alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 
 V.19 No.43 | October 28 - November 3, 2010 
Alibi’s Online Election Guide

Feature

Candidate Q and A: N.M. State House of Representatives

We contacted all candidates for local house districts with this questionnaire; here’s what we have back so far. We’ll post further responses as they come in.

Don’t know your district? Find out here.

You might try The League of Women Voters Guide for more info on candidates in your district. The League of Women Voters of New Mexico’s main website might also be helpful.

Spelling and punctuation has not been corrected for all of these.

Mike Blessing, District 16

Party: Libertarian Party (http://lp.org) / Boston Tea Party (http://bostontea.us)

Website: http://mike4nmh16-2010.blogspot.com/

1. What qualifies you for this position?

I am a sapient (self-aware) resident, registered voter and taxpayer of the District.

What qualifies me over my opponent? What qualifies him over me? What qualifies either of us over any other resident of the District?

Beware the person who tells you that they have all the answers to all of your problems, if only you surrender a bit of your liberty to them. To paraphrase what Lord Acton said, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. All great men are bad men.” And no, I don't see myself as being immune to this tendency.

2. What should be done to address ethics reform and transparency?

Open up all closed-door conference committees in the Legislature.

Require that all State spending over $1000.00 be posted to a publicly-viewable website within twenty-four hours. Considering that you can be tracked in real time when you use your credit card to pay for gas, fast food, etc., this is a very doable idea.

Allow private citizens to make audio and video recordings of all Legislative and regulatory-agency proceedings.

3. How can we balance the state's budget?

We can start by using a zero-services baseline, and put all of the State budget onto the table for discussion.

As for cutting specific budget items, we can start with the Rail Runner and the Film Office.

Refrain from expanding existing programs without cause, or from creating new programs or agencies that do the jobs of existing agencies or programs. Consolidate duplicative programs and agencies. Require every agency and program to justify its existence and budget on an annual basis.

4. Should New Mexico allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples?

Inasmuch as the State requires any form of permission slip for two consenting adults to engage in romantic or sexual relations, the State should NOT discriminate against anyone of the gay / lesbian / bisexual / transgender / polyamorous / kinky persuasions, especially when it's often clear that such discrimination is done just because of this factor.

Still, it should be remembered that marriage-licensing laws started out under “Jim Crow” in the post-Reconstruction South as a way to enforce segregation, by outlawing interracial marriages between whites and blacks.

5. Do you favor rehabilitation instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenders?

The current “rehabilitation” programs offered by the State as an alternative to jail or prison can often be more intrusive and onerous than incarceration.

Instead, let's try repealing the stupidity, insanity and evil known as Drug Prohibition. Consider that all it really does is corrupt law enforcement. Until I hear otherwise, I will assume that anyone who supports Drug Prohibition also supports the 10,000 drug-related murders per year in America caused by Drug Prohibition. Drugs being illegal won't stop people from wanting them, and someone else will find ways to make money providing them.

6. What do you think of the state's film initiatives?

The Film Office is just as much a corporate welfare handout program as was Isotopes Stadium when it was built, as is the Balloon Fiesta Park. Eliminate them from the public budgets, and then cut the gross receipts tax, cut the personal income tax, so that poor people can save some more money to support their kids. Let the Hollywood studios, all owned by multimillionaires, pay their own way. How many of the jobs created by the production companies still exist after the movie is completed?

7. How can we improve public education?

APS is one of the State's biggest spenders and employers, yet apparently the following was written by someone in the eighth grade:

ABOUT THE "All Work, No Play" article, I disagree with the run artical on how if the students do poorly on the standard based test then they cant have an elective. I feel bad that you feeled on the test.

See http://tinyurl.com/2a7fmuf for more.

And we should give APS MORE money?! When I was that age, I would have been ashamed to write that. Is APS even fixable?

I'm more focused on charter schools, private schools, and homeschoolers.

8. Should New Mexico change its laws surrounding immigration?

All of this hysteria about Mexicans coming north like Genghis Khan's Golden Horde is just that hysteria. Joe Miller, the Alaska GOP's candidate for U.S. Senate, unwittingly reinforced my point when he said that East Germany was “effective” about enforcing its border around West Berlin http://tinyurl.com/25mf2mlnice guy, isn't he?

Seriously, what kind of society do we want to end up with one with fences, walls, scanners, regulations and subgun-toting guards all over the place, or one where people can interact with each other on a basis of voluntary consent?

9. What kind of infrastructure improvements does your district require?

The usual kinds that just about every other district needsthe roads are the most visible ones. Driving around some parts of Albuquerque can be like four-wheeling, considering the potholes, cracks, bumps, etc. that I often see around town. This is what we spend millions on road bonds for every two years?! There has to be a better way to build roads.

One thing that needs doing around here is speed-bump removalpeople still routinely go over them at 40 MPH, and I wouldn't want to be a patient in an ambulence going over them.

10. What issues do your constituents care about most?

I haven't had the cash to do any surveys or polling, but I'm guessing that they would want their individual rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness to be respected by State government. I suspect that they want to provide for themselves and their families in a productive manner by interacting with others on a basis of mutual consent. State (and local, and federal) government should do what it can to defend that liberty, while not infringing that same liberty. Other than protecting those freedoms, government should leave people to their own devices.

Mark A. Curtis, District 19

Party: Libertarian

Website: none. not a netizen

1. What qualifies you for this position?

not a professional politician. not the incumbent. have some appreciation of the limits of government.

2. What should be done to address ethics reform and transparency?

would support strengthening of limits on gifts and favors. mostly, voters need to choose candidates who have higher standards. we can;t really legislate ethical behavior.

3. How can we balance the state's budget?

limit growth in expenditures. reduce employee numbers by 15-20 % . pay state employees no better than private sector. tighter controls on state benefits.

4. Should New Mexico allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples?

what over-riding interest does the state have in limiting them? civil law is quite capable of handling questions of joint property and child custody. once an "M" corporation license is issued, the partnered persons are espoused. "marriage" ceremonies can be performed at the discretion of the various institutions.

5. Do you favor rehabilitation instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenders?

nonviolent drug offenders: what is the states interest in choice of recreational activities? most of the social problems associated with recreational drug use derive from its illegality. we have public and private programs for problem drinkers and > gamblers. why criminal penalties for drug users?

6. What do you think of the state's film initiatives?

I like to have films produced here and am not, for now, opposed to temporary tax rebates. I would much prefer that we create a more business friendly regulatory and tax structure for all businesses.

7. How can we improve public education?

the states virtual monopoly on primary and secondary education is at the root of our education problems. initially, a program of "backpack" vouchers that would follow the student to whatever institution their parents choose would provide funding for the most capable instructors to establish their own schools. eventually, most students would attend private schools.

8. Should New Mexico change its laws surrounding immigration?

I do not approve of issuing state drivers licenses to undocumented aliens. there is an international drivers license for temporary visitors. at the national level, immigration quotas should be increased substantially. movement across the borders for temporary employment purposes should be easy to reduce the incentive to bring family to the relatively high cost of living states.

9. What kind of infrastructure improvements does your district require?

do you mean "what kind of pork will you bring to your district"? None. the city or county could spend quite a bit on old water and sewer lines and some of the streets and curbs are in need of repair or replacement but, I don't see these as legitimate state issues.

10. What issues do your constituents care about most?

beyond education, I have no idea. most of our discussions have been about runaway state and federal spending and the growing federal interference in matters rightfully left to the states, like education.

Benjamin Hayden Rodefer, District 23

Party: Democrat

Website: www.benrodefer.com

1. What qualifies you for this position?

I grew up in the district, am raising my family in the district and am running my small business in the district. I know and care deeply about our community. I have spent the last two years in the NM Legislature fighting for our schools and our communities.

2. What should be done to address ethics reform and transparency?

We need greater transparency. Everything the state government does should be public record. We need of course ethical leadership as well. Once we have those two elements, the state will be much improved ethically.

3. How can we balance the state's budget?

We balance it every year, so the question is not how can we do it, because we have to by law. The question is how can we do a better job of providing, not cutting, the very vital services that our citizens expect and deserve. There are some corporate tax loopholes we need to close and their are other revenue issues we should be considering in these extraordinarily challenging times.

4. Should New Mexico allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples?

Absolutely. We must extend equal rights and protections under the law to every single citizen. Those are the very founding principals of this great nation.

5. Do you favor rehabilitation instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenders?

We need to provide our non-violent offenders with effective treatment programs so they have an opportunity to rejoin our society in a positive and contributing capacity. It does a great disservice not only to the offenders but to our community to simply lock them up for their sentence and then kick them back out onto the street. We can do better.

6. What do you think of the state's film initiatives?

I have been trying to start a Film, Art and Culture Committee that would look at the incentives. See if they are working correctly or if they can be improved. The film and arts communities bring billions to New Mexico's economy and we need to do everything we can to support and encourage them.

7. How can we improve public education?

We need to be teaching our children for life, not for tests. No Child Left Behind is actually leaving every child behind. We absolutely must get back to providing our children with a strong, well balanced, comprehensive education, and let our wonderful teachers focus on doing their job, not on relentless assessments & testing.

8. Should New Mexico change its laws surrounding immigration?

I am willing to consider any new proposals for suggested legislation, but we were all at some point immigrants and we need to have a clear process for those people in good legal standing from other countries who want to apply for citizenship.

9. What kind of infrastructure improvements does your district require?

We have significant traffic issues to address on the Westside and numerous roads that need improving.

10. What issues do your constituents care about most?

Improving our schools, cutting government waste, public safety, health care, creating good new jobs, general quality of life.

Jack E. Thomas, District 60

Party: Democrat

Website: www.reelectjackthomas.com

1. What qualifies you for this position?

I have extensive understanding of the issues facing our state and community based on my service in the Legislature, Rio Rancho City Council and Sandoval County Commission, which I chaired for two years. I have been active in Rio Rancho since moving here in 1977. I'm responsive to the needs of my area and ask my constituents to please contact me at 892-1320 to discuss any concerns. If re-elected to the New Mexico House, I will continue serving my neighbors and state in the Legislature and will help shape Rio Rancho’s prosperity and growth as we have become the state’s third largest city.

2. What should be done to address ethics reform and transparency?

We need an independent ethics commission to review of all complaints against public officials. Open, accessible and transparent government at all levels is a critical step to assure less corruption and restore integrity and the public's confidence in government.

I most certainly will continue to supported and vote for legislation that strengthens ethical behavior and attitudes of public officials.

3. How can we balance the state’s budget?

We must review all functions of state government and reduce spending through consolidation of functions, improved efficiencies and attrition. I oppose blanket across-the-board cuts that jeopardize critical services without cutting waste. Instead, we can attain cost savings and still improve vital services for seniors, students and public safety. Separately, improving our business climate will create jobs for our workers and expand our tax base. A legislative committee consisting of some of the best minds in New Mexico is analyzing which state departments and functions can be merged or trimmed to create efficiencies and cost savings. Once that work is complete, I will work with the Rio Rancho City Council, the County Commission, and our local neighborhood and constituency groups to assure we eliminate wasteful spending without crippling critical services.

4. Should New Mexico allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples?

My wife, Patty, and I have been married for 47 years and I strongly value traditional marriage. But, equal rights for domestic partnerships and same-sex couples is a fairness issue that also carries equal responsibilities for health care, property rights and many other aspects. It also would allow domestic partners and same-sex couples to visit dying partners who are hospitalized.

5. Do you favor rehabilitation instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenders?

Absolutely. Rehabilitation has been proven time and time again as a highly effective alternative to lessen the costs of incarcerating nonviolent offenders. by rehabilitating nonviolent drug offenders and helping them attain adequate education and job training, we can help them become productive members of society and thus also reduce subsequent costs of Medicaid and unemployment benefits while also strengthening our tax base.

6. What do you think of the state’s film initiatives?

Providing incentives to create jobs and improve our economy is definitely something I support as long as we also build in proper oversight to assure our tax dollars are being spent wisely and that our workers have jobs. The state's film initiatives do fulfill a vital role but require proper oversight and safeguards in order to assure the state-funded incentives are effective are earning dividends in the form of jobs for our workers. We also need to boost our educational programs to train our workers so they have opportunities to succeed in the film industry.

7. How can we improve public education?

We need to fully fund education so that our teachers have the tools, facilities and supplies to properly do their jobs and educate our students. It makes no sense to continue whittling away at classrooms and expect student achievement to improve.

8. Should New Mexico change its laws surrounding immigration?

Courts have upheld that immigration is a federal -- not state -- issue. It's time for the federal government to step up and adopt national standards in all areas of immigration reform in ways that will secure our borders while not infringing on our personal freedom.

9. What kind of infrastructure improvements does your district require?

Much of my area and especially the older sections of my district require adequate water and sewer lines so that our residents have proper services. Additionally, sidewalks for our elderly and school-age students, and proper bike and jogging paths are needed to improve both the safety and quality of life throughout my area.

Joel A. Davis, District 44

Party: Democrat

Website: www.joeldavis.org

1) What qualifies you for this position?

I am a practicing attorney, serving as a prosecutor and practicing attorney for the past 6 years. I have represented citizens and small businesses at all levels of government. I have more than 10 year experience work at the legislature on both sides, House and Senate serving as an analyst and chief analyst, advising legislators on bills and their effects on the State. I can hit the ground running because I already know the process. I have a law degree and a bachelor s degree in business administration.

2) What should be done to address ethics reform and transparency?

We need to strengthen our Whistleblower policies and create an independent ethics and corruption review board, along with stronger budgetary and spending auditing compliance procedures to ensure our tax dollars are spent frugally and correctly.

3) How can we balance the state's budget?

We first are going to have to cut non-essential commissions and consolidate overlapping authorities within state government, create centralized ordering procedures to reduce supply costs. We will have to do so while ensuring we make sure we invest in our children and schools. Last year SB 184 and SB 184 was introduced which would borrow from the permanent fund to ensure no further pay cuts or school cuts in government. I would support similar ideas.

4) Should New Mexico allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples?

Yes, I believe everyone should be treated equally.

5) Do you favor rehabilitation instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenders?

Yes, I have worked with Rep. Antonio Maestas in the past. According to recent studies, instead of mandatory incarceration for 1st time non-violent drug offenders, if we make such individuals undergo 18 months of treatment and monitor activity with ankle bracelets, the recidivism rate is cut in half and the state will save $20million per year.

6) What do you think of the state's film initiatives?

The film industry initiative has helped small and local businesses a great deal. It has put out of work carpenters and other to work. We have an entire economy from labor to education surrounding the industry and it is an environmentally low impact industry. We should continue the support because of the large amount of cash brought into the state as a result and the side benefit of increased tourism promotion.

7) How can we improve public education?

First, the education budget cannot take any more cuts to survive. As it stands we may not have busing next year. Can you imagine? We need to focus on classrooms and find ways to engage students and parents. Smaller class sizes are important but we need more after school activities to keep students engage within the local academic community and reduce the dropout rate.

8) Should New Mexico change its laws surrounding immigration?

We have to find away to ensure public safety while protecting citizens constitutions rights and dignity. I am open to suggestions.

9) What kind of infrastructure improvements does your district require?

We need road improvements, updating municipal and county water service, and flood control measures.

10) What issues do your constituents care about most?

Right now everyone I talk to, and I have been personally to over 5,000 households in the district, have talked about jobs, the economy and education. I will work to make sure small business and families come first by working to close the out of state corporate tax loophole to save us up to $70million per year, fund schools, and make sure government does not get in the way of small business.

Clyde Wheeler, District 12

Party: Republican

1. What qualifies you for this position?

I am a native New Mexican and attended Menaul High School in Albuquerque. I have a degree in Industrial Administration and I am retired from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company where I worked as an engineer. I have a disciplined thought process that isolates the parameters of problems. This allows me to identify root causes of problems. After identifying the cause of a problem, the best course of action to resolve it can then be selected. I also work well with people to determine the best action to take to solve a problem.

2. What should be done to address ethics reform and transparency?

All government meetings should be open to the public and, where possible, transmitted by the use of a web cam or other hardware on the Internet. This excludes, of course, meetings concerning personnel issues that are required by federal law to be held in private. As far as ethics is concerned, I favor a strong ethics commission and a group in the state police department to investigate ethics violations, kickback accusations and pay-to-play charges etc. The police would then turn information over to the proper prosecuting authority.

3. How can we balance the state's budget?

Balancing the state budget is going to be the biggest job in the up-coming legislative session. I do not see anyone being happy with the legislature after they do their job. I see everything on the table for being cut. However, as legislatures, we must keep our priorities in order. Our first priorities are public safety, the economy and public education. Anything that is a quality of life enhancement is fine when we have the money to support such activities.

4. Should New Mexico allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples?

I am a strong supporter of the nuclear family. We give special incentives to encourage people to get married who can have babies. Every baby has a right to have both a mother and a father. The state should do everything possible to encourage the best possible environment for raising children.

5. Do you favor rehabilitation instead of jail time for nonviolent drug offenders?

Chemical dependency is a major problem in our society. Any individual that has this problem must want to change in order to overcome his or her addiction. Jail does two things. First, it helps motivate someone to seek out help and, second it keeps that person off roads and highways where they can and do kill innocent people.

6. What do you think of the state's film initiatives?

The film industry is a large and well-capitalized business. They can pay for their own liabilities, including taxes. This is one area where the state can save money.

7. How can we improve public education?

The best way we can improve education is to promote genuine competition between schools for students.

8. Should New Mexico change its laws surrounding immigration?

New Mexico should do nothing to encourage people to stay here who are in this country illegally. The state should encourage these people to either fix their status or return to their country of origin.

9. What kind of infrastructure improvements does your district require?

Pajarito Mesa: electric power, water, all-weather roads, police and fire protection.

The To’Hajiilee Band of Navajos: water, paved roads and fire protection.

The South West Mesa: infrastructure to attract business and jobs.

The South Valley: street lights and better police protection.

10. What issues do your constituents care about most?

Jobs and other sources of income are a major concern. There are a lot of small construction firms in Albuquerque’s South Valley that need contracts. People who live on the valley floor want to retain its rural nature. They don’t want a lot of commercial development.

 

Tomorrow's Events

Read to the Dogs at South Valley Public Library

Children can practice their reading in a relaxed atmosphere with a registered therapy dog.

Wine Tasting: Offbeat & Interesting Wines at Slate Street Café

Acoustic Open Mic: Steve Kinabrew at Molly's Bar

More Recommented Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!
 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    COUCHES (sf,CA)
    COUCHES (sf,CA) 9.13.2014