Albuquerque Journal: Keep Udall’s experience, pragmatism in Senate

In 2008, the Journal endorsed then-five-term Rep. and former attorney general Tom Udall for the U.S. Senate. Six years in that deliberative body have given Udall the experience needed not only to propose important legislation, but also to turn it into law.

And that ability is especially important to the state and the nation now, considering the gridlock in Washington. The Journal recommends voters keep Sen. Tom Udall in Washington.

Udall, a Democrat, has the balanced approach that represents one of the nation’s most diverse states well and, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, is in a position “to make an impact.” He’s supporting expedited oil and gas drilling permits in an environmentally responsible manner, helping N.M. business and state coffers while protecting our landscapes.

He’s pushing legislation requiring the Department of Energy to embrace public-private tech transfer partnerships, supporting research at our national labs while diversifying the state’s economy. He understands the importance of the state’s military bases and the sacrifices of its service members.

And he supported the Senate’s successful bipartisan immigration reform (which the House refused to take up) that respected our nation’s laws and border security but dealt realistically with immigrants here illegally, as well as the country’s labor needs.

He supports a work permit for millions of people who are in the country illegally but who don’t want to become citizens, an approach that could help ease immigration reform gridlock in Congress.

Udall advocates approaches of “do it all, do it right” for U.S. energy independence, including an understanding that nuclear energy will play an important role; specific coalition-based, political and military solutions for dealing with the terror group ISIS; continued adjustments to make the Affordable Care Act affordable; and wait-and-see for legalized marijuana as that plays out in Colorado and Washington state.

It is hoped going forward that Udall will employ his pragmatism to focus on demanding comprehensive transparency in political contributions rather than rewriting the First Amendment to limit free speech.

In today’s complex world, it’s important not just to do something, but to do it right. Tom Udall has the experience and temperament to do both.

The Journal recommends that New Mexico’s voters should once again cast their ballot for Tom Udall.