Q&A: Senate District 34 Candidate Darren Kugler

  • NAME: Darren Kugler
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Retired judge and arms dealer
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Cloudcroft
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: None other than a life in the lowest ranking state
  • EDUCATION: UNM x 2 – BA, JD
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Under construction

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?

Declare bankruptcy, dissolve the state with everything north of I-40 becoming Colorado, west of I-25 to Arizona, and the southeast to the Republic of Texas.

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?

Adequately fund the schools.

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

None.

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

No, decriminalize it – our Legislature is obviously too inept to create a legalization scheme.

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?

Limits on all actions except in case of toads, locusts and/or river discoloration. This is a plague – reference Exodus.

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

Mandatory universal male circumcision shall be instituted immediately prior to any further discussion of female genitalia.

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?

Pointless issue – real reform is needed.

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.

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.

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?

“Recent cycles” . . . are you kidding.? Chaos has been the norm in energy booms and bust for my entire life

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, no.

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

Try the Camden model for most municipalities.

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?

What makes you think these aren’t public records right now?

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?

I thought we were trying to maintain our status as 50th in most categories in spite of Mississippi and Alabama’s efforts to claim that spot.

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?

The 5th amendment applies – good try.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

Coming soon, stay tuned.

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.

Too many to count. (What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – A privilege of being raised in Las Vegas.)

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