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 V.21 No.43 | October 25 - 31, 2012 

Feature

Senate

Salary: $174,000 per year • Term: Six years • Tasks: Drafts and votes on legislation • District: New Mexico

Martin Heinrich (D) Heather Wilson (R)
Do we solve our economic problems in a way that's fair, Heinrich asked us, or at the expense of working people, seniors and students? He says he'd advocate for the former by repealing Bush-era tax cuts for high-income earners. He also supports a tax structure that favors small businesses and middle class families.

Heinrich says he'd capitalize on built-in local assets like universities and the national labs to encourage new private sector jobs. In Congress, he helped pass the Sprint Act that funneled Department of Commerce funds into science and high-tech industries.

Heinrich supports the Dream Act and says he wants to make it easier for skilled immigrants educated in the U.S. to stay here and work.

He's an abortion rights supporter, in favor of same-sex marriage and consistently strong on environmental protection measures.

He supports “strategic” anti-terrorism efforts and wants us to learn from our mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. He denounces what he says are “premature” calls for military action against Iran.
Restoring confidence in the business sector is the key to fixing our economic woes, says Wilson. That means low taxes and fewer regulations. This is in line with her congressional voting record.

Wilson says the biggest problem in health care is not access to coverage but rising costs, and she wants the Affordable Care Act repealed.

She describes her domestic energy strategy as “all-of-the-above,” including coal, fossil fuels, nuclear energy, conservation and the construction of the tar sands pipeline from Canada.

Wilson wants to increase defense spending and supports covert U.S. military action abroad as part of an anti-terrorism strategy, including targeted assassinations of so-called enemy operatives.

She says Iran is our greatest foreign threat. Wilson is against abortion and says marriage rights should be limited to heterosexual couples. The National Education Association gave her a paltry 33 percent score on public education issues based on her time in Congress, and the League of Conservation Voters ranked her as having a poor environmental record.

Bob Anderson (Write-in) Jon Barrie (Independent American Party)
Like his wife Jeanne Pahls who’s running in CD1, Anderson says the Occupy movement was his inspiration to jump in this race.

Anderson is a Vietnam vet, CNM political science instructor and antiwar activist. He says he'd fight for a truly progressive tax structure, closing corporate tax loopholes and imposing a tax on capital investment transactions made on Wall Street.

He wants to pull troops and private contractors out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He's in favor of fully publicly financed elections and limits on all special interest campaign donations, as well as the elimination of hurdles for third-party candidates.

The private sector economy and federal handouts have both failed to create jobs, says Anderson. He'd fight for what he calls a “green New Deal” that would train unemployed people to install environmentally sustainable infrastructure, such as solar panels on all homes.

Single-payer universal health care and drastic increases in education funding are also top priorities.

A conservative libertarian, Barrie says our federal government has grown unconstitutionally large and threatens our civil liberties.

He agrees with the Tea Party that “we're taxed enough already.” He's also taken a controversial stance that we should follow original constitutional wording about tax policy.

Barrie blames our economic woes on the Federal Reserve and says he'd fight for a full audit of it. He also says Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security should all be removed from federal jurisdiction.

We shouldn't be the world's policeman when our own boundaries are insecure, says Barrie, and we should have a standing army patrolling the border.

Barrie's struggles to get on the ballot sadly illustrate the unfair burden for candidates outside of the two-party fold. The
Alibi applauds Barrie for his tenacity and personal sacrifice (he's now thousands of dollars in debt from legal costs) in the important fight for minor-party recognition in N.M.

While we share many of Anderson's philosophies, he lacks the energy and pragmatism needed to advance them in the Senate. Barrie's civil liberties stances are great, but much of his platform is disastrously right-wing and unrealistic. Plus, he's lived in N.M. for only three years or so—how can he be confident that he represents our ideals? And Wilson is flat-out not in sync with the people she wants to represent. Her former congressional voting record was overwhelmingly in line with President George W. Bush with a couple of rare but shining exceptions. Her stances are simply a terrible fit for both this era and these constituents. Heinrich is the clear choice to succeed Sen. Jeff Bingaman. Heinrich is conservation-minded, diplomatic and capable. He has a good record on civil rights issues. (We're particularly grateful for his stances on the Patriot Act and Dream Act.) He has forward-thinking ideas about strengthening our local economy, and he's protective of lower and middle class interests. Heinrich once again gets our enthusiastic endorsement.

 

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