Q&A: House District 28 Candidate Robert ‘Jason’ Vaillancourt
- NAME: Robert “Jason” Vaillancourt
- POLITICAL PARTY: Libertarian
- OCCUPATION: Fire Protection Sales
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Regional manager, state grassroots director AFP NM, vice chair LPNM, 30 years management experience in retail, construction, and manufacturing.
- EDUCATION: Hot Springs High School, Truth or Consequences;
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: jason4nm.com
Valley High School, Albuquerque; manufacturer trained in over 20 different brands and types of technologies.
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?
It is state law that we have a balanced budget, regardless of an outbreak or an emergency. There are a number of ways we can manage the, now over 7 billion dollar, state budget better. 300 million for Pre-K, which we have no evidence that Pre-K even produces the outcomes or results we are led to believe it does, should be a great place to start. Film subsidies is another area that should be reevaluated, along with numerous other failing projects ….
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?
School Choice continues to be the answer to so many of our education questions. We at #TeamVaillancourt think this ruling, and the idea that government can fix it, is all part of a broken system that no longer works for so many New Mexican families. It’s time for education dollars to follow the student, not the system.
What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
Remove it. Its arcane, and it isn’t helping New Mexicans. Abolish the GRT.
Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
I support the legalization of recreational marijuana, but we want the framework for which that to happen, to be a free market approach …. This is key to this issue. There are plenty of models in the US which we should learn from. When it comes to drafting the legislation that will make it to the Governor’s desk, New Mexico has the opportunity to get it right.
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?
Our campaign believes we need to look at all of our public health, and emergency powers legislation, then talk to the people of New Mexico to find out, what each of us, who has to live and work here, thinks the limits on these types of powers needs to be? Freedom comes with Responsibility, it is in times like these we must execute greater in both.
Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
If it’s “long-dormant,” why are we talking about it? I am pro-life in every sense of the discussion. Whether we are talking about sea turtle eggs buried on beaches, or little human beings growing inside other human being. My position on life also includes being anti death penalty. Life is precious in every aspect to me, this is non negotiable.
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?
Nobody is above the law, including our own men and women in blue. I just think it is important for each case to be decided individually, rather than with a blanket approach. It’s hard to expect so much from our law enforcement officers, and then to expect so little from our citizens. There has to be a way to protect them both. I look forward to offering ideas that do just that.
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?
No, because I have yet to see any evidence of this money being spent creating the outcomes and results we have been promised. When does New Mexico get out of being last in every meaningful educational category?
What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system?
We just need to hold our SOS and our county clerks accountable to New Mexico law regarding updating the voter rolls and registration lists. We need better accountability when it comes to mail in ballots and voter registration as a while.
Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
The parties should pay for their own primaries, or they should let all taxpayers vote in them. There were all sorts of irregularities in this years primaries, this should be investigated.
Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?
How our government is spending our money is the key issue. What government’s proper role is absolutely our responsibility. I don’t know that it should be solely based on merit, but I would think that is the best place to begin from.
Should each legislator be required to disclose which projects he or she funded?
Yes they should be required to disclose this information to the taxpayers and the voters. Maybe a better question is “is this government’s proper role?”
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?
The state needs to stop creating barriers to New Mexican innovation and small business. Tax reform again.
Would you support or oppose a moratorium on fracking?
I oppose legislation that bans individual Liberty, including the ability for New Mexicans to make a living. We support all industries thriving in New Mexico, as long as they are respectful of our land, our people, and implement the very best practices to ensure the quality of life for New Mexican generations to come.
And should the state impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change concerns?
We will have to see the value in these measures in relation to how New Mexicans throughout the state choose to live their lives. We must take everyone into consideration, not just a small few.
What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
We have to teach virtue again. So we can trust that our neighbors are doing the right thing, and they can trust us to do the same. We have to get better judges, we must hold people accountable for their choices, and their actions. This starts with the politically elite, and ends with car thieves, vagrants and people who litter.
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?
Police have the unique opportunity to both “protect, and serve” our community if they so choose. I would hope, again, virtuous discernment could be executed to protect our innocent. I see no other reason to keep vital information secret from the public.
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?
I support worker freedom because it is good for all New Mexicans, not just a small few. It ensures that organizations that want your money and want to use your money for political activities, have your permission do so. Tax Reform would help also.
1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
Not that I’m aware of.
2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
Personal. When I was in my early 20s. Totally stupid, I think it was for 10K.
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.
I used to be young and struggled with the regulations placed on each of us to drive legally. I therefore spent way too much of, again, my youth, getting arrested, for things like failure to appear for no proof of registration, or proof of insurance etc. A vicious cycle that too many New Mexicans go through getting to that “adult” stage of their life where this is all second hat. This is my story, I cant run from it. I can only face it. I was never arrested for any violent crimes or theft, or domestic issues.