Piñon Post

Judge delivers bad news to Gov. Lujan Grisham over executive order

On Tuesday, a federal judge, David Herrera Urias, issued a temporary restraining order, blocking Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s revised public health order that prohibited firearms in parks, playgrounds, and other public places where children play in Albuquerque and across Bernalillo County — another blow to the governor. 

The extension of the temporary restraining order comes as Judge Urias considers a request for an injunction on the revised order. He has committed to making a decision on this matter by October 11.

The legal action follows at least five lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court, with plaintiffs asserting that the governor’s initial order, which banned carrying open or concealed firearms in public spaces in New Mexico’s most populous city and county, infringes on Second Amendment rights. The lawsuits primarily seek court orders to prevent the state from enforcing the gun ban.

The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), one of the complainants, swiftly filed a lawsuit within 24 hours of the governor issuing the public health order. Dudley Brown, president of the Colorado-based organization, emphasized the uniqueness of New Mexico’s situation, stating, “This is the most egregious ban ever produced in modern America.”

While Judge Urias evaluates the legal aspects of the firearms ban, the political landscape surrounding Governor Lujan Grisham is becoming increasingly tumultuous. Representatives Lord and Block have initiated calls for the governor’s impeachment, citing concerns over her handling of public health orders and potential violations of constitutional rights.

The federal judge’s decision to extend the temporary restraining order adds another layer to the ongoing legal battle over gun regulations. The outcome, expected by October 11, will have significant implications not only for Governor Lujan Grisham’s public health measures but also for the broader debate on Second Amendment rights in the state.

As the legal proceedings unfold, the governor faces mounting pressure on the political front, with calls for impeachment intensifying. State Reps. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and John Block (R-Alamogordo) continue to pursue impeachment proceedings against the governor over her unconstitutional order and her claims that no law or oath is “absolute.”

Gov. Lujan Grisham tests positive for COVID-19 for third time

In an unexpected turn of events, the Office of Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham confirmed Monday in a press release that the governor has tested positive for COVID-19. The statement noted that Governor Lujan Grisham is currently “experiencing some minimal symptoms.”

The Governor’s office told the public that she is in good spirits despite the mild symptoms.

For the remainder of the week, Governor Lujan Grisham will be carrying out her duties remotely.

The press release did not provide specific details about where or how the governor may have contracted the virus. 

Governor Lujan Grisham’s positive test result also raises questions about potential impacts on the state’s governance, though the remote work arrangement is designed to ensure continuity in decision-making processes.

Lujan Grisham previously tested positive for the virus in August of 2022 and in November of 2022.

Unhinged NM Dem Party equates Republicans with domestic terrorists

The New Mexico Democrat Party (DPNM), in its latest attack on Republicans, equated members of the GOP to domestic terrorists in a recent statement released three days following an altercation in northern New Mexico where anti-Don Juan de Oñate demonstrators clashed with a man who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. 

A longtime Oñate statue was set to return to Rio Arriba County this year after it was removed following the 2020 George Floyd Antifa riots targeting statues and historical sites. Anti-Hispanic hate groups, including The Red Nation, have attacked Hispanic history and culture by cloaking their protests in supposed care for Native American traditions. These fringe groups, such as The Red Nation, originate out of state.

After a video showed him being pursued by a crowd of anti-Hispanic protesters, the man shot one person. Strangely, in his mugshot, the man was allowed to wear his MAGA hat — something likely done as a political message to attempt to show Republicans as accused criminals.

DPNM, which Jessica Vasquez chairs, wrote in the bloviated statement, “To learn from the past & continually work toward becoming a more just & equitable society, we must remember history as it was, including the colonial injustices & atrocities that are a sad part of New Mexico’s history.”

In the attempt at equating all Republicans to the shooter, DPNM continued, “The aggressor of this horrendous act was a right-wing extremist wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat. After this event, & so many others that have terrorized our country, it is our duty to call the MAGA movement what it is: a radical movement that has emboldened the most heinous extremists in our country to commit acts of politically-motivated (sic) violence.” 

It added, “The Republican Party remains spinelessly complacent in condoning political violence as extremists have infiltrated & taken over their party. We will continue to do everything we can to keep them & their MAGA leader, Donald Trump, out of public office.”

The Democrat Party has long embraced and inflamed political violence, including in its fight against slavery, in its opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, in its support for the George Floyd/Antifa riots, and even most recently on Capitol Hill, where a Democrat congressman pulled a fire alarm to attempt to halt a vote to avert a government shutdown. 

Dems blasted in court over ‘extreme’ partisan gerrymandered U.S. House maps

Political scientist Sean Trende has leveled accusations of “extreme” partisan gerrymandering against New Mexico Democrats, alleging that recent redistricting efforts unfairly benefited the Democratic Party. The claims surfaced during the second and final day of a bench trial on the GOP’s lawsuit challenging the process behind the new congressional map, redrawn in response to the 2020 Census.

The GOP argues that the redistricting maneuver, ostensibly aimed at adjusting borders to reflect changes in population, was designed to diminish Republican influence in the state. The trial concluded with closing arguments, and Judge Fred Van Soelen is expected to render a verdict by October 6, potentially impacting the congressional map ahead of the 2024 election.

Republicans attribute the redistricting to their loss of the Second Congressional District in 2022, where Democrat Gabe Vasquez defeated GOP incumbent Yvette Herrell. In the event of a favorable verdict, plaintiffs are urging the court to find a resolution, potentially leading to a redrawn congressional map before the 2024 elections.

The trial also saw subpoenas filed by Republicans seeking testimony from Democrat lawmakers, including Senate leaders Peter Wirth and Mimi Stewart, Sen. Joseph Cervantes, and former Speaker of the House Brian Egolf. However, none of the legislators appeared in court, prompting arguments about legislative immunity. While Van Soelen ruled that lawmakers were protected from testifying about the legislative process, he allowed the admission of text messages and emails into evidence.

Jowei Chen, an associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan, testified on behalf of the defense, analyzing the new districts through 1,000 “partisan blind” simulations. Chen argued that the districts created by Senate Bill 1 were not extreme in their political characteristics and could have emerged from a non-partisan map-drawing process. He also noted efforts to prevent any district from having over 60 percent of New Mexico’s oil wells, a condition given by the defense to replicate the SB 1 map approved by lawmakers.

Chen’s testimony faced scrutiny from the plaintiffs, who argued that the division of the oil and gas industry diluted its influence. While Chen acknowledged that he had never been asked to split up an industry in his career, he stated that he was informed by the defense that it was a policy consideration.

Sean Trende, another political analyst, supported the GOP’s claims during his testimony. He argued that the new districts were strategically designed to shift Republican voters out of the Second District and create majorities in all three districts, aiming to “punish Republicans” and entrench Democratic advantages.

Trende’s methodology came under attack during cross-examination, with the defense challenging the admissibility of his data. Trende admitted that the original maps could not be precisely replicated but maintained that his simulations were politically neutral. The trial also featured Brian Sanderoff, president of Research and Polling Inc., who testified that the redistricting process made districts more competitive.

The verdict in the case will show if the heavily gerrymandered districts, which shifted the Second District from an R+14 to a D+4 (an 18-point swing) will hold up for the far-left Democrats.

Trial begins for lawsuit over Dems’ gerrymandered U.S. House map

The trial over accusations of partisan gerrymandering by the far-left Democrat-controlled Legislature commenced on Wednesday, adding fuel to the ongoing national debate on redistricting. The focus is on New Mexico’s Second District, a crucial battleground that has swung between parties in the past three elections and holds significance in the Republicans’ efforts to maintain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2024.

The Republican Party contends that the new map, orchestrated by Democrats, deviates from established redistricting norms by dividing communities to gain a political advantage. They argue that this deliberate manipulation aims to diminish the conservative voice in southeastern New Mexico, an oil-producing stronghold, by splitting it among three congressional districts favoring Democrats. 

During the redistricting process, New Mexicans from across the state gave input to the Legislature through meetings held by the state’s Citizens Redistricting Committee. All the recommendations from the committee were tossed out for an extremely partisan gerrymandered map that chopped up Republican areas of the state into districts that have been Democrat strongholds in an attempt at swinging the Second District to favor progressive Democrat candidates.

During the trial, Republican attorneys presented evidence, including text messages from a top Democratic legislator, suggesting flagrant gerrymandering tactics. State Rep. James Townsend (R-Artesia), a retired oil pipeline supervisor and former state House minority leader, testified that the intent was to secure Democrat victories in these districts, marginalizing Republican lawmakers from the process.

In response, Democratic lawmakers erroneously claimed that the redistricting was conducted diligently, ensuring more competitive districts reflective of population shifts, with considerations for Native American communities. Richard Olson, an attorney for the Democrat-led Legislature, argues that the Second District remains competitive, and Republicans will struggle to prove intentional entrenchment of Democratic politicians, despite obvious evidence in the contrary.

The trial in Lovington is expected to last three days, with the New Mexico Supreme Court granting the state district judge until October 6th to reach a decision. With the 2024 elections looming, the judiciary is working against time to implement potential changes. Despite challenges, the court affirmed its duty to protect the right to vote as a fundamental democratic mechanism, emphasizing the importance of addressing gerrymandering concerns.

While Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is not defending the contested map, citing other legal priorities, the trial underscores the intense political struggle over redistricting, a process critical to shaping the future of representation in the United States.

Juan de Oñate statue returning to Rio Arriba County

The statue of Juan de Oñate, a figure entangled in the complexities of New Mexico’s history, is set to return to the Rio Arriba County Complex on September 28, 2023, in a ceremony slated to begin at 10 a.m.

Residents from the community have been invited to witness the statue’s reinstallation, with hopes that the event will proceed peacefully and without incident. The county office, situated on Industrial Park Road, will be the statue’s new home.

The Rio Arriba County Commissioners have made the decision to reinstall the statue, and Chairman Alex Naranjo has expressed that most individuals he’s spoken with are generally supportive of its return.

The statue, commissioned in 1990 or possibly 1989 for $100,000 from sculptor Sonny Rivera by the Rio Arriba County Commission, was removed in June 2020. This removal followed credible threats and assaults on other statues created by the same sculptor, including the Soldiers Monument in the Santa Fe Plaza. Interestingly, Alex Naranjo’s uncle, Emilio, led the effort to construct and erect the statue.

Throughout the 1990s, the United States witnessed controversies surrounding statues dedicated to historical figures, with many of these statues being defaced, destroyed, or removed due to protests. Even sculptures honoring famous Civil War generals were not spared from this turmoil. In late 1997, vandals removed the left foot of the Oñate statue, resulting in estimated repair costs of $10,000. Oñate has been accused of ordering the removal of the left foot from any man over the age of 25, according to the Office of the New Mexican State Historian. Some websites also accuse him of “sentencing hundreds of people to 20 years of ‘personal servitude.'”

This defacement of the sculpture was a protest against Oñate’s role in the 1599 Acoma Massacre. The year prior, in 1598, 12 Spanish soldiers were killed in a battle between Spanish colonizers and Native Americans. Oñate’s nephew and soldier, Juan de Zaldivar, lost his life in the conflict while attempting to meet with Acoma leaders.

Juan de Oñate served as the colonial governor of the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo, Mexico and ordered a retaliatory strike against the Acoma Pueblo in 1599.

The larger-than-life Juan de Oñate bronze sculpture, depicting New Mexico’s first Spanish colonial governor mounted on a horse, holds a unique place in the emotions and opinions of the people of northern New Mexico. Its significance and impact on various communities are intertwined with Juan de Oñate’s historical role.

Juan de Oñate, originally from Zacatecas, Mexico, was the son of a prominent owner of silver mines in central Mexico. In 1598, suspecting the existence of additional precious metal reserves to the north, he financed and led a lengthy caravan of soldiers, missionaries, civilians, and livestock through the deserts of northern Mexico and into Pueblo country. The Tewa people of Ohkay Owingeh, described as “gentlemanly” by the Spanish, vacated Yunque Yunque, an Ohkay Owingeh pueblo complex on the west side of the Rio Grande, offering it to Oñate and his party as a place of shelter upon their arrival.

They remained there for several years until the capital of the newly claimed “Kingdom of la Nueva Mexico” was moved to Santa Fe. Oñate’s penetration into Pueblo Indian territory and the establishment of the first Spanish Mexican colony led many Indo-Hispano individuals in northern New Mexico to regard Oñate as a hero and significant leader.

However, it is worth noting that the ordinary Indo-Hispano person had little knowledge of Oñate or his colony until Anglo historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists working in Santa Fe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries meticulously analyzed Spanish colonial archives across two continents. Their findings, published revelations, and interpretations significantly impacted the understanding of both Native and Indo-Hispano history and history combined.

The world’s largest equestrian bronze statue of Oñate remains in El Paso, Texas, where the Spanish colonial governor is responsible for naming the city El Paso del Norte. He was the founder of the Camino Real (Royal Highway) and the Hispanic Southwest in 1598.

Abortionist who botched woman’s procedure counter-sues victim

In a startling turn of events, pro-life advocates are gearing up to support Jane Doe (used to protect identity), a woman who underwent a traumatic experience during a botched abortion three years ago. Abortionist Franz Theard, responsible for the botched procedure, is now countersuing Jane for speaking out against his alleged malpractice.

The incident, which unfolded three years ago, saw Theard perform both chemical and surgical abortions on Jane Doe. Tragically, the procedures did not go as planned, leading to severe complications. When Jane returned home, understandably distraught after passing fetal remains, Theard reportedly left the scene. He subsequently had Jane arrested and pressed charges against her for causing a public disturbance.

Fortunately, Jessica Sifuentes, President of the Southwest Coalition, was present at the time of the incident. Sifuentes managed to secure Jane’s release from jail and arranged for her to receive medical attention to address an infection. Through Abortion on Trial, Jane received free legal representation to pursue justice for the alleged reproductive injustice she endured. She is now suing Franz Theard on seven charges, including medical malpractice.

In a shocking development, it has come to light that Theard is now countersuing Jane Doe, ostensibly in response to her public statements about the incident. The pro-life community sees this countersuit as an attempt to stifle Jane’s ability to speak out against what she perceives as medical malpractice.

The situation has attracted significant attention from pro-life activists, with lead attorney Mike Siebel scheduled to reveal further details about the case at the upcoming 40 Days for Life kickoff rally. This rally, set to take place at IHM Cathedral’s Finley Hall, aims to shed light on the alleged injustices faced by women who travel from Texas to New Mexico for abortions.

The case involving Jane Doe and Franz Theard has the potential to set a precedent that could impact the fate of Theard’s abortion facility. Pro-life advocates believe that exposing the challenges faced by women in such situations is critical, and they see this case as a potential turning point in the fight for life-affirming women’s healthcare in the region.

The rally on Sunday provides an opportunity for individuals to join the pro-life movement and be part of an initiative that could shape the future of pro-life advocacy in the region. Pro-life supporters are eager to stand alongside Jane Doe and all those who seek to address reproductive injustices and advocate for the sanctity of life.

Horrific New Mexico abortion statistics released

In just over three years, New Mexico has witnessed a horrific 220% increase in abortions, the highest surge of any state in the nation, according to a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute. 

The Guttmacher Institute, a far-left, pro-abortion research organization focused onaborting more babies, recently released data illustrating the shocking rise in abortion rates across states. However, New Mexico’s numbers are particularly distressing. From January 2020 to June 2023, our state recorded an astounding 6,480 more abortions than in previous years.

“Colorado, where abortion also remains legal, saw an 89% increase in abortion during the same period. New York [S]tate saw an increase of 18%. California experienced a 16% increase during that time,” the Albuquerque Journal noted.

This surge, which predates the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision and the Texas six-week gestation protection, indicates a deeply troubling trend in the state.

The Guttmacher Institute’s data scientist, Isaac Maddow-Zimet, notes that this increase is not solely due to recent legal changes but reflects a complex interplay of factors. The availability of telehealth, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the existence of abortion support networks in our state have all contributed to this disturbing rise, according to Maddow-Zimet.

Furthermore, the enactment of the Texas six-week protections for babies in the womb created a demand in New Mexico as an abortion tourism destination. 

The rise in abortion cases in New Mexico is not just a regional issue but a reflection of our state’s proximity to those where life in the womb has been protected.

The Guttmacher Institute’s report serves as another tragic reminder of New Mexico’s extreme abortion up-to-birth policies rammed through in 2021 by far-left Democrats that left mothers, babies, and medical professionals defenseless.

Biden regime’s Deb Haaland plotting another NM land grab

The Biden administration has proposed prohibiting oil drilling and mining on thousands of acres of land in northern New Mexico, aimed at safeguarding Native American heritage and cultural sites.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) unveiled the plan to ban new mining claims and oil and gas development across more than 4,200 acres in Sandoval County, situated north of Albuquerque. If the proposal is finalized and implemented, it would remain in effect for up to 50 years.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressed the administration’s commitment to protecting these lands in response to calls from tribes, elected officials, and local communities. Secretary Haaland stated, “Today we’re responding to a call from Tribes, elected leaders, and community members who want to see these public lands protected.” She added, “We look forward to hearing more from the public to inform decisions about how activities, like gravel mining, may impact these lands, including the important cultural and natural resources.”

Melanie Barnes, the state director of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) New Mexico office, emphasized the Placitas area’s significance for Tribal Nations and the local community. The region contains archaeological resources dating back hundreds of years and is popular for hiking, camping, sightseeing, and hunting.

The BLM’s proposal aims to “protect, preserve, and promote the scenic integrity, cultural importance, recreational values, and wildlife habitat connectivity” in the area.

The Pueblo tribes of San Felipe and Santa Ana had previously advocated for protections in this region, emphasizing its archaeological significance. The proposed action aligns with their concerns and priorities.

In 2019, while serving in Congress and as vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Secretary Haaland introduced the Buffalo Tract Protection Act, which mirrors the recent proposal. She cited the pollution and environmental impact that local residents and tribal citizens experienced due to the area’s numerous mines.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) reintroduced the legislation earlier this year, consistently urging the DOI to block mineral development in Sandoval County.

The Congressional Budget Office conducted an assessment of the Buffalo Tract Protection Act using information from the BLM. The report, issued in August, highlighted that the region affected by the mineral ban has a high potential for sand and gravel extraction, which is essential for infrastructure projects like road construction. It also indicated minimal potential for the development of other minerals.

However, the report projected that the land withdrawal would result in a decrease of $2 million in federal revenue. Despite this fiscal impact, proponents of the measure stress the importance of preserving cultural heritage and protecting the environment in the region.

The Interior Department led by Haaland recently approved a land grab from the Navajo Nation around Chaco Canyon that marked off a ten-mile radius from new oil and natural gas leasing for the next 20 years, which will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue to the tribal nation.

Far-left U.S. Rep. Vasquez to support resolution condemning Gov. MLG

Far-left U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico plans to break ranks with his party by supporting a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives condemning Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s illegal executive order banning guns in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which a judge recently struck down. Vasquez, a responsible gun owner, expressed his commitment to “common-sense solutions that reduce gun violence.” 

He also mentioned his support for the extreme anti-gun “Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act.”

In his statement, Vasquez emphasized the importance of producing constitutional, legal, and enforceable solutions to protect families and children, despite being considered one of the most vulnerable House Democrats seeking reelection.

The resolution, sponsored by Republicans, condemns Governor Lujan Grisham for “blatantly violating the Second Amendment to the Constitution” and depriving New Mexico citizens of their right to bear arms. Last week, following public outcry and lawsuits, the governor amended her order, restricting the prohibition on openly carrying firearms or concealed weapons in Bernalillo County to parks and playgrounds.

While the Republican-sponsored resolution was initially scheduled for consideration on the House floor, it has been temporarily withdrawn. During a House Rules Committee meeting on Monday, Democrats accused Republicans of using the resolution as a political stunt, with some labeling it a “waste of time.”

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York characterized the resolution as ineffectual, alleging that it was intended to divert attention from Republican failures in governance. U.S. Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts expressed incredulity at the extensive debate surrounding a nonbinding resolution when more pressing issues like gun violence and government shutdowns demanded attention.

In contrast, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin defended the resolution, asserting that it recognized Second Amendment rights and condemned the governor’s “unconstitutional order.” He argued that the order did not contribute to public safety and only infringed on New Mexicans’ rights, citing New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez’s warning that only responsible gun owners would comply with the ban. Tiffany concluded that the ban was not only bad policy but also blatantly unconstitutional, emphasizing that the Second Amendment was not a mere suggestion.

“Gabe Vasquez is a defund the police extremist who is only speaking up to cover his own political hide. Voters see through this transparent calculation from an extreme politician,” said the National Republican Congressional Committee’s spokeswoman Delanie Bomar.

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