Final update: 10p (with Video and Audio)
Arnold-Jones, who was the first lawmaker to webcast a House committee meeting last February, to the delight of journalists and constituents, said New Mexico is at a crossroads and that she wants to create new paths that will restore the public's trust in government.
Arnold-Jones, who announced her exploratory committee on June 18th, joins many government officials said government needs to be more transparent. But, Arnold-Jones appeared to set her self apart, and pledged, as governor, to make her cabinet meetings more accessible to the public.
Press the play button to hear Arnold-Jones complete remarks.
After leaving the stage, Arnold-Jones told us that her plans to transform ethics, connectivity and education in the state are "revolutionary."
She took advantage of her 20-minute speech, broadcast live online at NMGOV.TV, to lay the ground work for her campaign theme and explain her stands on a number of issues, including ethics, education, building a smarter economy and restoring public trust in government.
A bipartisan crowd of about 200 people, which included former Governor Dave Cargo, and State Senator Tim Eichenberg, as well as City Councilor Don Harris, and others, listened to Arnold-Jones address her plans on multiple issues, including:
Fulfilling our promise to our State employee retirement programs, healthcare, crime, public safety, border issues, water resources, and management of the state budget. These issues cannot, and will not be ignored.
Not all Republicans are ready to jump on board with Arnold-Jones' campaign. One of those is Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White, who is trying to reverse lawmakers repeal of the state's death penalty.
He issued a late-afternoon statement. White said he was disappointed in her decision to join Democrats in the legislature, this past Spring, who voted to repeal capitol punishment for the most "heinous murderers, including cop-killers."
Soft-on-crime legislators should be voted out of office, not promoted. Considering, in a recent poll, eighty-six percent of all Republicans in New Mexico support the death penalty for murderers.
Indeed, Arnold-Jones will face Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez, and likely candidates Doug Turner and former NM GOP Chairman Allen Weh. Both Turner and Weh have been touring the state preparing to announce. Former U.S. Representative Heather Wilson is still on the sidelines considering a run, but her hopes may have been dashed by allegations made by the House Judiciary Committee looking at the firing of New Mexico's former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.
Whoever wins the Republican Party nomination for Governor next June will likely face the third female candidate in the race. Democrat Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish is the only announced candidate for the 2010 Primary and she has already collected a formidable campaign treasury. And Denish isn't sitting on her "ethic reform" laurels. On July 9th, in front of the NM Supreme Court building in Santa Fe, Denish unveiled her own ethics reform plan.
It is time for New Mexico to be known for the ethical choices we make and for the responsive, innovative, quality service provided to our citizens. It is time for all of us to stand up for New Mexico and embrace our dreams. Please, join me in this revolution now! Together, connected, we will lead the nation!Arnold-Jones said she will pursue recurring, mandatory ethics training for all public employees, from the top down, and that she would encourage and reward whistleblowers who share her goal of eliminating arcane hiring and administrative practices and other abuses.
Government, Arnold-Jones said, is meant to be a servant of the people, not a master that steadily erodes our individual liberties:
For the past seven years, we have had unbridled spending, an absentee governor, and numerous highly paid political appointees in positions of power and authority who were often ineffective, incompetent, or both.
We have also had the same old, closed-door, backroom politics, pay-to-play process churning out policies that make headlines but accomplish little. Regulation has run amok and it is stifling our entrepreneurial spirit.
This is not principled leadership and it certainly does not deserve our trust! In Santa Fe we are experiencing a moral train wreck and it is costing the taxpayer money and confidence.
To read all of Arnold-Jones remarks click here.