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A favorite son?

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By Carol A. Clark

Jon Adams may have an inside track in Los Alamos in his bid to represent New Mexico’s Third Congressional District.The 33-year-old lived in Los Alamos from the age of 2. He attended Piñon Elementary, Los Alamos Middle School and attended Los Alamos High School for two years before transferring to a private school. His father, Tom, is a retired scientist; his mother Joan, a homemaker; his twin brother Sam, a doctor in Napa, Calif.Jon went on to earn a law degree from Columbia Law School and served as New Mexico assistant attorney general from 2002-2004.“I’ll be a lot like Tom Udall, whose values I respect,” Adams said during an editorial board meeting at the Monitor Friday. “I’m the most educated, the most experienced and the most accomplished ... and it looks like I’m the only pro-choice candidate.”Adams decided to run for Congress, he said, because he wants to restore democracy, adding that he is “absolutely outraged” about what has happened to the country in the last seven years under the Bush administration.Regarding civil liberties, Adams seeks to restore the right of habeas corpus, eliminate secret prisons and reverse the Patriot Act.Adams also said he wants to restore people’s right to a lawyer when accused of a crime, their right to confront their accuser in court, freedom from domestic spying and freedom from torture.In July of 2004, Adams joined a private law firm in Santa Fe. He spoke of successfully filing suit to hold corporations accountable for stock fraud. Adams and the law firm brought cases on behalf of New Mexico pension funds, suing to recover retirees’ money that was effectively robbed by corporate fraud, he said.With respect to Los Alamos National Laboratory, where his father retired in 1999 after 22 years working in X Division and where many family friends work, Adams said it must be protected. “The laboratory is a major economic engine in northern New Mexico,” he said. “We shouldn’t look at it as a closed entity in itself. There’s a multiplier effect that spreads out all through northern New Mexico and I think we should fully fund the lab.”On Iraq, Adams said he thinks it’s time to end the occupation. “It’s a war that never should have been waged and it is mortgaging our children’s future,” he said. “Our military men and women have done an incredible job, and it’s time to bring these heroes home to their loved ones.”Adams made the final decision to run for Congress, according to his website, when he heard in July that Sgt. James Akin of Albuquerque had been killed in Iraq. He described Akins as a dedicated political activist, a soldier and a loving husband. “He is and always will be a true American hero,” Adams said. “In Congress, my number one priority will be to end the war in Iraq.” “The safety and security of America cannot be compromised,” he wrote in his campaign literature, adding that he supports an intelligent national security policy, including expansion of special operations units that can go in and fight terrorists in their own backyards.Regarding the economy, Adams proposes eliminating President Bush’s “damaging ruling-class and corporate-interest-based economic policies.” He also wants to eliminate tax benefits for companies that send American jobs overseas.He addressed the dangers of what he calls a “lack of control” regarding manufacturing products in foreign countries. As examples, Adams cited last year’s poison pet food catastrophe and the earlier revelation that some 40 million tires on American roads contained poor quality rubber. China was the source in both cases. He also mentioned buying a T-shirt made in China that lasted only eight months before “practically falling apart.” He compared that to his 20-year-old American-made T-shirt that still looks “almost new.”Adams said as assistant state attorney general he fought corporate wrong-doing and stood up for the working class, helping recover millions of dollars for New Mexico retired teachers, police officers and firefighters.As an avid environmentalist, Adams said it’s “extremely important” to protect the environment. He spoke of fighting 10 years ago against a proposal by then-Rep. Bill Redmond to dig pumice mines in the Jemez. Adams said he is against drilling in Santa Fe County and advocates combating global warming, protecting water and funding alternative energy sources.He advocates what he calls “reasonable health care,” saying it should be available to everyone, adding that no one should have to choose between paying the rent, buying food or having health care.Ethics reform is also near the top of Adams’ list. “I want ethics reform passed including stopping lobbyist gifts and handouts,” he said.In 2004, Adams was hit by a drunk driver. He survived the accident but said his car was totally destroyed. He lobbied for the New Mexico Drunkbusters program now implemented around the State, which encourages people to dial #DWI to report drunk drivers.On Feb. 12, Adams filed his candidacy for congress and said he turned in 2,500 signatures, adding that only 959 were required. He said there are some 250 people around the state who have agreed to be delegates for him. Adams is not currently taking new clients at his law firm as he said he is spending some 80 percent of his time campaigning.According to the Secretary of State’s office, Adams is running in a field of six Democrats and two Republicans. Democrats include New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan’s son Ben Ray Lujan, who chairs the State’s Public Regulation Commission. Adams said he has not witnessed the House Speaker “throwing his weight around for his son.” Other Democrats in the running include Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya, developer Don Wiviott, former state Indian Affairs Secretary Benny Shendo Jr., Rudy Martin, and Republicans Daniel K. East and Marco E. Gonzales.The candidates will participate in a debate at 7 p.m. March 5 at Fuller Lodge. The debate is open to the public.