Twice this year, Santa Feans have voted down tax increases by wide margins.
In May, they rejected a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg spent more than $1 million promoting the tax to fund preschool education.
This week, they rejected a 1/16th of a cent gross receipts tax increase to fund behavioral health services and public safety jobs.
Santa Fe is overwhelmingly Democratic. Republicans could not have defeated these two new taxes on their own.
Rather, these elections revealed a clear split between traditional New Mexican Democrats and the radical progressive Bernie Sanders wing of the national Democratic Party, a.k.a. the “alt-left.”
Working with Santa Fe business leaders and everyday hard-working taxpayers of both parties, the Republican Party of Santa Fe County assembled a new coalition of voters who stand up for common-sense government.
They were vastly outspent. The odds were against them. Yet they prevailed – twice.
As a Republican, as a candidate for U.S. Senate, and most importantly as a New Mexican, I am incredibly encouraged by this resurgence of common-sense governing principals – what I call Hard Hat values.
Common-sense government does not belong to one political party. Common-sense government belongs to the people who create, fund, and allow that government.
Traditional New Mexican Democrats are becoming aware that their elected representatives have abandoned them. For example, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich were two of only 16 Democratic Senators who co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill – which even Hillary called ‘unrealistic, and which nonpartisan study groups have said would double the national debt.
It’s an old story: we elect them, they go to Washington D.C., they get national political ambitions, they forget the people who voted them into office, they lose their heads.
When this same coalition of common-sense voters elects me to replace Martin Heinrich in 2018, I know I will not lose my head, because I am going to keep my Hard Hat Values firmly in place. I am on record that I will serve no more than two terms.
Between now and then (it’s only 58 weeks from Tuesday), I will continue to address the concerns of all of New Mexico’s hard-working taxpayers.
I have hope and faith that the people of New Mexico will continue to hold their governments accountable. If Santa Fe can do it, so can the rest of the state.