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Politics: Enter at your own risk

Ruidoso, NM—Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor, announced today his Forestry Management Plan for all of New Mexico.

"New Mexico is a stunning and beautiful state. One of our great benefits is the vast expanse of undeveloped areas. We have abundant public land and that land should be accessible to all. As an avid hiker and backpacker, I value the majesty of our national forests, the solitude of our wilderness and the limitless horizon of the eastern side of the state. I believe it is critical that we invest in forest management to protect our forests and watersheds from the impact of extreme fire and drought. These lands are the lifeblood of our rural economy including tourism, forest products, and agriculture.

To entrepreneur and gubernatorial candidate Congressman Steve Pearce, the preservation of New Mexico's core industries – oil, gas, timber and coal – is the key to solving many of the state's financial and social problems.

For too long, he said, decision makers have chosen policy over people, and these same decision makers have fallen into a pattern of treating the symptoms of New Mexico's problems instead of the problems themselves.

ALBUQUERQUE – District Court Judge Sarah Backus, an elected Democrat, has released the suspects from the Taos County terrorist compound until their trial begins. According to media reports, suspects will be released on a signature bond, and will not have to post bail prior to their release.
 
"Judge Backus has put New Mexicans at risk by releasing suspected terrorists back into the community," said RPNM Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi. "By releasing these suspects without even requiring them to post bail, Judge Backus has put people in danger and created the risk that they could flee and harm other children and communities as well. If New Mexico Democratic Party leaders are serious about keeping our state safe, they should join me in denouncing Judge Backus and the incredible failure of leadership and judgment demonstrated by her terrible decision."

ALBUQUERQUE—Former Democratic Governor Jerry Apodaca today endorsed Steve Pearce for Governor. In an oped published in the Albuquerque Journal former Governor Apodaca writes:

"These past years I have sat on the sidelines very quietly enjoying my life with my family and friends, observing from a distance. I know the new politicians of the 21st century don't need my advice. But friends recently suggested I sit down with both gubernatorial candidates to discuss the concerns I outlined above. I agreed to but didn't expect anyone to call.

As the only physician in the state Legislature, I have a unique responsibility to protect the truth about New Mexico's health care situation from those who would twist it to serve their own political ambitions. My patients regularly tell me they can spot a physician that cares more about making money than caring for them a mile away.

Gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., used poor judgment by accepting public money for personal profit when she served as NM Department of Health Secretary. We need a governor that is willing to fight corruption and give a voice to the people.

Grisham set up a controversial "consulting" company to manage the state's high-risk insurance pool. Part of the deal was for her to get paid lots of money, no less than $138,000 in 2013 alone. Grisham continued to profit from the arrangement after Obamacare took effect and pool participants drastically decreased. In fact, her personal fees greatly increased during this period. When asked about it, she has struggled to explain why, only citing "management challenges."

My fellow New Mexicans: Are you OK with our government officials starting their own companies and channeling tax dollars through them for their own profit? I, for one, think this should be illegal. It's like Donald Trump starting another business and signing a federal law that guarantees his profit.

In addition, Grisham misled our state when she took credit for falling drug overdose rates in New Mexico during her tenure as Health secretary. The victim in this case was the truth as drug overdose deaths actually increased from 304 in 2004 to 439 in 2007. Opioid-related overdose deaths climbed during her tenure.

New Mexico's health care workers and patients deserve leaders that focus on helping people. I was brought up to believe that if a person is capable of lying about one thing, they are probably capable of lying about something else. I don't have all the answers, but one thing is certain: New Mexico's problems won't be solved by leaders taking credit for outcomes they had nothing to do with.

The New Mexico medical community is comprised of thousands of hard-working, compassionate people from both the left and right of the political spectrum, but all their politics fade into the background when their patients' health is at stake. We work as a team that is dedicated to fixing our health care system and our communities.

The only way we will succeed is by being honest with each other and by not sugar-coating reality. I'm optimistic about New Mexico's future. Our state's prognosis depends on sound, fact-based leadership. No place for egotists that would mislead us by touting false accomplishments. In the case of the Grisham example, she has shown us what the alternative would look like: decisions that would be taken on false premises or by cold political calculus. This shows not only a lack of true empathy for the people of New Mexico, but also a lack of respect for them.

Nobody can blame climbing overdose deaths on one person, and I'm not suggesting that. What concerns me is that we have a candidate who has abused our trust and has received public money for her own personal gain at the expense of the poor who have trouble gaining access to health care.

For 80 years, New Mexicans have been subjected to the same empty promises for prosperity. It's time to change that. It's time for something new. It's time to vote for honesty, innovation and compassion in our government. This will not be easy. Nothing worthwhile usually is.

Regardless of your political affiliation, we all want leaders – and physicians – who care enough about us to tell us the truth and not attempt to profit from our weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Show me a leader with compassion and the courage to tell you the truth, and I'll show you a leader worth supporting. It's been my experience that the best predictor of a person's future behavior is their past behavior.

Dr. Gregg Schmedes is New Mexico's director for the Academy of Medical Ethics and assistant professor of surgery at the University of New Mexico.

TAOS, NM—Yesterday, Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor of New Mexico, announced his plans to attract new businesses to the state and expand the use of renewable energy. In speaking to members of the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in Taos, Pearce unveiled his plans to expand renewable energy in New Mexico and build an "all of the above" energy economy that creates jobs for New Mexicans while keeping energy affordable for our families.

"We appreciated Steve Pearce taking the time to personally visit with the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative yesterday to share his vision for New Mexico. I fully support Steve's plan to expand the renewable energy industry in New Mexico by working to attract companies to our state, including those that have committed to using 100 percent renewable energy. We don't have to pick between renewable and traditional energy sources in New Mexico - we can build a diverse energy economy that creates jobs and provides affordable energy to our families. Steve Pearce is the right person to lead that effort as Governor and I look forward to working with him to expand the renewable energy industry in rural communities like Taos County and across our state," said Luis Reyes, Jr.

ALBUQUERQUE – For the second time in just a few weeks, Michelle Lujan Grisham is running an ad across New Mexico that simply doesn't square with her record. Lujan Grisham was already busted for claiming she was responsible for reducing opiate overdoses as Secretary of Health. An AP fact check blew that claim wide open, confirming that overdoses actually increased on Lujan Grisham's watch.

Now Lujan Grisham is running away from her long record of failing to support law enforcement officers. Her latest ad calls for "more police with the best technology" and takes credit for "millions of dollars for our police." But as an elected official, Lujan Grisham repeatedly refused to fund New Mexico law enforcement and used her position in Congress to try to stop a training program for the Albuquerque Police Department.

ALBUQUERQUE — Dorothy Runnels, a lifelong Democrat and widow of former Democratic Congressman Harold Runnels, today endorsed Steve Pearce for Governor.

"Our state needs help in so many ways. I tell every Democrat I know that in the race for Governor, Steve Pearce is the right person for the job. Steve Pearce puts the country and the people of New Mexico above party. I am proud to support his candidacy and know he will be a great Governor for all of New Mexico," said Dorothy Runnels.

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