Q&A: House District 27 Republican candidate Elisa Martinez - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 27 Republican candidate Elisa Martinez

Elisa Martinez

NAME: Elisa Martinez

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Executive director

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Economic and pro-life policy work for over six years, drafted legislation, testified in dozens of committee hearings for various issues, served as an expert witness at the New Mexico Legislature.

EDUCATION: B.A. economics, University of New Mexico

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: elisamartinezfornm.com

1. 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 Legislature take to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

Eliminate the burdensome Gross Receipts Tax in order to make New Mexico more competitive for business development with other states, as well as lowering personal income tax rates for all New Mexicans. We must make New Mexico more business friendly in order to retain and attract new industry.

2. During the last regular legislative session, there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain defendants behind bars until trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold individuals charged with violent offenses such as murder and first-degree child abuse behind bars until trial?

Yes. New Mexico leads the nation in violent crime rates and hard working New Mexico families are suffering as a result. We must make New Mexico’s law unsafe for all criminals, especially violent criminals.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety amid a rise in violent crime rates?

We urgently need bail reform, end catch-and-release policies by banning sanctuary city laws like the one in Albuquerque, and restore qualified immunity for our law enforcement officers so that they won’t be afraid to enforce the law. Lastly, we must address minimum mandatory sentencing for all career criminals.

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

Eliminate this punitive and unfair tax entirely. This will give small businesses a huge boost at a time when Gov. Lujan Grisham and Democrats in the legislature have destroyed 40% of businesses throughout the state.

5. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay its legislators a salary, though lawmakers do get per diem payments and can qualify for a legislative pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried Legislature and, if so, how much should lawmakers be paid?

Oppose. Progressives in the legislature have been a rubber stamp for Governor Lujan Grisham’s bad policies which have kept our state last in nearly everything. We shouldn’t reward their failed performance with a salary.

6. 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, especially Native Americans and those who don’t speak English as a first language?

As soon as possible and to as far-reaching a degree as possible, expand school choice. Parents should have the final say in their children’s education. Parents pay the taxes that fund education; parents are the customers; parents deserve better.

7. What should be the priority as New Mexico seeks to strengthen its health care system? How should the state address a shortage of nurses and other health care workers?

Under current Democrat one-party rule, the legislature empowered trial lawyers while penalizing doctors with high medical malpractice claims — at the expense of all New Mexicans. This, along with the governor’s mandates on health care professionals during the pandemic, is forcing health care workers to leave the state.

8. 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 the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would withdraw more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?

Oppose. We should be more concerned about curbing waste, fraud, and abuse, including recovering the $1.2 million (allegedly) stolen from Albuquerque Public Schools by the (former) Democratic House majority leader.

9. In order to address climate change and air quality issues, do you support or oppose legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?

I oppose the Energy Transition Act which has already resulted in higher energy costs for hard working families along with the potential for rolling blackouts.

10. New Mexico recently became the 17th state to regulate and tax recreational cannabis sales? What, if any, changes do you believe should be made to the existing law?

Greater oversight and regulation, as New Mexico will now be seeing greater public health issues and a surge in organized crime due to illegal marijuana grows — like Colorado. Additionally we must protect children from accessing marijuana.

11. 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. Emergency powers should only be renewed with legislative approval and limited to 45-60 days. Legislative approval should NOT be something that can be waived by the executive branch’s executive powers.

12. 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?

Seventy percent of Americans support a voter ID requirement. New Mexico must pass a voter ID requirement law. I support protecting our voting rights with paper ballots and greater ballot security measures. I oppose open primaries, as this opens the system to one party manipulating the other party’s primary elections.

13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?

What I would support is more transparency in capital outlay spending, such as requiring each legislator to publicly disclose how they use their outlay funds.

14. Do you support or oppose authorizing an independent redistricting commission to perform the once-per-decade task of redrawing New Mexico’s political boundary lines?

Support. The current system enables the ruling party to dictate the outcome, as the 2022 redistricing process has demonstrated.

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?

Yes, $900 paid.

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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