Piñon Post

Domenici launches first ad of the campaign cycle in six-figure ad buy

Nella Domenici, the New Mexico GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, has unveiled her first TV ad for the 2024 campaign, titled “Monroe.” The ad is named after the street in Albuquerque, where Nella and her seven siblings grew up, evoking a sense of nostalgia and highlighting the Domenici family’s longstanding legacy of service in New Mexico.

The ad pays homage to Nella’s parents, Pete and Nancy Domenici, both lifelong Albuquerque residents. Her father, Senator Pete Domenici, served New Mexico for thirty-six years in the U.S. Senate, significantly impacting communities throughout the state. Nella’s mother has been a prominent advocate for mental health. The Domenici family, including numerous siblings, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews, remains deeply rooted in the Albuquerque area.

Highlighting Nella’s professional achievements, the ad showcases her rise to the top in the finance industry while balancing the roles of wife and mother. Her philanthropic contributions in New Mexico have been so extensive that those familiar with her work often remark that “Nella had a second career in New Mexico philanthropy.”

In a statement accompanying the ad, Nella Domenici expressed her commitment to continuing her family’s legacy and encouraging New Mexicans to seek more from their representatives in November:

“I’m proud to continue the Domenici legacy of delivering more for New Mexico. I learned the value of leadership from my parents in Albuquerque. I began my career at the bottom of the career chain and worked my way up, so I know how to fight and win. Now, I want to fight and win for our home.”

The ad, part of an initial six-figure campaign investment, narrates the story of Nella’s upbringing in New Mexico and the enduring Domenici legacy of service and leadership. The voiceover in the video is a tribute to her father, using the same narrator from Senator Domenici’s campaign advertisements. This connection reinforces the deep-rooted dedication of the Domenici family to serving New Mexico.

As Nella Domenici challenges far-left Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich, she aims to resonate with voters across New Mexico by drawing on her family’s history and her own professional and philanthropic experience. The ad shows a stark contrast to Heinrich, who lives in Maryland.

Triggered by the ad buy and attempting to defend its Silver Spring, Maryland-dwelling Heinrich, the Democrat Party of New Mexico quipped on X, “Multimillionaire former hedge fund executive Nella Domenici is spending half a million dollars to cover up a career of bad judgment calls and questionable values that belong on Wall Street, not in New Mexico.” It is interesting they used this line of attack, blasting Domenici for being a successful businesswoman despite their own incumbent’s choice of dwelling outside of the state he purportedly represents. 

Watch the ad here:

Vasquez gets bad news ahead of rematch against former Rep. Herrell

In a strategic move to maintain its majority in the House, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a super PAC endorsed by Speaker Johnson and House Republican Leadership, has announced its first wave of fall ad reservations for the 2024 election cycle. The initial reservations amount to $141 million, covering television, streaming, and digital platforms across 37 media markets. This figure surpasses the spending from previous election cycles, with nearly $20 million more than in 2022 and over three times the amount spent in 2020.

Dan Conston, President of the CLF, emphasized the significance of this early investment, stating, “This is a significant early down payment on Republicans holding the House Majority. The map is undoubtedly small, and we are in a dogfight. Yet we are in a stronger position than the mainstream narrative suggests, with a promising political environment and standout Members and candidates in the toughest races. Effective campaigns and resources will really matter.”

A notable aspect of this announcement is the substantial ad spending in New Mexico’s Second Congressional District, where a highly anticipated rematch between GOP former Rep. Yvette Herrell and Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez is set to take place. The CLF has allocated $2.3 million in Albuquerque, which includes $345,000 for Spanish-language media, underscoring the importance of reaching diverse voter demographics in this district.

The Herrell-Vasquez race is expected to be one of the most fiercely contested battles in the 2024 cycle. Herrell, who narrowly lost her seat to Vasquez in the 2022 election, is looking to reclaim her position. Conversely, Vasquez aims to solidify his hold on the district amidst a challenging political landscape.

The CLF’s significant investment in Albuquerque reflects the critical nature of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District for both parties. This funding will be pivotal in financing extensive television, streaming, and digital advertisements designed to sway voters and bolster Herrell’s campaign efforts. The $694,000 reservation in the El Paso market may also partly be used to support Herrell.

In addition to New Mexico, the CLF has made substantial reservations in other key markets. These include $20.7 million in New York City, $18.2 million in Los Angeles, and $6.5 million in Fresno-Visalia, among others. Each market allocation is strategically designed to maximize Republican influence and voter reach ahead of the 2024 elections.

In response to news of the ad buy, Vasquez wrote in a panicky email to supporters, “The Congressional Leadership Fund — a dark money group supported by MAGA Speaker Mike Johnson — wants to intimidate Team Vasquez into giving up. But, let’s be honest, this just shows that MAGA Republicans are the ones running scared.”

However, CLF is not a “dark money group” since it discloses its donors and supporters to the Federal Election Commission, unlike true dark money groups, such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the League of Conservation Voters, which donate from their leftist dark money nonprofits to PACs. These groups are backing Vasquez’s run with true “dark money.”

Conston’s statement highlights the Republican strategy of leveraging resources effectively to maintain their majority. The emphasis on a “promising political environment” and “standout Members and candidates” indicates a calculated approach to overcoming the competitive challenges presented by the upcoming election cycle.

The embarrassing truth about MLG’s so-called ‘zero-emission’ fire truck

Recent reports reveal that the celebrated “all-electric” or “zero emissions” fire trucks, being lauded from San Diego to Portland to Albuquerque, are not as environmentally friendly as advertised. Each of these new fire trucks, purchased with the assistance of federal funding, is equipped with a diesel engine to ensure functionality when the electric battery is depleted. 

This revelation highlights a significant discrepancy between the marketed image of these trucks and their actual operational design.

The report indicates that each of these supposedly zero-emission trucks includes a diesel engine to guarantee that it can still pump water or drive if the electric battery runs out. Furthermore, the cost of these hybrid trucks is significantly higher than their all-diesel counterparts, with a price tag that is 40 to 50 percent more.

“This would be laughable if so much money wasn’t being wasted on such a big lie,” stated Daniel Turner, Founder and Executive Director of Power The Future. Turner expressed his frustration, emphasizing that politicians celebrating these trucks as “all-electric” are either misleading the public or are unaware of the trucks’ true nature. “Over-spending tax dollars on a product and then misleading voters is nothing less than pure fraud,” he added.

One notable example highlighted in the report is the purchase of an “all-electric” fire truck for $1.8 million, of which $400,000 was funded by a federal grant. Despite the truck being touted as a “zero emission” vehicle by Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the inclusion of a diesel engine undermines this claim.

The discrepancy between the public portrayal and the reality of these fire trucks raises concerns about the transparency and efficacy of using taxpayer money for such projects. Critics argue that the funds could be better spent on genuinely green technologies rather than on vehicles that still rely on fossil fuels for critical functions.

As cities across the nation strive to meet “environmental” goals and reduce carbon footprints, the debate over the true benefits and costs of these hybrid fire trucks is likely to continue. Turner and others at Power The Future call for greater accountability and honesty from public officials regarding the capabilities and limitations of such high-cost investments.

Hundreds of duplicate ballots cause alarm in Bernalillo County

As the June 4 primary election approaches, some Bernalillo County voters have already begun submitting absentee ballots. However, a few voters were surprised to receive a second ballot in the mail.

According to Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover, this mistake does not mean that any votes will be counted twice, per KRQE 13. “The vendor now has made plans to not have that happen, we’re looking at it again,” Stover assured.

As of Monday, the clerk’s office had distributed nearly 16,000 absentee ballots to county residents. Of these, 452 voters received duplicate ballots. “On the 8th, we mailed out ballots,” Stover explained. “On the 9th, we mailed out ballots. Our vendor accidentally, on the 9th, picked up some of the ballots from the 8th.”

Stover mentioned that her team discovered the issue a day after the ballots were delivered. They noticed a discrepancy in the ballot count, which led them to realize that some ballots had been sent out twice. “We noticed a difference in the numbers,” Stover said.

Of the 452 duplicate ballots, 320 were sent to Democrat primary voters, and 132 were sent to Republicans. The county clerk’s office sent out a notification letter to those affected, explaining the error and providing instructions on what to do if they received a duplicate.

“Everybody that we had contact information on, like an email or a telephone number, we tried to contact,” Stover said. “We sent everybody a letter telling them what had happened and asked them to only vote the one ballot and to destroy the other.”

Stover clarified what happens if a voter returns both ballots. Each person has a voter ID and barcode linked to their ballot, ensuring that only one vote per person is counted. Any duplicate ballots that are submitted will be discarded.

“You can go to Berncoclerk.gov and look up your voter file, and you’ll see if your vote has been checked and done,” Stover added. “It’s very easy to do that.”

Stover emphasized that this is the first time such an incident has occurred during her tenure as county clerk. She encouraged anyone with questions about duplicate ballots to contact her office.

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.). 

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