U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) visited with a group at Tierra Del Sol Country Club on Wednesday to inform them of the issues at hand in her campaign for re-election.
A group of 20 asked questions regarding national and international issues.
“Security of the country, jobs and retirement funds are the top issues,” Wilson said. “Jobs and economy are foremost. The unemployment rate in the nation is lower than four years ago. The economy is strong and growing. I supported the tax relief which helped keep the recession as shallow as possible.”
Regarding the Wall Street events with Enron and Worldcom, Wilson said, “We have seen greedy people destroy their own companies and break the trust of their employees. Their acts have undermined the free-enterprise system.”
In response to these events, Wilson said she supports strengthening the accounting laws.
“But investors are restoring their faith in the market and are investing in companies,” she said. “However, since investors make their decisions with the information generated by the companies, we need to ensure that they have honest information.”
Since most of those meeting with Wilson at the country club were retirees, she updated them on the issue of prescription drug benefits in Medicaid.
“When Social Security was established, prescription drugs were a small cost. Now, prescription drugs are taking their toll on fixed-income retirees. There are too many people who can’t pay for their medicine. They are having to choose between food or medicine,” she said.
“The House passed prescription drug benefits being added to Social Security. However, the Senate didn’t get a similar bill passed. I hope they do when we return in December.”
Regarding the impact of Sept. 11 on America, Wilson said she is seeing children’s heroes change. “Before Sept. 11, children’s heroes were the Power Rangers, other cartoon characters and rock stars. When I visited Zuni Elementary School recently, half of the class wanted to become firemen.”
She also told the group that, typically, in the past, 9,000 students would apply for the Air Force Academy’s freshman class.
“This year, we had 150,000 applicants,” said the member of the applicant review committee. “I suspect that reflects a call to service that is affecting young Americans.”
The final issue Wilson discussed during the 30-minute meeting was education.
“I very strongly believe for America be competitive in the world economy and for democracy to survive, we have to have a great public education system. We can not afford to leave students behind,” she said. “You cannot have a democracy without an educated population.
“Teachers are the pillar of our community. They need and deserve our support.”