Congressional Candidate Blasts Opponent, Calls on Congress to Halt LANL Layoffs

Candidate Rick Newton News:

Rick Newton, Taos Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in District 3, blasted opponent Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-NM, in a news release, charging him with endangering national security and for having an uncaring attitude toward the nearly 800 people losing their jobs at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

Newton ripped incumbent Lujan saying, “Once again, Lujan has chosen the narrow partisan interests of President Obama over the jobs of highly skilled workers in northern New Mexico. Lujan actually said ‘LANL is not immune from these cuts in the President’s budget,’ as though they were only trimming a little fat out of the Obama administration’s bloated government.”

Newton, a nuclear physicist who worked as an analyst for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), expressed his “disgust at Lujan’s blasé attitude” toward the careers of those losing jobs and the precarious position in which Lujan and President Obama have placed national security, he said.

“These professionals must not be treated like commodities that can be bought and sold on a whim,” Newton said. “These are some of the most well-educated, highly-trained and most sought after scientists in the world. It could be very difficult to replace them once real leadership and sanity return to the Department of Energy after the 2012 election.

“The CMRR Facility is the key to ensuring that this great nation maintains its deterrent against the threat of nuclear war. President Obama is considering three plans, which could unilaterally cut our deployed strategic warheads by as much as 80 percent – from 1,550 agreed to in last year’s New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the Russian Federation to as few as 300.”

Reflecting on the global threat, Newton stressed that by recent accounts; China has well over 300 warheads in its strategic arsenal and is currently engaged in a nuclear weapons modernization program.

“Even rogue nations like North Korea could build up their stockpiles to over 300 warheads over time and present a real threat to their neighbors and the United States, Newton said. “It’s unthinkable that Ben Ray Lujan and President Obama would abandon the nuclear deterrent that assured our nation’s security throughout the Cold War and especially now in the face of the additional growing threats from the build-up in China, North Korea and the emerging threat from Iran.”

Newton said that given the current stockpile of nuclear warheads by the Russian Federation and the unknown size of the Chinese stockpile, it would be foolish to consider reducing U.S. deployed warheads below 1,550.

“To maintain that level and firmly establish an effective nuclear deterrent, LANL’s CMRR Facility remains critically important because the existing W76 and W88 warheads need to be replaced by the new Reliable Replacement Warheads (RRW),” he said. “Therefore, I will urge the 113th Congress to provide funding for the RRW development program and the completion of the CMRR Facility. I believe that Republicans who support the nuclear deterrent will win the Senate and White House in the 2012 General Election. Provided that Congress funds these programs in 2013, the buy-out of up to 800 employees by April 5, 2012, with as much as nine month’s salary as the incentive provides practically no savings at all. Congress should halt the layoffs and hold hearings to consider my proposal.”

Newton, who reports that he worked as a Soviet nuclear weapon analyst during the SALT I negotiations, pointed out that the United States’ overwhelming nuclear deterrent held in reserve is what prevents other nations with one or more nuclear weapons from actually using them. Furthermore, that deterrent encourages less powerful nations to negotiate and accommodate alternatives to high-intensity nuclear warfare, he said.

“Given the current stockpile of nuclear warheads by the Russian Federation and the unknown size of the Chinese stockpile, it would be foolish to consider reducing our deployed warheads below 1,550,” Newton said. “To maintain that level and firmly establish an effective nuclear deterrent, LANL’s CMRR Facility remains critically important because the existing W76 and W88 warheads need to be replaced by the new Reliable Replacement Warheads. Therefore, I will urge the 113th Congress to provide funding for the RRW development program and the completion of the CMRR Facility.

“I believe that Republicans who support the nuclear deterrent will win the Senate and White House in the 2012 General Election. Provided that Congress funds these programs in 2013, the buy-out of up to 800 employees by April 5, with as much as nine month’s salary as the incentive, provides practically no savings at all. Congress should halt the layoffs and hold hearings to consider my proposal.”

“Newton, who reports that he worked as a Soviet nuclear weapons analyst during the SALT I negotiations, pointed out that “Our overwhelming nuclear deterrent held in reserve is what prevents other nations with one or more nuclear weapons from actually using them. Furthermore, that deterrent encourages less powerful nations to negotiate and accommodate alternatives to high-intensity nuclear warfare.”

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