xiA Nonprofit Organization Serving Taos & Northern New Mexico
xiCreating Media Voices for Youth, Arts & Activism

112 Civic Plaza Drive
Taos, NM 87571

Listen On-Line
Over 1,800 segments available

Listener Locations
Our on-line listeners in 500 cities & villages worldwide

Who we have recorded

About Us
Our Staff & Board

Community Links
and Radio Stations

Show Schedule

Shows & Photos

Become a Member
Donate On-line
Our Members

Join Our Mailing List
Be informed of news, events & shows

Production, Outreach & Membership
Station Development
Web Page & Photos
Robin Collier
Farming in Season
Lisa Fox
Que Vivan Las Acequias
Miguel Santistevan
Red Air
Flowers Espinosa
Radio Rio
Rachel Conn
Brian Shields
Special Shows
Robin Collier
Taos Currents
Mike Tilley
Maye Torres

Writers on Radio
Tania Casselle
Women's Speak
Nancy Ryan
Segment Creators
Thom Allena
Barbara Arnold
Dr. Kathy Cordova
Scott Evans
John Paternoster
Lucy Perera Adams
Bob Romero
Barri Sanders
Theresa Silva
Steve Wirard
Holly White
Field Reporters
Richy Green
Brenda Morgan

Youth Reporters
Jasmine Bennett
R. J. Chavez
Juman Khweis
Madjuline Khweis
Alie Valerio

Robin Collier
Flowers Espinosa
Taos Pueblo
David Barsamian
Kay Matthews
El Valle

Past Board
Miguel Santistevan
Máye Torres
Juman Khweis
Deborah Begel
Scott Randolph
Melanie Baca
Morten Nilssen

Fiscal Sponsorship
Taos Local Television

New Mexico 3rd Congressional District
Questions Submitted and Asked at the Forum May 8, 2008 in Taos
Questions included at the forum (some reworded) shown in Red
Many questions were re-written by the non-partisan panel to reflect themes from the questions submitted
Download the questions as a Word Document | Entire forum audio in mp3 - unedited
We have removed the entire forum audio as it was being downlaoded repeatedly.
The complete list of questions have been sent to all the candidates. We will post any responses here.

If you want to save the mp3 file for your iPod or other later listening, on Windows, click on the underlined link with the right mouse button, on the Mac, click while holding the control key.

Questions Asked
Questions submitted to the Forum

Entire forum as one file
We have removed the entire forum audio as it was being downloaded repeatedly.

Intro & Rules

Harry Montoya arrived late and has submitted answers to the questions he missed.

1. What do you consider to be the five most important issues facing the country?

Answer 1

Harry Montoya: The Economy, The War in Iraq, Education – No child left behind, the Environment, and Healthcare.

2. As a Congress person what would you do to address the default crisis in the mortgage and credit card industries?

Answer 2

Harry Montoya: Ensure assistance for homeowners who are at risk of default/foreclosure of their loans. I am not suggesting a bailout, but assistance. For the credit card industries, we should have them work with the borrowers, lowering interest rates, but ensuring borrowers will still be liable for payment for their credit cards.

3. How would you change the current tax structure to be more equitable for everyone?

 Answer 3

Harry Montoya: Repeal the tax cuts for people making over $200,000 per year.

4. In your mind what have been and are the current impacts of the US occupation in IRAQ on the world, the country and New Mexico in particularly?

 Answer 4

Harry Montoya: The majority of the world did not, and do not, want us in Iraq. It is having a negative impact in our country and our economy, and also is affecting New Mexico with high gas prices, needless deaths of Americans/New Mexicans, and is keeping funding for much needed programs such as Education, Healthcare, Veterans services and infrastructure needs.

5. Former Secretaries of State, George Shultz, Henry Kissinger and other senior statesmen endorsed the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and laid out the concrete steps towards getting there.  Those steps are at odds with the Department of Energy’s proposal to expand plutonium pit production for more nuclear warheads at Los Alamos National Labs.  Do you endorse the Shultz plan or the administration’s proposal?  How do you view the mission of Los Alamos National Labs going forward?

Answer 5

Harry Montoya: I would endorse the Shultz plan. I view the mission of LANL going forward as a leader in alternative energy research and education.

 6. As a Congressperson what is your vision of the economic future of New Mexico in the areas of education, tourism, agriculture, technology, construction and development, etc?

Answer 6

Harry Montoya: If we do not evacuate Iraq, none of the above will be fully possible without adequate funding. New Mexico needs these funds to enhance all of the above to enhance the economic future for our people.

7. Healthcare in America is broken…we all know there is no simple solution.  What specifically can you relate about the needs in Northern New Mexico and how those are part of the bigger picture?

Answer 7

Harry Montoya: As a Santa Fe County Commissioner, I see the rising costs of healthcare and our need to supplement our indigent fund at levels unprecedented in our County’s history. If we do not collectively begin to address this trend, our County will go broke trying to address the unmet healthcare needs, and this translates to all of Northern New Mexico as well.

 8. In the area of education what do you consider to be the most critical issues facing the district and what solutions might you offer?

Answer 8

Harry Montoya: No Child Left Behind – Amend or repeal, and fully fund the school districts to meet the standards that are being required.

9. In the face of perceived terrorism, many Americans feel their civil liberties have been lessened by the enactment of the Patriot Act.  What changes if any would you pursue in Congress?

Answer 9

 10.We all know that our infrastructure in America is deteriorating.  As a Congress person what solutions might you attempt to legislate?

Answer 10

 11. What legislative efforts do you support in Congress to address climate change?

Answer 11

Closing statements 90 secs

Benny Shendo Jr.

Harry Montoya

Ron Simmons

Marco E. Gonzales

Rudy Martín

Don Wiviot

Jon Adams

Dan East

Ben Ray Luján
(by Carlos Trujillo)

Carol Miller

Closing statements as one file

Moderator Closing & thanks

 12. The North American Free Trade Agreement enacted during the Clinton administration has come under attack.  What is your understanding of NAFTA as it relates to the US and particularly New Mexico.

This last question was not asked as there was not time.

Harry Montoya: NAFTA and all other trade agreements need to be examined and amended to meet the needs of the US and New Mexico. We cannot continue to have jobs exported from this country with large corporations benefitting from tax breaks, no penalties for outsourcing jobs to other countries and expect to have true economic development in the US and New Mexico.

LANL is ready to start manufacturing "Pits" for nuclear bombs. Are you for or against this? If you are against the resumption of "Pit" manufacturing, how strong a stand against it are you willing to take?

Ross Ulibarri
When will federal, state, regional political leaders provide funding to the federal initiatives as to El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro? The Old Spanish National Historic Trail? the Northern Rio Grande Heritage Area? ...and when will governance elites provide equal access to Spanish, Mexican, Pueblo residents, businesses, as per equity, in consideration that the majority of funding grants are awarded to mainstream Anglo ventures. WE---LOS DE LA TIERRA DESERVE EQUAL ACCESS and EQUAL FUNDING!

by Lloyd D. Rivera, Member "Old Spanish Trail Association, Inc." & T.O.S.T.A. "Taos Old Spanish Trail Associates (volunteers of Taos/Mora Counties).
Whom, if any of you have considered making the child support laws tougher? There are to many dead beat parents in the state of NM and the system continues to let these parents fall through the cracks.

Lori Archuleta

What specific steps would you take to reverse the erosion of the Constitution of the United States by the Bush administration?

Adele E. Zimmermann
The North American Free Trade Agreement enacted during the Clinton administration has come under attack lately. New Mexico borders and has a close trading relationship with Mexico which has grown exponentially under Governor Richardson. Should NAFTA be ended permanently, be temporarily ended for full re-negotiation, or would some amendments to the current agreements be sufficient and what might they be?

William Knight
1) Given the requirements outlined in the Geneva Conventions, do you think there is ever a situation where torture should be allowed to protect national security, and why?

(2) Given increasing food costs, what steps would you take in Congress to support local food production?

(3) Given the U.S.'s trade deficit with China of $256 billion in last year alone, what do you think the United State's relationship with China should be?

(4) How do you propose to address the loss of jobs with benefits for Americans, especially in the manufacturing sector?

(5) What type of universal health care model, if any, would you support and why?

(6) What should be the United State's involvement in Iraq and Afganistan and for what length of time?

(7) What will you do to address the child care crisis in this country, reflected by the new numbers that show that at least 3.5 million American children between ages 5 and 12 spend some time home alone after school?

(8) What are the three top legislative efforts you will support in Congress to address climate change?

Maija D. West
What do you think the current Complex Transformation proposal's impact will be for New Mexico?

Do you believe the US should take the lead in global nuclear weapons abolition? If so what is your vision for LANL 5 years from now?

Francine Lindberg
Would you be willing to vote against ANY funding for the war in Iraq except for funds to bring the troops home? The democrats now have power of the purse and refuse to use it citing presidential veto power. How about if he veto's it, too bad no money?

Shel Neymark, Embudo
What do you consider to be the five most important issues facing our country and what action would you take regarding those issues?

How do you feel about separation of church and state and what message or action would you support to defend your feelings or thought regarding this issue?

Rich Sanders
Last year George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, and other senior statesmen endorsed the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and laid out the concrete steps toward getting there. Those steps are at odds with the Department of Energy’s proposal to expand plutonium pit production at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Do you endorse the Shultz plan or the administration’s proposal? What will you do to transform the mission of Los Alamos National Laboratory?

Jessica Wilbanks
While the need for universal health care insurance coverage is generally admitted, the means to that goal are much debated. What steps would you recommend to achieve universal coverage? Would you follow Congressman Udall's lead in support of the "Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Bill?"

Hope Buechler
What is your position on LANL's attempt to expand their production of plutonium pits? And are you willing to try to redirect Los Alamos National Labs into a non-nuclear weapon direction, one that benefits all life?

Gail Raborn

1. What steps will you take to ensure that Los Alamos National Lab does NOT expand production of nuclear bombs and so-called "mini" usable nukes, but rather begins to clean-up it's radioactive contamination of New Mexico's environment?

2. The last time I went to vote in NM, I was told that I was dead. What will you do to make sure that every vote is counted in New Mexico?

3. What is your strategy to get us out of Iraq as soon as practically possible?

4. What will you do to facilitate Depleted Uranium testing and treatment for our NM Veterans from the middle east wars?

5. Understanding that nuclear power, coal plants, renewed drilling for fossil fuels and promotion of corn biofuels are not the answers to stem the tide of global warming and secure our future, and understanding the influence on Capitol Hill of millions of petro-dollar contributions and lobbyists particularly from the defense industries, how will you stay true to and meet the needs of American people instead of the mega-corporations?

6. What will you do about consolidation of the media into the hands of mega corporations such as GE, that have a vested interest in skewing the news in their favor.

7. Who is your top contributor so far?

Thanks. Jeanne Green

What do you do when a bill that is bad for the 3rd Congressional District of NM is introduced and promoted by your party leaders?

Carol Miller
The National Nuclear Security Administration has selected Los Alamos as its permanent site for plutonium pit manufacturing. Pits also called triggers are the fissile cores that initiate the incredible destructiveness of modern H-bombs.

Do you support or oppose this manufacturing facility at Los Alamos?

Taos and other northern New Mexico communities are directly downwind from Los Alamos. I have lived in Taos since 1980 and have never heard of any evacuation plans for these communities.

Do you believe we need an evacuation plan in case of an accident at Los Alamos?

Will you bring these issues to Washington if you are elected?

Morten Nilssen
1. Seniors on Social Security are getting farther and farther behind as the cost of living expenses (food, fuel, etc.) continue to rise far above the increases in Social Security benefits. What do you think about giving Social Security recipients an annual cost of living increase that reflects the real rise in the cost of living? And how would you do this?

2. Do you agree with the health care proposals of either Senators Obama and Clinton. What parts of their plans do you not agree with and why?

How will you transform LANL from a nuclear research and weapons lab into a sustainable energy and cleanup research lab?

Liz Schwartz, Seco
What will you do if elected and the U.S. has already started bombing Iran?

What is your stand on Genetically Modified Organism?

Food Not Bombs
I have heard that some of the candidates support privatizing prisons, do you support privatizing prisons?

Maria Munoz
Do you support reforms to stop unfair and deceptive practices in the credit card industry?

Jeff Brian
Do you accept campaign contributions from lobbyists?

Thank you for asking this question to the candidates. I think that it is important to know where campaign contributions are coming from.

Laura Hall
New Mexico currently ranks 51st in the nation for mental health/substance abuse services. This is a deplorable statistic and there is very little funding/services for our most vulnerable population. Meanwhile, federal dollars to support behavioral health services are being drastically cut to include funding to Medicaid. If elected, what would you do to reverse the trend or provide additional assistance to behavioral health providers?

Patricia Gallegos
Multipart energy question:

1. What is your opinion on Hillary Clinton & John McCain's proposed "gas tax holiday"? Do you think a "windfall" profit tax on oil companies is a good idea?

2. "Royalty relief" was a Clinton-era program (under Minerals Management Service at BLM) that entered many long-term drilling leases with no royalties being paid by the oil & gas companies - costing the US Treasury billions in revenue, and contributing significantly to their current record profits. What can be done to force changes in those royalty-free leases from the 1990s?

3. Low income people are hurt especially badly by high energy costs. Many already owe very little, if any, income tax, and so are not helped by tax incentives for alternative energy. What other approaches could act as incentives for low income homeowners to switch to alternative energy?

4. Many communities, apartment/condo complexes and developments forbid the use of clotheslines, which are a low-cost, low-tech "alternative energy" approach. Would you support legislation to strike down all barriers for people choosing to use clotheslines?

from Elizabeth Winter in Talpa
If elected, is it your intention to become a several term incumbent, thereby building up seniority that can help our district?

Or are you just a dilettante wanting to serve a term or two to add the title of Representative to your portfolio?

-Lou Malchie, Embudo
1. Recent findings of cesium, strontium and plutonium at the top of the Rio Embudo watershed in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains indicate contamination from Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities. The largest concentration of organic farmers in the State of New Mexico grow in Embudo Valley, which lies directly down wind from LANL and downstream from where the contamination was detected. The Embudo Valley, as well as many small land based communities within the watershed are home to traditional farmers and growers who have sustained themselves for hundreds of years producing food for local consumption as well as national and international exports.

When you are elected as our congressional representative, what course of action will you take to protect growers and prime farmland in Northern New Mexico from the spreading regional contamination from the U.S. nuclear weapons industry?

2. When you are elected to congress, how will you move the U.S. to compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

3. Depleted Uranium (DU) has been used as the weapon of choice beginning with the first invasion of Iraq in 1991. It has been used continuously as a weapon in Bosnia, Kosovo Afghanistan and through the course of the second invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation of Iraq. As early as 1943 in the “Groves’ Memorandum” that originated at Los Alamos, it has been known to be a deadly weapon because of it’s ability to be lethal long after its initial use.

In 1979, the Department of Energy (DOE) reported that over 135 tons of depleted uranium had been exploded at LANL. LANL continues to use depleted uranium in open-air explosions and detonations. Because many of these sites remain “active,” these sites are not scheduled for cleanup under the New Mexico Environment Department Consent Order for the fence-to-fence Cleanup at LANL. 135 tons of exploded DU remain on the ground to be washed by the rain and blown by the wind and incorporated into the environment.

When you are elected to represent us,

a. Will you accept the responsibility to acknowledge the devastating effects and illegal use of DU globally?

b. How will you address depleted uranium contamination as a local issue associated with Los Alamos National Laboratory?

c. How will you obtain funding for enhanced depleted uranium testing and treatment of those serving in the military as well as occupational exposures?

d. How will you obtain funding for enhanced depleted uranium testing and treatment of downwind and downstream community members and the environment?

4.  Over 18 million cubic feet of radioactive, toxic and hazardous waste have been buried on the Pajarito Plateau since LANL began operations in 1943? LANL continues to dispose of radioactive waste in unlined pits, trenches and shafts dug into the volcanic tuff of the.

a. Will you introduce federal legislation to prohibit the practice of disposing of wastes at DOE facilities in unlined facilities?

b. In the alternative, will you obtain funding for excavation of the wastes, and cleanup, remediation and restoration of these dump sites?

Submitted by Sheri Kotowski

Angela Curly & Monique Sandoval of the Taos Day School Radio Club learn editing skills from Mike Tilley

Listen On-Line
Our Broadband MP3
Access Sponsored by

For web hosting and
access call 575-758-7598

Show Schedule
And Photos