Q&A: House District 52 Candidate John Foreman

  • NAME: John Foreman
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: School administrator/former small business owner. Have written and overseen multi-million dollars for many years.
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Las Cruces
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Started and operated two successful small businesses, 30-year educator and school leader, officer in U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, have served a wide range of state and regional committees on education. State director of New Mexico Association of Non-public Schools (NMANS), twice nominated for State Board of Education.
  • EDUCATION: Degrees in history, school administration and education (Ph.D.)
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.foreman4hd52.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?

The first step is to fully re-open our economy. Hard choices are needed in Santa Fe especially after the budget inactivity of this summer. This will include trimming non-essential spending, finding better ways to support our businesses and finally developing a plan to attract quality new jobs into our state. This can be done without raising taxes.

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?

This was based on a case pertaining to student access to textbooks. The answer is simple and two-fold. 1) We need to properly fund instructional materials for all schools. 2) Administration has the responsibility to work within budget and manage appropriately – which sometimes means cutting some expenses to prioritize others.

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

We need to find better ways to support business, especially local and family-owned who have been devastated by current policies over the past six months, I support cutting taxes and unnecessary regulations on business, this will allow our economy (and tax revenues) to rebound much quicker. Taxpayers win – business wins – New Mexico wins.

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

I oppose, there are many other ways to increase tax revenue in a manner which better reflects and supports our values.

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?

Based upon what we have seen the past six months, I would agree with those who believe these powers should be limited and done so with more input and consent of the legislature — who are elected to represent their local communities.

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

I am pro-life and align myself with the position of our local churches and will support measures and bills that protect the life of the unborn.

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?

No – We need to be careful that we do not allow the inexcusable choices of a very few to make new rules for the many responsible law enforcement officers and departments that sacrifice much to serve and protect our communities. Those who break the law should be held accountable, regardless of position, income level, etc.

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 would oppose – we have had similar programs for decades around our country and the track record is poor at best. Billions have been spent with minimal results – if these programs do work, after 30 years of investing into such we should be able to see tangible results that address the issue.

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?

We need to address local election issues which have plagued our state for years. We are all weary of hearing that after an election once again ballots have been somehow “found,” which many times have changed the outcome. I would advocate for addressing the issues that have impacted the integrity of the process.

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?

Yes/Yes

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?

I support gas and oil in our state, and like all businesses we need to make our state a much more business friendly environment. This will better support those who are here now as it also attracts future investments which will bring quality new jobs to New Mexico.

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 – I am a conservationist, meaning that we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the world God has created. In doing so we need to avoid the extremes that while perhaps well intended, may do much to harm our state and the general welfare of our people.

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

We start by better supporting our law enforcement statewide, when elected I will be a strong voice in Santa Fe for those who give their careers and sometimes even their lives to defend and protect us. I would oppose any defunding efforts as we see in some major cities across the U.S. currently.

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?

That is a complicated issue and one I feel needs to have much thoughtful consideration before final decisions are made. An important question for me would be who is defined as “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?

Texas, only a few steps away from part of my district — has the #1 economy in the nation. They have done so by limited unneeded regulation and taxes on businesses, being seen a business-friendly state by investors and reducing taxation on working people. This can all be done here in New Mexico if we are willing to take bold new steps.

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.

No

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