Q&A: House District 19 candidate Kathleen Jackson - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 19 candidate Kathleen Jackson

House District 19 candidate Kathleen Jackson (Courtesy Kathleen Jackson)

NAME: Kathleen Jackson

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Retired

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 30 years project management; 10 years supervisor planning and controls for large engineering firm.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: kathleen4district19.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 support the oil and gas industries operating in our state until we have other safe plentiful resources on line. They are the lifeblood of our education system funding. We are not a business friendly state — both taxes and regulations need to be streamlined to attract other business to the 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! Clearly, it is prudent and advances public safety to keep defendants charged with violent crimes held behind bars until trial.

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?

Repeal the 2016 constitutional amendment that eliminated bail and set violent criminals free. A bill will be presented again, it was not even heard when last presented — hopefully even the Democrats who refused to hear the bill last time will understand that this is critical.

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 could support bills that have been introduced in past legislative sessions concerning late-term abortions, parental notification for underage girls seeking abortion, and allowing medical professionals conscience protections if they have moral or religious objections.

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?

This is two questions: The red flag law violates both the 2nd and 4th Amendments. We should not make criminals of law abiding citizens with arbitrary laws. Any means of “enforcing” firearm safety would violate the 4th Amendment by allowing search without warrant. We need better mental health care, it is a violence problem.

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 currently so understaffed it puts staff in danger. Lone women are asked to supervise violent teens. Solution: increase pay to attract more staff. Average monthly case load is 30 per case worker — too many to give each case the needed attention. Currently unable to attract/keep added staff.

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

We are not a business friendly state. Not only do we need to address the gross receipts tax, we must streamline permitting processes, and eliminate many regulations that hamper business without benefit to anyone.

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 support a salaried Legislature. I could only consider serving because I am retired. A salary would allow a greater diversity of candidates. Texas has a reasonable salary/per diem structure that might be used as a model.

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?

Bring the funding down to the student, give the parents the freedom and the responsibility of getting their children the education they feel best.

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?

Oppose — let’s take the very large amount of funding already available — eliminate embezzlement by good auditing, and bring the money down to the child — letting parents choose the best schooling option for their children. The parents are responsible for their children, not the schools, or the state.

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?

California legislation that we have tied our state to is based on false information, not scientific facts. Everyone who will make policy on this must read “Apocalypse Never” by Michael Shellenberger.

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?

Limit emergency powers to 30 days.

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

Yes, and we need to “free” the more than $300 million in frozen funds already allotted to various projects that are not going forward. Our spending needs to be transparent — we all have a right to know how our tax dollars are being spent.

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?

Enact photo voter ID. We have to show ID to: visit our doctor, fill a prescription, rent a car, take a flight…. How much more important is the integrity of our elections?

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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