Asking Questions

Politicians and government leaders must be held accountable for their votes and policies, and in a normal, healthy democracy, journalists would do that. However, too many media personalities are just highly paid talking heads who fail to do their job and ignore issues important to our more rural areas. They trade their journalistic integrity for access to powerful people. As a result, we ourselves must hold our representatives accountable. And our elected representatives should hold agencies accountable to ensure they are doing their jobs.Quote

I enjoy speaking truth to power, often in the form of asking politicians questions that they would rather not answer. In about 1995, while participating in a constituent brunch in DC, I asked Sen Dianne Feinstein (a Democrat) a question about her acceptance of PAC money -- a question that she very much did not want to be asked, much less to answer. She denied the importance of PAC money affecting how much access PACs had to her, and was obviously angry that I had asked the question.

Just recently, US Representative Katie Porter continued to hammer Dr. Robert Redfield, current Director of the CDC, with questions -- which he was trying very hard to avoid answering directly. Rep. Porter provides a spectacular model for what our elected representatives should do to hold officials accountable for their actions. We need more of this! Watch Rep. Porter here.

I think politicians representing people should be willing to meet with their constituents. My opponent, on the other hand, will not even return my occasional phone calls requesting a meeting to discuss his votes and positions.

One question that should be asked of all NM state legislators is about the “Capital Outlay” program. All the state legislators are allocated money to be spent at their discretion, without requiring a public accounting of how the money was spent. I think this method of project allocation, without any accountability, is a huge invitation for waste, and I oppose this method of project funding due to the lack of checks and balances. At the very least, I will work to make all spending be publicly accountable.