Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Dem LG Candidate Debate: Social Issues, Drug Offender Sentencing, Budget & Taxes, Jobs, Why They're Running
Following up on our post with a photo slideshow and videos yesterday, here are more clips from the DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Democratic Lt. Governor candidate debate held on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the UNM Law School in Albuquerque. Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael answer questions posed by DFNM and the audience on a variety of issues. If you couldn't make it to the debate, here's your chance to gauge how the candidates responded on a variety of issues. If you were there, these videos might refresh your memories of what was said.
Above: Candidates answer a three-part question on social issues. Do you support a women's right to choose? Do you support marriage equality for LGBT citizens? Do you support concealed carry of guns in restaurants with beer and wine licenses?
Above: Candidates answer a question on whether they support HB 178, the bill sponsored by State Rep. Moe Maestas that would allow for a sentence of treatment for nonviolent drug offenders rather than jail time. The bill passed the House in the recent special session but never got a vote in the Senate.
Above: Candidates answer a question on whether they support the budget and tax package passed in the recent special session of the New Mexico Legislature.
Above: Candidates answer a question on how we can get more jobs in New Mexico.
Above: Candidates answer a question on why they want to be Lt. Governor, what makes them the best candidate for the job and what they would bring to the ticket.
We'll have additional videos from the debate posted soon, so keep checking back.
Delegates to the DPNM Pre-Primary Convention on March 13 at Buffalo Thunder Resort will vote on candidates in this race and other statewide contests to determine their positions on the June 2 primary ballot. A candidate must get at least 20% of the delegate vote to appear on the ballot without having to obtain additional petition signatures.
Video clips in this post courtesy of Mike Swick.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Dem Lt. Gov. Candidate Debate Featured Lively Exchanges Before 150+
More than 150 Democrats attended the DFA-Democracy for New Mexico debate with the five Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor on Saturday morning at the UNM Law School in Albuquerque. Turns out most of them will serve as delegates at the DPNM Pre-Primary Convention in Pojaoque on March 13, where they'll be voting for their favorites in this race, as well as in a number of other statewide contests. The League of Women Voters provided the moderator and time keepers for the event.
Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael each answered a set of questions submitted by DFNM and the audience, and got to pose a question of their own to the candidate seated next to them. The seating was determined by picking numbers out of a container. Each candidate also got an opening and closing statement.
The candidate-to-candidate questions, as well as one from the audience that asked each participant to announce who'd they'd vote for if they weren't in the race, produced the most lively and compelling interchanges. Generally, interactions were spirited but good natured, although there were a couple of moments where some minor sparks flew. These are, after all, all Democrats -- and Democrats are generally quite opinionated!
Here's a video of all the candidates' answers on who they'd support if they weren't in the race:
Below are a collection of videos of each candidate responding to a question from another candidate.
Above: Brian Colon answers question from Rep. Joe Campos on 2008 NM Presidential caucus (L); Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino answers question from Brian Colon on taxes Jerry voted for in legislature (R).
Above: Lawrence Rael answers question from Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino on whether Lawrence would make a better chief of staff than a lt. governor (L); Sen. Linda Lopez answers question from Lawrence Rael on the issues that will be important in November (R).
Above: Rep. Joe Campos answers question from Sen. Linda Lopez on who has given him the best advice in his life (L); Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino answers question by Lawrence Rael on how Jerry can work with Diane Denish on the ticket (R).
Above: Brian Colon answers question from Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino on his ties with Gov. Bill Richardson (L); Rep Joe Campos answers question from Brian Colon on for-profit prison in Santa Rosa (R).
Above: Sen. Linda Lopez answers question from Rep. Joe Campos on how she will complement Lt. Gov. Denish on gubernatorial ticket (L); Lawrence Rael answers question from Sen. Linda Lopez on what advice he'd give his daughter when she runs for office (R).
I'll be posting more videos from the debate as they gets processed, so check back soon. In the meantime, you can listen to audio of the entire debate here:
Audio courtesy of Peter St. Cyr
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Saturday: Dem Lt. Gov. Candidate Debate at UNM Law School
The DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Meetup is excited to be hosting a debate for the Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 10:00 AM in Room 2401 at the UNM Law School located at 1117 Stanford NE in Albuquerque (map).
Sign-in will begin at 9:30 AM that day, and the event will start promptly at 10:00 AM. The debate will be moderated by a representative from the League of Women Voters.
To join the Meetup group and/or RSVP, go to: http://dfa.meetup.com/160/.
Please tell your friends and neighbors about this. We'd love to have a large turnout as all of the five candidates for Lt. Governor have blocked out time in their busy schedules to participate. Confirmed participants are: Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael. This is the last chance to see the candidates before the DPNM Pre-Primary Convention set for March 13 at Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque.
Please keep an eye out for further emails about his event, however, as it may have to be rescheduled if the special session of the New Mexico Legislature runs through Saturday. We'll keep you posted!
The DFA-DFNM Meetup has been happening monthly since 2003, when it began as a Dean for America Meetup. The LG candidate debate will replace the group's regular monthly Meetup for March.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Ethics Commission Substitute Passed by NM Senate Rules Committee
The Senate Rules Committee (SRC) gave a "do pass" recommendation yesterday to the Senate Rules Committee Substitute for Senate Bills 43, 108, 154 and 268. The substitute bill combines features of four Ethics Commission bills introduced during the current legislative session, including SB 43, introduced by Senator Linda M. Lopez (D-Bernalillo-11), SRC Chair. The legislation would have to be passed by both Senate Judiciary and Finance before getting to the Senate Floor, and then it would have to move through the House. The 30-day legislative session ends February 18.
The Committee Substitute is the product of collaboration between the sponsors of the four ethics bills, the Attorney General’s Office, the Governor's Office and several public interest entities, according to a statement released by the NM Senate. It was ironed out as the four bills it substitutes for were being heard in the Committee. As reported out by the Committee, the bill would create a State Ethics Commission that would have oversight of the activities and practices of all public offices, officials, employees and contractors for the departments, commissions, councils, boards, committees, agencies and institutions of the executive and legislative branches of state government.
"The formulation of the Committee Substitute by the Committee demonstrates that the Committee is serious about moving forward with ethics reform," Sen. Lopez said in a written statement. "I am pleased to see that the continued effort to craft an Ethics Commission bill is now receiving this kind of support. The growing consensus is that it is time for a comprehensive law that helps assure the public that our State government, its officials and employees and the contractors and lobbyists who interact or work with those official and employees are acting with integrity. This legislation is a work in progress that will help deter abuses of office and position that can weaken our State's finances, corrupt its delivery of services, and lead to the needless expenditure of taxpayer dollars."
The Committee Substitute would cover any “department, commission, council, board, committee, agency or institution of the executive or legislative branch of government of the state or any instrumentality of the state,” as well as employees and elected or appointed officials of these entities -- and contractors or lobbyists doing business with them.
Of the eight Ethics Commissioners, four would be appointed by the majority and minority party leadership of the Senate and the House, and four would be appointed by the Governor, with two of them from the same political party as the Governor, and one of these four not affiliated with a political party. The Commissioners would serve staggered four-year terms with a two-term limit.
The Commission would have the power to receive or initiate and investigate ethics complaints and conduct hearings on those complaints. If an investigation revealed ethics violations, the Commission would issue a written report and could also issue a reprimand, censure or recommendation for disciplinary action. Findings involving potential criminal violations would be reported to the attorney general or appropriate district attorney. The Commission would not have the power to issue subpoenas.
The Commission's receipt and handling of a complaint would be kept secret until the Commission determined a violation had occurred.
The Commission would also prepare draft ethics codes that would have to be considered for adoption by each entity of the State, and issue ethics advisory opinions covering not only State employees and officials, but also government contractors and lobbyists doing business with State entities.
Monday, February 08, 2010
LULAC Young Adults Meeting: Fighting Discrimination on All Levels
On the scene: this is a post by M.E. Broderick.
Joel Trujillo, a Facebook friend of mine, asked me to attend a LULAC Young Adults meeting on February 5th at UNM. It was a Friday night, and I was beat from the long week of work and various political events and meetings but, boy, am I ever glad I attended. What an interesting, active group of young Latinos, Hispanics, active young adults. Joel encouraged me to attend one day when I was lamenting over the continuing battles over LGBT civil rights. As Joel, the group's president, told me, “We all have to fight against any discrimination anywhere to anyone.”
After attending Friday’s event, I now understand a little bit about LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), what the organization has accomplished, and how they are fighting discrimination on every level right now. The group was founded 81 years ago and, in fact, the 81st LULAC National Convention and Expo is going to be held right here in Albuquerque on July 12 -17, 2010.
The Young Adults meeting had a variety of speakers including Brent Wilkes, the Executive Director of LULAC in DC. He explained what the national LULAC is involved with, and what the Obama Administration is doing for the various struggles facing our Hispanic population. I found that their struggles are very similar to the struggles LGBT folks like me face -- discrimination, second class citizenship, separate but equal treatment, being seen as inferior, being told to get out of our country or not to marry this one or that. The prejudices are similar, though they vary in the particulars.
Hispanics are told they shouldn’t speak Spanish; GLBT folks are told they shouldn’t be themselves in public. Latinos are told they’re not like “us” because they might have dark eyes and darker skin; LGBT folks are told they’re not like “us” because of their sexual identities. The message is the same -- you are not like “us” so you shouldn’t have equal rights or fair treatment.
LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes discusses organization's history and accomplishments
At the meeting, it was fantastic to watch the interaction between the participants and the speakers -- accomplished Hispanics presenting to a group of promising, hardworking young adults. The spirit in the room was strong and positive. As one speaker said, “One of you or many of you in this room right now will be our new Hispanic leaders. But you must get engaged, work hard and learn how you can shape the future. There is plenty to do and you can do it.”
Senator Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) was the keynote speaker for the evening. The Senator arrived late from a long day of legislating for the people of New Mexico. Sen. Lopez had an engaged audience listening intently. She explained her past, her parent’s struggles and the accomplishments of her life for the people. She spoke about breaking her own glass ceiling by being the first female Hispanic legislator from her machismo district in the South Valley. She said she is running for Lieutenant Governor because she believes she can make a difference. She talked about the bills she is involved in and the legislative session that is currently going on. Everyone in the room paid close attention.
Sen. Lopez discusses Hispanic heritage and her dual language bill
The young LULAC members asked her some tough questions. Folks asked about the budget and the funding of higher education. “Will there be cuts?” There were questions about the bilingual (dual language) bill Sen. Lopez is carrying (SB 166). Participants also directed questions to the national LULAC Executive Director including, “What about the immigration reform promised by Obama?” These were knowledgeable young adults at the table asking great questions and caring about others beyond themselves.
I really enjoyed the meeting and am so happy there is this another sphere of energy ongoing for equal rights for all. Thanks to Joel for the invite. If you attended the meeting and I left anything out, please add it in the comments.
Sen. Lopez discusses ethics legislation
Story, photos and videos by M.E. Broderick.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
(Updated) Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino Wins Taos County Dems Lt. Gov. Straw Poll; Claims 24/48 Delegates
Update: I heard from the Brian Colón campaign and was informed that, according to their data collected on delegates pledging to vote for Colón, Brian received "between 12 and 14 hard yeses" from delegates elected in Taos County. They stressed that they believe their count is very accurate. The campaign also told me they secured well over their 30 percent delegate goal in Valencia County.
The Taos County Democratic Party held a straw poll last night on the Lt. Governor race, and Sen. Jerry Ortiz Y Pino came out on top by a healthy margin, according to information provided by Jerry's campaign:
- Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino 41%
- Lawrence Rael 28%
- Rep. Joe Campos 28%
- Sen. Linda Lopez 2.6%
- Brian Colón 0%
All of the Dem Lt. Gov. candidates except Brian Colón spoke to attendees before the vote. Colón sent a statement to be read to the group.
Today, the Taos County Dems voted to elect delegates who will attend the Party's Pre-Primary Convention set for March 13 at the Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque. The results were very similar to the straw vote the night before.
Ortiz Y Pino Wins at Least 24/48 Delegates:
According to Steve Cabiedes of Ortiz y Pino's campaign, at least 24 delegates who plan to vote for Jerry will go to the Pre-Primary, out of the 48 delegates Taos County will send -- or 50% of the total. Cabiedes believes Rael and Campos each got about 25% of the delegates, while Lopez got one delegate and Colón got none. He said the campaign was very happy with the results, and that Taos County was one of their targeted areas.
It's hard to get an exact count because folks vote for delegates, not candidates. However, Cabiedes said he was confident about the numbers because the campaigns make contacts within each county and keep tabs on people who say they'll vote for each candidate. When folks are elected as delegates, the campaigns have a pretty good idea who they'll vote for at the Party Convention.
The only other straw poll of LG candidates took place at the December meeting of the Sandoval County Dems. The vote results there were: Brian Colón 39, Rep. Joe Campos 33, Lawrence Rael 27, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino 25 and Sen. Linda Lopez 11.
Democratic candidates must receive at least 20% of the statewide votes at the Pre-Primary Convention to get their names on the June primary ballot without having to gather additional petition signatures. The number of votes also determines the order the names will be printed on the ballot.
The Mora County Dem Party is also holding its delegate election today, with 8 slots at stake. Delegate ward elections in Bernalillo County are set for this coming Thursday evening, February 4. By far the largest of the county parties in the state, Bernalillo Dems will send a total of 610 delegates to the state Pre-Primary -- or about 40% of the total.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Sen. Linda Lopez Intros Ethics Commission Bill for 2010 NM Legislative Session
Senator Linda M. Lopez (D-Bernalillo-11), Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, has pre-filed Senate Bill 43 (SB43), an ethics bill which would create a State Ethics Commission that would have oversight of the activities and practices of all public offices, officials, employees and contractors for all political subdivisions in the State. According to a press release from the Senate, she introduced her pre-filed bill, today, opening day for the legislative session.
"The events of the past several years underscore that it is time for comprehensive legislation that will help assure the public that our State government and its officials and employees are acting with integrity, while also preventing the abuses of office and position that can weaken our State's finances, corrupt its delivery of services, and lead to the needless expenditure of taxpayer dollars. That is what Senate Bill 43 is intended to do. It is the third bill of this kind that I have introduced in as many regular legislative sessions," said Senator Lopez in a statement released today.
SB 43, which is being co-sponsored in the House by Representative Bill B. O'Neill (D-Bernalillo-15), is the product of collaboration between the sponsors, the Attorney General’s Office, the Judicial Standards Commission, and several public interest entities.
SB 43 would cover any “department, commission, council, board, committee, agency or institution of the executive or legislative branch of government of the state or any instrumentality of the state,” as well as employees and elected or appointed officials of these entities -- and contractors or lobbyists doing business with them. Of the eleven Ethics Commissioners, two would be appointed by each of the major parties in the Senate and House, and three would be appointed by the Governor, with one of these three not affiliated with a political party. The Commissioners would serve staggered four-year terms with a two-term limit.
In addition to preparing draft ethics codes that would have to be considered for adoption by each entity of the State, the Commission would be able to initiate and investigate complaints alleging ethics violations. It would also issue ethics advisory opinions covering not only State employees and officials, but also government contractors and lobbyists doing business with State entities. If an investigation revealed ethics violations, the Commission would publicly disclose its report as well as provide it to the governmental entity or private employer involved, to the attorney general and to the person charged. Findings involving potential criminal violations would be reported to the attorney general or appropriate district attorney.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Who Won the NM Dem Lt. Governor Candidate Debate? Question 3 on LG Role (Video)
Here's another set of video clips from Thursday's Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate forum hosted by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County. See below the fold for the responses of the five candidates to the third question:
How would you describe your own perception of the shared political understandings with Diane Denish and how would you describe your differences?
Rep. Joe Campos: Says the first issue is electability and who would complement Diane Denish. Who has run in a competitive district? Mentions he's the only one who has carried the Democratic platform in a district that is only 51% Democratic, and that he won his district by 19% even though significant parts of it were won by Bush and then McCain. Cites his government experience, and that he has worked with Denish on affordable housing projects, education, early childhood and developing economic opportunities related to green jobs. Cites his sponsorship of RETA legislation. Unacceptable that we are exporting 58% of college graduates today. States he and Denish will work together to create a revolutionary green economy.
Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino: Notes that if the lieutenant governor slot was a zero position, five people wouldn't be running for it. Describes how Diane Denish took a skimpy job description and fleshed it out because she is passionate about many issues including payday lending, mortgage financing. Says Denish will be the first LG to move into the governor's office. Says he shares her passion on many issues and has asked if she'd let him work on those issues as LG. States he'd like to lead on reform of the behavoral health system, decreasing the drop out rate and creating more affordable housing.
Brian Colon: Tells a story about trying to avoid taking sides in primary races in the past, but how he couldn't resist supporting Denish for Lt. Governor when she first ran. Describes a long history of supporting Denish and mentions that she was a phenomenal chair of Dem Party, and truly understands the needs of rural areas. Notes that 32 of 33 NM counties are considered rural. He shares Denish's view that every area counts, not just areas with large numbers of Dems. He states that what you see is what you get as far as his candidacy goes and that, "I am living my dream."
Lawrence Rael: Say she shares Denish's dedication to building relationships and bringing people together. People always ask what she thinks because she brings people together and listens to people in order to solve problems. States his work has always been about bringing people together. Says he's known Denish for 25 years and appreciates her amazing ability to listen and look at issues in a collaborative and cooperative fashion -- a trait they share. Notes it's his first time running for poitical office but stresses he has a tremendous amount of experience managing and getting things done. As LG, he'd concentrate on getting things done and supporting Denish's policies.
Sen. Linda Lopez: Says she's had seven years working on issues that are also important to Denish, including early childhood education and small business development. Discusses how what women bring to the table is the backbone of the party. Without the support and work of women in the trenches, candidates don't get elected. Mentions her experience with chairing the county party and emphasizes power of accepting everyone into the party, in finding commonality. "We are here for our people and our families." Mentions that behavioral health issues are important. Another very important thing right now is to help communities build bridges to opportunity using their self determination of what is needed. As LG she says she would travel the state to figure out what communities want and work along side Denish to make it happen.
All videos by M.E. Broderick.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Who Won the NM Dem Lt. Governor Candidate Debate? Question 2 on Taxes (Video)
Here's more of our coverage of Thursday's Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate forum hosted by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County. Check out video clips of the responses of the five candidates to the second question:
If taxes have to be raised how should it be done?
See below the fold for the videos of candidate answers in the order they responded so you can make up your own mind on who had the best answer:
Sen. Linda Lopez: Said we need to raise revenue in NM but it's a balanacing act. She's sponsored a bill for four years to do away with the income tax break for the upper income group. Early on, she stood against the governor on that. Independence comes from that. We need to do what's right for New Mexicans. There are many taxes on the table but one is an equalizer and helps us as a people. Why should those earning $200,000 a year be paying the same tax rate as someone making $10,000?
Rep. Joe Campos: The issue is the 2003 tax cuts and that's why the state of New Mexico is having problems now. The House did vote to put automatic triggers on the bill so if the economy declined, the cuts would end. But the Senate did away with the triggers in the bill. Now we don't have oil and gas funds and we find ourselves with a serious issue. We need to get rid of the 2003 cuts but keep the middle class cuts. The wealthy have had seven years of tax breaks, but we need to end that now. We need to create a progressive tax system.
Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino: It's not if taxes are need but because taxes are needed. There's an LFC proposal now to cut teacher and state employee salarie by 2 percent and budgets 5% including higher education. We still have a $200 million gap so we need taxes. We can settle for $200 million or get serious and go for a $500 million total tax increase. Problem is we flattened out our upper tax brackets so couples making more than $26,000 a year pay the same percentage as those much higher. There's only one upper tax bracket and that's nuts. We need to reinstitute some progressivity in our tax brackets. If we did, we wouldn't have to do anything beyond that. We can also look at closing corporate tax loopholes and sin taxes. What we cannot do is reinstitute the food tax.
Brian Colon: It's a very difficult decison but there's no question taxes are on table. Rescind big box loopholes that exist in only two states -- OK and NM. Walmarts etc. won't move out to OK if we close the loopholes. They will pay fair share. As far as the rich, we have to have a progressive tax system. We've taken all the progressivity out. We need to protect small business and the middle class. Need to reevaluate every one of the tax breaks of 2003. Today New Mexicans are hurting and we have to reevaluate our tax structure and start rolling back breaks given in 2003. Says he and his wife Aleli want one thing -- to pay their fair share. We won't balance this budget on the backs of teachers. End of story. Bottom line.
Lawrence Rael: Will give a different perspective. When we balance our checkbooks we adjust how we're spending dollars. We have to look at that first and foremost. Says he balanced 12 budgets as CAO of City of Albuquerque. When we balance the budget, in lean times there's an opportunity for innovation and creativity. How can we deliver services and do better with what we have, living within our means? Supports idea that citizens need to pay their fair share, but says we have a responsibility to live within our means and do what we have to do in the most efficient and equitable way. If have to have a tax increase, he says he supports a tax on junk food, sin taxes and looking at how we tax big box industries. But says he would look first of all at living within our means before we move forward into taxes.
January 16, 2010 at 02:59 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Bernalillo County, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez, Taxes | Permalink | Comments (2)
Mark Your Calendars: DFA-DFNM Meetup Group to Host Albuquerque Debate with Dem Lt. Governor Candidates on March 6
Save the date! The DFA-Democracy for New Mexico Meetup group will host a candidate forum with the Democratic candidates for Lt. Governor on Saturday, March 6, starting at 10:00 AM in Room 2401 at the UNM Law School. The Law School is located at 1117 Stanford NE in Albuquerque (map). The public is encouraged to attend -- all are welcome.
The forum will take place just a week before the Democratic Party of New Mexico holds its Pre-Primary Convention at the Hilton Hotel at Buffalo Thunder Resort in Pojoaque on March 13. State Central Committee members and elected delegates from around the state will vote on Democratic candidates for statewide offices at the convention. To get on the June primary ballot, candidates must receive at least 20 percent of the delegate votes. The vote will also determine the position the candidates' names will appear on the ballot.
The DFA-DFNM Meetup has been happening monthly since 2003, when it began as a Dean for America Meetup. The candidate forum will replace the group's regular monthly Meetup for March.
January 16, 2010 at 12:15 PM in 2010 NM Lt. Governor Race, Brian Colon, Democratic Party, DFA, DFNM - Albq, Events, Jerry Ortiz y Pino, Joe Campos, Lawrence Rael, Linda Lopez, MeetUp | Permalink | Comments (0)
Friday, January 15, 2010
Slideshow: NM Dem Lt. Gov. Candidate Forum Hosted by DPBC
Slideshow of photos from last night's very well attended Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate forum at UNM Law School in Albuquerque. All five Democratic candidates participated: Rep. Joe Campos, Brian Colon, Sen. Linda Lopez, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Lawrence Rael. Applause to the organizers -- the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County -- as well as the moderator, Monica Armenta, and all who participated and attended. There's a lot of excitement about this race, and it showed at this forum.
Who Won the NM Dem Lt. Governor Candidate Debate? Question 1 on Health Care (Video)
Continuing our coverage of last night's Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate forum hosted by the Democratic Party of Bernalillo County, here are video clips of the responses of the five candidates to the first question:
Do you support the Health Security Act? If so, why or why not?
See below the fold for the videos of candidate answers in the order they responded so you can make up your own mind on who had the best answer:
Lawrence Rael: Health care is very important issue for all of us. Represents the values of who we are as a nation. First and foremost is health care for our children, our elderly. Mentions we have to align what we do with what's being done at the national level. If they don't provide what we need, then we need to act at the state level.
Sen. Linda Lopez: Has always supported the New Mexico Health Security Act in the Legislature and has signed on as a supporter of the bill Criticizes recent cuts in disability coverage. Mentions she appreciated Medicaid when she got divorced and left with nothing so she understands the need personally.
Rep. Joe Campos: Mentions his wife Christina is a hospital administrator and his daughter is a neo-natal nurse. Cites personal family experiences while having health care coverage and not. Can't be a privilege; must be a right. When health security act was being created 5-6 years ago, he was in on the process of figuring out how it could be done. Was one of few who voted for it last year.
Sen. Jerry Ortz y Pino: Recounts long history of legislative effort and stresses it's always had strong support from New Mexicans, city councils, county commissions, etc., although political leaders have lagged in supporting it. We don't have it because political leadership in Washington and Santa Fe listens more to insurance companies than the people. Nothing more disgusting than seeing Democrats voting for what insurance companies want, rather than what people want and need. Must make sure Congress gives states latitude to enact plans like Health Security Act. Abolutely need it and has voted for it every time there's an opportunity.
Brian Colon: Relates to guiding principle that New Mexico deserves well-educated, well-compensated, healthy workforce. Every decision we make needs to support that principle. Has consistently supported access to affordable health care for all. What we call it is something we'll have to debate because we've gotten off the track arguing about semantics. Can agree health care is a fundamental right. Due to uncompensated care, costs not evenly distributed. Bottom line is we have to provide good, affordable health care to all, period.
See our previous post for videos of the candidates' opening statements.