Q&A: Attorney General candidate Hector Balderas - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: Attorney General candidate Hector Balderas

  • NAME: Hector Balderas
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: New Mexico Attorney General
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: State Attorney General, State Auditor, certified fraud examiner, former prosecutor and special prosecutor
  • EDUCATION: University of New Mexico School of Law (JD), New Mexico Highlands University (BA)
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.hectorbalderas.com

1. What would be your top priorities as New Mexico’s attorney general?

My top priorities are to protect vulnerable children from violent crime. I will protect hard working consumers by combatting political and corporate corruption. I will work with local and federal authorities to recover millions of dollars of restitution by targeting Medicaid fraud, fraud against tax payers and human trafficking.

2. What would be your approach to ongoing litigation on water right issues with the neighboring state of Texas?

New Mexico was sued during the previous administration, so I strengthened our scientific approach to improve water allocation. I have unified diverse water users with national and local water experts in order to work toward a reasonable framework that is in the best interest of the State New Mexico.

3. Would you support or oppose changing a 2012 law to clarify that judges can order the pensions of convicted public officials be forfeited?

I absolutely support this reform. I have successfully prosecuted some of New Mexico’s biggest public corruption cases, and have asked NM Legislature for many years to allow for pension forfeiture. I will continue to support this important reform.

4. Would you support or oppose requiring that all content captured by body cameras worn by law enforcement officers be publicly available under the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act?

I support law enforcement being fully transparent with the public except when investigations involve minors or by court order. I also support the legislature’s efforts to study how to appropriately protect the privacy of individuals with mental health issues, while balancing the public’s right to have public information.

5. In addition, do you favor or oppose strengthening penalties for violating the Inspection of Public Records Act? Please explain.

I strongly support strengthening IPRA, and in addition to strengthening penalties, I strongly support enhancing the enforcement provisions so that the Attorney General’s office has more authority to enforce directly with the agencies. I also support the increased ability to use fines and penalties by the AG’s office.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

I filed for Chapter 7 when I was 21 years old. Since experiencing financial hardship, I worked hard to earn two degrees, gained financial stability and provide a home for my family. Furthermore, I have provided numerous trainings on improving financial literacy for at-risk youth.

3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.

No.

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