I appreciate Mr. Nesmith’s concern for the credibility of the Republican Party of Los Alamos County (RPLA), and he is of course entitled to his opinions. But in his attack on the RPLA he misses two key points. First, political parties do not pick their candidates. Candidates volunteer, go through the primary process, and if they win are placed on the ballot for the general election. Secondly, I share his concern over the tactics being employed in the political campaigns for NM House District 43 – this year and in the past several contests beginning in 2012. In response to the diminishing propriety of local political discourse the RPLA adopted the following statement of principle last January:
We believe that our major focus as a local party should be on local issues: how to best support LANL, how to support local business, and most importantly how to best serve all Los Alamos residents and families. We seek to do this with effective, principled, solutions. At state and national levels, we are optimistic, that we will demonstrate that our solutions work, and that our principles bring more opportunity, more economic growth, and greater prosperity to American families – as they have for over two hundred years.
We believe that respectful, civil, debate is essential to the development, and eventual agreement, on workable solutions to controversial issues. We unreservedly reject personal attacks or any other attempt to muddle the issues under debate in our community. While members of our own party may at times have conflicting views on issues, we stand united on core principles and will work with anyone who seeks the brightest present and future for Los Alamos County. As Thomas Jefferson, quoted in our County chambers, so aptly states: “every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle”.
If Mr. Nesmith believes that a Republican candidate has failed to fully live up to this ideal, I am saddened as I expect better of all persons and groups participating in political contests. Regrettable things are said and done during campaigns; we can all strive to improve the political environment in the future.
Ms. Shin can and will defend herself, as will Ms. Chandler if she believes it necessary. I urge all voters to review candidates’ histories, their record of past public service, background and stated positions, and to then make an informed decision.
Republican Party of Los Alamos