In April 2016, I visited ranchers Levi Klump and Judy Keeler in New Mexico’s boot heel (Hidalgo County), to learn firsthand about the security of our Southern border. The told me they live with drug smugglers running across their ranchland and through the yards of their homes. I vowed to them that I will take action to solve this problem when I replace Martin Heinrich in the U.S. Senate.
When I got home and told my wife, Marion, about my visit, she said, “No American citizen should have to live with that fear.”
One month later, Martin Heinrich also visited Levi and Judy. After he left, Judy told the Albuquerque Journal: “I’ve been to so many meetings where promises are made to secure the border, and it just doesn’t happen. We’re fatigued of all the promises, and they don’t deliver, and I think I’m not the only one that feels fatigued. There are not enough people to really matter down here. The message is the border is secure, and everyone who lives on the border knows it’s not true.”
That was two years ago. This month, citing a “point of crisis,” President Trump ordered the National Guard to the U.S. border to help control illegal immigration. Martin Heinrich responded on Twitter: “Pres Trump is grossly out of touch with reality of our experience in NM. He should spend less time watching Fox News & more time listening to ppl who live & work in communities on border. I guarantee the answer is not wasting billions of dollars to militarize their neighborhoods.”
Ms. Keeler responds: “I don’t agree with Mr. Heinrich at all. ‘Militarization’ is just fear mongering. But I’m not sure the National Guard will be able to help that much, because they are put in office support positions, and we won’t have any more boots on the ground at the border, where we need them.”
In his nine years in Congress, with infrequent visits back to New Mexico, Martin Heinrich has proved that he is good at creating photo opportunities. He has proved that he can listen to people’s heartaches, walk away, and do nothing. He has voted more than 94 percent of the time with California’s senators, which is why he has earned the nickname, ‘California’s Third Senator.’ He has proved he will sacrifice New Mexicans’ safety and security to advance his own political career.
What does this tell us about our junior senator? He is arrogant: he thinks he knows better than we do what’s good for us. Also, he regards us – the people he was elected to serve – with disdain. He believes he can go on ignoring us and still be re-elected.
He’s wrong. New Mexicans have caught on to his deception and impotence. Recently, when Heinrich offered to meet with a veterans group in Silver City, they turned him down. They told him that he was not coming to hear their concerns, but for a taxpayer-funded fishing trip.
In his soft-spoken, telegenic package, Martin Heinrich represents the worst of career politicians: tell the people what they want to hear, then ignore them and serve only yourself.
I am Martin Heinrich’s opposite. I have made my career about getting the job done.
We deserve a Senator that will stand up for New Mexico and New Mexicans.