Copyright 2000 Las Cruces Sun News.  Reprinted by permission.

Bush best choice for the presidency 
Las Cruces Sun-News 

New Mexico has only five electoral votes, but in this presidential election -- the closest one in 40 years -- every vote will count. To use the term that has become prominent in this election, New Mexico is a "battleground state."

Polls show that New Mexico, like the nation, is split almost evenly between the two major-party candidates for president: Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore. 

Announcement of the vote totals on the night of Nov. 7 will truly be an exciting event, one that is good for America as it shows the vitality and endurance of our free and open electoral process. 

However, a tone of seriousness must mix in with the campaign excitement.  After the campaigning comes governing, and the United States is ready for a change in leadership.  Despite the rapid and awesome globalization of the economy, individual Americans still have great opportunity to grow and prosper in their lives.

The Sun-News believes George W. Bush would be the best president to push for policies that let individuals and families -- not government -- decide how to spend their money.  In fact, Bush advocates tax policies that would let individual Americans keep more of their own money.  His proposal calls for across-the-board cuts in tax rates, benefiting all Americans who pay taxes, not just targeted categories of Americans as called for in the Gore tax plan. 

It also is important to keep in mind that New Mexico is a western state, and Bush, from Texas, and his vice presidential running mate, Dick Cheney of Wyoming, have a much better understanding of issues important to the West.  They know the importance of domestic oil exploration and the development of domestic refining capability, both to lessen dependence on foreign oil and to build up the economies of oil- and natural gas-producing states such as New Mexico. 

Unlike the Clinton-Gore administration with its record of locking up big areas of federal land in the West without bothering to get input from local and state interests, a Bush Cheney administration would recognize the importance to the local and national economy of natural resource industries such as mining, ranching and farming and logging and keep in mind the human as well as the strictly environmental equations. 

Bush has twice been elected governor in the large and diverse state of Texas, has showed he has the executive skills to work with both Democrats and Republicans to win bipartisan support for legislation, and has earned strong backing from Hispanic voters in the Lone Star State. 

A Gore administration would pile more government on top of more government in big spending programs, while the Bush philosophy is more oriented to the market-driven economy. Bush is willing to break from traditions and try new approaches to enhance individual initiative, such as privatizing of a small part of Social Security.  Bush also is for more choice in education along with accountability for improved results in the nation's classrooms. 

Above all else, the Bush-Cheney team would restore the personal and moral integrity that has been missing in the White House, having been squandered by Clinton's affair with an intern that led to his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives and by Gore's involvement in questionable fund-raising in the 1996 campaign involving major Asian and other foreign contributions. 

Since the outset of his campaign, George W. Bush has been consistent in his views, he knows himself and shows confidence as a man and a candidate.  He is even growing in proven ability as demonstrated by his convention speech and by his performance in the three national debates. 

The Las Cruces Sun-News strongly endorses George W. Bush for president and Dick Cheney for vice president in the Nov. 7 general election.