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NM ‘Grassroots Convention’ happening Saturday in Ruidoso

In New Mexico, a wave of regulatory measures and executive orders has ignited controversy among local business owners and residents. Various industries, from real estate to food and beverage, and notably the trucking sector, report being hamstrung by regulations they describe as overly stringent and out of touch with on-the-ground realities. The sentiment echoes a broader national discourse, encapsulated by the hashtag #LetUsWork, which emerged as businesses were forced to shutter in compliance with mandates, leaving many to fend for the livelihoods of their employees.

Instances of punitive measures for defiance of such mandates have surfaced across New Mexico. Notably, a pawn shop in Cibola County was slapped with a $50,000 fine for remaining open, and the Mayor of Grants faced penalties for organizing an Independence Day Parade. More drastic measures were reported in Gallup, where barricades were erected, compelling locals to have essentials like water and food delivered to checkpoints. In another case, Legacy Church incurred fines for keeping its doors open, and residents were discouraged from hosting birthday parties, spurred by a controversial hotline initiative.

In response to what they view as an overreach of government authority, 1Name 1Banner, a non-partisan group led by Ben R. Luna of LEXIT, the Latino Exit from the Democrat Party, has stepped in to amplify the voices of those affected. Although Luna clarifies his non-affiliation with the Democratic Party, his efforts have led many away from it, citing forthcoming documentaries that highlight the struggles of local communities, including an Isleta Pueblo alfalfa farmer grappling with infrastructure decay.

The group’s efforts pivot toward raising awareness about what they perceive as the governor’s imposition of “radical communistic policies.” They argue that the governor’s mandates, including those on electric vehicles (EVs) and attempts to suspend constitutional rights like the 2nd Amendment, represent a significant overstep. To counteract these policies, 1Name 1Banner has produced Call-to-Action (CTA) videos and documentaries, including interviews with industry representatives like Johnny Johnson of the New Mexico Trucking Association, who provides a practical perspective on the EV mandate.

These initiatives culminated in the New Mexico Grassroots Convention, aimed at galvanizing local communities against the tide of mandates and policies they find objectionable. The convention promises to be a hub for information exchange, with contributions from various sectors and industry representatives, underscoring a collective resolve to navigate the legislative landscape of 2024 and beyond.

On Saturday, January 27, 1Name 1Banner will hold the New Mexico Grassroots Convention in Ruidoso at the Ruidoso Convention Center, and tickets can be found here. Johnny Johnson will be speaking on a panel with Paul Gessing, James Lindsay, and others about this forced policy and their agenda.

Three anti-gun bills advance in NM House, anti-business bill stalls in Senate

In the New Mexico Senate Thursday, a radical bill to establish a paid family and medical leave program faced a delay as Republican members of the Senate Tax, Business, and Transportation Committee did not attend the meeting, depriving the committee of its quorum. Despite their absence, Democratic members, forming a subcommittee, decided to proceed with discussions on Senate Bill 3, claiming to vote on the matter the following week, irrespective of the Republican members’ attendance — which would go against the rules if no quorum is present again. The chairman, Democrat Sen. Benny Shendo, was absent from the meeting.

The bill’s proponent, Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, accused Republicans of not wanting to collaborate with them.

In another legislative development, the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee passed three anti-gun bills, but not without thorough debate from Reps. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and John Block (R-Alamogordo). 

Earlier in the day, far-left anti-gun Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, alongside other supporters, argued that these measures are essential steps toward addressing the pervasive issue of “gun violence,” citing a “negative gun culture,” while laughably claiming banning guns was a “constitutional responsibility,” despite previously saying her oath and the Constitution were not absolute while signing a previous unconstitutional executive order to illegally snatch guns.

The bills that passed include:

H.B. 137 banning all semi-auto and all “high capacity” firearms and forcing those who do own them to register with the government.

H.B. 127 taking guns away from law-abiding 18-20 year-olds.

H.B. 129 mandating a 14-day waiting period for all firearms purchases.

Opponents of the bills, including representatives from the New Mexico Firearms Industry Association and the National Rifle Association, argued that such legislation infringes on constitutional rights and fails to target the root causes of gun violence, primarily illegal gun access. The debate underscored the deep divide between those advocating for stricter regulations as a means to prevent violence and those defending gun ownership rights as enshrined in the Constitution and reaffirmed in the recent U.S. Supreme Court case New York Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.

The three anti-gun bills now head to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. 

Job-killing, anti-business bill passes first NM House commitee

The recent advancement of New Mexico’s state-run paid family and medical leave bill through a committee has sparked a contentious debate, reflecting a divide along party lines. Despite its passage in the House Health and Human Services Committee, the bill, which has been repeatedly introduced since 2019, continues to encounter significant resistance. Critics argue that the bill is detrimental to small businesses, overly broad, and easy to exploit.

The proposed program, overseen by the Department of Workforce Solutions, requires a substantial initial investment of $36 million. It aims to be self-sustained through contributions from qualifying employers and employees. The initiative offers up to 12 weeks of paid leave under various circumstances, such as parental leave, serious medical conditions, or caring for relatives or close nonrelatives. 

The 2024 iteration of the bill introduces several amendments, including extending benefits to relatives of military members and capping employee contributions, which would only further burden the businesses.

However, voices of opposition, many from small businesses and healthcare providers, express concerns about the bill’s potential financial burden. Patsy Romero, president and CEO of Santa Maria El Mirador, highlights the challenges faced by Medicaid-dependent organizations, underscoring the difficulty in absorbing additional costs.

Chandler acknowledged the need to review Medicaid reimbursement rates but insisted that this should not hinder the bill’s progress.

Employers also raise practical issues, such as difficulties in hiring temporary staff during employees’ leave periods. Amy Dixon, from the Desert States Physical Therapy Network, points out the recruitment challenges in specific sectors.

Critics also questioned the bill’s broad definition of eligible beneficiaries, fearing it could lead to misuse. In contrast, co-sponsor Rep. Linda Serrato defends the inclusive language, emphasizing its relevance to supposed “diverse” family structures and the requirement for medical verification.

As the bill moves to the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, where it previously stalled.

Dems stifle debate, ram two far-left anti-gun bills through committee

During a recent committee hearing in the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, legislators engaged in heated debates over two anti-gun bills focusing on snatching citizens’ and gun manufacturers/sellers’ rights.

House Bill 27, one of the bills in question, seeks to modify the state’s Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order by including any healthcare professionals among those who can request law enforcement to file a petition for the order — further infringing on New Mexicans’ rights.

In contrast, House Bill 114, also known as the Firearm Industry Accountability Act, proposes civil penalties for gun manufacturers for actions like false advertising and failing to secure firearms in their shops. This bill would allow the state Department of Justice, district attorneys, and private citizens to file civil actions against firearms dealers who violate the law, with civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation.

The committee chair, Democrat Rep. Joanne J. Ferrary of Las Cruces, stifled debate on the bill. Ferrary’s attempt to call a vote was met with resistance from Republican Rep. John Block of Alamogordo, leading to a terse exchange where Block accused Ferrary of being “out of order,” to which she attempted to gavel him down. He responded by citing the rules she violated by stifling the debate, reiterating, “OK, but you’re out of order.”

Block and Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park), the lone Republicans on the committee, continued to challenge the bills during the hearings, particularly questioning the enforceability of HB 114, asking how one could prove a gun dealer “knowingly” lost a gun or had it stolen. 

Both bills ultimately moved forward on a party-line vote, with the four Democrats supporting and the two Republicans opposing. These bills are part of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s 21-measure public safety initiative, with eight specific gun safety initiatives she wants lawmakers to approve.

Despite these advancements, several gun-rights advocates argued against the bills, expressing valid arguments that the measures would infringe upon their right to own guns and leave law-abiding citizens vulnerable. 

The debates and committee decisions on HB 27 and HB 114 indicate a deep divide on gun control measures, with Democrats ramming bills through despite Republican opposition and concerns over stifling debate. Both anti-gun bills now head to the House Judiciary Committee.

DeSantis drops out of 2024 presidential race, makes an endorsement

In a significant turn of events in the Republican presidential race, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his withdrawal from the contest, throwing his support behind 45th President Donald Trump. This decision, made public in a video statement on Sunday, came just before the New Hampshire primary.

Governor DeSantis, acknowledging his second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, where he led former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley but trailed significantly behind Trump, expressed in the video that continued campaigning seemed futile without a clear route to victory. “If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome — more campaign stops, more interviews — I would do it,” DeSantis stated. “But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”

Following this announcement, DeSantis formally endorsed Donald Trump. He cited a belief that many Republican voters are inclined to give Trump another term, despite their differences, particularly regarding the coronavirus pandemic and Dr. Anthony Fauci. DeSantis emphasized, “Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear.” He also criticized Nikki Haley, suggesting she represents an outdated version of the Republican Party that he contends places American interests last.

This move by DeSantis has been met with approval from prominent Republicans, including Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who had previously urged both DeSantis and Haley to concede, allowing the party to unite behind Trump. Blackburn, speaking on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, praised DeSantis’s decision as a step towards party unity.

With DeSantis exiting the race, Nikki Haley remains the only serious contender against Trump. The upcoming New Hampshire GOP primary is seen as critical for Haley, who must secure a win to sustain her campaign. Her decision to skip the Nevada caucuses only adds to the significance of the New Hampshire results. Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, a key supporter of Haley, has been managing expectations by suggesting that even a second-place finish in the state would be a positive outcome for her. However, with DeSantis’s departure and Trump’s expected strong showing, Haley’s chances of halting Trump’s momentum appear increasingly slim.

Stansbury flips out about spent nuclear fuel during congressional hearing

During Thursday’s hearing focused on energy policy, a heated exchange occurred between Democrat Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury of New Mexico and GOP Congressman Pat Fallon of Texas.

The dispute arose when Rep. Stansbury opposed a proposed spent nuclear fuel rod storage facility in New Mexico. The hearing, conducted by the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, saw Stansbury continuing her speech beyond her allotted time, leading to a sharp exchange with Rep. Fallon.

Holtec International, the company behind the multi-billion-dollar economy-boosting facility, has publicly stated that the project will represent a high standard of safety in both structure and environmental impact. However, anti-nuke radicals, including Stansbury, argue that the federal government’s push for the facility contradicts the Biden administration’s pledge to include local communities in decisions regarding the siting of nuclear waste storage sites.

In a tense moment during the hearing, as Stansbury’s time ran out, she highlighted the opposition of local communities to the nuclear waste facility, referencing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) May 2023 decision to grant a permit for the temporary storage of nuclear waste in Lea County, New Mexico. Fallon, attempting to intervene and remind her of the expired time, was met with Stansbury’s insistence on finishing her point.

Fallon’s repeated assertions that Stansbury’s time had ended and that she was out of order were countered by her claim that the NRC’s decision itself was out of order. The exchange culminated with Fallon stating, “You didn’t remove one bit of nuclear waste by being out of order here.”

The proposed facility, if completed, is intended to store spent nuclear fuel from across the U.S. for 40 years, as per the NRC’s permit. While this plan could benefit the American nuclear power sector, it faces opposition from fringe eco-leftists. This development occurs despite the federal government’s commitment to involving local communities in such decisions.

The issue of nuclear waste management remains a significant financial burden for taxpayers, with billions spent due to the absence of a long-term storage strategy. Currently, spent nuclear fuel is temporarily housed in over 70 locations nationwide, awaiting a permanent solution.

KOAT 7 News smacks MLG with fact-check of ‘State of the State’ speech

Far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent State of the State address covered her radical 2024 legislative priorities, including snatching guns from law-abiding citizens and dunking more money into the state’s failing education system. While the governor highlighted several achievements of New Mexico, KOAT 7’s “Target 7” smacked her with a fact-check.

One of the key assertions made by Governor Grisham was about the state’s financial growth. She claimed, “We rank among the top states for financial growth and stability and have grown our permanent fund more than 200 percent.” However, “Target 7 has determined that this statement is mostly false.”

According to U.S. News and World Report’s Best State Ranking, New Mexico is placed 44th in terms of economy, considering factors such as the business environment, labor market, and economic growth. This contradicts the governor’s implication of being among the top states.

UNM economist Reilly White shed further light on this, stating that although New Mexico has made significant advances, it still falls short in several areas. The governor’s office attributed her statement on financial growth to a US Department of Labor report indicating high wage growth in the state last summer.

Regarding New Mexico’s permanent fund, the fund did increase from $23.2 billion in 2018 to $42.9 billion in 2023, marking an 84% rise, not the 200% claimed by the Governor. 

Another claim by Governor Grisham was the improvement in reading scores among students. She said, “Over the last year alone, we saw a 4% statewide increase in reading scores for kids in grades 3 to 8. and an unprecedented 5% increase in reading scores for Native American students.” Target 7 found this statement to be mostly true. New Mexico Public Education Department’s report confirmed a 4% increase in reading proficiency, rising from 34% to 38%. However, the increase for Native American students was 3%, not 5%. The changing testing metrics also likely led to increased numbers. 

Governor Grisham also addressed the issue of child fatalities due to guns, stating, “Right now, the leading cause of death for our children is guns.” But Target 7 wrote, “A little less than a year ago, the New Mexico Department of Health released its child fatality report. It says unintentional injury was the leading cause of death among New Mexico children, accounting for more than 36% of all deaths. The report defines unintentional deaths as motor vehicle crashes; drowning deaths; unintentional overdose or poisoning and fire-related deaths. That would also include unintentional gun deaths – but it doesn’t state how many were caused by firearms. Suicide was the second leading cause.” 

While the governor’s address highlighted her far-left legislative priorities, KOAT 7’s fact-check shows the governor’s issue with the truth. 

MLG praises ‘brave’ rioters after thrice being interrupted by racist chants

In Santa Fe on Tuesday, far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered the State of the State address outlining her legislative agenda. This agenda includes a few measures to combat violent crime, enhance public education, expand affordable housing, and tackle “climate change” and drought issues while snatching New Mexicans’ gun rights. The speech coincided with the commencement of a 30-day legislative session focused on allocating a budget surplus for the next fiscal year.

During the address, Governor Lujan Grisham proposed embedding specialists in underperforming schools to boost student support, addressing the state’s educational challenges. She emphasized the need for accountability in the use of funds allocated for public education to improve outcomes.

Protests disrupted the session three times, shouting about climate change and shouting the antisemitic chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” interrupting official proceedings. They were all escorted out, but not without Lujan Grisham applauding them for their “brave” protest while saying, “That takes courage.” 

The governor also mentioned she wants $170 million for energy storage projects, including batteries, geothermal electricity, and hydrogen fuel. This comes amid expectations of a record $13 billion state income for the upcoming fiscal year.

Democrat leaders in the state legislature have proposed a moderate 5.9% increase in general fund spending, prioritizing sustainable government programs and cautioning against overreliance on fluctuating oil and gas revenues, despite legislation passed by the Legislature in the last few years to cripple the oil and gas industry.

Gov. Lujan Grisham, however, is advocating for a more substantial spending increase, with plans including a $500 million housing initiative and a $40 million program to combat homelessness.

The governor also highlighted her anti-gun agenda, including extending background check wait periods, regulating “assault-style rifles,” and raising the minimum age for purchasing semiautomatic rifles and shotguns to 21.

In response to “climate change” concerns, the governor proposed tax incentives for electric vehicle purchases and the development of alternative water sources from the byproducts of oil and gas drilling.

ABQ nightmare — young child’s death reveals horrifying abuse

​​The state of New Mexico, and particularly its city of Albuquerque, has recently been grappling with a disturbing increase in violent crimes, a situation highlighted by a harrowing incident involving the abuse and subsequent death of a three-year-old girl. This tragic case not only underscores the growing concern over crime in the region but also brings to light the complex web of issues, including domestic violence and child abuse, that law enforcement agencies must navigate.

In a recent distressing event, the Albuquerque Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU) was compelled to take action following the death of a young girl. The investigation led to the arrest of four adults, including the mother of the deceased child. The suspects, who had recently migrated from Massachusetts to New Mexico, were found to have a history of violence in other states. This incident points to a larger pattern of violence migrating across state lines, contributing to the safety concerns in New Mexico.

Kerri Anne Santos, a 33-year-old mother, presented a chilling narrative when she arrived at the University of New Mexico Hospital with her three children, one of whom was already deceased. Santos claimed that after leaving Massachusetts and traveling through New Mexico, she noticed her daughter was unwell. According to her account, the child sustained injuries after falling from a toilet at a gas station. However, the hospital staff quickly recognized signs of foul play and alerted the authorities.

Upon examination, the child was found to have multiple bruises and ligature marks indicative of abuse. This prompted a thorough investigation by the APD’s Crimes Against Children detectives. The involvement of law enforcement in Massachusetts revealed a troubling history of domestic violence and concerns about Santos using drugs in the presence of her children.

Further investigation unraveled a more sinister scenario. Two other adults, Christina Hopkins Pena-Cantor and her son, Austin Bing, along with James Welch, were implicated in the case. It was discovered that these individuals, together with Santos and her children, had been staying at Welch’s residence in Albuquerque. Alarming details emerged, including allegations of the children being sexually molested and the deceased child being bound with shoelaces.

This case is not isolated in its severity or nature in New Mexico. The state has witnessed a series of violent crimes, contributing to a growing sense of unease among its residents. From domestic disputes escalating into fatalities to incidents of child abuse culminating in tragedy, the pattern of violence in New Mexico paints a grim picture.

The collaborative efforts of various agencies, including CYFD, the Office of the Medical Investigator, University of New Mexico social workers, All Faiths Safehouse, the District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI, were instrumental in responding to this case. Their involvement highlights the multifaceted approach needed to address such complex and deeply rooted social issues.

The arrest warrants issued for Santos, Pena-Cantor, Bing, and Welch signify a step toward justice for the young victim. However, this incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle against crime in New Mexico and the need for concerted efforts to safeguard the most vulnerable members of society.

Lujan Grisham’s anti-gun attempts again make national news

New Mexico’s far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is intent on yanking guns from law-abiding citizens, is again making national headlines for her screeds against guns.

“The constitutionality questions are beginning to be very complicated in the arena of gun violence,” Lujan Grisham said at a press conference Friday, which was reported on the front page of Fox News on Saturday. The far-left governor added, “We are going to continue this effort, following what is going on around the country.”

“There will be others who will follow in our footsteps, creating their own public safety corridors, which in effect also make New Mexicans safer,” she said of her rabidly anti-Second Amendment proposals.

According to the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association, the governor wants to bring forward the following during the upcoming 30-day session.

  • A semi-automatic rife ban modeled after the failed federal proposal from Senator Heinrich
  • Banning the carrying of firearms in parks, playgrounds, and near polling places
  • Raising the age limit to purchase firearms to 21
  • A 14-day waiting period when purchasing a gun
  • Expanding New Mexico’s “red-flag” gun confiscation law (HB27)
  • Making it easier to sue gun manufacturers and retailers

On the other side, Republicans are launching pro-Second Amendment proposals, including Rep. Stefani Lord’s bill to create tax incentives for buying firearm safes, Rep. Block’s proposals to institute constitutional carry and reduce gross receipts taxes on guns and ammunition, as well as other proposals to incentivize gun safe ownership.

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