Q&A: House District 56 candidate Elaine Allen - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 56 candidate Elaine Allen

House District 56 candidate Elaine Allen (Courtesy Elaine Allen)

NAME: Elaine Allen


OCCUPATION: County commissioner of Lincoln County — District 5


RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 8 years as a Lincoln County commissioner, chair of Friends of Historic Lincoln Boards: represent the county as member of GREENTREE SOLID WASTE, serve as member of Juvenile Justice Board; represent the County of Lincoln as: South Eastern New Mexico Economic Development District.

EDUCATION: High school

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Elaineallenfornm.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?

Why diversify? We have a $13 billion budget because of oil and gas. If anything we need to expand this resource while making it possible for small businesses to thrive. We can achieve this with a deep revision of our tax code — this would make New Mexico competitive with any state.

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?

Absolutely. Retired Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels pushed catch and release and sold the idea that this policy would reduce crime. It has been an absolute failure. My priority is to protect the public, not the criminal.

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 end catch and release. We also need to elect conservative judges and elect more conservatives to pass tougher crime laws. Criminals have no deterrent in New Mexico and that’s why crime is out of control.

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 am pro-life. It is troubling that one of our fastest growing industries is abortion. We must put in place policies that support women in these tough situations to carry the baby to full-term.

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 will not support any infringement of our Second Amendment. The Constitution as written is what I support word-for-word. More gun control has not reduced crime, it has only disarmed law abiding citizens.

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?

We need better oversight because right now you have the fox guarding the henhouse with corruption and the deaths of several children. We need to build this department back up from the bottom and bring common sense back.

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

Get rid of GRT now. It is confusing for small businesses and time consuming. Our neighbors do not have it and are doing much better than us and are more business friendly. If we don’t do this, we will not move forward. We also need to cut ridiculous regulations with oil and gas that hurt the small producers.

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?

Absolutely not. I support a part-time Legislature that is citizen focused. However, we do need term limits to get rid of the professional politicians and the corruption.

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?

It is time we provide parents a choice where they want their children to go. Moreover, we also need a constitutional amendment to give local school boards the same standing as the Public Education Department. More local involvement means better education.

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?

No. We are already losing more students in public schools because they are a failure and more and more money to pay for more failure is not the answer.

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?

No. New Mexico has not put out any scientific study how that will affect global climate change. Government needs to get out of our business. Having more regulations does not solve climate issues.

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?

Absolutely. The governor has single-handedly destroyed this state with unchecked power. A bill should be sponsored to immediately check any governor’s power. All emergency power should belong to the legislative body — not one person.

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

Yes. We need to make sure money for projects gets to where it needs to be. There is so much wasteful spending of our money with the current system. This is one reason we need term limits.

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)


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

We need voter ID, end mail-in ballots, verify signatures, cut down on the early voting time, people have lost faith in Dominion, clean the voter rolls, and get rid of drop boxes. This should be a partisan issue, with over 75% of Americans saying they are “concerned” with the safety of our election.

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?


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


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.


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