Statement to the Los Alamos League of Women Voters Forum

Pete Sheehey, candidate for Democratic Party nomination for New Mexico House of Representatives, District 43

May 20, 2010

"Good evening. Thanks to the League for hosting this forum.

"I am Pete Sheehey. When I first came here after serving in the Air Force and going back to school to earn my Ph.D., I immediately felt that I fit in, and could contribute to the work of the Lab and to this community. Los Alamos is a unique town, full of people with all kinds of ideas and opinions. Some describe the task of managing scientists at LANL as like herding cats. Yet we manage to get some very complex and important jobs done. It's fun to be part of a team, whether that's for long-term scientific research, or the very short-term emergency response work I also do. After the Cerro Grande fire, one of the first things I did was volunteer to serve on reforestation teams. People at the Lab or anywhere else can work together successfully, if they have trust and respect for each other. These are things that cannot be bought. These are things we earn, when we do our jobs or run our businesses with integrity. I have lived and worked here since 1986 in a way that has earned your trust and respect.

"I have talked with many voters in this District in the last two years. People are angry about corrupt or dysfunctional government at all levels. I agree with many who tell me that New Mexico government must become much more open, ethical, and accountable. We are spending a lot of money on things like education and health care, but we are not spending it efficiently. There are lots of lawyers, business people, and teachers in the State Legislature, but I can bring a different set of skills: the skills of an applied scientist. I will work to ensure state government's policies are based upon facts and sound science. I will work to ensure public education emphasizes basic skills--literacy and basic math and science--that everybody needs in today's society. I will work to bring better communication between Los Alamos National Laboratory and the state of New Mexico. Tax revenues spent wisely on education, health care, economic development, and renewable energy are good investments for New Mexico, and will pay off for all of us in the long run. But we have to be totally honest with the voters about the costs and benefits, and we must earn their trust if we expect support for such investments.

"I was honored to be endorsed today by the Santa Fe New Mexican for being the more independent, "strings-free" candidate, among other qualifications. Some say "Vote early, vote often," but I'm a reformer, so I say "Vote early, vote once!" I will represent you in the State Legislature in a way that continues to earn your trust and respect."