Q&A: Senate District 26 Candidate Manuel Lardizabal

  • NAME: Manuel (Manny) Lardizabal
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Business owner (entrepreneur)
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: New Mexico business owner and entrepreneur for the last 15 years. Bernalillo/Albuquerque Retired & Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council member. Former Texas department of criminal justice institution division administrative officer developing and implementing community work programs for individuals who were incarcerated getting ready to be released or paroled out back into the community. Minister and teacher of godly values such as honor, integrity and purpose in all aspects of life.
  • EDUCATION: High school diploma; formal training and studies in criminal justice at Western New Mexico University, where I also graduated from the Police Academy. Additionally, attended several training programs throughout the years in leadership, business and ministry.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Lardizabal4Senate26.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?

Based on reasonable projections of recurring revenue, surplus tax revenue should be used for investments to improve our state, not government expansion. Spend with what we do have, not with what we don’t have.

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 children?

We cannot overcome a failing education system when poverty exist, it hinders advancement, overtakes, and overwhelms. Focus of students minds are getting there needs met, instead on educating there minds to fulfill there purpose. When students function from a place of limitation, there lives are limited and they start doing things just to survive.

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

Rewritten by making small ongoing changes in reducing the gross receipts tax rate and eliminating some exemptions and deductions, this would give us a more reliable revenue flow.

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

I oppose. Recreational marijuana is used without medical justification. One of my top concerns is enforcing workplace drug policies. As a business owner myself, you got to be able to have a drug-free workforce.

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, I believe changes should be made to limit the governor’s emergency powers, especially when the governor is acting outside the statutory authority and makes decisions without consulting with legislators . The specifics are already in the due process to include the Legislature in any measures.

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

I oppose, for everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person, including those in the womb. The majority of New Mexicans oppose repealing for resent legislation proved that, as HB-51 failed to pass in the Senate with all Republicans and eight Democrats voting against it.

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. Qualified immunity from civil-rights lawsuits only protect police officers and other public officials IF their actions didn’t violate “clearly established” rights or break specific laws while doing there job and it doesn’t grant them immunity from paying damages.

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 oppose. The current 5% allocation rate provides $1 billion annually already. We are not in a position especially now or in the near future to do any increasing. Increasing the distribution now jeopardizes future generations.

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?

No changes are currently needed. Now is not the time to make any changes to the states election laws and primary system so close to elections. I’m in support of non-partisan voters having access to voting in the primary elections.

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. Taxpayers – whose money this is – don’t know how projects were selected or why. Citizens deserve information about how their money is being spent. That’s not happening in New Mexico.

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?

Equitable distribution based on economic activity and tax income production by county should be implemented. Faze out unconstitutional spending in both the mandatory and discretionary portions of the budget and stop overspending.

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?

I oppose a moratorium on fracking. There would be a loss of approximately 142,000 jobs and New Mexicans would earn approximately $26 billion less in household income. This would bring more devastation to New Mexico’s economy.

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

We need to address the court’s handling of existing laws (sentencing, catch-and-release protocols, etc.). The current existing laws has developed the mind set of criminals to continue committing crimes because of the protocols currently in place. We also need to address mental health, treatment programs and develop a broad criminal justice reform to make it more effective.

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?

To ensure public trust in law enforcement, I believe there should be a fair basic openness and transparency with proper protocol procedures in place that would not compromise an investigation and not violate the constitution rights of Americans.

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 get control of the crime issue first. The crime has negatively affected our ability to attract out-of-state businesses and industries. We also need a clean, fair tax code based on sales tax not gross receipts tax. This would promote business growth and stabilize revenue which would make New Mexico more attractive for out of state businesses and local businesses to remain.

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?

Yes

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.

Yes. A misdemeanor about 10 years ago.

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