Q&A: House District 52 candidate John Foreman - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 52 candidate John Foreman

House District 52 candidate John Foreman (Courtesy John Foreman)

NAME: John Foreman

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: School administrator

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Las Cruces

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Small business ownership, school leader, foster parent, U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary officer, radio host for 23 years

EDUCATION: Ph.D. in education

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: foreman4hd52.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?

We need to continue to support our gas and oil business as it funds so many other areas. Our state is not known as a business-friendly state, this needs to change. For years we have watched businesses leave our state, many go to Texas which now has the No. 1 state economy.

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 — Our current leadership is going soft on crime, and we need to reverse this trend. Living in the southern part of our state, failed border control policies have increased crime in our community, as well as public health.

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?

Control the border — actually supporting law enforcement (many are leaving or seeking to leave), enforce our laws fairly to all regardless of income level or political position.

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 and will vote to protect the sanctify of life regardless of political maneuvering or double-speak which is so often common in state legislation.

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?

Firearms should of course always be safely secured around children or those who pose risk to themselves. However, I do not support increased restrictions upon those who are law abiding and exercise sound judgment. Our nation is filled with gun laws that have done nothing to decrease crime, I would not support more of the same.

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?

As a former foster parent, I would support legislation that makes CYFD stronger and a better environment for these children. I would support holding those accountable who are in need of it and better supporting the majority who serve with the right heart for the needs of others. My father was such a person and did so for 31 years.

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

This is one of many anti-business steps Santa Fe has taken to weaken both small business and our ability to compete as a state. A reduction in the GRT is also a good way to combat our recent inflation as business owners are often forced to pass these costs onto consumers.

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 am neutral on this issue. I am not running for any financial gain, rather to serve my state and community. If there is no salary, I would support that as it would alter my desire to serve.

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?

The state has a responsibility to provide quality education for our children, regardless of geography or economic status. We also need people who have (allegedly) embezzled funds from our schools — such as the recent House majority leader, to be held accountable. Why has this person still not been tried…?

10. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and childcare 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?

I oppose this because these programs will not solve the problem, although some say they will. We are No. 28 in educational spending and No. 50 in test scores, clearly policies such as this have failed. If the real need is day care, there are other solutions that need to be explored first.

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?

I oppose — there are many way to protect our environment rather than following a radical agenda that will not solve whatever problems there may be. If you look at other states who have tried, we see that these deadlines are never met, and the problem is never solved. I will always vote to support solutions, but not an agenda.

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?

Reduced — the past several years have been a time of unrestrained spending and unchecked power by our governor. The role of government is not to control the lives of their citizens, rather to trust people enough to make good decisions for themselves and thus creating an atmosphere for people to be led by hope rather than fear.

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

I would need to see the actual language of the legislation as this is one of many areas that is often mismanaged and misrepresented. Rural New Mexico has been traditionally under supported, and I would work to see that corrected.

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)

No. …

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

Voter ID and an end to the current process that opens the door for fraud and poor management of the election process.

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.

No.

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