State Mine Inspector: Manuel Cruz
Name: Manuel Cruz
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Office running for: State Mine Inspector
In district: Statewide
Political experience: First race
Family: Wife, Valerie. Five children age 3 to 23
Please describe your platform:
I intend to run the Mine Inspector’s office in a professional and impartial manner. I will put the safety of mine workers and the public ahead of corporate interests and lobbyists.
If elected, what is your first priority?
My first priority is safety, for workers in the mines, and for the public protecting them from dangerous abandoned mines. My first act as State Mine Inspector will be to set up an “Adopt a Mine” program, where individuals and businesses can contribute funds to help us get these killer abandoned mines closed.
Who do you think is your biggest challenger and why?
Lobbyists. They exert far too much influence over lawmakers and elections. The State Mine inspector must be independent and must always put mining and public safety first. I will stand up to lobbyists and insiders when they try to weaken standards.
What do you think sets you apart from your opponent(s)?
Honor, integrity, and extensive mining experience set me apart from Joe Hart. Mr. Hart did not meet the qualifications for the office he assumed in 2006. He took the office dishonestly and then had his mining lobbyist and legislator friends lower the qualifications so he could meet them for his reelection campaign in 2010. I have experience in all aspects of surface and underground mining. I qualified under the original standard and I am far more qualified than Mr. Hart. Another important way that I differ from my opponent is that I am not in the pocket of special interests. I am a Clean Elections Candidate, not taking any corporate money. Most of my opponent’s contributors are lobbyists or corporate executives.
What would you do to achieve more transparency in government, and should government officials be in charge of managing those efforts?
The people have an absolute right to know what the government is doing and how their tax dollars are being spent. Government officials can administer transparency efforts but they should be held accountable by boards and commissions made up of citizens.
Public notices are regarded as one important way for the public to find out what is really happening in government. Newspapers currently not only print public notices but also operate a free, consolidated, online, searchable database. Some people advocate that public notices should be available only on government websites. Do you agree that the Legislature should change the current law to mandate that public notices be available only on government websites?
No. Many people do not use computers so newspapers should continue to print the notices. Furthermore, newspapers offer a centralized way to get the notices to the public. If only government websites are carrying notices, then it creates a problem of people having to search several departments’ websites to get important information.
What do you think is the biggest challenge right now facing Yumans, and Arizonans?
Uncertainty about the future.
What would you do, if elected, to help change that?
I’ll do my part to help change the negative perception of public servants by doing my job in an honorable and professional manner.
What is one of your strength? Weaknesses (something you’d like to improve upon)?
My biggest strengths are my work ethic and my commitment to my family.w My major weakness is a love of rich food!
What is one thing that you want voters to know?
Don’t overlook the importance of these “down ballot” races, such as the one in which I am campaigning. These lower offices have as much (if not more) effect on your life as Congress or the Governor.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Remember to vote on or before November 2 and please vote for Manuel Cruz for Arizona State Mine Inspector! Learn more about me at www.cruzforarizona.com.