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MLG’s $10M abortion center to service Texans one step closer to being built

Editor’s note: a previous version of this article incorrectly indicated the abortion center would be $10 billion, not $10 million.

A new abortion facility received the green light from the University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents on Wednesday to proceed with its building plans. The organization behind the facility can now purchase land for its construction.

Last year, the Legislature approved $10 million for an abortion center in Doña Ana County after pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham forced the funds through in the capital outlay bill — resulting in Republicans and even some Democrats voting against the measure because of her proposed $10 million state-run abortion mill. 

Since then, UNM, Planned Parenthood, and fringe dark money groups Bold Futures New Mexico and Strong Families New Mexico have collaborated and engaged other pro-abortion community groups to develop a plan for the center.

Heather Smith of Bold Futures stated, “Our communities have been lacking [abortion] services for decades,” she informed the UNM Board of Regents.

“Source New Mexico” writes that as well as abortions, the state-funded center will offer so-called “gender affirming care.” 

The acquisition of land, located at the Lohman Medical Park campus in Las Cruces, was approved by a 6 to 1 vote. UNM Medical Group will manage the 8,000-square-foot facility.

The contract price for the land is $1,030,630, which will be funded from the state appropriation for the project.

Charlene Bencomo, the executive director of Bold Futures, said the steps taken by the university’s board of regents give the green light to finalize the land deal and begin designing and staffing the facility. The facility is set to be Texas’ back-alley abortion facility for Texas mothers to utilize abortion tourism to visit New Mexico and end their child’s life at the state-funded center.

They also plan to collaborate with UNM to start a training program and work with the New Mexico Doula Association to integrate doula care into the center.

In scathing op-ed, Dem NM legislator rips ‘Woke’ progressive bullies in party

In a defiant op-ed published in the Albuquerque Journal, Democrat State Representative Marian Matthews from New Mexico openly criticized this year’s Senate Bill 3 (SB 3), the failed Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) bill, marking her firm opposition to what she described as a flawed proposal championed by the far-left progressives within her party. Matthews, who represents District 27, highlighted her commitment to protecting vulnerable populations, a commitment that led her to vote against the bill not once but twice.

Matthews invoked the words of Hubert Humphrey to underline her point, stating, “The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life – the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.” She argued that the New Mexico Legislature frequently fails this moral test, and passing SB 3 would continue that trend by potentially reducing or eliminating services for those most in need.

The crux of Matthews’ argument revolves around the economic strains placed on caregivers, who are legally bound to pay the state minimum wage and provide mandated state benefits. She noted that, unlike other businesses, caregivers cannot simply raise prices to cover increased costs due to slow adjustments in state contracts. This leads to reductions in workforce and services, exacerbating the plight of about 70,000 of New Mexico’s “most vulnerable” citizens.

State Rep. Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque)

Matthews criticized the formation of the task force designed to develop the PFML, pointing out its lack of representation from caregivers, healthcare providers, and rural areas. She highlighted the unsustainable nature of the bill, questioning its long-term viability and the capability of the state agency assigned to administer it.

Reflecting on her own legislative efforts, Matthews mentioned her support for a more inclusive and sustainable PFML bill that she introduced in 2024. However, she encountered resistance from fellow legislators who believed exempting caregivers from payroll taxes funding the program would lead to its insolvency. “PFML would be paid for on the backs of the most vulnerable,” she lamented.

Matthews also shared personal anecdotes from her career, including threats from a powerful unnamed senator aimed at stifling her opposition to the PFML bill and other legislative efforts. Despite the political pressure and personal attacks, Matthews remains committed to advocating for the most vulnerable populations, stating, “Whether or not I win the election, I do not regret my votes. I don’t apologize for advocating for the most vulnerable New Mexicans.”

The representative concluded her piece with a call to action for more rigorous debate within her party, reminiscent of the Democrat Party’s former historical “Big Tent” approach. However, the Democrat Party of John F. Kennedy appears not only to be on life support, but deceased. 

She expressed hope for a revival of vigorous, contentious debates to achieve better policy outcomes, boldly stating, “I’m up for a raucous debate if the Woke ever wake up!” 

UNM president breaks silence on anti-Israel protesters’ demands

The University of New Mexico released an official statement on May 14 responding to recent protest demands related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

The university responded to calls for a ceasefire and demands for so-called “transparency” regarding its investment activities, specifically concerning ties to Israel.

UNM President Garnett Stokes clarified the university’s stance, emphasizing that as a public institution, UNM will not engage as a political entity in social or geopolitical debates. The statement highlighted the university’s intention to remain neutral on such issues.

Furthermore, the university has made a firm commitment to complete transparency, pledging to disclose its investment portfolio in its entirety by August 2024. 

This response directly addresses the demand for transparency from the university divestment coalition, a group of student leaders. 

The statement also acknowledges and addresses issues at the Duck Pond protest encampment, noting several policy violations, including restricted public access, disruption of university operations, safety concerns due to unsafe structures, and vandalism.

President Stokes has requested the voluntary dismantling of the Duck Pond encampment by 5 p.m. on the same day the statement was issued, warning that the university is prepared to take further actions if necessary. The involved parties have been duly notified about this directive.

MLG taking large NM delegation to Europe for enviro excursion

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico is once again leaving the state, this time for an international trip to Rotterdam, Netherlands, under the guise of promoting business and trade at the 2024 World Hydrogen Summit and Exhibition. Critics argue that her travel highlights a concerning trend of prioritizing global climate agendas over immediate local issues, as she aims to discuss potential investments in New Mexico’s hydrogen sector.

It is not immediately clear what this expensive “climate change” excursion will cost. However, with the governor flying out her husband, Manny Cordova, Office of the Governor Deputy Chief of Operations Caroline Buerkle, Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney, Department of Transportation Secretary Ricky Serna, Office of the Governor Communications Director Michael Coleman, New Mexico Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Rob Black and HyVisory Inc. Managing Director Stewart Stewart, it is sure to be quite the expense.

Taxpayers see this as an extravagant use of taxpayer money, especially when many New Mexicans continue to face everyday challenges that are sidelined by high-concept, low-impact environmental strategies.

Rotterdam, Netherlands

The governor’s hydrogen-based model for the economy is more about aligning with trendy global environmental movements than delivering practical economic benefits to New Mexico residents, especially since oil and gas funds the state’s large $10+ billion budget. 

The governor’s office boasts about creating a favorable hydrogen policy landscape in New Sed, which supposedly attracts global energy leaders. However, detractors argue that this focus diverts attention and resources from more pressing statewide needs such as public safety, education, healthcare, and infrastructure, all of which the state is ranked last or near last. 

As the governor prepares to promote New Mexico as a thriving hub for hydrogen investment, despite her hydrogen bills failing miserably at the Legislature year after year, her critics urge a reevaluation of priorities, suggesting that state leadership should concentrate more on tangible solutions that directly benefit its citizens rather than chasing international acclaim for environmental initiatives.

The governor recently left the state for Washington, D.C., to attend Joe Biden’s White House correspondents’ dinner and other lavish D.C. media parties.

Leftists whine after law-breaking NMSU protesters arrested

Thirteen individuals were detained at New Mexico State University’s Las Cruces campus on Thursday following a two-hour sit-in protest. The demonstration, organized by anti-Israel parties, took place in the Hadley administration building, a hub for the university’s top administrative offices.

The protest started with a group of about 12 to 16 people positioning themselves in the central hallway, engaging in chants and songs. Outside, additional supporters joined, some playing musical instruments on the building’s doors, echoing the sentiments inside, as campus police restricted entry.

The sit-in was part of a broader movement that included a week-long encampment on campus, during which protesters issued demands to the university’s board of regents. These demands included adopting a cease-fire resolution and transparency about the university’s investments, specifically concerning any financial ties to entities benefiting from military actions in Gaza or associated with the Israeli government.

The protesters also strangely demanded that NMSU remove Pistol Pete as the university’s mascot.

Despite the protesters’ demands, the university’s regents did not address the cease-fire resolution. Interim President Mónica Torres communicated through a letter that the university had found no investments matching the criteria specified by the protesters and requested the disbandment of the camp due to policy and safety concerns. This camp was dismantled shortly after, on May 6.

As the sit-in commenced around 4:30 p.m., just before the end of the academic year, the atmosphere outside Hadley Hall was contrastingly serene, with students engaging in typical campus activities. However, inside, the mood was different as protesters, closely encircled by campus police, continued their demonstration. 

By 5:30 p.m., the building was fully occupied by protesters and police. NMSU Police Deputy Chief Justin Dunivan mentioned efforts to de-escalate the situation and acknowledged the ongoing dialogue with the protesters.

As tensions escalated, supporters outside intensified their efforts, banging on the windows and shouting support slogans, with one protester marking the pavement with messages calling for a cease-fire. The administration noted a window was broken during the protest, attributing it to the intensity of the demonstration.

The situation reached a climax at around 6 p.m. when the university’s spokesperson, Justin Bannister, stated, “That building closes for business at 5 p.m.,” indicating that the protesters had been repeatedly asked to vacate the premises before being warned of impending arrests. This led to the arrest of 13 people, with charges ranging from misdemeanors like criminal trespass to felonies such as battery on a peace officer.

The following day, Interim President Torres released a statement, acknowledging the presence of both students and others in the protest and reiterating the university’s commitment to enabling peaceful protests while maintaining campus operations and safety.

After the news of the arrests, the far-left fringe group “ProgressNow New Mexico” bemoaned on X, “​​Last night peacefully gathered protesters at NMSU were violently removed during a sit-in. One was so brutally assaulted they required hospitalization. 

We expressly condemn the use of force by police against students exercising their right to assemble and speech (sic). Again.” 

On the other side of the argument, former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell wrote, “Kudos to NMSU for handling this the right way. Clear communication from the administration about the consequences for breaking the law, then rapid follow-through from law enforcement when those warnings were ignored. Lawbreakers were promptly removed, arrested, and charged – problem solved. Other universities should take note!” 

Billionaires fund anti-Israel protests as Dems like Vasquez accept their cash

Several House Democrats in challenging re-election campaigns, including New Mexico Rep. Gabe Vasquez, have accepted contributions from the wealthy Pritzker family, who have been linked to groups involved in recent anti-Jewish protests. 

According to data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Pritzker family, known for their ownership of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, donated substantial amounts to vulnerable Democrats as well as to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and House Majority PAC. Both organizations aim to secure a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

Reports indicate that the Pritzker family founded the Libra Foundation, which funds smaller nonprofits. Some of these nonprofits, like the Climate Justice Alliance, have taken Hamas’ side as Israel continues to defend itself against radical Islamic terrorists launching attacks.

Another funded group, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, has promoted anti-Israel demonstrations. 

The Immigrant Defense Project, also supported by the Libra Foundation, joined a protest in Washington, D.C., that led to several arrests.

Additionally, the Pritzkers and billionaire George Soros are reported to support the Tides Foundation, which funds “progressive” organizations such as the Adalah Justice Project. This project took part in a protest at Columbia University that was disrupted last week after multiple arrests.

Alongside Gabe Vasquez, other vulnerable Democrats receiving donations from the Pritzkers include Reps. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska), Mike Levin (D-Calif.), Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Susan Wild (D-Pa.), Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.). 

U.S. News report reveals New Mexico’s decline to second-worst state

Despite improved rankings in fiscal stability, natural environment, and opportunity, New Mexico remains near the bottom of U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best States rankings. 

The state was ranked 49th overall, just above Louisiana, slipping from 47th in the previous year’s report to 48th in 2021.

The Best States report draws on thousands of data points in 71 metrics over the last three years, mainly sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau and other federal data. 

These metrics are organized into eight key categories: health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and natural environment.

New Mexico showed strong performance in some areas, ranking 32nd overall in natural environment, primarily due to being fourth in the nation for low pollution levels. However, air and water quality issues dragged this score down, leaving the state 47th in that subcategory. 

The state’s opportunity ranking stood at 40th, but its affordability was a strong point, with a cost-of-living index nine points below the national average.

Education and crime/corrections were the state’s biggest challenges. Despite being 21st in higher education, New Mexico was last in Pre-K-12 education. While the state was eighth in corrections outcomes, it also ranked last in public safety. 

Healthcare and education were the most heavily weighted categories, contributing nearly 16% each to the final score.

The report ranked Utah as the best state, with strong showings in seven out of the eight categories, followed by Washington, Idaho, Nebraska, and Minnesota. 

The bottom five were West Virginia, New Mexico, Mississippi, Alaska, and Louisiana.

Early voting for New Mexico’s June primary election begins Tuesday

Early voting for the June 4th primary election in New Mexico starts tomorrow, May 7th, 2024. Registered voters can cast their ballots at the County Clerk’s office beginning on May 7th, with additional early voting locations opening up on May 18th. 

All early voting locations will close on June 1st, and Election Day polling stations will be open on June 4th from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you’re unsure of your registration status or need to register for the first time, you can check or update your voter registration online via New Mexico’s voter portal

Same-day registration will also be available at every polling location statewide on Election Day. 

For those who won’t be able to make it to the polls to vote, requesting an absentee ballot as early as possible and returning it promptly to avoid postal delays is advisable. You should hand-deliver your ballot to the County Clerk’s Office to ensure it gets in the proper hands. If there is no other option, it can also be mailed.

In-person voting locations for early and Election Day voting can be found through the New Mexico Secretary of State’s voter portal linked here, along with specific information on districts and sample ballots. 

Remember that New Mexico conducts closed partisan primaries, so voters registered with a political party can only vote in that party’s primary. 

Further details on primary election protocols, including mail-in ballots and FAQs, can be found on the New Mexico Secretary of State’s website and your county clerk’s office simply by putting “X County Clerk” in the search engine of your choice.

Voting in the primary is vital to ensure the strongest and most qualified candidates get elected to office across the board, and voting early is helpful, especially if you are unsure if you’ll be in-town or available on Election Day.

Dueling op-eds debate NM’s Senate race: Career politician or outsider?

The upcoming U.S. Senate race in New Mexico has sparked intense debate, encapsulated by two dueling op-eds in the Albuquerque Journal from state representatives Gail Chasey and Jim Townsend. Both pieces reflect deep partisan divides and sharply different perceptions of the candidates, incumbent Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich and Republican challenger Nella Domenici.

State Rep. Gail Chasey, a far-left Albuquerque Democrat, bends over backwards to prop up Sen. Heinrich’s record in a passionate piece. Chasey highlights Heinrich’s dedication to New Mexico, stating he “knows every nook and cranny of New Mexico” and has a track record of delivering “billions of dollars in federal investments,” despite Heinrich’s primary residence being in Maryland and every U.S. congressional representative and senator bringing money to the state. 

She praises his efforts in securing funding for infrastructure projects across the state, including water and sewer lines in Chama and a mental health clinic in Santa Teresa. Chasey asserts, “Heinrich’s ability to navigate the complexities of federal funding mechanisms and deliver concrete results demonstrates his effectiveness as a leader who puts the needs of New Mexicans first.”

Chasey contrasts Heinrich’s supposed extensive experience in Washington, D.C. with what she claims is Domenici’s lack thereof, arguing that Domenici, despite her impressive decades-long business background, “lacks a substantive record of public service, tangible accomplishments, or even a cursory knowledge of the state.” That could, very well, be the point of Domenici’s run — not being a career politician or Santa Fe/Washington, D.C. insider. 

On the flip side, State Rep. Jim Townsend, a Republican from Artesia, offers a starkly different view. He reminisces about Nella’s father, the late Sen. Pete Domenici, and criticizes Heinrich’s approach to governance by stating, “Martin Heinrich is no Pete Domenici.” Townsend accuses Heinrich of being “hands-off” in his responses to crises, notably in managing the aftermath of the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon wildfires, which he says led to “chaos, misery, and delay.”

Townsend praises Nella Domenici’s proactive approach, noting her quick action to meet with wildfire victims and her proposals for remediation. He commends her understanding of New Mexico’s energy needs, stating she, like her father, recognizes the importance of both traditional and renewable energy sources. Townsend criticizes Heinrich’s extreme focus on green energy as neglectful of the practical energy needs and economic realities of New Mexico.

Both op-eds vividly illustrate the high stakes and the sharp ideological contrasts at play in this Senate race. Chasey’s endorsement of Heinrich contrasts with Townsend’s portrayal of Domenici as a fresh, practical voice echoing her father’s legacy while bringing a new, amplified voice for New Mexico to the U.S. Senate.

Amazon expands its New Mexico footprint

Amazon.com Inc., the e-commerce powerhouse based in Seattle and founded by Albuquerque native Jeff Bezos, has expanded its footprint in New Mexico by acquiring approximately 16.5 acres of land in Farmington. The transaction was completed on March 14, with records from the San Juan County Assessor’s Office confirming the purchase from Cummins Rocky Mountain LLC. The acquired land is located at 160 S. Browning Pkwy., just south of Burnham Road, near key local facilities like the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter and the San Juan Veterinary Hospital. The property is valued at just under $700,000.

This acquisition adds to Amazon’s significant presence in New Mexico, where the company already operates two fulfillment and sortation centers—one in Los Lunas and another in West Albuquerque—along with four delivery stations. Collectively, these facilities employ over 3,000 people across the state. According to a 2023 economic impact study conducted by Keystone Strategy, Amazon’s investments in New Mexico have surpassed $1.1 billion, not counting the potential development of a new facility in Farmington.

In response to inquiries about this new land purchase, a spokesperson for Amazon stated to Albuquerque Business First via email, “Amazon does not comment on land purchases or leases.”

The company also recently announced its plans to establish a “last mile” facility in Grand Junction, Colorado, further expanding its regional logistical network.

Farmington city manager Robert “Rob” Mayes expressed enthusiasm about Amazon’s decision to invest in the area. “It’s meaningful that a company as astute as Amazon sees a bright economic future for the city of Farmington,” he remarked.

This new development is part of a broader surge in economic activity in northwest New Mexico. For instance, in July 2023, D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments, based in New York City, revealed plans for a 300-megawatt solar and battery storage facility near the now-retired San Juan Generating Station. Additionally, in January, the New Mexico Economic Development Department highlighted a notable acquisition involving Calgon Carbon Corp., a water treatment product manufacturer from Pittsburgh, and two local firms.

Amazon’s broader business momentum continues to be strong, as evidenced by a recent earnings report from its cloud division, Amazon Web Services, which showcased a record profit margin. According to MarketWatch, this news contributed to a late surge in Amazon’s stock, which closed at $184.72 on Thursday.

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