Q&A: House District 68 candidate Robert Moss - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 68 candidate Robert Moss

House District 68 candidate Robert Moss (Courtesy Robert Moss)

Name: Robert Moss

Political Party: Republican

Occupation: Businessman and attorney

City of Residence: Albuquerque

Education: B.A., J.D., LLM in taxation

Campaign Website: moss4nm.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?

Diversification is the key to a stable New Mexico economy. We need legislation that lowers the cost of doing business, reduces laws that deter job creation and employment, and fosters our broken education system.

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. The state must vigorously prosecute violent crimes. This shouldn’t be an option; it should be the standard. Public safety is the core function of government.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety as New Mexico faces one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation?

We must reestablish respect for officers. The hyperbole perpetrated on those protecting us is dangerous to them and facilitates a general deterioration of law and order. Additionally, we must be tougher on violent criminals, restore the concept of victims’ rights, and ascertain alternative methods to reform offenders when appropriate.

4. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, do you support or oppose codifying abortion protections in state law? And do you support or oppose enacting any restrictions on abortion in New Mexico?

I agree with the almost 80% of Americans who are against late-term abortion.

5. New Mexico has already implemented several gun control laws in recent years. Would you support or oppose legislation that banned or restricted the sale of AR-15-style semi-automatic weapons, such as raising the age limit for purchasing such weapons? And what about legislation making it a crime to fail to safely secure firearms around children?

I would oppose banning or restricting any “style” of a semi-automatic firearm. It is every individual’s right and duty to defend their person and their family. Families should have the tools necessary to effectuate this protection, especially since current leadership fails to find solutions to New Mexico’s violent crime wave.

6. The state agency tasked with keeping New Mexico children safe has faced recent scrutiny over transparency issues and its handling of high-profile child abuse cases. What changes would you support to improve the operations of the Children, Youth and Families Department?

CYFD is a broken bureaucratic system, and the state has failed to hold it accountable, which isn’t surprising since we are failing our children across the board. CYFD only works if it puts children first and is held responsible for failing to do so.

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

Get rid of it. The current structure is burdensome to businesses, assists in the current medical provider shortage facing New Mexico, and is wrought with patrón loopholes. This tax pyramiding scheme ultimately hurts the citizens of New Mexico and should be replaced.

8. 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?

I would not vote for a salaried Legislature. I understand the contention that the current law may limit prospective candidates. However, I wouldn’t feel right voting on legislation using hardworking folks’ tax dollars to pay me when I ran, knowing it was a volunteer position.

9. 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?

I believe the New Mexico Constitution is clear: every child in grades K-12 has a right to quality education. The fix is simple … fund the student, not the system.

10. 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?

The citizens of New Mexico do a great job of providing financial support to the children. The problem is that the state fails to hold fiscally irresponsible programs accountable and allows districts to inflate their administrative ranks. I am in favor of legislation that allows money to follow the student.

11. 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?

Of course, we must take care of the world in which we live. However, pathological altruistic legislation such as that proposed is deceptive. Alternative energy’s reliance on petrochemicals and our limitation in controlling other countries make it impractical, especially if we fail to take modular nuclear seriously.

12. 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?

No one person should have the expansive power wielded by the current governor. As a legislator, I would support legislation reducing this power.

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

Although I believe performance should dictate, the devil is in the details. Furthermore, I have difficulty trusting the government to choose capital projects in a fair and transparent manner.

14. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election? (Yes or No answer only, please)

Respondent did not limit answer to yes or no as requested.

15. What changes, if any, would you support to New Mexico’s election laws?

I will support legislation that strengthens confidence in our beautiful democracy.

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.

I was arrested and pled guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated just after my 21st birthday. I was guilty and assumed complete responsibility during my pretrial/trial. I am lucky that no one was hurt by my actions, and I have learned a great deal from my mistake. I was also arrested for DWI in New Mexico in 2010, but the case was dismissed. I was not driving a car, I was on campus moving a scooter I used to go back and forth to class, and I was not over the legal limit.

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