Alibi V.21 No.20 • May 17-23, 2012 

Primary Election Guide 2012

United States Senator

Republican candidates

Salary: $174,000/year

Term: Six years

Tasks: Drafts and votes on legislation

Heather Wilson Greg Sowards
Background: She’s overseen the New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department, and then served in the House of Reps from 1998 until 2009. She left to run for Senate but lost in the primaries. Now she’s back for the same seat. Background: Greg Sowards wouldn’t come in for an interview, so we’re not endorsing him and our knowledge about his positions is limited. Here’s what we do know: He’s a U.S. Army veteran. He’s also a small business owner. Possibly most astounding of all: He has 20 grandchildren.
Jobs: Wilson’s philosophy is simple: The government’s role is to provide the incentives and good conditions for small businesses to grow. She suggests doing this through predictable regulations, low taxation, an investment in energy systems and free trade opportunities. Jobs: Who knows? This issue isn’t addressed on his campaign website.
Health Care: Wilson is no fan of the Affordable Care Act. She wants to see it repealed and replaced with a system that allows small business to band together for insurance. Health Care: Sowards doesn’t like the Affordable Care Act. He doesn’t think health care should be addressed at the federal level. He wants to see the law repealed, and on his website he says he’ll “fight to restore the free market to American medicine.”
Reproductive Rights: Wilson opposes abortion rights. She would work to revoke public funding for abortions and believes health care practitioners should be able to refuse performing certain procedures based on their faith. Even though Wilson doesn’t say birth control should be federally funded, she would like to see the Food and Drug Administration consider making it available over-the-counter. Reproductive Rights: Simple. Sowards opposes abortion rights. He also says the government should not provide funding to Planned Parenthood.
Marriage Equality: Wilson defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and she says the primary purpose of marriage, from the government’s perspective, is to produce children. She also says she was one of the few Republicans in Congress that didn’t vote to prevent LGBT couples from adopting. And she tells a compelling story from her time at the Children, Youth and Families Department about a lesbian couple who adopted five children with HIV. Yet she maintains that marriage is about “the potential” for children. Marriage Equality: Sowards doesn’t support marriage equality. In fact, on his website, he refers to LGBT partnerships as “irresponsible lifestyle choices.”
Middle East: There’s still serious risk in Afghanistan, says Wilson, and so for now troops should stay put. She believes most of the United States’ focus, though, should go toward Iran and its efforts to build nuclear weapons. Middle East: We don’t know what Sowards’ positions are on the U.S. role in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria or Libya. But he does say he supports a strong military.
The Alibi Endorses Heather Wilson: Here’s the thing. The Alibi disagrees with many of Wilson’s policy positions, especially on marriage equality and abortion rights. But with the exception of one issue (guess which?), we can see her argument. Wilson may have a different value system, but she’s pragmatic and her sizable intelligence is never in question. Wilson acts on her ideals and is an honest politician. As has been proven in this year’s national election cycle, if you’re voting Republican, you could do a whole lot worse. It’s impossible to tell whether Sowards would have swayed our opinion if he had come in for an interview. Based on what we can glean from his website, we not only disagree with Sowards on every policy position he mentions, we also think he doesn’t have the necessary experience for the job. Do the American public a favor and vote for Wilson in the primary.
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