I’ve spent thirty-five years of my life building a business from the ground up. In 2012, I was honored to be named by New Mexico Business Weekly as one of the state’s Top Performing CEO’s. As an entrepreneur and a business owner, I understand what it takes to create jobs, cover a payroll, and balance a budget. I also understand what bad government policies will do to hamper or destroy business growth.
If America is to regain a growing, healthy economy with good-paying jobs, we need to do three simple things: pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, work toward making government spend less than it takes in, and reduce irrational, over burdensome regulations that handicap our businesses and industries that create jobs.
Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is not a solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Excessive government spending, high taxes and irrational regulations kill jobs and make us less competitive. If we want a healthy business climate, we need to stand up for small businesses and everyday Americans by letting them keep more of the money they earn. And in New Mexico, we want to encourage them to reinvest that money here at home.
We must stop excessive government spending, and be serious about eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. Passing a Balanced Budget Amendment that could withstand constitutional muster should be a priority. This is key to reducing government spending.
We’ve got thousands of square feet of empty government buildings and extra land that we pay to sustain every year, but they’re not being used. Selling the buildings and eliminating the payment of electricity, heat, and maintenance would be another huge source of revenue. These are common sense solutions.
Fixing the healthcare train wreck we’ve got now and letting free market principles drive the solutions. Get the government out from between the patient and the doctor, and open up nationwide competition between insurance companies. Costs will come down; and the quality of healthcare will go up.
At my company, CSI Aviation, Inc., we don’t spend any more money than we have. When my wife and I started this business, we did it with a small loan and a lot of elbow grease. We paid the loan back and grew the business only when we could afford to invest in it.
I tell people that when I’m your U.S. Senator, I’ll take those same principles to Washington with me, and that I’ll run government more like a business.
By that I mean we’ll balance the budget by cutting spending instead of raising taxes, I’ll focus on serving the people of New Mexico in the U.S. Senate instead of hampering their every move.
I believe the best way to start tackling the deficit is by eliminating government waste, fraud, and abuse.
I believe in a balanced budget amendment, nearly every state in the union has this, and there should not be an exception for the federal government.
In George Washington’s first annual address to Congress on 8 January 1790, he said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” This fundamental truth is as appropriate today as it was more than 200 years ago. Moreover, the consequences of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of our nation’s enemies, who will not hesitate to use them, makes our vigilance and readiness more important than ever before.
Cuts to the military hurt the United States’ ability to respond to a national crisis, terrorist attack, or global conflict. Our military leaders have warned that current budget cuts are preventing the Armed Forces from providing basic national security and defense. These warnings are not to be ignored.
I believe the traditional role of our military has served us well. Our citizens and our allies are protected, and the United States Armed Forces preserves its reputation of being the strongest military in the world. Maintaining a strong national defense to keep the peace is the best deterrence for a global conflict or threat to the United States and our allies.
As a 38-year Marine Corps veteran, I understand how valuable it is to take care of those who have served our country. As a Senator, having served in conflicts in Vietnam, Somalia, and Iraq, I will take sending our sons and daughters into harm’s way very seriously and with much deliberation.
I will always take a bipartisan approach in ensuring that our veterans have the access they need to a full spectrum of services, including health care and job assistance, as they transition back into everyday civilian life.
Veterans should have easy access to the VA health care system. In New Mexico, access is fairly limited, particularly for veterans outside the Albuquerque area. I support creating VA satellite locations in rural parts of the state, so that New Mexico veterans won’t have to drive long distances for care.
Because I have the experience of helping veterans transition into the workforce, I am prepared to take those skills with me to Washington. Our company was recently ranked among the nation’s top “Best for Vets” places for veterans to work by the Military Times.
Veterans and military retirees improve our state, our businesses, our economy and our neighborhoods in so many ways because of their leadership and training, and their life-long commitment to service. We want more of them to live in New Mexico.
As Senator, I will work to:
- Improve VA facilities around the state and veterans access to health care.
- Improve job opportunities for all veterans, especially those looking to enter the job market after returning to New Mexico from active duty.
- Ensure that New Mexico’s National Guard and reserve components are fully recognized as veterans with all of the services they deserve.
- Work to make our Veterans Affairs department a more functional agency that can act on behalf of all veterans to ensure they get all the services and benefits to which they are entitled.
Any nation that sends its people out to defend it has a obligation to ensure they are able to meet their needs upon return. They represent a very small percentage of the overall population. Less than three million service members defend the United States, which is less than one percent of our population. We have an ethical and moral obligation as a nation to take care of our veterans.
Most in Dona Ana Disagree with Udall’s Support for More Federal Government Overreach
New Mexico has some of the most beautiful land in the entire country. While we absolutely need to preserve and protect this land, we are obligated to find a responsible balance between necessary conservation efforts and the welfare of human beings struggling to make a living in a state that is largely rural.
This monument is the second in New Mexico in two years and the largest yet of Obama’s presidency, impacting a county where only 15% of the land is privately owned.
The issue has long been contentious. Though numerous attempts have been made to designate this monument, proponents have not yet been able to get it through the legislative process in Congress. This is in spite of the fact that we have a Democrat controlled Senate and Tom Udall himself sits on the powerful Appropriations committee.
While most Dona Ana County residents support an Organ Mountains National Monument, most did not agree with our two senators on skirting the legislative process with an executive order.
In a recent poll they favored legislation that focused on protecting the Organ Mountains proper by 73 to 18 percent, and rejected the idea of restrictions being placed on an additional 700 square miles of land throughout the county, as proposed in Udall’s bill. This bill was considered the model for Obama’s executive order.
As President Obama recently noted, “I have a pen and I have a phone.” In other words, he’s going to get his way regardless of what Congress does or doesn’t do. Udall clearly supports this method of governing, especially when it benefits him personally.
Considering he ranks third in the nation in contributions from environmentalists this election cycle, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, that’s not surprising but still disappointing.
The federal government needs less control of less land, not more. This is federal government overreach at its worst.
Though Udall and other proponents of this executive order cite broad support from Las Crucens, the ones mentioned by name are mostly far left-wing environmental groups.
Numerous groups supported Congressman Steve Pearce’s bill, including the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the Western Heritage Alliance, the Dona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District and several others.
According to the Western Heritage Alliance and The Westerner blog, by former New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior Frank Dubois, numerous opponents signed a letter to Obama opposing this executive order. These included ranchers, the National Association of Border Patrol Officers, the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department, the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, the Dona Ana Soil and Water Conservation District, People for Preserving Our Western Heritage and numerous others.
It is inappropriate and disturbing that Udall and Heinrich, elected to serve the interests of ALL New Mexicans, have chosen Obama’s imperial pen over such a large number of their constituents.
Tomfoolery With the First Amendment is Hypocrisy at Its Worst
First we had “soft” money. Now we have “dark” money. Both terms, coined by the left, refer to money that funds speech with which the left disagrees.
Dark money came about as a result of two incumbent senators trying to protect incumbents. The “Incumbent Protection Act,” otherwise known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, restricted the ability of outside challengers and groups to raise money. As a result of its passage, an increased number of 527s, named for their IRS designation, began to spend money on political speech.
Now there’s another effort by another incumbent Senator, Tom Udall. This time it goes so far as to amend the U.S. Constitution and re-write the First Amendment.
The founding fathers did not limit the First Amendment by outlining specific types of speech. But we do know that first and most importantly, its purpose was to protect political speech, especially political speech with which we disagree.
It is the height of arrogance for someone to think he has the right to change a founding principle of the freest country in the history of the world.
Udall’s resolution would allow Congress to limit fundraising and spending on campaigns and independent political speech by citizens and groups, but exempt the press. It would also make it even more difficult for candidates to unseat incumbents, who accumulate huge war chests and other political assets.
Of more than 10,000 amendments introduced over the centuries, only 27 have been ratified, including the 10 in the Bill of Rights. Udall’s is no more likely to be ratified, making its introduction an act of election-year political theater. But if it were, it would be the first time in America’s history that a constitutional amendment to restrict one of the freedoms in the Bill of Rights had passed.
The bill is stunning coming from a Senator who is the third largest recipient in the nation of donations from radical left-wing environmental groups, has received more money from Washington, Boston and New York than New Mexico, and who is one of the top recipients of money from ActBlue, a beneficiary of leftist George Soros’ largesse. As a Senator, Udall has received more than a million dollars from trial lawyers and lobbyists, according to maplight.org.
While Democrats wail and wring their hands over donations to conservatives, ActBlue is the number one political contributor and has donated more than $100 million to Democrats over the past 10 years.
Unions, including those of taxpayer-paid government employees like AFSCME, the NEA and the SEIU, gave $638 million, mostly to Democrats.
From 2001 to 2010, the Koch brothers invested $1.5 million in 527s, compared to Soros’ whopping $32.5 million. Soros gave $58 million to leftist groups in 2011 and more than $10 billion over the last 30 years.
But in 2010, many of the Tea Party candidates who received Koch brother donations were elected. So Udall and his fellow Democrats have decided enough is enough. What’s fair for the goose is not fair for the gander.
The solution to money in politics is more transparency, less regulation. That puts the focus on ideology, clearly the problem for Democrats. With the obscene amount of money flowing to them from Soros and his groups, labor unions and trial lawyers, it’s clear that money only bothers them when it’s going to those whose political ideology is too diverse, meaning — different from their own.
No donations can influence someone who is ethical, no matter who the money comes from. And no law can be written that can transform an unethical person into an ethical one.
If Udall feels he and his fellow senators and congressmen are so easily influenced by corporate donations that they need to restrict the First Amendment for the rest of us, then we should send them home.
Throughout my 38 years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, I proudly defended the freedoms guaranteed to each of us by our founding fathers.
As your US Senator, I will continue to defend our constitutional rights, including our right to bear arms. I support every American’s 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and further support the Castle Doctrine, which allows an individual to defend his home with armed force if necessary.
I also oppose ratification of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.
I have received an “AQ” rating by the NRA, the highest rating given to someone who has never held public office.
In 1987, Ronald Reagan signed a bill from the Democrat congress giving amnesty to an estimated three million illegal immigrants in the U.S. However, between the time politicians came to an agreement and the bill was actually signed, three million more crossed our border.
This is also part of the tragedy that we’re seeing now, with millions coming across the border in anticipation of proposed immigration reform. Here we are with a replication of the same problem, but five times over with 15 million people. This is why it is absolutely critical that we secure the border first, before we pass immigration reform.
I am not for amnesty and never have been, though I do have great compassion for many of the immigrants here illegally, who just want to work and create a better life for them and their children. But Americans have a legitimate right not to want 15 million more illegals crossing our border.
The world isn’t fair, but our immigration policy should be. Mexico and Central America do not have a special right to immigrate to this country more than others around the world.
The history of our country shows that we’ve reaped great benefit from immigration. But it ought to be driven by economic issues. And, there is a difference between a pathway to residency and a pathway to citizenship. There’s nothing wrong with a pathway to citizenship, but that pathway should require that everyone get in line and wait for their turn.
While there is no perfect solution, both Democrats and Republicans are going to have to come together reasonably if we’re ever going to arrive at a solution that works.
Border security is a national security issue, and completely separate from the issue of immigration policy.
New Mexico, as are other border states, is now dealing with an increasingly volatile border that poses a grave threat to the security of our state and nation.
Every elected official should be working to eliminate roadblocks that hinder our state and federal law enforcement and border patrol from doing their jobs, and keeping our border secure.
We need to secure our borders immediately, and then fix our immigration policy.
According to the IRS, it takes the average American 13 – 16 hours every year to do their taxes, and 23 hours on average for a small business owner. The IRS Taxpayer Advocate has calculated the total to be six billion hours at a cost of $168 billion every year. Imagine what that could do for our economy if that time and money was spent on more productive uses?
High taxes and excessive government spending kills jobs, reduces wages, destroys small businesses and handicaps the future for our children and grandchildren.
Tax reform is absolutely overdue. In a perfect world, the closer we can get to a flat tax, or at least a two-tier flat tax, the better. Simple can still be fair and equitable to all.
New Mexico is an energy state. It has enormous reserves of oil, natural gas, uranium, and coal that are supplemented by the wind and the sun. These are vast resources benefiting New Mexico and the rest of the United States as a whole.
I fully support exploring every potential energy source that will make America less dependent on foreign oil, create jobs, and is compatible with our environment. But not subsidizing them with taxpayer dollars. These for-profit businesses need to grow on their own merits and in open competition in the free market.
Some forms of “green” energy show promise, but until they are in greater demand by the American public and the free market, we should not be trying to force or coerce Americans to rely on them. Furthermore, we should not be pursuing policies that punish a particular sector of the economy, such as oil and gas, just because it is robust, or because we want to drive costs up in order to force Americans to embrace something that is not yet commercially viable.
The oil and gas industry, for example, is one of the largest private sector employers and job creators in government-dependent New Mexico. It puts close to $2 billion of revenue into our state’s economy every year, funding a third of the state’s budget and paying for half of what we spend to educate New Mexico’s children.
Thanks to American ingenuity, numerous technological advances now make it possible to extract oil and natural gas cleanly and efficiently where it used to be very difficult. This has made America the world’s number one energy producer, and on track to become the worlds number one oil producer.
Term Limits for U.S. Senators and Others
A significant part of the problem with “Washington being broken”, and the partisan gridlock that offends most Americans, is the simple fact that far too many members of Congress go to Washington and make it a career. The direct result of this is increased partisanship, and an increasingly dysfunctional system that’s less accountable to the citizens these elected officials represent.
It is long past time for term limits to be enacted for members of Congress as well as the Federal Judiciary.
When elected to the United States Senate, I’m committed to introducing, or co-sponsoring, legislation to limit the terms of U.S. Senators to two terms. Further, I will work with Senate colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to eliminate the appointment of federal judges to lifetime appointments, and replace the current system with realistic judicial term limits.