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Saturday, November 28, 2015

2012 Election Voter Guide


This week’s 2012 Election Voter Guide concludes with the remaining eight candidates for state Senate from districts 14, 15, 18 and 20. Last week’s guide included six of the 16 opposing candidates for state senator, running for districts 10, 17 and 21.

Michael Padilla

Democratic candidate for state Senate, district 14

Padilla does not have a public Facebook page

P.O. Box 67545, Albuquerque, NM 87193
(505) 899-9921

Padilla has no previous experience in the Legislature.
According to his website, Padilla’s top three goals are an economic development plan, improving schools and what he calls “getting the neighborhood its fair share.”

In an interview with the Daily Lobo, Padilla said district 14 is one of the oldest in the city, yet many areas have no sidewalks, posing a danger for pedestrians. Improving the response time for firemen and police is also part of “getting their fair share,” he said.

To improve schools, and so the workforce, Padilla said he advocates improving early childhood education and putting more resources into special needs education and professional development for teachers.

His economic development plan entails retraining workers who have lost jobs that are now obsolete so they can gain skills that are now in demand. He said he also advocates for small businesses and respecting worker and union rights.

According to his candidate profile on the Albuquerque Journal website, Padilla founded Albuquerque’s 311 citizen contact center and the New Mexico Workforce Development Board. The profile also shows that he supports the Affordable Care Act and raising taxes only if the funds raised are 100 percent dedicated to education.

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Padilla is his own top contributor, accounting for $38,531, or 63.03 percent of his total campaign contributions. His second highest contribution is from the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association at 4.09 percent, followed by the Pueblo of Isleta at 1.64 percent, ActBlue New Mexico at 1.59 percent and New Mexico Realtor’s Association at 1.23 percent.

Robert Schiller

Independent candidate for state Senate, district 14

Schiller does not have a campaign website or a public Facebook page

2613 Garner Road S.W., Albuquerque, NM 87105
(505) 873-2710

Schiller has no previous experience in the Legislature.
In Schiller’s candidate profile on the Albuquerque Journal website, he responds to a question about whether he would support higher taxes to fund state government and schools, stating, “I would need to look at all options before addressing a question such as this one. I am opposed to raising anyone’s taxes, preferring to cut back on other government spending.”

Regarding the Affordable Care Act, the Journal asked Schiller whether he would support increased spending on Medicare. He said, “After receiving information from the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, it is obvious to me that much more information is needed in order to even address this question.”

The League of Women Voters interviewed candidates, asking questions about candidates’ priorities if they are elected.

Schiller responded that if elected he would “eliminate the stink from the sewage plant by learning from similar plants. Keep the Valley green and bring jobs to the mesas in district 14 by giving tax relief for farmers and ranchers and add water, sewers and upgraded roads to the mesas.”

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Schiller’s top contributors are James and Beth Nance of Los Alamos, who gave him $100. His second highest contributor, who is anonymous, contributed $95. These are his only contributors.

Daniel Ivey-Soto

Democratic candidate for state Senate, district 15

Ivey-Soto does not have a public Facebook page

1420 Carlisle Blvd. N.E., Ste. 208, Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 620-2085

Ivey-Soto has no previous experience in the Legislature.
According to CapitolReportNewMexico.com, then-Sen. Tim Eichenberg (D-Albuquerque) announced his resignation in July, after one term serving district 15. As a result, the Bernalillo County Democratic Party Central Committee selected Ivey-Soto to replace Eichenberg in the race.

On his website, Ivey-Soto states that he is currently the executive director for County Clerks, and is a former state elections director, prosecutor and teacher.

Regarding the Affordable Care Act, the Albuquerque Journal asked Ivey-Soto whether he would support increased spending on Medicare in his online candidate profile. “Under ACA, the federal government reimburses for expanded eligibility participants at 100 percent the first three years, and thereafter at 90 percent,” he said. “Whether we expand or not, current participant costs will increase dramatically, which must be addressed.”

When the Journal asked if he supports raising taxes to support state government and schools, he said, “Our current revenue streams are arcane and not equitable, nor do they serve the needs of the state or its residents. Instead of piecemeal solutions, we need a comprehensive approach to fund essential government services.”

According to his campaign finance reports on the Secretary of State website, Ivey-Soto’s top contributors are the Committee on Individual Responsibility, which gave him $5,000, and Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund, which contributed $2,500 or 9 percent of his total contributions. His third largest contributor was the Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund with 6 percent of the total, followed by Tim Eichenberg and Clear & Clear P.A. who each account for 4 percent of the total, then the Power PAC and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, who each account for 3 percent of the total.

Former Sen. H. Diane Snyder (R-15)

Republican candidate for state Senate, district 15

Snyder does not have a public Facebook page

7006 Elna Ct. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 830-1669

Snyder served as a state senator from 2001 to 2008. During that time, she sponsored 107 bills, 15 of which passed. NMLegis.gov lists all bills she sponsored during her term.

In 2003, Snyder sponsored the “Crime Stoppers Act,” which passed.

The act served to create an official Crime Stoppers Council responsible for creating and maintaining local crime stoppers programs. The final wording describes the confidentiality expectations between those who report crimes to local “Crime Stoppers,” the program itself, law enforcement agencies and other individuals. The final wording can be viewed at ow.ly/ehVBH.

In 2008, Snyder voted for the “Working Families Tax Credit Increase,” which raised the tax credit for working families from 8 to 10 percent, according to VoteSmart.org. The final wording of the bill can be viewed at ow.ly/ehX2a.

Snyder voted against the “Health Care Authority Act” in 2008, a bill that would create a Health Care and Policy Commission responsible for “a plan to provide accessible and affordable health care for all New Mexicans,” according to VoteSmart.org. The bill did not pass.

On her website, Snyder lists her priorities as jump-starting the economy, ethical and transparent government, a diversified and balanced energy policy, jobs and the economy, affordable and reliable health care and a strong and accountable public education system.

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Snyder’s top campaign contributor is herself at $3,500, or 7.97 percent. Her second largest contributor is Irvin Hoover of Albuquerque, accounting for $2,300, or 5.24 percent of her total campaign contributions, followed by William H. Payne Campaign Account, at 5.24 percent, PAC 22 (Program Advisory Committee for Jefferson Lab in Virginia) at 4.55 percent and the New Mexico Medical Society at 4.55 percent.

Bill Tallman

Democratic candidate for state Senate, district 18

Tallman does not have a public Facebook page

5909 Canyon Pointe Ct. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87111
(505) 821-9455

Tallman has no previous experience in the legislature.

According to Tallman’s website, he was the vice president of The Mercer Group from 2008 to 2010 and spent 33 years managing city governments in New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

He was also the deputy city manager for the city of Santa Fe. He lists more experience on the site.

Tallman breaks down the finer points of his priorities on his website, which include the economy, government accountability, health care and education reform.

In his online candidate profile, the Albuquerque Journal asked whether he’d support increased state spending with regard to the Affordable Care Act. Tallman said, “New Mexico hospitals support this expansion, which would reduce the number of uninsured working poor, reduce cost by providing preventive care, create 50,000 new jobs and provide more resources for substance abuse treatment. New Mexico ranks No. 2 in uninsured.”

In response to the Journal’s question of whether he’d support increased taxes to support state government and schools, Tallman said, “A better alternative would be to review the multiple number of tax exemptions with the idea of enacting a broad base of lower taxes with fewer exemptions.”

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Tallman’s top five campaign contributors are all candidate contributions. The top two contributions came from Tallman, totaling $18,000, or 68.19 percent. His third-largest contributor is Tim Eichenberg at 4.37 percent, followed by New Mexico Education at 1.89 percent and Power at 1.89 percent.

Lisa Torraco

Republican candidate for state Senate, district 18

Torraco does not have a campaign website

1019 second St. N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 244-0530

Torraco has no previous experience in the Legislature.

On Sept. 14, Torraco posted on her Facebook page that the Albuquerque Association of Commerce and Industry endorsed her as the “Pro-Jobs” candidate for state Senate for district 18. She stated, “This endorsement recognizes that as a future legislator, I will be supportive of creating an environment in New Mexico where businesses can succeed.” According to the ACI website, the association is “the statewide, legislative advocate of business interests,” and “serves as the state chamber of commerce and the New Mexico representative of the National Association of Manufacturers.”

In her online candidate profile on the Albuquerque Journal website, Torraco states that she opposes increased spending with regard to the Affordable Care Act.

“The state must take care of our most vulnerable population,” she said. “But an expansion of Medicare will cost the state money from another budget, such as education, and we cannot accept that consequence.”

When the Journal asked whether Torraco would support increasing taxes to support state government and schools, she said that increasing taxes is wrong because New Mexicans are already hurting financially.

“Tax increases reduce job creation,” she said. “New Mexico needs jobs.”

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Torraco’s top campaign contributor is Strata Corp, accounting for $4,800, or 9.55 percent of her total campaign contributions. Torraco is her own second largest contributor at 5.97 percent, followed by lawyer Mark Murphy at 4.97 percent, Murphy Oil Corp at 4.57 percent and Mark B. Murphy, who has held various occupations in oil and gas industries, at 4.57 percent.

Cornelia Lange
Democratic candidate for state Senate, district 20


1310 Constitution Ct. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87112
(505) 292-7365

Lange has no previous experience in the Legislature.

The issues Lange lists on her website are jobs and the economy, fair taxation, driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, ethics and transparency in government and Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

In her candidate profile on the Albuquerque Journal website, Lange said that, in response to whether she supports increased spending with regard to the Affordable Care Act, “Covering another 107,000 to 148,600 people for $320 to 496.2 million with a $4.2 to 6.2 billion federal commitment will save New Mexico lives as supported by recent articles in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

When the Journal asked whether she supported raising taxes to support state government and schools, she said, “It is unfair that a New Mexico secretary pays the same rate of taxes as a New Mexico millionaire. I support a fair and just tax code.”

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Lange’s top campaign contributor is Joel Davis, accounting for $1,000, or 33.67 percent of her total campaign contributions. Her second largest contributor is artist Vidie Lange at 16.84 percent, followed by CEO of Coligne Inc. Robert Lange at 13.47 percent, the New Mexico Education Associatio, at 8.42 percent and retirees Sally and William Pratt, at 6.73 percent.

Incumbent Sen. William Payne (R-20)

Republican candidate for state Senate, district 20

Payne does not have a public Facebook page or campaign website

13415 Wilderness Pl. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87111
(505) 293-5703

Payne has served as state senator since 1997, and is currently on the following committees:

• Legislative Council
• Interim Legislative Ethics
• Military and Veterans’ Affairs
• New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight
• Radioactive and Hazardous Materials
• Science, Technology and Telecommunications
• Courts, Corrections and Justice
• Investments and Pensions Oversight
• Legislative Finance
• Indian and Cultural Affairs
• Committees’
• Judiciary

Of the 130 bills Payne sponsored or co-sponsored during his term, 26 passed.

In 2012, Payne sponsored “UNM Law and Business Schools Oil and Gas Courses,” which passed. The legislation requested the UNM School of Law and the Anderson School of Management to study how feasible it would be to increase oil and gas course offerings. This would be part of an effort to become “important sources for leadership in the subject areas related to the oil and gas industry,” according to the final wording.

In 2009, Payne sponsored “In-state tuition for veterans,” which passed. The bill allowed members of the U.S. armed forces to pay in-state tuition if and when they attended a higher education institution in New Mexico. The same year he sponsored “Eliminate military code funding cap,” a bill that called for eliminating the state spending cap for military forces, which passed.

For his online candidate profile, in response to the Albuquerque Journal’s question of whether he would approve increased spending with regard to the Affordable Care Act, Payne said, “The federal government has not guaranteed continued funding for the state at current ratios, so the $500 million figure could be wildly underestimated. If enacted, tradeoffs with education, courts, roads, prisons, etcetera will be required.”

When the Journal asked if he supported increased taxes for state government and schools, he said he opposed: “When the first full year of the Richardson PIT tax cut lowered rates to 7.7 percent, we collected $923 million in PIT. Four years later, when rates temporarily stabilized at 5 percent, collections had increased to $1.2 billion.”

According to FollowTheMoney.org, Payne’s top campaign contributor is the New Mexico Dental Association, accounting for $2,000, or 5.26 percent of his total campaign contributions. His second largest contributor is PNM Resources at 3.95 percent, followed by Reynolds American Inc. at 3.29 percent, Federal Express at 2.63 percent and Enterprise Products at 2.63 percent.

Michael Padilla citations
Top campaign contributors
ABQ journal profile

Robert Schiller citations
ABQ journal profile
League of Women voters
Top contributors
Daniel Ivey-Soto
Capitol Report NM
ABQ journal profile
SOS reports (I added up the total from the two reports and then looked for the highest contributions and did the math)
https://cfis.state.nm.us/media/ReportDetails.aspx?cId=3471&na=Ivey-Soto, Daniel

H. Diane Snyder citations
Crime stoppers final wording
http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/03 Regular/FinalVersions/senate/SB0683JUS.pdf
Working families tax credit final wording
For synopsis of the “working families” bill
Description of health care bill
Link showing the health care bill did not pass
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno= 225&year=08
Snyder priorities for NM
Top campaign contributions

Bill Tallman
ABQ journal candidate profile
Top campaign contributions

Lisa Torraco
Albuquerque journal candidate profile
Top campaign contributions

Cornelia Lange
ABQ journal profile
Top campaign contributions

William Payne
Oil and gas courses final wording
http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/12 Regular/final/SM011.pdf
Eliminate funding cap in military code, final wording
http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/09 Regular/final/SB0120.pdf
In-state tuition for u.s. veterans final wording
http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/09 Regular/final/SB0136.pdf
ABQ journal profile
Top campaign contributors