Q&A: House District 29 Candidate Adelious D. Stith
- NAME: Adelious D. Stith
- POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
- OCCUPATION: Insurance agent
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Business owner, board member, past commission member, a fiduciary, and concerned citizen.
- EDUCATION: Colorado Christian University and University of Oklahoma.
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: adelious4nm.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?
We must red line items not needed that are of special interest concern. Our budget must reflect job recovery, infrastructure, education, and our mental health challenges.
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?
Education spending should be solely focused on student outcomes, and not tied to administrative costs. We must reform how our schools budget, starting with the PED, make school choice a reality for underserved communities, and secure our U.S and New Mexico history.
What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
The GRT needs to be disbanded to implement a fairer tax. Currently, the GRT is especially unfair to small businesses and consumers.
Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
The end does not justify the means. Currently, New Mexico has a problem at all socioeconomic strata; we cannot legalize something that will weigh on struggling populations similar to alcoholism or other substance abuse problems. Perhaps we start with focusing on mental health before more problems are created.
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 not be unilateral. The governor should not have broad base powers to dictate rights, to affect which businesses remain, nor a renewal of spending caps without the approval of the legislature.
Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
Oppose. Our job is to protect life under the Constitution and state’s constitution. Doctor’s oath is to save life, not work creatively to end it. We need to especially support the life of a child who has already been born.
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. This is a very unwise measure to impose. All government employees doing their jobs in a reasonable manner will be affected. Law enforcement will not be the only group of people affected by abolishing qualified immunity.
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 do not support a draw down on the Land Grant Permanent Fund to support areas in the budget outside its original scope. That being said, I do support early childhood education and welcome finding other revenue to fund those programs.
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?
I believe every voice should be heard. We need a system that allows this to occur.
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?
Each legislator should give an account where the tax dollars entrusted to him/her are allocated. Further, we should overhaul the capital outlay system in the interest of fairness and transparency.
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?
Legislators must seriously address our tax problems – if we address GRT, then that is a signal to businesses that we are serious about opening up our economy. We cannot continue to allow surrounding states to succeed without competition from us. Taxing the people is not the fix.
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?
Considering our outdated oil and gas royalty rates costing us billions of dollars, yes. The state needs new policies for the industry to maximize revenue and protect funds for future generations.
What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
Stop creating new laws! Impose the laws that are on the books. Adjust these laws to prevent criminal activity without impunity.
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?
There is some footage to exclude if for internal investigations or to protect rights under HIPAA, to protect victims of a crime such as rape or criminal activity involving children. All other actions, within reason, can be for public view since law enforcement actions are in public view.
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?
Address our taxation and overhaul the GRT code. Additionally, looking into smart deregulation to make New Mexico business friendly while addressing citizen concerns will signal that our economy is ready to thrive. Leaders must lead to get us off the bottom of the best list and off the top of the worst list.
1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
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.