The media may be hopelessly obsessed with Hillary versus The Donald, but in the Land of Enchantment, voters are facing a smackdown that is likely to impact daily life just as much as — if not more than — the presidential contest.
In Santa Fe, Republicans narrowly control the House of Representatives, while Democrats hold a slight edge in the Senate. Control of the chambers will play a major role in determining whether New Mexico remains stuck with federal dependence, a hideously complex tax code, excessive regulations, and no right-to-work law, or moves toward pro-growth, limited-government measures that promise stronger economic and fiscal futures.
While not intended as an election tool, the Rio Grande Foundation’s Freedom Index is a way for voters to gauge legislators’ commitment to free markets and a constrained, accountable, and affordable public sector. The 2016 version of the index rated all bills that impact liberty, opportunity, and prosperity in New Mexico — including legislation drafted during the regular and special sessions.
The index is designed to hold elected officials accountable for their votes. Scores can be as high as 100, and as low as 0. (In 2016, the best-performing lawmaker attained a score of 94.3, while the worst posted a dismal 41.5.) The index doesn’t care about partisanship — some Democrats score surprisingly well, while some Republicans score shockingly poorly.
Plenty of incumbent senators and representatives are asking for your support in 2016. Give the index a look, to see how they scored. New Mexico’s at a tipping point, with the choice to continue with long-discredited public policies, or change course, and finally build a vibrant private sector that supplies adequate tax revenue for essential government duties. Control of the Roundhouse, to be decided in less than four weeks, is a yuge deal. Get as much information as possible about candidates before Election Day.