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

Yesterday, I drove south for three hours to see Bill Richardson in Dover, NH. He was at the Waldron Towers community room for a Presidential Job Interview. All the seats were taken and many of us (like myself) were standing in the back. There is so much to share, I am sure to leave things out and I don't even know where to start.

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.


BTB said...

It was nice to meet you at the event in Dover yesterday, Bentley. Feel free to check out my interpretation.

(If the first one doesn't work, try the second. We're in transition!)

Anonymous said...

What amazes me the most is how much people ignore the reality of his record in New Mexico. 16 years in Congress there - there are only THREE districts - and 6 years as Governor and NM is 49th in education, 46th in health care, close to last in per capita income and at the top in crime, alcoholism, diabetes and gangs. Gee, if Bill does for the US what he what he did for NM, we're in deep trouble.

Bentley said...

Richardson raised the minimum wage in New Mexico. The state is now 6th in job growth. Every kid 5 and under has access to health care. Unemployment is the lowest it has been in 30 years. As US representative, he can't be blamed or congratulated for crime, poverty, etc in his state at the time. Plus, there were intervening years between Rep. and Gov.

Stephen Cassidy said...

To the person criticizing Richardson for New Mexico's rankings on education etc. keep in mind you had Republicans in office for years choosing not to invest in the people of the state. It takes time to catch up and NM's growth has been outstanding under Richardson. Almost 40% of the Republicans in 2006 that voted for Governor voted for Richardson. That tells you more than anything you need to know about his record of accomplishment. If you had visited NM six years ago and then today, you would see a world of difference.