Q&A: Senate District 21 Candidate Mark Moores

  • NAME: Mark Moores
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Business
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: New Mexico state senator, business, chief of staff-Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley, staff-Congressman Steve Schiff
  • EDUCATION: MBA and BA, UNM
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: markmoores.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?

Reagan said, “A government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” Government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Evaluate programs, cut ineffective ones, don’t increase taxes. Repeal “Little Davis-Bacon” law that artificially inflates construction costs by 15% to 20%.

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?

Santa Fe politicians failed at-risk and minority students. They squandered $2 billion in surplus and even raised taxes, but did not earmark service for those most-at-need kids. We should re-appropriate that money to programs that have proven to help minority and at risk students, not reward political supporters.

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

Abolish it. It’s a Byzantine mess. It rewards the politically connected corporations who can hire lobbyists, while penalizing New Mexico’s small family businesses.

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

Support

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?

Yes. No government official should have total and unilateral power in a Republic. The governor must be required to receive legislative input and approval within 30 days. The rights of those accused of violating her orders need to be protected – they deserve their day in court.

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

Oppose

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

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?

Oppose. It’s called “permanent,” after all.

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?

Support. I am the sponsor of the Open Primary bill and many other needed reforms, including redistricting reform legislation. New Mexico needs to be reformed.

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

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?

Pass right-to-work legislation to make us immediately competitive with the 28 other states that have already passed it. Revamp New Mexico’s gross receipts tax scheme that hinders small and family-owned businesses from creating jobs.

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?

No, we need this critical jobs producing industry now more than ever. I voted for the Energy Transition Act that helps NM convert to cleaner renewable energy in the future.

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

Increase penalties for repeat offenders, including jail time to keep them off the streets. NM has ridiculously lenient criminal penalties. I co-sponsored legislation that would hire 60 state police to be stationed in Albuquerque and funding to upgrade law enforcement technology and communication.

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?

Support

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?

Lower taxes. Reduce regulation. Stop cronyism and government corruption.

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.

Thirty-two years ago out of high school, I was involved in an altercation after a party and was arrested.

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