Candie Sweetser

House District 32

Affliation: D

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City: Deming

Would you vote for the creation of an Independent Ethics Commission to provide oversight of the executive and legislative branches of government in New Mexico? I would support the creation of a state ethics commission. We are conducting the people’s business, and they deserve to know what we are doing.

What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? As a reporter and former NM Foundation of Government board member, I know state government must be transparent. I would support all measures moving us in the direction of transparency, accessibility and accountability.

Would you give permission to the Legislative Council Service to make publicly available the final amounts you personally allocate to various capital outlay projects? Yes.

If you think reform of the capital outlay system is needed, how would you reform it? If you don't think reform is needed, give us your reasons. Reform is needed, and I think a system of prioritization is necessary. The problem, as I see it, is two-fold: constituents tend to evaluate lawmakers based on "pork" brought home, and it is difficult to prioritize differing needs across the state. Still, reform is needed for us to progress as a state.

Does New Mexico need to invest more in early childhood development? If you think it does, in your opinion what is the best way to invest? If you don't think New Mexico needs to invest more, tell us why. Early childhood education is important, but we must find the resources within our existing budget. It would be a mistake to jeopardize the future of the permanent fund.

What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? The short answer is that we must stimulate the state’s economy, and that will involve increasing revenue and cutting wasteful spending. We have to diversify and look for reliable revenue streams rather than placing the state’s future almost entirely on the volatile oil and gas industry.

Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? There are certainly valid arguments on both sides of this issue, but the fundamental problem is that federal law prevails. With the strong presence of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials in Southwestern New Mexico, I see nothing but conflict should the state legalize something that remains a federal crime.