Piñon Post

LFC announces $1.1 billion in new oil and gas money for Dems to blow

On Monday, the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) announced that it projects around a $1.1 billion increase in new revenue for the fiscal year 2024 thanks to the oil and gas industry. 

The report projects $3.6 billion in recurring revenue for the year, a massive  42.7 percent increase from the roughly $2.5 billion revenue estimate for the 2023 fiscal year.

The “new” money will mean more funds for legislators to spend or save during the next legislative session, which starts on January 17, 2023. 

Despite Democrats being hell-bent on knee-capping the oil, gas, and coal industries in every possible way, the funding to the state coffers for education, health care, and other key pieces of the budget comes thanks to extractive energy industries.

Many legislators have urged the state to use excess funds for one-off projects that benefit the long-term fabric of the state, such as infrastructure projects to fix roads and rebuild aging government buildings. 

One project Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is adamant about ramming through is $10 million to build a new abortion center in Las Cruces to abort even more Texas mothers’ children. 

State Sen. George Muñoz (D-Gallup), the Senate Finance Committee chairman, said after the LFC report, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican, “No one in this state’s history has ever had this opportunity, and if we don’t use this opportunity to fix problems within our agencies, fix problems within our schools, then we’re going to lose out.”

Leger Fernandez violated federal stock trading law

Democrat U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez of New Mexico’s Third Congressional District recently joined some of her colleagues on a list of members of Congress who violated a federal stock trade law known as the STOCK Act. 

Leger Fernandez is now one of 76 congressional representatives who bucked the law designed to prevent insider trading and stop conflicts of interest. 

According to Business Insider, “Federal records show that Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, a freshman member of Congress from New Mexico, violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, which in part requires members of Congress to disclose within 45 days stock trades they’ve made for themselves, spouses, or dependent children.”

Leger Fernandez sold between $15,001 and $50,000 worth of the investment company Golub Capital BDC. She waited until December to disclose the January 2021 stock trade — made just after she took office. That is well after the 45-day requirement for members of Congress.

An aide to Leger Fernandez, who refused to go on record, defended the stock trade, saying she “made the trade as part of her retirement portfolio, which is normally managed by an independent firm. In this particular instance, the aide noted, Fernandez directed the firm to sell the stock,” according to the report.

The aide claimed the Democrat congresswoman had “drafted” the report of the sale within the 45-day period but blamed an “electronic error” for the trade only being reported this month. 

Leger Fernandez’s aide claimed the congresswoman “supports a ban on members of Congress owning individual stocks,” although Congress has refused to act on legislation to implement such policies.

Results are in for NM GOP’s state officer election

On Saturday, members of the New Mexico Republican Party’s State Central Committee (SCC) met in Las Cruces to vote on state leadership positions in the GOP.

Running for his third term as party chairman, former Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico’s Second District won the race, taking 213 votes (55.2 percent) to Bernalillo County GOP officer Sarah Jane Allen’s 80 votes (20.7 percent). Attorney Robert A. Aragon garnered 51 votes (13.2 percent), Eddy Aragon had 40 votes (10.4 percent), and Rodney Tahe got two votes (0.5 percent).

Following the chairmanship results, newly reelected Chairman Pearce wrote in a press release, “This was a spirited campaign, and I thank the grassroots Republican leaders from across New Mexico for trusting me to lead for another term as RPNM chairman. An overwhelming number of these leaders agree that our data-driven approach to identifying and turning out conservative leaning voters is working, proven by the fact that Republican candidates are getting closer and closer to defeating the Democrats in competitive races.”

“Turning New Mexico red is a marathon, not a sprint, and as we look toward 2024, I am excited about helping our future Republican nominees be successful in their campaigns.”

For the first vice-chairman spot, members selected newly elected Otero County Commissioner Amy Barela with 291 votes to Torrance County GOP Chairman Richard Lopez’s 100 votes.

SCC members selected Leticia Munoz Kaminski for the second vice-chair position, with 305 votes to Santa Fe County Republican Party chairman Robert “Bob” Graham’s 87 votes.

Maricela “Mari” Trujillo-Spinelli won the secretary spot, with 288 votes to former Doña Ana County Commissioner Isabella Solis’ 78 votes.

Members picked Kim James Kvamme for party treasurer with 257 votes to Leonard-David Chavez’s 106 votes.

For each congressional district’s vice-chairmanships, SCC members selected Donelle Inventor for the First Congressional District with 74 votes to Eric Lucero’s 25 votes. In the Second District, state Rep. Rebecca Dow ran unopposed with 107 votes, and in the Third District, Drew Degner clenched the spot with 120 votes versus Anita Statman’s 37 votes and Paul Morrison garnering no votes.

Regarding the other officers’ election results, Pearce wrote, “I am so pleased that Republicans chose this outstanding team of young and diverse leaders who represent the future of our party.”

MLG-appointed NM Supreme Court upholds giving her dominion over PRC

On Monday, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied a court challenge to the 2020 constitutional amendment that gave the governor full authority over the Public Regulation Commission (PRC), the most powerful regulator of utilities in the state.

The five-member, all-Democrat state Supreme Court is nearly entirely comprised of Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointees. 

Justices C. Shannon Bacon and David K. Thomson were appointed by Lujan Grisham in 2019, Justice Julie J. Vargas was appointed in 2020, and Justice Briana H. Zamora was appointed to the Court in 2021. The only justice not appointed by Lujan Grisham is Chief Justice Michael E. Vigil, who was elected by the voters in 2018.

The amendment transformed the formerly elected commission to a three-member panel appointed by the governor. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the petition was filed by the Indigenous Lifeways, New Mexico Social Justice & Equity Institute, and the Three Sisters Collective.

“This case presents a unique circumstance where there’s a real risk of abuse of power,” said the groups’ attorney Sarah Shore. “There’s a transfer away from the people who in their own constitution reserve rights to themselves to the political branches. This is not a circumstance where the Legislature is proposing to change rights that the people already delegated.”

“Shore argued that the amendment should be struck from the state constitution because it illegally rolled several reforms into one ballot question for voters to decide. She said most voters are neither lawyers nor lawmakers and were misled since the ballot measure did not reference the effect on the public’s right to elect commission members,” reported the Associated Press.

The justices denied the request, claiming they did not believe the amendment amounted to logrolling, which would have been illegal. 

Now, the PRC will be entirely controlled by the Democrat governor, who is sure to use it as a political weapon, as she has done in the past with her hostility toward energy producers. 

Data analysis appears to show abnormalities in NM election results

According to data analysis done by data researchers Jeff O’Donnell and Draza Smith, there appear to be many abnormal occurrences in the 2022 midterm elections in New Mexico.

Data published by O’Donnell and Smith shows the first ballot dump in New Mexico’s governor’s race gave incumbent Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham 80.3 percent (42,922 ballots), while Republican Mark Ronchetti only got 19.5 percent (10,538 ballots), which is apparently statistically impossible.

It is unclear where these first ballots flooded in from, but even in the state’s most far-left county, Santa Fe County, there were only 69,449 ballots cast, meaning the first dump would have been over 61.8 percent of the county’s total votes cast — an unlikely scenario. The county’s final results were 75.3 percent for Grisham to 23.4 percent for Ronchetti. 

Another dump later left the total number of ballots for Lujan Grisham at 184,382 votes to Ronchetti’s 58,329 votes, leaving him with only 24 percent of the vote to Lujan Grisham’s 76 percent margin. This disparity is not normal, especially since only Santa Fe County had anywhere near a similar percentage of ballots cast, while its population could not have mathematically given such a margin to the Democrat governor.

This same pattern appears to algorithmically go up at nearly the same percentage for Lujan Grisham throughout the night, giving the Democrat an extreme advantage in the number of ballots tabulated from the start. No such ballot increase for Ronchetti appears to have happened throughout the night despite many Republican-heavy counties overwhelmingly rejecting Lujan Grish, such as Chaves County, where Lujan Grisham only got 24.9 percent of the vote to Ronchetti’s 72.8 percent. 

This same pattern could be found in the secretary of state election, where Democrat incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who oversaw her own election, started out with 68.2 percent (49,794 ballots) of the vote to Republican Audrey Trujillo’s 31.8 percent (23,185 ballots). 

There was also a discrepancy of around 7,000 votes between the gubernatorial race and the secretary of state race, which also creates new questions about what happened with these ballot dumps and where did these ballots come from. 

A later ballot dump in that race had Toulouse Oliver with 67.1 percent of the vote to Trujillo’s 38.2 percent, another statistical abnormality. It is also unlikely these came from such a heavily Democrat district as Santa Fe due to the margin and vote numbers. It showed Toulouse Oliver with 191,360 ballots to Trujillo’s 60,689. 

Similar apparent algorithmic disparities happened in the state attorney general race, with Democrat Raúl Torrez garnering 67.3 percent (49,917 ballots) of the initial ballot dump, while Republican Jeremy Gay got 32.7 percent (24,284 ballots). Later ballot dumps followed the same pattern in both the secretary of state and governor’s races. 

Another key piece of evidence also shows that the initial ballot dump happened statewide and was not isolated in extremely Democrat-dominated places is the results from the Second Congressional District, which does not encompass Santa Fe.

Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, who was projected at the end of the night to lose by around 1,000 votes, initially started out with only 20.7 percent (1,321 votes) of the first round of ballots to her Democrat opponent Gabe Vasquez’s 79.3 percent (5,071 votes).

A similar pattern carried over to the First and Second Congressional Districts. However, it appeared the algorithm was flipped in the First District, where Democrat Melanie Stansbury started off with far fewer votes counted, with it later correcting to show Stansbury with a 62.3 percent lead to her Republican opponent Michelle Garcia Holmes, who had 37.7 percent.

In the Third Congressional District, the initial margins were even more extreme, with Democrat Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez getting an initial 84.9 percent of the vote (37,622 ballots) to Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson’s 15.1 percent (6,671 ballots).

It is unclear what justification the secretary of state or other elections officials have for these statistical abnormalities, but they appear to indicate possible tampering with New Mexico’s electoral system. 

See the full data analysis by O’Donnell and Smith here.

Ronchetti concedes hard-fought governor’s race: Read his statement

On Thursday, Republican former candidate for governor Mark Ronchetti released a formal concession letter via social media after Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was projected to be the winner of the heated gubernatorial contest: 

Unfortunately, things did not turn out the way we hoped on Tuesday night. After a long year on the campaign trail, the voters of New Mexico chose a different path than the vision our campaign laid out.

I got into this race last year for the same reason I ran for US Senate two years ago – I love this state & would do anything to try to make this a better place to live for New Mexican families. Safe streets, better schools, and more support for working families to make it to the end of the month should be the expectation, and for far too long our leaders have failed to set us on the path to attain that.

I truly hope that Governor Lujan Grisham finds success on those fronts, because that means the people of this beautiful state will be better off.

I also hope the Governor takes note of the results & prioritizes listening to those in our rural communities, and realizes that for far too long rural New Mexico has felt forgotten.

Most importantly, my family and I want to thank the thousands of you who supported my campaign with your time, resources and prayers. This campaign was a grassroots movement of people desperate for change, and it was an honor to represent you on the campaign trail and on the ballot.

I could never have made it to Election Day without the support from all of you. Every last one of you who I came into contact with shaped my perspective and vision.

This state has given so much to my family and I, and for that I will always be grateful.

God Bless,

Mark Ronchetti

According to unofficial results from the New Mexico Secretary of State, Ronchetti had 324,376 votes (46 percent) to Lujan Grisham’s 369,518 (52 percent). Libertarian Karen Bedonie garnered two percent with 17,361 votes.

Election results: MLG gets another term, GOP makes slight gains in state House

On Tuesday, New Mexico Republicans suffered losses in the 2022 midterm election, which was mired by obsessive talk about abortion by Democrats while key issues such as crime and inflation were swept under the rug by leftists. 

In the governor’s race, Democrat scandal-ridden alleged serial groper Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham won reelection against Republican Mark Ronchetti. Unofficial results as of 2:30 a.m. Wednesday showed Lujan Grisham with 52 percent of the vote, Ronchetti with 46 percent, while Libertarian Karen Bedonie garnered two percent. Ronchetti conceded to Lujan Grisham, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

In the state House, Republicans did not succeed in most attempts at knocking off Democrat incumbents, although Jenifer Jones of Deming is leading incumbent Democrat state Rep. Candie Sweetser of Deming by 49 votes, potentially triggering an automatic recount. 

Another seat the GOP flipped appears to be Albuquerque-based House District 68, currently held by retiring Democrat Rep. Karen Bash. Republican Robert Moss leads Democrat Charlotte Little by 12 votes. In the Sandoval County-based 23rd District, Republican Alan Martinez won over Democrat Ramon Montano, flipping the seat currently held by retiring Democrat Rep. Daymon Ely to the Republican column.

One Republican incumbent lost reelection, Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert of Corrales, who was defeated by Democrat Kathleen Cates. That leaves Republicans with 26 seats in the 70-member chamber if the results hold. This is a slight gain from the current 24 seats held in the state House. 

The losses in the state legislature came after Democrats’ aggressive partisan gerrymandering to benefit far-left Democrats. 

Both Democrat U.S. Reps. Melanie Stansbury of the First District and Teresa Leger Fernandez of the Third District easily won reelection, while Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell’s seat in the Second District remains too close to call. 

Republican Alexis Martinez Johnson trailed Leger Fernandez 42 percent to 58 percent. Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes trailed Stansbury 44 percent to 56 percent.

All statewide races for secretary of state, state treasurer, state land commissioner, attorney general, and state auditor swung toward Democrats, while all Democrat Court of Appeals and Supreme Court judges won their seats, keeping a 5-0 Democrat majority on the state’s highest court. 

All constitutional amendments and bond issues passed overwhelmingly, one of which will rob billions from the state’s Permanent Fund for socialist “free” daycare programs. 

Other high-profile races, such as Bernalillo County’s sheriff race, where billionaire Michael Bloomberg dunked large sums of cash into to help the Democrat, John Allen, swing in his favor also. 

More information will be added to this article when it becomes available.

Ronchetti holds massive closing rally in ABQ ahead of Election Day

On Monday night, Mark Ronchetti’s campaign held a final rally before Election Day in Albuquerque as a finale of his “Ronchetti on the Road” tour. During the tour, which began in late October, Ronchetti hit all 33 counties, with stops all across the map.

At the rally. Ronchetti said that the Santa Fe elites “want us to believe the lie that it can’t get better,” but it can get better by electing new leadership.

His team wrote on Twitter, “​​Don’t believe what the elites in Santa Fe tell us. We can have cleaner streets, educate our kids better, and put more money in your pocket.” 

A rival event Democrat Gov. Lujan Grisham had on Thursday appeared only to have a few dozen people in attendance. Ronchetti’s had hundreds, if not at least 1,000.

Photos of the crowds show the magnitude of the support Ronchetti had garnered.

Lujan Grisham, the incumbent governor, has been polling within the margin of error with Ronchetti, with one poll showing him beating her by a single point. He has outraised the governor during three separate reporting periods, proving how strong the “red wave” could be against the embattled, scandal-ridden governor. 

Both candidates, as well as Libertarian Karen Bedonie, will battle it out at the ballot box on Tuesday, with polls opening at 7:00 a.m. and closing at 7:00 p.m. for more information about voting, visit this article.

Ronchetti once again outraises Lujan Grisham

As Election Day nears, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is getting even worse news about her toss-up reelection bid against Republican gubernatorial nominee Mark Ronchetti. 

Ronchetti once again bested Lujan Grisham in fundraising for the third General Election fundraising period by around $80,000. Ronchetti brought in $1,414,005.53, Lujan Grisham raised $1,334,096.93, while Libertarian candidate Karen Bedonie brought in $10,242.74. 

Ronchetti spent $3,562,545.45 during the period, while Lujan Grisham doled out $2,669,831.35. The Republican’s cash on hand is $346,248.08 compared to Lujan Grisham’s at $351,716.53. Bedonie spent $10,616.23 during the period, with $3,042.45 cash on hand. Ronchetti spent most of his money on television advertisements and production costs, as did Lujan Grisham. Other large expenditures included those for postage and mailings. 

This is the third time Ronchetti has outraised the governor. His strong fundraising shows his viability, which is now reflected in many recent polls.

The latest Emerson College poll showed Ronchetti trailing Lujan Grisham by a mere three points, which was within the margin of error. A Trafalgar Group poll released late last month showed Ronchetti leading the governor by 1.1 percent.

The Republican has been blasting Lujan Grisham on the airwaves, in the mail, and in other forms about her constant scandals as chief executive. These include the early release of violent criminals who later ended up committing heinous crimes. 

One case, in particular, that of a twice-released man named Chris Beltran, ended up with the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Domonique Gonzales, who he threatened to kill while still behind bars. Despite this, Lujan Grisham’s regime repeatedly released him. 

Another scandal being brought into focus is Lujan Grisham’s $150,000 payout to a former staffer over sexual assault claims that she poured water over his crotch area and then groped his penis through his trousers. 

Early voting continues in New Mexico until this Saturday, November 5, while Election Day is next Tuesday, November 8. 

Far-left legislator tries to lie about abortion, gets smacked with facts

On Thursday, far-left state Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-Santa Fe) shared a screenshot of a tweet from Piñon Post editor and state representative candidate John Block, claiming his assertions about abortion were untrue.

Block wrote regarding Democrat Gov. Lujan Grisham’s discussion with Kamala Harris during her trip to New Mexico, “That one in the middle is FULL-TERM abortionist Eve Espey, who oversees infanticide at UNM Hospital. She trains future abortionists on how to kill babies up to and AFTER birth,” referring to the woman in the middle of the picture. 

The Republican Party of New Mexico retweeted the post, which spurred McQueen to angrily tweet, “This is obviously a lie, and it’s as dangerous as it is disgusting. The fact that the New Mexico Republican Party would promote this trash is a testament to how low they’ve sunk.”

However, he was quickly fact-checked by Block, who brought receipts with him, including evidence from the official U.S. House of Representatives report showing that babies were, indeed, born alive and left to die at UNM Hospital. 

The report notes how Espey was asked in a deposition, “I’m trying to understand if any of the doctors that were on the fellows program that . . . went to Southwestern Women’s Options, or any of the doctors from the University of New Mexico that were on a fill-in rotation at Planned Parenthood, or any of the doctors at the University of New Mexico reproductive health center, or any of the doctors at the University Hospital ever told you, reported to you, or discussed with you, that an abortion failed and a live birth resulted?”

She responded by acknowledging that babies were born alive and left to die at UNM Hospital, saying, “There are situations in the hospital where a planned abortion, an induction of labor for a fetus, for example, with severe anomalies is born alive.” 

When pressed on what procedures existed to deal with children being born alive and left to die at the hospital, Espey answered “No” to such policies existing, adding, “OB/GYN doctors do not resuscitate neonates.”

Congress referred the evidence to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, which has not acted upon it for prosecution. 

Lujan Grisham is proudly endorsed by Espey, a notorious late-term abortionist who specializes in training future abortionists to kill babies up to and after birth.

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