This week’s installment of the 2012 Election Voter Guide covers two of the 16 local candidates running for state Senate. There are 15 state Senate districts for the Albuquerque area, including Corrales, Placitas and Rio Rancho and Bernalillo. The following covers the opposing candidates for district 9. Next week’s installment will cover the remaining 14 candidates for districts 14, 15, 17, 18, 20 and 21. The other districts have candidates running unopposed.
Incumbent Sen. John Sapien (D-9)
Democratic candidate for state Senate, district 9
1600 West Ella, Corrales, NM 87048
Currently serving as a member on the following legislative committees:
Public Safety Pension
Investments and Pensions Oversight
Corporations and Transportation
Economic and Rural Development
Science, Technology and Telecommunications
NMLegis.gov lists all legislation he sponsored during his term (since 2009).
Among the 50 pieces of legislation Sapien sponsored or co-sponsored during his term, 18 passed.
In the 2011 legislative session, Sapien sponsored the Early Childhood Care and Education Act, an initiative that aims to ensure that from the time they are born until kindergarten, children have access to an “early childhood care and education system.” The bill said in its final wording, “high-quality early learning experiences have been proven to prepare children for success in school and later in life and that cost-benefit research demonstrates a high return on investment for money spent on early childhood care and education for at-risk children.”
Sapien was quoted in “LFC criticizes state departments’ job creation efforts,” an article published Aug. 23 in the New Mexico Business Weekly. The article covers a meeting of the Legislative Finance Committee that addressed a critical report of the New Mexico Economic Development Department and Taxation and Revenue Department “for poor oversight and haphazard job creation efforts.”
The report focused on the state’s Job Training Incentive Program, Local Economic Development Act and tax credits recommended by the Taxation and Revenue Department.
In Sapien’s words, “The LFC always comes with recommendations on how we can make things more efficient. My sense is that the report is a good jumping-off point to look at how we’re holding businesses’ feet to the fire.” The report can be viewed at ow.ly/e8W7e Creation Incentives.pdf or follow the QR code.
Among the stances he lists on his website, Sapien says he supports developing alternative energy sources to make New Mexico more independent and develop the economy, and recreating vocational education programs in high school as one way to enhance the workforce and boost individual earning power.
His ideal health care system is one with a larger pool of participants, which would “lower costs because the risk of major claims are spread out across a larger pool,” according to his website.
Sapien’s top campaign contributor was the Committee on Individual Responsibility, a political action committee of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, which supplied $5,000, about 7 percent of the campaign’s total funding, according to the list of Sapien’s top 20 contributors on FollowTheMoney.org.
The Committee to Elect Peter Wirth, a Democratic member of the New Mexico Senate, contributed $2,800, the second largest donation. This was followed by Mark Duran and Associates with $2,250, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees with $2,000 and Pfizer with $1,750.
Incumbent Rep. David Doyle (R-23)
Republican candidate for state Senate, district 9
P.O. Box 3987, Albuquerque, NM 87190
Currently serving on the following legislative committees:
Courts, Corrections and Justice
Investments and Pensions Oversight
Enrolling and Engrossing-B
Business and Industry
New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight
NMLegis.gov lists all legislation he sponsored during his term (since 2011).
Of the 18 pieces of legislation Doyle sponsored or co-sponsored during his term, three were passed.
During the 2011 legislative session, Doyle sponsored a joint memorial for the New Mexico Legislative Council to direct an interim legislative committee to research the potential for revenue to fund advertising the New Mexico tourism department.
Reasoning behind the request included the fact that tourism is a $6 billion industry in New Mexico and is the largest private-sector employer in the state, among other things. The final version can be viewed at ow.ly/e8Xu7 Regular/final/HJM033.pdf, or follow the QR code.
According to Doyle’s website, he advocates for a government that isn’t intrusive and burdensome where the economy is concerned because it discourages job creation and innovation. According to the site, he is working for small businesses and individuals to keep more of their earnings. The site also lists his stances on health care, education, taxes, driver’s licenses, immigration and abortion.
On Sept. 7, Doyle posted on his Facebook, “Job creation in the state of New Mexico should be the number one focus in our state Legislature. For far too long we have been dependent on federal dollars. It’s time we became competitive with states around us (Arizona, Texas, Utah) that are taking our jobs.”
The Albuquerque Journal published candidate profiles on its website. Among the responses included in the profile is Doyle’s support for repealing the Affordable Care Act, stating “I support access to affordable health care for all New Mexicans — through market-based solutions, including competition across state lines, tort reform and common sense-based risk pools.” He also said that he does not want to raise taxes on anything, that “whatever solutions we reach in fixing these problems, we cannot do it on the backs of the taxpayers.” The profile can be viewed at ow.ly/e8Zk8, or follow the QR code.
FollowTheMoney.org lists Occidental Oil and Gas as Doyle’s top campaign contributor this year, accounting for about $2,500, or about 5 percent, of the total contributions. After that is New Mexico Commercial Real Estate Development Association with a contribution of $2,250, Jalapeno Corp. with $2,000, New Mexico Homebuilders Association with $1,750 and the Committee to Elect Nate Gentry, a Republican member of the New Mexico House of Representatives, with $1,500.
Resources: New Mexico Secretary of State: sos.state.nm.us The homepage lists voter, candidate, PAC and lobbyist information, including elections data, government information and records to consider for this year’s election. New Mexico Legislature:
NMLegis.gov Provides information about bills introduced or sponsored by candidates who have already served in the New Mexico Legislature.
Project Vote Smart: VoteSmart.org Provides information about all candidates, including pages on each candidate’s stances, interest group ratings, public statements, campaign finance information and current legislative committee(s) on which they’re serving and their voting record, if applicable.
OpenCongress for the 112th United States Congress: OpenCongress.org A nonprofit, nonpartisan, open-source project from the Participatory Politics Foundation that provides information on former and current congressional candidates, such as history of legislation sponsorship and votes in Congress. Candidates who have not already served are not listed because they have no record in office.
Map Light: MapLight.org A nonpartisan research organization that tracks campaign contributions, politicians, legislative votes, industries and companies to show patterns of influence.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington: CitzensForEthics.org A nonprofit organization that promotes “ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials who sacrifice the common good to special interests.” Candidates who have not already served are not listed because they have no record in office.
Watchdog: Watchdog.org A project of the nonprofit organization the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Watchdog is a collection of independent journalists covering state-specific and local government activity.
UNM Election Experts: elections.unm.edu
To keep “a commitment to the community and the media,” every election season UNM showcases UNM professors and graduate students as they share their expertise on issues relevant to the elections. The site lists their feedback on the economy, politics in general, education, and immigration.
National Institute on Money in State Politics — Follow the Money: FollowTheMoney.org
Receives files from the state disclosure agencies with which candidates are required to file their campaign finance reports. The database includes records of all campaign contributors and candidates.