John Block

New Mexico county makes pro-life history

On Thursday, Lea County made pro-life history by becoming the first sanctuary county for the unborn in the United States, according to Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas and founder of the Sanctuary City for the Unborn movement.

The County Commission unanimously (5-0) passed the ordinance banning mail-order abortions in the County.

In New Mexico, abortion up to birth was legalized on the state level in 2021 after the Democrat-dominated legislature stripped all protections for the unborn, mothers, and medical professionals. In the 2023 Legislative Session, Democrats hope to codify abortion up-to-birth and infanticide into state statute.

“This is an issue that’s got the country divided, but there’s a right thing to do,” Commissioner Gary Eidson said prior to the Lea County vote, as reported by Life News.

Although the ordinance only takes effect in the county, exclusive of cities and localities within the county, Eunice, Jal, Lovington, and Tatum, could follow suit with the ordinances in their jurisdictions.

Lovington Mayor Robbie Roberts said, “It takes a lot of strength to stand up and vote your heart on an issue,” adding, “I applaud you for pursuing … this.”

Right to Life of Lea County leader Lori Bova said, “Because of your swift action and the action of the City of Hobbs, the second largest abortion provider in our country has done an about-face and decided to withdraw from our community. Their property deal fell through.” 

Other counties, such as Roosevelt County, as well as many other cities in New Mexico, are considering similar measures to protect babies from being killed in New Mexico, especially as Texas pro-abortion groups are shipping women across the border to kill their children in the Land of Enchantment where there are no protections whatsoever for women, babies, or medical professionals.

Many pro-life resolutions have recently passed, including in the City of Alamogordo and Otero County. 

Photo courtesy of Mark Lee Dickson via Facebook.

CNN, Fox Business: Higher gas prices likely on the horizon

According to reports from leftist and more right-of-center news organizations, there is a consensus that gas prices are likely headed upward in the near future.

Due to the Saudi-ruled Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) decision to reduce oil output by two million barrels per day could lead to higher oil prices and, thus, higher gasoline prices at the fuel pump, according to Fox Business.

“Gas prices are dropping sharply and are only a nickel more per gallon than a year ago,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson, said to Fox. “But with oil being the main ingredient in gasoline, OPEC+’s move could slow this decline.”

CNN added, in a report titled, “Big Oil stocks are pointing to higher gas prices to come,” “The S&P 500 is down more than 17% this year while shares of Exxon, Halliburton and Chevron are all up more than 45%. Oil prices and energy stocks are closely interlinked — so this discrepancy is an odd one and could mean that lower gas prices may not be here to stay.”

“While crude prices are dropping, equities traders appear to be taking on a different bet: They’re hoping that OPEC’s recent decision to stick with supply cuts and Europe’s agreement to cap the price of Russian oil at $60 a barrel will keep the global supply of oil very tight, even if demand drops.”

The report continued that prices are likely to go up, though, according to historical trends, noting, “In the end, the divergence may be temporary: In four of the five major splits between oil and energy stock prices since 1990, oil returned to a rally in the year that followed, according to Bespoke Investment Group.” 

Gas price averages across the country are down by one cent versus last week, while down by an average of 14 cents versus last month, according to AAA. 

New Mexico’s average gas price is $3.13. The county with the lowest price is reported to be Valencia County at $2.82. Under the Joe Biden administration, New Mexico recorded its highest-ever average gas price of $4.83 for regular unleaded and $5.60 for diesel in June of 2022. 

Toulouse Oliver praises COVID for creating ‘great turnout’ in elections

On Tuesday, the Bipartisan Policy Center held its 2022 Elections Summit in Washington, D.C., where Democrat New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver was a panelist. Toulouse Oliver joined moderator Carrie Levine, a story editor at election reporting site, as well as Philadelphia City Commissioner Seth Bluestein, Nevada County, CA Clerk-Recorder-elect Natalie Adona, and U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Ben Hovland. 

During the panel, Toulouse Oliver repeatedly took sly jabs at county commissioners, such as those in Otero County, who audited votes and also decertified potentially fraudulent election results and then were forcibly mandated to go back and certify upon the threats of removal.

She also spoke about the close relationship between her office and the media to “pre-bunk” so-called “election myths.” 

“The field of election administration, over time, has just become incredibly more professional, incredibly more diverse. It used to be, you know, whoever sort of the local political favorite was got the job of being election administrator in a jurisdiction,” she said.

Regarding her campaign to try and quell supposed misinformation, Toulouse Oliver said, “I’ll also add I think we started doing this pretty darn well in 2020: foreseeing the post-election challenges. We didn’t know exactly what they were going to be, but we did a good job as a community of ‘pre-bunking,’ if you will, some of the things we could see coming down the pipeline of, you know, ‘We’re not gonna know on election night, you know, because we have all of these critical states that are still gonna have ballots to count and this is how the process works.’ I think we did an even better job of that, and that isn’t just the work of election administrators.”

She then praised the media, telling the panel, “I think we did an even better job of that, and that isn’t just the work of election administrators. It’s also the work of the media, which has really invested incredible amounts of time and effort working with offices like mine and local election offices to get information — how does this actually work? — because the media wants to be good partners and helping us pre-bunk or debunk some of the election myths that are out there. As a result, I think the electorate, whether they want to be or not, is much more informed about how the election process works, and I think that significantly contributed to the success of the 2022 election and to the fact that we didn’t see as much strife, or we’re not seeing as much strife – We’re still immediate post-election 2022 — than we did in 2020.”

Then, Toulouse Oliver attacked citizens who asked for public records from her office, claiming their requests for data were political. She said, “When we’re dealing with not the normal level, I mean, any government office should expect and anticipate public records requests, and we should be responsive to them. That is not the question we are talking about here. We are talking about this coordinated, weaponized effort to make it so hard for us to fulfill those requests that we can’t do the rest of our job properly or we can’t fulfill the record requests properly. And that’s intentional. That is a tactic, and it is intended to keep us from being able to do our jobs properly.”

She added on that note, “like many states, we’re looking at how we can better craft our public records laws. For example, one thing we want to make sure, in my state, that we aren’t doing is giving away the keys to the castle, right? What is a public record that anybody should be able to just take a look at whenever they want, and what is something that is, you know, what we need to keep internal so that we can keep hackers from getting into our system, right? So we are taking a look at that, and I think those are conversations that are happening in legislatures throughout the country. But again, I don’t want to be a broken record, but as Ben said, it’s resources, resources, resources.  We do want to be able to give out this information, but we need to make it so we can all have an office that functions like Seth’s where they can focus on their work. We can focus on the work and not on fulfilling records requests.” 

Toulouse Oliver bashed local leaders who defy her edicts, saying, “I think county government is sort of the most obscure to folks. And I would like to start with just my commissioners understand what their job is. I don’t think they want me coming to their county telling them how to do dogs, dumps, and driving. Likewise, I don’t want them making election policy because that’s not their job.”

She concluded in her commentary on the panel, “So I think just demystifying local government is important. One thing I think was good about COVID — many bad things — is that I think that was part of the reason we did have such great turnout in 2020 because people really started to realize the impact that state and local government had n ther daily lives. And so whatever we can do… to continue to sort of expand that understanding is a plus.” 

Watch her remarks on the panel below: 

PNM asks to raise rates by up to nine percent due to MLG’s Green New Deal

According to new reports, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is requesting the state Public Regulation Commission to allow it to raise rates — the first time in six years. The proposal includes a first-year billing increase of 1.74 percent, which is around $1.20 more per month for residential customers, according to reports. 

The rate hike will help the company pay to “begin a six-year grid modernization project with $344 million in upgrades to its distribution system,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

“But in a news conference Monday, Darnell said the total average impact for residential customers will be lower than 1 percent, or about 75 cents a month. However, when commercial and industrial rates are added in, the overall increase would be about 9 percent.”

The cost hikes are due to the passage and forced implementation of the anti-energy “Energy Transition Act,” the state’s version of the Green New Deal signed by Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2019.

The New Mexican notes, “PNM’s proposed grid updates would apply to the company’s entire service area and are a response to the state’s zero-carbon initiatives stemming from the 2019 Energy Transition Act.”

As we previously reported, utilities such as PNM and El Paso Electric are bracing for blackouts and brownouts due to the Green New Deal:

During a special Public Regulation Commission meeting [in September], Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM) said it is being forced to PNM executives said the utility will fill “quite a hole” next summer due to “green” replacements taking longer to materialize as the San Juan Generating Station is set to close next week.

According to PNM spokesman Ray Sandoval, PNM “generally has a 2,000-megawatt system with about 500 megawatts provided by the San Juan Generating Station.” 

With the closure of the San Juan Generating Station, it has purged countless jobs, with only around 80 employees able to retire. “For the rest of the employees, though, they’re going to have to go find some other form of employment,” said plant manager Omni Warner. 

The AP reports, “El Paso Electric, a utility that serves customers in southern New Mexico, also is expecting a capacity gap next summer. Like PNM, El Paso Electric will have to buy power from other producers to ensure adequate capacity when customers crank up their air conditioners during the hottest of days.”

PNM’s senior vice president for public policy, Ron Darnell, said the utility expects “a final decision within 10 to 13 months” on the rate hike to keep the company afloat.

MLG’s health dept. declares RSV emergency, pushes masks, COVID jabs

On Thursday, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) issued an emergency public health order regarding the rise of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), declaring masking is recommended.

Dr. David Scrase, the head of the NMDOH, wrote, “It is recommended that New Mexican families exercise additional precautions this holiday season to prevent transmission of RSV, including wearing masks when in indoor public settings and refraining from meeting with friends and family when experiencing respiratory disease symptoms.” 

He also declared, “New Mexican families are strongly encouraged to obtain vaccinations and boosters for influenza and COVID-19 to prevent additional illness.” 

Scrase’s order erroneously claimed, “the use of masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic was shown to reduce exposure and transmission of pathogens.” 

However, there is not a single scientific study proving masks work to prevent any disease, much less COVID-19, with recent studies finding no significant difference between N95 and medical masks, casting even more doubt on the effectiveness of masks in preventing disease.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote, “The real-world effectiveness of face coverings to prevent [the] acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been widely studied.”

Sen. Gregg Schmedes, M.D. (R-Albuquerque), wrote that the New Mexico Department of Health “recommends indoor masking for RSV today. They also recommend bivalent Covid vaccination for healthy people. They did not, however, cite any evidence.” 

Pro-energy group sounds the alarm on Biden slowing down oil leasing in NM

Joe Biden, in recent weeks leading up to and after the November 8 midterm election, has been sending mixed messages about American gas prices, which have continued to be setting records throughout his time in the White House.

Energy in Depth, a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, wrote regarding Biden’s continually changing rhetoric on gas prices, “At a rally in New Mexico earlier this month, [Joe] Biden claimed that there has been no slowdown in leasing in the state – although the facts say otherwise. But while campaigning for Democrats in New York state, President Biden bragged that there will be ‘no more drilling’ under his tenure.” 

“These mixed messages have real effects, particularly in states like New Mexico, where a large part of oil and natural gas production takes place on federal lands. In 2021, New Mexico became the second-largest producer of oil in the country, with approximately 54 percent of that production taking place on federal lands. Royalties and other payments from the oil and natural gas industry make up approximately 35 percent of New Mexico’s budget, which funds essential infrastructure, education, and healthcare priorities.”

Biden erroneously claimed at the rally for the reelection of anti-energy Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, “I know we have a lot of leases out here in New Mexico for oil companies. And we haven’t slowed them down at all. They should be drilling more than they’re doing now. If they were drilling more, we’d have more — more relief at the pump. But the oil industry hasn’t met their commitment to invest in America and support the American people.”

But according to an analysis from the group, the Biden regime has significantly slowed down leasing in New Mexico, right in the middle of a global energy crisis. Energy in Depth “took the total number of parcels offered by the Bureau of Land Management in New Mexico during a given Presidential administration and divided it by the number of years each president was in office to get the average number of parcels offered each year – and the results are startling.”

Biden has offered massively lower numbers of parcels for sale than the past two presidential administrations. The group said the Biden administration has offered 90.7 fewer parcels annually than the Barack Obama administration and 93.7 fewer than the Donald J. Trump administration.

“[T]he Obama and Trump administrations held an average of 3.25 and 3.5 lease sales in New Mexico per year, respectively, as President, while the Biden administration has only held or scheduled a total of two sales, with a current average of 0.67 lease sales per year. Even if the Biden administration were to hold three lease sales in 2023, it will have only offered an average of 1.7 lease sales per year in New Mexico – significantly less than the Obama and Trump administrations,” wrote the group.

Under the administration of New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham, many anti-energy bills have passed the state legislature, including the state’s version of the Green New Deal, which will wipe out the energy industry in New Mexico.

Rep. Herrell, narrowly defeated by Democrat, files paperwork for 2024

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-CD-2), who narrowly lost reelection to far-left Democrat Gabe Vasquez, had filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for the 2024 election.

Vasquez’s campaign wrote about the news, “Gabe is preparing to serve New Mexico’s working families in Washington this January, but in the meantime, we need to rebuild our campaign’s funds to prepare for the rematch ahead.”

The campaign claimed Herrell is a “far-right extremist” in an email, despite the Congresswoman not being extremist in the slightest. Vasquez used this type of rhetoric on the campaign trail to attempt to discredit Herrell.

Herrell hinted at another run in a November 17 email, writing:

No doubt, we are heartbroken for New Mexico, especially knowing we lost this seat by LESS THAN 1% in a district that was intentionally re-drawn to take me out of office by a much greater margin. In fact, we had amazing gains in every Democrat county – including Dona Ana County where we took 43% of the vote – which was a five point gain from just two years ago! 

I can assure you, it wasn’t for a lack of effort by our amazing campaign team. We knocked over 100,000 doors, made over 75,000 calls and made countless trips throughout the District. Unfortunately, the slim margin did not trigger an automatic re-count of the vote total, and our team could not identify any irregularities that would have warranted requesting one. 

After reviewing the outcomes, we can see by our data that voter turn out, by both parties, was lower than anticipated, but sadly, lower in some of the large Republican counties that could possibly have tipped the scale. 

It has been my greatest honor serving the people of New Mexico in the capacity as their US Representative in Congress. We were able to deliver solid results for our state – even while serving in the Minority. Our Constituent Services team closed over 2000 cases with a 98% success rate! I could not be more proud of how our team made a difference.

We know our work in Washington was not completed, and hundreds of people from all over the District and colleagues in Washington have asked me to stay in the fight…all options will be on the table – so stay tuned.

Again, thank you for your support, prayers and kindness, and thank you for believing in me the way I believed in myself!

The report from Herrell’s campaign was filed on November 22, 2022, right before the Thanksgiving holiday break.

Herrell won the election in 2020 against Democrat incumbent Rep. Xochitl Torres Small. She lost reelection to Vasquez in the November 2022 election by around a mere 1,000 votes after far-left Democrats in the state legislature gerrymandered New Mexico’s three congressional districts to favor Democrats.

The gerrymandered maps are currently in litigation and could be overturned, returning the Second District from favoring Democrats by four points to the previous map, which had the Second District favoring Republicans by 14 percentage points.


Teacher’s union chief uses tragic death of UNM student to push for gun grabs

On Saturday, 19-year-old Brandon Travis was fatally shot by a 21-year-old NMSU student-athlete at around 3 a.m., according to the Albuquerque Police Department. 

KOB 4 reports:

During the altercation, both students were shot. The 21-year-old was rushed to a hospital. At this time, we do not know his condition.

State police say Travis had conspired with a 17-year-old female and two other UNM students to lure the 21-year-old to campus and assault him.

Once on campus, Travis confronted the student and shot him. The NMSU student fired back. 

The University of New Mexico is a gun-free zone. The University’s policy states that except for small exceptions for peace officers, “no person may use or possess a weapon on any part of campus.” 

Despite no solid details available immediately after the shooting, far-left American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten used the death of Travis and others in a recent Colorado shooting to push for more anti-gun bills.

“Hatred and guns are a toxic combination. We must get weapons of war out of our communities and off our streets, and protect our most vulnerable so they can feel safe and live free from the never-ending threat of gun violence,” she wrote in a statement.

“And while these two shootings are the ones we’ve heard about, on any given day in this country, more than 100 lives are lost to gun violence. This madness must stop, and we must commit to expanding and building on the commonsense gun safety reforms of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that a majority of Americans—including gun owners—support, including a ban on high-capacity magazines and military-grade assault rifles.”

She then went on to erroneously claim if more unconstitutional anti-gun laws are passed, more lives will be saved. 

She said, “And while these two shootings are the ones we’ve heard about, on any given day in this country, more than 100 lives are lost to gun violence. This madness must stop, and we must commit to expanding and building on the commonsense gun safety reforms of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that a majority of Americans—including gun owners—support, including a ban on high-capacity magazines and military-grade assault rifles.”

Nationally, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are unlikely to get their anti-gun bills across the finish line with a divided Congress as the GOP takes back control in January. In New Mexico’s state legislature, Democrats have already pledged to fund radical anti-gun bills, including one to make people felons if they do not lock up their guns and others to expand “Red Flag” gun grabs.

Disgraced Dem Stapleton ‘not in custody’ as corruption trial looms

Despite a massive corruption trial looming over Democrats’ ex-New Mexico House Majority Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo), she is “not in custody,” according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The Journal noted that Second Judicial District Judge Lucy Soliman “estimated that a trial will be scheduled some 400 days out. Stapleton, who is not in custody, did not appear at the Zoom hearing Thursday.”

Stapleton’s house was raided last July after it was revealed she had been allegedly embezzling around $1 million from New Mexico’s taxpayers — specifically New Mexico’s Children through the Albuquerque Public Schools, where she used to work. She was fired from the cushy $ 79,000-per-year gig.

The Piñon Post’s exclusive report uncovering her ties to other high-profile New Mexico Democrats has revealed Stapleton’s alleged graft has been going on for around 30 years, in tandem with Joseph Johnson, a shady former New Mexico secretary of health who also has previously been hit with bribery and fraud charges.

Stapleton was indicted on 26 counts, including ten counts of improper statutory citations ranging from second to fourth-degree felonies, two counts of violating the ethical principles of public service, both misdemeanors, nine counts of engaging in official acts for personal gain, all of them being fourth-degree felonies, at least one count of tax evasion (a fourth-degree felony), among others. 

In 2011, Larry Barker of KRQE 13 News found that Stapleton “pocketed more than $100,000 — money she didn’t earn — from APS over the years while serving in the legislature. But instead of being punished or forced to pay it back, Superintendent Winston Brooks changed the rules for Stapleton.” Brooks dismissed Stapleton’s $167,000 worth of unauthorized leave from APS, saying, “What I did was I changed the employee handbook so that anyone can be a legislator in Santa Fe and be paid for it.” 

In 2018, former Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission executive director Kimberly Greene and former employees Cheryl Yazzie and Charles Countee pleaded guilty to fraud and embezzlement charges by creating phony state vouchers to heist over $67,700 from the Commission. According to Greene, she claims she “was coerced by [then]-House Minority Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, to enter into a no-bid contract with eRead, an outside contractor for ACT/SAT program,” according to the New Mexico Political Report. However, Stapleton claimed, “I was never involved, never spoke to anybody about a no-bid contract.”

Dems join Keller to preview their extreme anti-gun bills for 2023 legislature

On Wednesday, Democrats previewed their extreme anti-gun bills via a press conference with far-left Democrat Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. Of course, the preview was marketed as “crime-focused” however, it only dealt with taking more guns away from law-abiding citizens via government action.

Keller tried pulling at heartstrings, telling reporters, “The difference between a violent crime and a deadly crime and a loss of life is typically the involvement of a firearm,” He said, “And because of that, the criminal justice system should reflect the enhancement that a life could be lost, a child could die, because of that weapon as opposed to if that weapon was not in the equation.”

Three Democrat lawmakers attended the presser, including Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D-Bernalillo).

“The purpose of the legislation is not to create another criminal penalty, but the purpose of the legislation is to remind gun owners and firearm owners that you have a responsibility to keep those firearms safely secured if you decide to own one. And when you are negligent in that responsibility, there will be a penalty,” claimed Representative Herndon.

Previously during a July Legislative Courts, Corrections, and Justice Committee, far-left Democrats mentioned plans they had to bring forth anti-gun legislation. At the meeting, opposing voices were silenced. 

As we previously reported:

State Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana) threatened to make parents felons and bankrupt them if they don’t lock up their firearms. He said, “You tell parents you’re gonna lose everything you own” if they don’t lock up guns. Cervantes added he wants to sue “manufacturers and marketers of guns” while saying, “Bring it on if you think the Constitution protects unfettered use and access of guns.” He then applauded Australia’s near-total ban on firearms.

Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) said during her commentary, “Before we start passing insane gun laws, we need to make sure they don’t get kicked back” on grounds of constitutionality.

State Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo) claimed automatic firearms are “weapons of war.” 

Rep. Moe Maestas (D-Bernalillo) chimed in, comparing guns to “nuclear bombs.” He said that “forty years ago, there was an SNL skit where Everyone was walking around with a nuclear bomb. So apparently, that’s come to fruition.” 

Maestas was just tapped by the Bernalillo County Commission to fill the remaining term of former state Sen. Jacob Candelaria, who quit his post. He is married to anti-gun lobbyist Vanessa Alarid.

During the hearing, far-left Democrat Albuquerque-area legislators Dayan Hochman-Vigil and Pamelya Herndon released their plans to sponsor anti-gun bills in the 2023 Legislative Session. One measure would create and beef up the “Office of Gun Violence and Prevention,” which was initially funded $300,000 in the 2022 Legislative Session. Anti-gun activist Miranda Viscoli said the department, to be comparable with states like Colorado, needed approximately $3 million in funding. 

Herndon proposed a bill forcing New Mexicans to lock up their firearms. If they did not, and their gun somehow was used in an offense by a minor, the parent of that child could be made a felon if the victim of the crime is killed or permanently disabled. As noted by even some Democrats in the chamber, the bill would be the first crime proposal to base a defendant’s sentence not on their own actions but that of someone else (a minor) who got ahold of a firearm. 

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