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Bill Richardson on Jobs

Democratic Governor (NM); Secretary of Commerce-Designee


AdWatch: Over 80,000 new jobs; NM 6th in nation

[Richardson ran this 60-second TV ad in NH & IA]

ANNOUNCER: The New Mexico comeback, a model for the nation. Governor Bill Richardson started with tax credits for creating jobs that pay above the prevailing wage. He passed a permanent rural jobs tax credit and invested in brand new industries like wind and solar energy, aerospace and laser technology. Over 80,000 new jobs, up to 6th in the nation for job growth.

RICHARDSON: We need a president who is focused on good paying jobs again.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Focused” , Aug 22, 2007

FactCheck: NM gained 68,100 new jobs, not 80,000 as claimed

Bill Richardson boasts [in his new TV ad] of creating 80,000 jobs since becoming governor of New Mexico. Not yet, he hasn’t. The state has gained fewer than 76,000 payroll jobs since he took office, and official figures showed a mere 68,100 gain when he first started making his inflated boast last year. He bases his claim on a definition of “jobs” that includes unpaid workers in family businesses and freelancers who don’t draw a paycheck.

We’ll start by saying that the truth about Richardson’s job record is actually quite respectable and hardly needs the sort of petty exaggeration we find in Richardson’s TV ads. The number of payroll jobs in NM has increased by nearly 10% since Richardson took office. NM is far from being the standout in the fast-growing Sun Belt region, lagging well behind nearby AZ & NV. But NM’s job growth is well above the 6.1% gain for the nation as a whole. The unemployment rate for the state is now 3.7%, substantially below the 4.6% rate for the nation

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Focused” , Aug 22, 2007

FactCheck: NM ranks 17th in job growth; not 6th, as claimed

Richardson claims [in his new TV ad] that he moved NM “up to 6th in the nation for job growth,” which is misleading at best. In fact, the state already ranked 6th for the 12-month period BEFORE he took office. It has ranked 6th for a few selected months since, but it currently ranks 17th. The most recent month it ranked 6th was August 2006.

Saying the state ranks “up to” 6th is therefore literally true, since it has ranked that high at least once. But the words “up to” are the sort of qualifiers that voters and consumers need to question. Such qualifiers are called “weasel words,” because they suck the meaning out of a phrase the way weasels supposedly suck the insides out of an egg. It would be equally true to say that under Richardson, the state has ranked “as low as 23rd,” which it did for one month, February 2005.

To be accurate, Richardson should say that “we briefly regained 6th place” under his leadership.

Source: FactCheck's AdWatch of 2007 campaign ad, “Focused” , Aug 22, 2007

Focus our farm policy on renewable fuels

Q: Should we cap the subsidies to farms?

A: I want to find a way to make sure that the big agribusiness interests don’t hurt the small farmer, the family farmer. What we also need to do is to promote conservation. We need to promote, besides subsidy reform, renewable fuels and technology. Our farm policy, if we have renewable fuel, [we end up with] enormous exports, trade, jobs.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week” , Aug 19, 2007

Would accept minimum wage as president

Q: If you’re elected to serve as president, would you be willing to do this service for the next four years and be paid the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour?

GRAVEL: Oh, yes, I would, but I would say that we don’t need a minimum wage; we need a living wage. We don’t have that in this country because of what they passed.

DODD: I don’t think I could live on the minimum wage, but I’m a strong advocate to seeing to it that we increase it at least to $9 or $10.

EDWARDS: Yes.

CLINTON: Sure.

OBAMA: We could afford to do it for a few years. Most folks can’t. And that’s why we’ve got to fight and advocate for [an increase].

Q: Would you serve at minimum wage?

RICHARDSON: Yes, I would.

BIDEN: I couldn’t afford to stay in the Congress for the minimum wage. But if I get a second job, I’d do it.

KUCINICH: I think we need to increase the minimum wage and so all my neighbors can get an increase in their wages.

Q: So would you work for it?

KUCINICH: I would. But I wouldn’t want to.

Source: [X-ref Clinton] 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate , Jul 23, 2007

Tax credit for creating jobs paying over the prevailing wage

I’m with [the unions] on all the issues. We passed collective bargaining with mandatory arbitration. Real penalties for violations when employees are trying to form a union--I’ll sign the Employee Free Choice Act.

We passed in New Mexico a tax credit for creating good-paying jobs. We passed a law saying that if you’re a company and you create a job paying over the prevailing wage, you get a 10% tax credit. Rather than tax cuts to reward the wealthy, I use them to reward people to go to work.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC , Mar 14, 2007

Increase the minimum wage to $7.50

The middle class is straining with wages that are not moving up. When I return to New Mexico tonight, I hope on my desk will be legislation that increases the minimum wage to $7.50. The minimum wage has not gone up in 9 years, while the Congress has given itself a pay raise 11 times. Most of the action that helps our union families happens in the states.
Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC , Mar 14, 2007

Film industry initiatives create jobs

We’ll continue to recruit high wage industries, expand New Mexico companies and grow the New Mexico film industry. We’ll do it by sustaining efforts in business marketing and recruitment, investing in workforce training and in-plant training, expanding efforts of the Film Division of the Economic Development Department and funding the New Mexico Film Advisory Board. Our bold film industry initiatives and aggressive marketing have created hundreds of new, high-wage jobs for New Mexicans.
Source: 2004 State of the State speech to the New Mexico Legislature , Jan 20, 2004

Increase small business access to credit.

Richardson signed Letter from 12 Governors to leaders in Congress

State Small Business Credit Initiative, which would strengthen innovative state programs that support small business lending. In our states, these programs are facing increased demand, yet the budgetary pressures we face have limited their ability to fill the credit gap left by the financial crisis. These innovative programs include those that augment collateral values for small businesses and manufacturers who have seen them decline as a result of the financial crisis, capital access programs that contribute to loan loss reserves that allow banks to expand credit to more businesses, and loan guarantee and other programs that help share risk with lenders that are willing to extend credit to viable small businesses, manufacturers and farms that are crucial to a strong recovery. By supporting these programs, the State Small Business Credit Initiative would leverage Federal funds several times over to enable billions in new lending to small businesses that can support new job creation. We urge you to take immediate action to increase small business lending in the United States. While our nation's economy continues to recover from this great recession, small businesses in our states continue to struggle to gain access to the credit they need to create jobs. We believe federal action is necessary to remedy this issue.

We strongly support a comprehensive package being considered that would include expanding the size of Small Business Administration loans and temporarily extending successful Recovery Act provisions reducing fees and raising guarantees for SBA loans, enacting tax incentives for small business investment, and a proposal for a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund that would provide community banks with capital and incentives to increase lending to small businesses.

In addition, we especially want to convey our support for a new proposal for a

Source: Letter from 12 Governors to leaders in Congress 100519-Gov on May 19, 2010

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Jobs.
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  • Click here for a profile of Bill Richardson.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Bill Richardson.
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Page last updated: Mar 09, 2014