Planning for a better future
in New Mexico.
BETTER IDEAS FOR NEW MEXICO
I am a 33-year resident of New Mexico (four years in Santa Fe; 29 years in Albuquerque). I have worked as a business lawyer since I graduated from law school in 1990. My practice has been principally in governmental finance, private hospital finance, and various business subsidies, including industrial revenue bonds and metropolitan redevelopment bonds. I am familiar with the New Mexico legislative process, and I have drafted and lobbied for several bills. I was instrumental in persuading the legislature to adopt the New Mexico Register and the New Mexico Administrative Code in 1995.
I earned an M.S. in Agronomy from Colorado State University in 1979 and worked for several years as a surface coal mine regulator in both Missouri and New Mexico. Prior to starting law school in 1987, I worked for the New Mexico Radiation Protection Bureau, where I conducted a radon survey of residences throughout north-central New Mexico.
My wife, Cynthia Hall, is the Commissioner for District 1 of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. Our political and policy views are similar but not identical.
Global warming is not “just” an environmental issue; it is the pre-eminent moral issue of
our time. This is not a time for hand-wringing and defeatism; it is a time for us all to think hard about what we can do, individually and collectively, to provide moral leadership.
I am opposed to the criminalization of abortion. I support rational means---effective education and better access to contraception---to reduce the abortion rate. I appreciate the moral concerns of those who oppose abortion, but the idea that those concerns should be addressed by criminalizing abortion, and tossing the issue into the lap of the criminal justice system, is lunacy.
The NRA and its allies have encouraged, all too successfully, reckless and irresponsible thinking and talking about firearms. Our gun violence problem will not be solved until the people demand---not just from their politicians, but from their family members, their friends, their neighbors and their pastors---an end to the culture of gun irresponsibility
The New Mexico capital outlay system is unique among the 50 states. It may be imagined as a haughty medieval lord riding his horse through a crowd of peasants, tossing a few coins towards the loudest voices. Whether the coins fall into the most deserving palms, and whether the coins are adequate for the recipients’ needs, are of little concern. The attached article presents only one possible alternative, but the truth is that almost any reform would be an improvement.
Education is more of a cultural problem than a political one. I would favor increasing teacher pay, in order to attract and retain good teachers, but otherwise I am very hesitant about educational reforms that require significant additional spending.
Competition, and not subsidies, is the best approach to economic development.
There is no good reason why a state should consistently finance its capital expenditures by issuing bonds. The oil and gas windfall will not last forever, but it gives us a tremendous opportunity to switch to a simpler, cheaper, and more ethical pay-as-you-go system.
I have yet to meet a single voter who does not agree that we need to move rapidly to an all-electric economy. To encourage this transition, the future price of electricity needs to be as low as possible. The attached paper discusses one important way in which this may be done.
Eliminating gerrymandering is the right thing to do. If Democrats in Blue States tolerate gerrymandering, we undermine reformers in Purple and Red States.
Political candidates who will not disclose their tax returns have something to hide. My wife and I do not, which is why our federal and state tax returns for the last three years are posted below.