Mick Rich Files Ballot Qualifying Signatures as Sole Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate

SANTA FE, Feb. 6, 2018 – Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich today filed nominating petitions with New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver that qualify him as the sole Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

“I am proud to be the candidate for all New Mexicans who are sick and tired of Martin Heinrich acting like California’s third senator instead of New Mexico’s senator,” Rich said. “I will be a senator for all New Mexicans.”

Mick Rich for Senate campaign manager, Evan Machan, said that Rich filed well over the minimum nominating petition signatures required for major party candidates.

“This campaign began three years ago as a kitchen table discussion with my wife, Marion,” Rich said. “It has never been my dream to be a politician. But as I told Marion that night, I refuse to stand by and watch our state suffer. We need a voice in Congress. If New Mexicans send me – a man with Hard Hat Values – to Washington, I will get the job done.”

Machan said that Rich appeals to all hard-working taxpayers, regardless of party affiliation. “Working people relate to Mick,” Machan said. “He will do what’s right for New Mexican families – above party or personal ambition.”

Machan added that Rich has pledged to serve no more than two terms in the U.S. Senate.

– # # # –

Where Now, America?


With the Success of the GOP Tax Cut,
Here’s What To Achieve Next in 2018

The big, quick benefits of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the U.S. economy, businesses, and workers have surprised even some of its supporters. Soon there will be a second wave of benefits, as more than 80 percent of families feel tax relief.

But America always moves forward. As the President outlines the State of the Union, I want to add my voice to where our great nation needs to go.

National Security
National defense is our federal government’s top priority. Because of budget caps enacted by Congress during the Obama Administration, our military has lacked sufficient funding and must be rebuilt. As President Reagan said, peace comes through strength.

We also must conduct a clear-eyed accounting of our friends and enemies. Under no circumstances should we send aid or make arms sales to foreign countries that support terrorism. We must work together with our allies to fight and defeat terrorists around the world.

Jobs and the Economy
In addition to benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the White House has helped the economy and jobs by reducing needless government regulations. Getting rid of needless regulations helps employers raise wages and create jobs, and it increases retirement accounts by lifting the stock markets. Progress has been made, but we have far to go in reducing the strangling effects of government regulations.

Infrastructure
As a commercial contractor and Hard Hat for 35 years, this topic is near and dear to my heart. America’s economic strength comes from its infrastructure – its airports, roads, bridges, tunnels, and communications networks. But like our military, our infrastructure has been underfunded for far too long.

The federal government, in partnership with states and cities, must rebuild America’s infrastructure. This will make travel faster, easier and safer, bring fast Internet to rural communities, and smooth and speed interstate commerce. An added win from this $1 trillion investment will be the creation of thousands of good-paying Hard Hat jobs.

Immigration
A common-sense immigration policy is long overdue. But legal immigration cannot work until our borders are secured, and illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle. Then we can decide who should be allowed into our country, and how many.

I believe that legal immigration should benefit the American economy, workers and taxpayers. Immigrants should be required to be productive members of society, and should bring with them only their spouses and children.

Trade
As a business owner, I believe international trade benefits Americans. But trade agreements must be fair, and I agree with the President that it is easier to create fair trade agreements with single countries than with large blocks of countries.

We live in divisive times. But America is strongest when we work together toward common goals. We need a strong military; secure borders; and a strong economy with good-paying jobs that support families. These are not partisan ideals. They are the basis of our nation’s survival and well-being.

Federal ART Funds for Albuquerque May Get Thrown Under Bus

Lost in the clamor about last weekend’s federal government shutdown is a potential loss of $75 million in federal funding for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) bus line project.

President Trump included the funding in the FY2018 budget that was submitted to Congress last March and approved by the House of Representatives in September. However, the Senate has not approved the budget. Two of Martin Heinrich’s committees, Defense and Interior, are holding up the approval.

The government shutdown is over – at least for the next three weeks. But until and unless a budget is passed, Albuquerque’s ART funds remain at risk. Congress could forgo the FY2018 budget altogether, operating on continuing resolutions through FY2018. If that happens, New Mexico’s Senators will need to petition the Trump Administration to include the $75 million in the FY2019 budget – after they torpedoed FY2018 budget.

This calls to mind another mass transit project: Rail Runner. Gov. Richardson’s administration promised the federal government would fund a majority of the cost. But it didn’t. New Mexico was stuck with the entire $500 million bill. Now we have two balloon payments of $112 million each due in the next 10 years. We don’t need to be stuck holding the bag for another $75 million.

Call Senators Udall and Heinrich, and tell them to put New Mexico first. Tell them to pass the FY2018 Budget, so this time, Albuquerque receives the funds it was promised.

Senate candidate Mick Rich criticizes opponent Martin Heinrich, ‘D.C. politicians’

“Everyone comes in from completely different backgrounds. But at lunch time, we all crack open the lunch box and we’re one.”

Adrian C Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus
Published 5:04 p.m. MT Jan. 19, 2018

Even on a local level, Rich said he believes the federal government, through negotiation, can create a solution to Carlsbad’s brine well, in danger of a collapse which could cause millions in damages and litigation.

Local leaders have tangled for years over who should take responsibility for the problem.

To Rich, all levels should be at the table.

“That’s a big issue, and the federal government should step up,” he said. “There are federal funds available for mine closures, and those issues dealing with mining. As New Mexico’s U.S. Senator, I’ll be looking for federal funds, because that’s a federal issue. They’re part of the puzzle.”

As an outside observer, Rich said he sees politicians looking out for their own agenda, or that of their party, and failing to address the issues that matter to constituents.

If he takes office, Rich said he plans to usher in an ideology that ignores partisan politics, and looks out for the good of the voters.

“When you look at Washington, they’re not looking at bringing people together, they’re looking at how they can push forward their agenda, not the people’s agenda,” Rich said. “I’m just a guy that wants to get the job done.”

He has interacted with numerous federal agencies as a contractor, Rich said, completing numerous projects on big cities and small towns.

That experience should translate well, he said, to life as federal lawmaker.

“I have spent a career working with federal agencies,” Rich said. “I have worked with probably almost every federal agency in New Mexico. I know what it’s like to deal with the federal bureaucracies. In my business, you had to bring people together, even the government agencies, to move forward with the project. I’ve been successful with that.”

His opponent, Heinrich who announced his re-election bid in March 2017, has failed to make a meaningful change in the Senate, he said, by struggling to form relationships across the aisle.

“If he was doing his job, I wouldn’t be running for Senate,” Rich said. “He isn’t doing his job.”

Rich was particularly critical of Heinrich’s vote against the confirmation of U.S. Secretary Rick Perry, which was followed by a Department of Energy report that could steer weapons upgrades away from Los Alamos.

The DOE is heavily focused on Tennessee, Rich said, which has two GOP senators.

“He voted against the confirmation of Rick Perry,” Rich said of Heinrich. “Then the DOE had a report that said maybe Los Alamos is not the best place for the next weapons upgrade. I know how to build relationships, even with people who don’t necessarily agree with me. That’s why I’ve had Democrats that supported by candidacy. Martin Heinrich hasn’t learned that, and he’s been there 10 years.”

Rich said the five-year senator played a part in the country’s failed healthcare system, and criticized his vote against the GOP’s recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill.

He called Heinrich’s votes partisan, putting the political agendas ahead of the needs of the people.

“This is a guy who voted against the tax bill,” Rich said. “I’m looking at this and say it looks good to me. I’m hearing corporations are handing out nice bonuses to people.

“I hear 80 percent of taxpayers are going to get a decrease. And Martin Heinrich voted against it. For me, it’s not about a republican agenda, it’s an agenda for the people.”

Negotiations are essential to advancing such an agenda, Rich said.

He was critical of Democrat leaders who walked out of immigration talks with President Donald Trump, following Trump’s now infamous supposed labeling of many African nations as “shithole countries.”

He also attacked Heinrich for voting against Congress’s Continuing Resolution, paving the way for a government shutdown.

“Martin Heinrich did nothing to move forward the immigration issues. Now here it is and he wants to blow up the whole budget process. It’s unconscionable to me,” Rich said.

Immigration is an essential issue to address at the federal level, Rich said. To him, immigrants don’t just come for jobs, but to become Americans.

“We’re looking at this and saying the only people we’re holding responsible for immigration issues are employers,” Rich said. “We saw kids come here. They weren’t coming for jobs, they were coming to live here. It’s not just about jobs, it’s about freedom. We need a system that is fair and equitable for the people that are here.”

There is a limit to how many immigrants should be allowed in the country, Rich said, and he said he is committed to negotiating the issue.

We can only accept so many immigrants without making it so that nobody can be successful,” he said. “It costs substantial funds to bring a person in in immigration. No enough funds are allocated per person.”

On state issues, Rich said his focus is on job creation, eliminating regulations, and supporting rural New Mexicans.

Support for the oil and gas industry in southeast New Mexico is also important, Rich said, amid innovations in green and renewable energy.

He said New Mexico could be at the forefront of America’s fuel independence.

“When you think about New Mexico’s oil and gas industry, I don’t think southeast New Mexico is given the credit for where we’re at in the world,” Rich said. “It’s not just about the U.S. being energy independent.

“We have now surpassed Saudi Arabia in production. We are no longer beholden to countries that don’t have our best interests at heart.”

As a Senator, Rich said his decisions will affect him and his family as well as New Mexicans from every region.

“The big difference is that at the local level, whether it’s the media or the political environment, you leave here at the end of the day and you’re seeing people at the grocery store… and they say “Hey, this isn’t getting fixed,” Rich said.

Pelosi Calls Tax Cut Bonuses “Pathetic Crumbs”; Mick Rich Calls on Martin Heinrich to Condemn

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, JAN. 11, 2018 – U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), one of the richest members of Congress, today called the bonuses that U.S. workers are receiving as a result of the tax cut “pathetic” and “crumbs.”

On a C-SPAN video that can be viewed here, Pelosi said, “The bonus that corporate America receives versus the crumbs they are giving to workers to put the schmooze on is so pathetic.”

More than two million American workers have received bonuses of up to $3,000 thanks to the Republican tax bill, according to Americans for Tax Reform. Major companies including Walmart and Wells Fargo have announced that they will increase their starting hourly wage in response to the tax bill.

“I’m surprised to hear another Democratic leader make a ‘deplorables’ comment,” said Mick Rich, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Mexico. “Whether it’s Barack Obama condemning Americans ‘clinging to their guns and religion’ or Nancy Pelosi calling a $3,000 bonus ‘crumbs,’ this shows how out of touch the Democratic Party is with hard-working taxpayers.”

Mr. Rich went on to challenge his Democratic opponent, Sen. Martin Heinrich, to condemn the statement of his former leader in the House.

“Martin Heinrich votes with Democratic Party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi more than 94 percent of the time,” Rich said. “Voters can smell elitism two thousand miles away – and they will fire Martin Heinrich in the voting booth, because he’s out of touch.”

More than 80 percent of Americans are expected to see their taxes go down in 2018 thanks to the Republican tax bill, which Pelosi claimed would result in “Armageddon.”

“Mainstream media have tried to brainwash the American people into thinking that this tax cut does not help working people,” Rich said. “You show me a working family that would consider $3,000 bonus ‘pathetic.’”

Rich said he is confident that the GOP Tax Cuts and Job Act will gain popularity as more Americans experience its benefits, and that the tax cut will be a boost for Republicans in the November midterm elections.

# # #

If LANL Loses Plutonium Pit Production To South Carolina, Blame Martin Heinrich

According to a leaked report by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) may lose a project to produce plutonium pits to South Carolina.

Not only would this represent a gigantic failure – for almost two decades, LANL has been America’s only nuclear weapons site capable of producing plutonium pits – it would reduce LANL’s mission to produce and secure America’s nuclear weapons capability.

Senators Heinrich and Udall crafted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that forces the NNSA to release its report within 30 days after President Trump signs the bill into law – and if the report is not released and assessed within five months, pit production will move forward at LANL.

But that’s closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. The leaked report says that moving plutonium pit production to Savannah River Site (SC) could cost less, happen faster, and be safer than at LANL.

What could Sen. Heinrich have done to prevent this potential disaster to New Mexico’s premier nuclear weapons lab, which is also one of our state’s largest employers?

To begin, he could show basic political awareness – something that should be a prerequisite to serving as New Mexico’s Senator. Political awareness would have led Sen. Heinrich to vote for the confirmation of Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, instead of against it. Sen. Udall has enough political sense to vote for Perry’s confirmation.

Now, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jack Reed (D-RI) have written Secretary Perry to say that moving plutonium pit production from Los Alamos “is putting the long-term plutonium capabilities of the United States at serious risk.” Asking McCain to write this letter is Heinrich’s tacit acknowledgement that he has no influence with Secretary Perry.

Did Sen. Heinrich not realize how much power the Energy Secretary wields over our state, or did he just not care?

Here are clues. Sen. Heinrich also refused to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Heather Wilson as Secretary of the Air Force, because Wilson ran against Heinrich in the 2012 Senate campaign. How does that help New Mexico’s three Air Force bases?

Even during the Obama Administration, Martin Heinrich’s record at defending New Mexico was awful. He struck out when the NM Air National Guard lost its airplanes. He struck out when Holloman AFB lost its F-22s. And those losses happened when four of the five members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation were Democrats, and we had a Democratic President and Secretary of Defense.

Martin Heinrich strikes out even when facing his own team’s pitching.

It is time to replace Martin Heinrich. It is time that New Mexico has a Senator who is intimately familiar with LANL, who can stand up for LANL, and who knows how important LANL is for our national defense, for our state economy, and for our hard-working taxpayers. I will be that Senator.

Giving Thanks

You know that Marion, who is no complainer, has been in pain when crutches and a walking cast merit a smile and a thumbs up. Talk about an attitude of gratitude!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amidst this week’s chatter about the misdeeds of politicians, celebrities, and news media, there is the occasional heartwarming story of a U.S. military service member who was able to make a surprise visit home for the holidays.

Those stories help put my Thanksgiving into perspective. They cause me to stop and ponder all I am thankful for:

  • I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ. It is to Him we give thanks, because it is from Him that all our blessings flow.

 

  • I am thankful that I was born in the United States of America, land of the free. We remember the pilgrims this week because their search for religious liberty brought them to our shores almost 400 years ago.

 

  • I am thankful for my college sweetheart and wife, Marion, who wed me 35 years ago, and who has stuck by me through thick and thin.

 

  • I am thankful for our four wonderful adult children, Audrey, Jim, Grace, and Margaret, all of whom are healthy and leading productive lives with purpose.

 

  • I am thankful for the opportunity to grow a company with the help of our dedicated, loyal employees.

 

  • I am thankful for the dozens of communities throughout New Mexico that have invited us to be part of their lives by building there.

 

  • I am thankful for the opportunity to represent the people of our state in the United States Senate, and for the support and encouragement of so many people like you.

 

A fuller accounting of my blessings would require much more than a blog post. I hope that you share my feelings of blessedness, and that your list of thanks is long.

May you and your loved ones enjoy peace and abundance this Thanksgiving.

Mick

New Mexico for New Mexicans

It is not fair that individuals like my buddy Derek J Leyendecker are left at the gate because Martin Heinrich assumes people like himself are the only ones that want to experience our great outdoors.

You may have read last week that the U.S. Interior Department has accepted a donation of the Rimrock Rose Ranch. The Rimrock Rose Ranch will increase the 16,000-acre Sabinoso Wilderness by 3,600 acres, and provide the only access to the Sabinoso Wilderness from a public road.

This gift from the Wilderness Land Trust came with strings attached. The donated land must be designated as wilderness, which means “hiking only” – no vehicles of any kind, not even mountain bikes.

Currently, there are no hiking trails, nor are there funds to create new trails. Hiking on trails in the wilderness is challenging. Hiking without a trail is only for the most experienced hikers.

So, while some celebrate access to the Sabinoso Wilderness, a majority of New Mexicans are still left without access. Families with small children, people with physical challenges, and the elderly are still left at the locked gate miles away.

This follows an established strategy by the coastal elites (the 21st Century’s land barons) to remove our public lands from public use. It works like this:

  • Use money donated to environmental groups to buy large tracts of private land
  • Donate the private land to the federal government, with a never-ending requirement that the land be designated wilderness
  • The donated land is off the tax roles
  • The donated land never can be used by hard-working ranchers and their families, who make good stewards of the land

Clearly, the coastal elites view New Mexico as a place for them to enjoy vacationing – not a place for New Mexicans to support their families.

Sen. Martin Heinrich has been the foremost proponent of turning New Mexico into an environmentalists’ Disneyland. He could care less about miners, loggers, and others who have lost their jobs to expanded federal land restrictions.

Mr. Heinrich’s message to rural New Mexicans is clear: the long tradition that has enabled hard-working New Mexicans to earn a living and support their families has come to a close. It has been replaced by the federal government acting as gatekeepers to our federal lands.

As your Senator, I will support Rural New Mexicans. I will oppose the federal government limiting our access to our lands.

Martin Heinrich is lost in the wilderness – but that does not mean we have to be. Keep the blueprint of success for rural New Mexicans. Send a Hard Hat to Washington.

Why I Support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Ever wondered why Tax Day (April 15) is about as far away on the calendar as you can get from Election Day?

It’s no accident. Senators and Congressmen don’t want us to pay our taxes and vote at the same time, because if we remember that every dollar they spend comes from our pockets, we’d vote them out.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doesn’t move Tax Day to November, but it will help New Mexico’s hardworking taxpayers and their families in several ways:

It lowers taxes for working people. An average American family of four that earns $59,000 a year will save $1,182. This alone should make the bill universally popular. Do you know anyone who begs to pay Uncle Sam more than they owe?

It’s simpler. America’s 75,000-page tax code is the biggest and most complex in the world. So a lot of us need help to figure out what we owe. That adds insult to injury. Wait, I have to pay someone to help me figure out how much to pay the government?

It’s fairer. Lobbyists pay millions of dollars every year to elected officials to win tax deductions for special interest groups. Hard-working taxpayers and small business owners can’t afford lobbyists, so we pay full sticker price. That’s not fair. This bill eliminates many special interest deductions.

It creates jobs. When we cut business taxes, businesses hire more workers. This is especially true for mom-and-pop business owners, who pay their workers before they pay themselves.

In the coming days, you will hear many arguments how this tax bill is not perfect. No bill is. Government is a blunt instrument. But for hard-working New Mexico taxpayers and small business owners, this bill brings needed relief.

Please join me in telling New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation to support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Then watch how they vote. And on Election Day 2018, hold them accountable.

To that end, my opponent, Martin Heinrich, already has spoken out against the bill.

New Mexico Air National Guard Needs A New Mission

Our Democrat U.S. Senators were AWOL when President Obama stripped the New Mexico Air National Guard (NMANG) of its F-16s. Our Air National Guard now has no airplanes. It’s the only state that doesn’t. (Even Puerto Rico’s ANG has airplanes.)

Instead of working with the Trump Administration to find a new mission and new planes for our Air National Guard, Sen. Martin Heinrich attacks it. It’s no surprise that Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson (from New Mexico) says she is not optimistic about New Mexico regaining its F-16s.

New Mexico needs a U.S. Senator who will engage with the Department of Defense to ensure our military bases and Air National Guard have the right missions, and that those missions are supported.

As New Mexico’s next U.S. Senator, I will propose that our Air National Guard be assigned at least one wing of C-130 cargo transport aircraft. Why? Kirtland AFB is already home to C-130s, and our ANG helps maintain them. We have great air space for training. New Mexico and Albuquerque are not susceptible to bad weather or natural disasters. Cargo planes based in New Mexico would be out of harm’s way and ready to transport needed relief supplies to disaster areas anywhere in the United States at a moment’s notice.

“When your community is hurting, New Mexico will be there to help.” Can you imagine the public goodwill created by that statement? It’s a much better headline than New Mexico has received in recent years. Businesses would see that if the U.S. government trusts New Mexico to keep our nation’s emergency resources safe, then New Mexico is a safe place for their manufacturing plants, inventories – and most importantly, their loved ones.

It is time for a new Senator for New Mexico, and a new mission for the New Mexico Air National Guard.