethical concerns with just giving the list to him. But she is on record saying she will not be involved in any department decisions involving any of her ex-clients.
Some conservative groups have attacked her because she represented Valley Park businesses and landlords when the city tried to pass an ordinance putting their businesses at risk if they hired or rented to undocumented aliens.
She won that case, arguing the city lacked the authority to pass the ordinance, that–in addition–violated the constitutional rights of the landlords and businesses.
"The other was, was there going to be one set of rules in Valley Park, was there going to be one set of rules in Olivette; was there going to be another set of rules in Cape Girardeau?" she tells the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee, "Fortunately…the state of Missouri has passed one consistent law for all businesses in all cities in the entire state." She says she will enforce that law as any other official would.
She says she agrees that, as a matter of public policy, businesses should not be able to hire illegal immigrants. As for Valley Park–she says she has no lingering issues with the city and, in fact, thinks the city has some exciting opportunities for economic development.
You can hear her entire confirmation hearing testimony by clicking on the link below.