A net-home for those in Maine who believe that Richardson ought to be the next president of the United States. So, why Richardson? Read this posting, "Why Maine Needs Bill Richardson" Just a disclaimer... This site is designed and maintained by a volunteer. For the official info on Richardson and to join his campaign, see his official site
Monday, September 3, 2007
Yesterday in Dover, NH
My first impression after leaving the event is how he talks to everybody like they are his peers. This shouldn't seem to be a big deal, but it is. Some candidates answer questions in a slightly condescending way -- they are experts after all. But Richardson answers in a way that he assumes his audience is bright and well-informed, yet without resorting to jargon. A similar point, is that when someone would ask a question and they were obviously passionate about a given issue; after answering, Richardson would ask them if there was something he missed, something of which he should be aware. It isn't that he agreed with the questioner, but there are people who are experts in different areas and one person can't be an expert in all policy areas. I thought it refreshing that he acknowledged that some of those experts might just be in the room.
This ties into one of the points he made during the interview. That is, he has pledged that we will know who his cabinet is before the general election. Furthermore, he wants his cabinet to be composed of people who are experts with practical knowledge in the field. So, a the secretary of education will be a teacher. The secretary of veteran affairs will be a veteran. Etc.
I was also impressed with the fact that he talked about the need for mental health parity. This is incredibly important and I'm pleased that Governor Richardson recognizes its importance. Along with health issues, he mentioned that New Mexico now has a medical marijuana law (as does Maine). The difference between NM's and ME's laws are that in New Mexico, the state will actually do the production and distribution. This way, state employees are growing the plants and the resultant medication is of a more consistent quality, it is more regulated, and only folks who need the treatment can get it. Now, the Bush administration has threatened to arrest the New Mexico employees who work for this program. The Governor has vowed to fight any such threatened arrests.
Bill Richardson also talked about voting. He wants to see everyone vote on paper ballots (as we do here in Maine). He also wants to see same-day voter registration (as we have here in Maine). We all know why paper ballots are important. But some don't recognize that requiring folks to register to vote 6 weeks before an election as required by some states, effectively disenfranchises the poor more than the wealthy. Lower income folks are more apt to rent. If you rent, you are more apt to move frequently....
In regard to illegal immigration, Richardson has a common sense solution. We make the border more secure, punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, offer a path to citizenship -- but not amnesty, and the part I think is most important, we use foreign policy. That is, we talk with the president of Mexico and ask that something is done about poverty in Mexico.
The Governor was asked a question about bridges. He spoke of our need to have an infrastructure policy -- something that is currently lacking. This policy would cover things like bridge and road repair, the electric grid, and land use policy. This last bit is huge! When is the last time a national politician spoke about a comprehensive land use policy?
There were many other questions -- important questions -- and many other interesting answers (restoring funding to international family planning efforts, researching and doing something about autism, ending No Child Left Behind, getting ALL of our troops out if Iraq, etc.). If you have any questions about his policies. Please check his website, or ask me.