Liz Mair is Strategist for Our Western Values. This commentary was published in The Albuquerque Journal:
Voters across New Mexico – and the U.S. – are fed up with Washington, D.C., and the political class.
Whether we’re progressive, conservative or something in between, many of us are convinced our elected officials are not representing us and have succumbed to the power of moneyed special interests, the allure of elite status, … cable news green rooms, big-money fundraisers and power-brokering.
Corruption and ethical failures are rife. Gridlock is persistent. Nefarious influences are not held to account. Politicians are more concerned with spouting poll-tested pablum than in doing their jobs. Guts, good ideas and independence are in desperately short supply.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., has become part of the problem.
Originally from Missouri, he has lost whatever shred of any connection he had to New Mexico. He’s running as a cookie-cutter Democrat who represents our nation’s capital more than he does New Mexicans of any stripe.
According to the transparency website OpenSecrets.org, over 67 percent of Heinrich’s donations come from outside New Mexico. He raises almost as much in Washington, D.C. as he does from Albuquerque.
Second to lawyers, Heinrich’s biggest donors are lobbyists.
He’s beholden to these groups to the tune of over $1 million…
Heinrich lives in Silver Spring, Md.; he’s really a resident of the D.C. region now, so his wife works for a big D.C. public relations firm.
Heinrich’s weird campaign slogan even sounds like something a big D.C. PR firm would cook up: “If we plan for what we can be, we won’t lose who we already are.” It’s possible that rich folks in affluent enclaves back East know what this means, but do you?
It’s time for something different, a better alternative: Former Gov. Gary Johnson. Johnson served New Mexico for two terms as a governor and remains true to its core values.
Johnson believes so strongly in representing New Mexico, rather than a bunch of Beltway lobbyists and lawyers, that he has injected $100,000 of his own money into his campaign. He won’t be beholden to the special interests that Heinrich, and his donors, represent.
And unlike Heinrich, he’ll be a true voice for New Mexico’s socially tolerant, fiscally conservative voters.
Heinrich doesn’t want you to know it, but he opposes free trade, on which the livelihoods of so many New Mexicans depend and which helps keep prices lower for … voters across the state. He voted against a key trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations…
Heinrich also postures as a pro-immigration voice, but he has never been as passionate a supporter of economically-beneficial immigration policies as Johnson. …
Heinrich toes the Senate leadership line, voting for … fiscal liberalism… In his first year in Congress, Heinrich sponsored $22,581,000 in earmarks according to OpenSecrets.org – a staggeringly large sum given scandals associated with earmarking that immediately preceded his election.
Heinrich, too, was late to the pro-marriage equality and pro-criminal justice reform, marijuana decriminalization parties – only coming around to widely-held, modern, forward-looking positions after his political opponents staked them out. By contrast, Johnson led – even when it was the politically hard thing to do. …
Johnson won’t take marching orders from Beltway lawyers, lobbyists, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Mitch McConnell, or President Donald Trump. He’ll be a true independent voice.
Johnson is the true anti-establishment choice in this race. He’s the only candidate who will be truly accountable to New Mexicans. …
Full Commentary by Liz Mair @ https://www.abqjournal.com/1226647/its-time-for-something-different-in-the-us-senate.html