Q&A: House District 38 Candidate Rebecca Dow

  • NAME: Rebecca Dow
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Nonprofit consultant/self-employed
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Truth or Consequences
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: This will be my third term in office. In additional I have launched three nonprofit cooperations governed by eight state agencies. I understand the regulatory environment and what it takes to create and sustain jobs.
  • EDUCATION: B.A. Business Oral Roberts University, A.A. in early childhood Tulsa Community College
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.rebeccadow.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?

Getting people back to work is the first step toward stabilizing our budget. Reforming our regulatory system to remove (non-life safety) barriers will aid in our economic recovery and prevent future tax increases. Finally, the legislature must rein in the unsustainable spending we have seen these last two years.

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?

All ideas should be considered as New Mexico continues to rank last in education. Fully embracing educational freedom and returning PED to an independent, nonpolitical, governed entity is the right start. School districts need more stability in everything from curriculum and assessments to required immunizations and graduation standards.

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

Generous carve outs for certain industries are always paid for on the backs of those who are not politically connected. Reforming our tax code to close loopholes and lower the overall rate will be beneficial for all New Mexicans and encourage job creation.

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

I support hemp production and expanding the medical cannabis program. The versions of the bills to legalize recreational marijuana have been too large and too complicated for me to support. I will not vote for a bill that permits/licenses businesses in the same way as liquor licensing.

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?

Absolutely. No one envisioned our emergency statutes being used the way they are today. Legislative oversight of these orders is needed to help minimize the effects these restrictions are having on our economy and on the health of the very people we are trying to protect.

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

HB 51 would have repealed the only enforceable law: the right of facilities, physicians, or health care workers to refuse to perform an abortion based on conscientious objection. I will continue to vote against bills that restrict the rights of New Mexico health care professionals to opt out of performing abortions.

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?

I support eliminating any protections that keep bad police officers on the job. Let’s protect the good law enforcement officers and encourage the bad ones to move along. Eliminating qualified immunity however will make it impossible to hire and retain qualified law enforcement officers.

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 support the expansion of evidence based early childhood services, which means targeting programs to children who need them most, not universal programing. We just established a new permanent fund to expand services and should continue working to develop that fund. Bills to increase distributions from the LGPF are being done without intentional consideration on spending, while jeopardizing the future distribution for current beneficiaries.

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’m not opposed to open primaries. I also support fair and transparent redistricting.

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?

The public has a right to know how legislators are spending their money. I have made my appropriations public and will continue to advocate for all legislators to be required to disclose how these funds are spent. A merit based system must include local community leaders in the decision process.

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?

We must bring our tax code into the 21st century. Creating a lower and stable tax rate will encourage investment in our state. We also need regulatory reform to decrease barriers and increase opportunities for all New Mexican entrepreneurs. Eliminating taxes on social security income and veteran’s benefits would attract retirees with disposable income.

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. New Mexico is heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry. Nearly 45% of our budget is attributed to that industry. A moratorium on fracking would devastate our education system’s biggest funding source, and eliminate thousands of high paying jobs in New Mexico.

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

Let’s start with enforcing the laws on the books, and stopping the catch and release system. We also need to support law enforcement and call out dangerous rhetoric from public officials who disparage those sworn to protect our communities.

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 support enhanced transparency. In this case there are too many opportunities for people to abuse recordings. I prefer to see some protections for private individuals that could be harmed by released video. For example, domestic abuse cases or disputes that could lead to retaliation against accusers should be protected.

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?

We need to look beyond needed gross receipts tax reform and think more globally about the quality of life issues people and companies care about when considering relocating. Better schools, lower crime and a tax and regulatory environment that encourages job creation will make New Mexico competitive.

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.

I have received tickets for traffic violations.

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