100 Years of Catholic Education

Oct
03
2010

This morning I had the opportunity to celebrate mass at my home parish with Bishop Wall as the celebrant.  Sacred Heart Catholic School is celebrating 100 years educating leaders in the Farmington community.  I enjoyed seeing my daughters.  God, Family, Country.  Yesterday, their annual Harvest Festival fundraiser occurred which successfully allows for the tuition to remain affordable at approximately $ 2,500 per year per child.  Compare that with the cost of public education in our nation, or in New Mexico where costs approach $ 10,000 per year per child.

We should not fear competition in the private sector.  When parents choose to send their children to a private school, it frees resources and reduces the class size for those who remain in the public school.  Public schools have been shown to excel where vouchers have been implemented.  In New Mexico, vouchers are a tough sell, but a tax credit should offend no one, not even the power teacher’s union.  I attended public schools my entire life.  The difference that I have seen is with the expectation level that parents and teachers now place on performance because of mandatory testing.

I believe in empowering parents to make the best decisions for our children’s education.  The Federal Government has performed poorly in its attempts at improving education.  I believe we must return educational power and choice to New Mexico and our local communities.

2nd Amendment Gun Rights

Aug
29
2010

Tom supports the 2nd Amendment and has been an NRA member for nearly 10 years. He supports the right of all law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. We the people are the security against both foreign and domestic tyranny. Tom believes we have an obligation to defend ourselves and our community from aggressors.

Firearms are of little value if access to ammunition is restricted. Tom will protect law-abiding citizens’ access to affordable munitions and will not support any taxation levied upon this industry.

The Environment

Aug
29
2010

Tom designed and acted as general contractor during the construction of his home in Farmington, which incorporates passive solar design. He supports conservation and net metering provisions and encourages all home owners to install photovoltaic solar power. Tom believes it is more cost effective and appropriate to utilize homeowner’s roofs for both solar thermal and solar electric installations.

Tom does recognize that we cannot conserve our way to prosperity as our population grows. Our per capita ‘carbon-footprint’ may go down, but collectively our energy usage will rise. Affordable abundant energy is required for New Mexico’s future.

Tom believes that our nation’s wealth has allowed us to continue to improve our environment. Our air and water resources are cleaner today than 30 years ago. Tom will work to modernize our Federal environmental regulations to reduce interest group litigation and allow for common sense economic development. Environmental regulations must be balanced with realistic economic analysis to ensure that wealth creating business is not driven to China or other foreign lands.

Tom believes that the timber industry in New Mexico is staged for growth in the coming years. We must allow for common sense logging operations upon state and federal lands in New Mexico. Environmental policies have created the overgrowth situation which has resulted in catastrophic forest fires. We can actively manage our forests and have high paying jobs in rural New Mexico in this industry.

Education

Aug
29
2010

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Tom actively promotes parental choice and involvement in education. He has been active in education in New Mexico, both through Catholic education and involvement as a regional advisor to Educate New Mexico, a privately funded, non-profit organization dedicated to helping New Mexico families exercise their right to a quality education by promoting parental choice and providing financial assistance.

Federal mandates have not improved New Mexico schools, and the monies and testing requirements are often squandered at a bureaucratic level rather than reaching the classroom. By lowering Federal taxes and Federal involvement in education, local school boards will benefit from parents retaining more money and having more time to spend with their families. Education really must start and end at home.

Tom believes that there is no single silver bullet to our educational challenge, but he does believe that some of the solutions implemented in Florida should be considered by New Mexico. These solutions include: proper testing and accountability, school choice options through tax incentives or vouchers, school and parental choice opportunities, improved academic expectations, and ending social promotion. If a child cannot read in the 3rd grade, we must not turn our head and socially promote them to the 4th grade. We all recognize the high dropout rate in New Mexico high schools. Without parental involvement, society is sentencing our children to servitude regarding employment options

Constitutional Rights

Jul
30
2010

Tom’s campaign slogan is “Protecting the Constitution”. Our founding fathers created an amazing system of government. A system of checks and balances, with ultimate authority retained by We the People. For many years, during both Republican and Democrat administrations, our limited government system has been trampled. Times of crisis have accelerated the theft of our individual rights and individual responsibility.

No Impact Man

Dec
29
2009

I recently finished reading No Impact Man by Colin Beavan.  It did get me thinking about electricity and the gifts that fossil fuels have given to the human race.  I disagree with his belief that humans are destroying the planet, but I do agree with some of his methods to use items more efficiently.  Our throw away disposable culture has made so many of us immune to our energy usage.  As Ukraine and Europe face another impending shut-off of natural gas supplies which keep so many alive in comfort, I give thanks for the abundant natural gas and oil supplies in New Mexico.  I ask that our leaders nationally and at the state level continue to promote natural gas usage.  One idea I continue to recommend is a greater share of the royalty money generated from mineral development on public lands.  Currently New Mexico only receives 48 percent, while the Federal Government receives 52 percent.  I would like to see a return to the 50-50 split or preferably NM receiving 55 percent of the royalties.  This would help stimulate additional development of reserves and possibly create a more business friendly atmosphere at the state environmental level.  I am still trying to figure out the sustainability of a green job and its applicability to New Mexico’s future.

We will need all the wind, solar, hydro, fossil fuel, and nuclear power we can get our hands upon.  I recommend another book for folks concerned with energy issues, The Bottomless Well by Peter Huber.

As we approach the new year, let us all think about our impact upon others and our energy usage and give thanks.