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Congressional Candidate Valerie Plame Makes Case Before Los Alamos Voters During Gathering Thursday

on September 20, 2019 - 3:22pm
Congressional Dist. 3 candidate Valerie Plame addresses attendees at a Los Alamos meet & greet event Thursday at Pueblo Canyon Inn on San Ildefonso Road. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Voters listen as Congressional candidate Valerie Plame explains her positions. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Candidate Valerie Plame speaks with Los Alamos resident Phil Gursky. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Third Congressional District candidate Valerie Plame was in Los Alamos Thursday for a meet & greet event at Pueblo Canyon Inn on San Ildefonso Road.

Plame is competing in a crowded field of Democrats seeking to replace Rep. Ben Ray Luján who is running for U.S. Senate.

Plame is best known as the CIA agent outed by the Bush Administration in 2003. Her identity as a CIA officer was leaked to and subsequently published by Robert Novak of the Washington Post.

In her remarks at the event, Plame sought to answer the question “Why me?”

Plame touted her years of experience as a covert CIA officer. During those years, she became an expert on nuclear counter-proliferation, she said, adding that her many visits and work with Los Alamos National Laboratory led to her move to the state in 2006.

“This is the place that feels like home,” Plame said.  

Plame “jumped right in” to community involvement in Santa Fe, she said. She has served on a number of boards, including United Way of Santa Fe County and Girls, Inc.

“When you give women education and opportunity, it benefits everyone,” Plame said.

It’s no accident that areas of the world like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, where women are marginalized, are areas of violent conflict, she said.

In her travels around the District, Plame said there are three issues that stand out as most important to voters: education, the environment and economic opportunity.

“I’m running as a pragmatist,” Plame said. “My years in the CIA taught me how to solve problems.”

When asked what she considers “compromise issues” Plame pointed to the Green New Deal, which she said remains to be fleshed out in policy terms.

“There’s a lot of room to compromise on how we get there,” she said.

Plame said politics is a balancing act between serving constituents and holding to one’s fundamental values.

“The money is coming out of the ground,” she said of New Mexico’s oil and gas industry. She sees building up the sustainable energy industries in the state as a method of stepping away from dependence on fossil fuels to generate revenue in New Mexico.

She struck a similar note on the role of LANL. She would seek to orient the Lab toward renewable energy and counter-proliferation and away from weapons production, Plame said.

“I see a resurgence of arms control talks after Trump,” she said. “LANL is well placed to be a leader in the development of inspection devises.”

Plame said she sees climate change, along with nuclear proliferation as the major problems facing the entire world.

Plame burnished her progressive credentials by backing a ban on assault weapons and favoring extensive background checks for gun purchases.

“We’ve lost our collective minds on this,” she said.

Plame said of the current conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, “we should stay well out of it.”

“This administration has lost allies and friends. It’s an embarrassment. The U.S. has lost all credibility as mediators,” she said.

Speaking of the crisis of asylum seekers on the border, Plame pointed to the situation in Deming.

“They are literally dumping thousands of desperate people at MacDonald’s and asking Deming to host them,” she said. “Our entire immigration system is broken. It’s absolutely immoral.”

Most asylum seekers are escaping death and violence, she said.

When asked about the current debate on healthcare in the Democratic Party, Plame said she still has a lot of learning to do on this issue. Currently she favors the hybrid public-private insurance plans put forward by some democrats.

“We can’t just flip a switch and throw things into chaos," she said.

Concerning Trump’s recent visit to New Mexico, Plame said she sees no signs of New Mexico turning into a red state.

“I believe New Mexicans are caring, kind and respectful,” she said. “Trump should go back where he came from.”

Valerie Plame discusses her candidacy at the Thursday meet & greet. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
From left Public Education Commissioner Karyl Ann Armbruster, Valley Daily Post Publisher James R. Mountain, Congressional candidate Valerie Plame and Enterprise Bank Regional President Liddie Martinez. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/