Tim Keller for New Mexico
New Mexico State Auditor in NM http://www.timkellerfornewmexico.com
11023 Vistazo Pl SE
Primary Election Date: 2014-06-03 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
I was born, raised, married and, most recently, became a father here in New Mexico. After graduating from St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque, I attended the University of Notre Dame, where I received a Bachelor’s Degree, studying in Public Service, Art History, and Finance. I then earned by M.B.A. with honors from the Harvard Business School.
After college, I spent three years working in Cambodia and co-founded a social enterprise, Data Digital Divide (DDD), which extends help to land mine victims and other disadvantaged persons in Cambodia. Currently, DDD has over 400 employees. It was ranked as a global Top Innovator by Fast Company magazine and was profiled in Thomas Friedman’s best-selling book The World Is Flat.
Although I spent these years living abroad, I found it difficult to ignore my New Mexican background. After completing my MBA, I returned home to New Mexico. I began volunteering with groups that foster opportunities for all in Albuquerque and had the privilege of serving on the boards of the Open Hands Foundation, Roadrunner Food Bank Capital Campaign, the Asian American Association, and the Albuquerque Southeast Team for Entrepreneur Development.
In 2008, I was elected to the New Mexico State Senate, where I have represented Albuquerque’s “International District” for the last six years. I was elected by my peers to serve as the Senate Majority Whip and have focused on aggressively challenging the status quo in New Mexico to fix broken government, level the playing field for working families, and champion social justice.
I have introduced more than 200 pieces of legislation and successfully passed more than 30. Some of the most impactful pieces of passed legislation restructured and added education/ professional qualifications to the NM Public Regulation Commission; required sweeping restructuring of the State Investment Council (SIC); required increased transparency and accountability for NM’s $1B in tax incentives; expanded the in-state business preference, creating 5,000 new local jobs annually; established the net 40% solar energy tax credit; and established 24/7 “community schools,” allowing citizens to use school facilities.
I have been honored to receive recognition as New Mexico First’s “Bipartisan Rising Star,” one of New Mexico Business First’s “40 under 40,” the Disability Coalition of New Mexico’s “Legislative Leadership” award recipient, the NM Public Health Association’s “Champion” award recipient, and the Chorizo Report’s “Social Justice Champion” award recipient.
Why am I running?
Despite the endemic, challenging issues that stem from poverty, a lack of education, and income disparity in New Mexico, I firmly believe that a better New Mexico can not only exist but prosper. I envision a New Mexico with an economy built around home-grown innovation and with high-tech, bilingual schools that prepare our kids for a prosperous, in-state future. This New Mexico will be the envy of the West and will attract the world’s best and brightest, all of whom will want the opportunity to live and work in the Land of Enchantment. Over the past few decades, however, our government has failed at every level to make the right decisions that would fix these crippling issues.
I am running for State Auditor to help our state make better decisions with tax dollars and public money at all levels of government. In New Mexico, the Auditor oversees more than 900 statewide entities, including: land grants, school districts, acequia associations, conservation districts, cities, and counties.
When our tax dollars are at stake, the Auditor can be an advocate for smarter policies to ensure that all New Mexicans get a fair shake from our government. With this kind of vigilant oversight and sound financial decision-making, we can safeguard public dollars and public trust.
First and foremost, this means directly confronting corruption, fraud, waste, and abuse at all levels of government. As Auditor, I will go one step further and proactively help state government to make better choices that would prevent fraud, waste, and abuse from the outset. I will build a policy evaluation office to serve a statewide, independently elected think that that will evaluate healthcare, education, and tax policies and make recommendations for improved effectiveness, accountability, and transparency.
A proactive Auditor’s office means better choices for New Mexico – better choices to fix over testing by for-profit corporations that threaten teaching in our classrooms; better choices that will finally shine a light on the billions of dollars our state gives away in special interest tax breaks; better choices to stop the reckless dismantling of our healthcare system; and better choices with the $900 million of unspent money sloshing around in state government.
I am running for State Auditor because I want to help government make courageous, informed decisions that will finally address the problems that are devastating our state. Only then can we begin to raise the bar and push big ideas forward, allowing New Mexico to reach its full potential as the Land of Enchantment.
As New Mexico’s next State Auditor, my top three objectives are:
1) Implement an Action Plan to attack fraud and waste, safeguard tax dollars, and identify and confront corruption before it can impact state programs
2) Advocate for better policy choices for working families in New Mexico by providing input and examining spending on important state programs, including education and healthcare
3) Work to eliminate government red tape and ensure that all New Mexican families get a fair shake from government, whether at a state, city, county, or school district level
To accomplish these, I will create a Policy Evaluation and Compliance Office to help deter corruption by increasing accountability in all state programs. By addressing waste and abuse before it begins, the State Auditor can make sure that state government places the needs of New Mexicans first and makes informed, meaningful decisions.
My DFA Values
Ensuring that all New Mexican families are being treated fairly by their government is the single strongest driving force behind my campaign. Currently, our state is struggling with issues including the administration of mental health services, early childhood education funding, and an overall lack of government transparency. As this campaign progresses, I will continue to promote a message of collaboration and encourage community leaders and citizens to work side-by-state to achieve true progress for our state. We must protect and defend our vulnerable populations; provide a world-class public education for our children, in which teachers are allowed to use their skills to help each child learn to the best of her ability; and require the utmost transparency and ethical behavior from our government officials.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I am proud of my previous campaigns for the New Mexico State Senate, which were fueled by local, grassroots volunteers who dedicated themselves to reaching out into the community to build support and engage new voters. We adhere to this same philosophy and strategy in the statewide campaign for Auditor. For this race, we have visited 31 of New Mexico’s 33 sprawling, rural counties and have been fortunate enough to attract thousands of social media followers from across the state. Our network of supporters across the state continues to grow. To help us qualify for the ballot, these committed volunteers pitched in and helped us gather 4800 signatures from nearly every corner of the state. Additionally, more than 86% of financial contributions to this campaign, thus far, have come from individual donors, and day by day, we continue to expand our grassroots fundraising base.