Q&A: House District 22 Candidate Stefani Lord

  • NAME: Stefani Lord
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Retired and self-defense advocate
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Sandia Park
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Retired business owner, manager, and founder of Pro-Gun Women
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in psychology, Portland State University (2000) graduated with honors and a member of Golden Key Honor Society and Psi Chi.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.lord2020.com

What steps should the Legislature take to ensure New Mexico has a balanced budget amid falling oil prices and an economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus outbreak?

New Mexico politicians have had a historic overspending problem for far too long. We must elect legislators who are committed to fiscal restraint. We can start by eliminating redundant departments and reducing the size of unnecessary state government.

What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide a sufficient education to all students?

The best way to raise the quality of public education is to turn curriculums and decision making over to the local school districts. Teachers understand what the students need more than the state or federal bureaucrats. The teachers also need to ensure that the parents are involved with the child’s education.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?

The GRT code punishes New Mexico businesses and workers more than any other tax. It is killing our state’s economic competitiveness. It must be abolished as soon as possible and replaced with a sales tax like almost every other state.

Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?

Legalization is a controversial issue in my district. Throughout my campaign, I have polled my constituents, and they are equally split. We should base our decision on the actual impact on individuals, the economy, and the quality of life of states that have legalized marijuana instead of just emotion. Ultimately, once elected, I will represent the will of my constituents.

Do you believe changes should be made to the emergency powers held by a governor during a pandemic or other time of crisis. If so, do you believe such powers should be expanded or reduced and in what specific ways?

The powers of the governor must be constrained. No governor, Republican or Democrat, should be given unrestrained emergency powers for more than 30 days. We must amend the current state statute to require legislative approval every 30 days before extension.

Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?

As the daughter of an abortion doctor, I am well aware of the horrors of the abortion industry. I oppose the repeal of laws that protect the life of the unborn. We demand the enforcement of laws which limit abortion rather than repealing them. It’s embarrassing that New Mexico is known as the destination state for late-term and full-term abortion.

Do you support or oppose enacting a new state law that would allow police officers and other public officials to be sued individually by abolishing the defense of qualified immunity?

Oppose. The “Red Flag Bill” passed this year included a section to penalize law enforcement by abolishing qualified immunity. The tort section was added to this bill to intentionally not allow law enforcement officers to use their experience and discretion. LEOs are already subject to liability if they violate a person’s rights.

In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and child care assistance, and created a new early childhood trust fund. Do you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would withdraw more money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to increase funding for early childhood services?

I oppose a constitutional amendment to allow increased spending from the Land Grant Permanent Fund. The Permanent Fund is not a big pot of money that we can stick our hands into whenever we want. It was created to provide stable funding.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system? Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?

Oppose. Political parties are private entities. The government should protect their right to choose their own nominee.

Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding? Should each legislator be required to disclose which projects he or she funded?

We need to use transparent, merit-based budgeting for our entire state budget, including capital outlay funding. All legislators should disclose projects they have funded.

New Mexico is highly reliant on the oil and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What steps should the state take to diversify its economy and revenue base?

New Mexico needs a healthy business plan to encourage startups and entice entrepreneurs to promote growth in the private sector. Part of that plan is to create a pro-business atmosphere with a competitive tax climate and a reduction in regulations. At the same time, we must reduce crime and improve education.

Would you support or oppose a moratorium on fracking? And should the state impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change concerns?

Oppose. The oil and gas industry is our most important job creator in the state. Outlawing fracking would kill the golden goose. However, we must have a robust regulatory program with protects our groundwater and surrounding environments.

What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?

We must come together with law enforcement, probation officers, district attorneys, social workers, mental health professionals, and listen to their experienced ideas on ways to reduce crime. Things we can do now that work now are to focus on hot spots and stop the revolving door for criminals.

Do you support or oppose the public’s right to inspect footage taken by cameras worn by law enforcement officers? Under what circumstances, if any, should police video be withheld from the public?

I fully support this kind of public recording, unless there is a chance it jeopardizes the individual recorded.

Members of New Mexico’s business community contend some state laws and regulations need changing so the state can better compete with Texas and Arizona when it comes to attracting companies. What steps do you believe should be taken to improve New Mexico’s economic competitiveness?

Bringing potential business and entrepreneurs will require a multi-pronged approach. Public officials need to be actively involved in creating a pro-business climate. We need a highly competitive tax climate, incentives, abolish the GRT, foster a skilled and diverse workforce, reduce crime, improve schools, and develop a dynamic infrastructure network.

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?

No.

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.

1984 misdemeanor.

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