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Amid radical woke agenda, NM House GOP offering parents legal option

On Monday, the New Mexico House of Representatives Republicans announced at a press conference featuring Rep. Luis Terrazas (R-Bayard) that they are offering parents in the state a parental/guardian consent form that attorneys have extensively reviewed to allow the option to forego the woke agenda being pushed in schools due to recent legislation, including H.B. 7 and S.B. 397.

The House Republicans wrote, “The following form is designed to help parents/guardians explicitly exercise their right to be fully informed prior to their child accessing medical and behavioral health services, or some instructional materials.”

“Parents/guardians are responsible for making educational and health care decisions for their children until they reach the age of majority. A minor child cannot consent to his/her own educational decisions or medical treatment. It is important for parents/guardians to remain engaged and informed with school district staff to ensure their children are receiving the appropriate education and health care. Parent/guardian engagement ensures the highest standard of care.”

The form gives multiple fields for notification, including “any health care services, referral for services, class, lesson, instruction, curriculum, assembly, guest speaker, activity, assignment, library material, online material, club, group, or association concerning transgender ideology, gender affirming care or gender identity,” “abortion,” “contraception and other family planning,” “primary health care,” and “mental or psychiatric care.”

The form concludes, “If I am not given prior notification and the ability to make an informed decision concerning the wellbeing of my child, I withhold consent for the items checked above.” 

In an op-ed by New Mexico House Republican Leader Greg Nibert wrote, “Parents have put up with a lot over the last few years, but take away their right to protect the health and safety of their kids, and it is clear that New Mexicans of all ethnic, social and political persuasions have had enough. The nonstop and aggressive march of progressive social policies in New Mexico has finally struck a nerve.”

“I and other Republicans are moving forward with an effort to advise parents on how to inform schools officials of their demands when it comes to their children’s welfare. Republicans are advocating that every parent of a minor child in New Mexico’s public schools sign and send a letter to their school’s administration requiring that they be notified before any gender ideology information, gender altering services, hormone blockers, psycho-tropic medications or abortion services are provided to their child. The recommended form letter has already been reviewed by lawyers who are ready and willing to engage on this important issue.”

The parental notification form to send to their school administrator can be found by following this link. Instructions on using the form are also available on the website (NMHRCC.org/parentpower).

Two years after indictment, Stapleton’s corruption trial finally set for 2024

Two years after the indictment of disgraced former New Mexico House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Albuquerque), a trial date was finally set for the 28 federal counts against the former top Democrat.

According to the Associated Press, the court date for the former high-ranking official is January 2, 2024, on charges of racketeering, money laundering, fraud, bribery, and tax evasion, among other allegations.

Stapleton’s house was raided in July 2021 after it was revealed she had been allegedly embezzling around $1 million from New Mexico’s taxpayers — specifically New Mexico’s Children through the Albuquerque Public Schools, where she used to work. She was fired from the cushy $ 79,000-per-year gig.

She later resigned from the New Mexico House of Representatives in disgrace.

The Piñon Post’s exclusive report uncovering her ties to other high-profile New Mexico Democrats has revealed Stapleton’s alleged graft has been going on for around 30 years, in tandem with Joseph Johnson, a shady former New Mexico secretary of health who also has previously been hit with bribery and fraud charges.

In 2011, Larry Barker of KRQE 13 News found that Stapleton “pocketed more than $100,000 — money she didn’t earn — from APS over the years while serving in the legislature. But instead of being punished or forced to pay it back, Superintendent Winston Brooks changed the rules for Stapleton.” Brooks dismissed Stapleton’s $167,000 worth of unauthorized leave from APS, saying, “What I did was I changed the employee handbook so that anyone can be a legislator in Santa Fe and be paid for it.” 

In 2018, former Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission executive director Kimberly Greene and former employees Cheryl Yazzie and Charles Countee pleaded guilty to fraud and embezzlement charges by creating phony state vouchers to heist over $67,700 from the Commission. According to Greene, she claims she “was coerced by [then]-House Minority Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, to enter into a no-bid contract with eRead, an outside contractor for ACT/SAT program,” according to the New Mexico Political Report. However, Stapleton claimed, “I was never involved, never spoke to anybody about a no-bid contract.”

In November 2022, it was reported that Stapleton was not in custody as her corruption trial looms. 

MLG’s 82% EV mandate comes as less than 1% of New Mexicans own EVs

Far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is continuing her crusade against gas-powered cars in the name of “climate change,” with a recent announcement she wants to mandate 82 percent of all cars being sold in the state be electric vehicles by 2032, with a 43 percent threshold by 2027.

However, in New Mexico, a rural state that requires traveling long distances many times for citizens to go to work and purchase necessary goods, only 0.8 percent of residents own an EV as of May 31, 2023, according to the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department.

Larry Behrens of the pro-energy group Power The Future said, “This is a move that isn’t going to help rural New Mexicans and going to raise prices on all New Mexicans.”

“The average price for a brand-new EV is about [$61,488]. That’s considerably higher than the average four-door sedan, which runs about [$48,681], according to Kelley Blue Book. Tax credits and gas savings can save you money. However, it’s going to take a few years to make up a potential $20,000 difference,” Bloomberg reported.

EVs are also more expensive to maintain, repair, and insure. Lauren Fix of Car Coach Reports said to GOBankingRates, “Gas-powered vehicles cost less to repair if in a collision.” 

“The average cost of an electric car is 23% or more expensive because the car itself and its parts cost more to repair and replace,” she continued. “Totaling all factors in, an EV will set you back $71,770. A gas-powered car? $58,664. You will never make up the initial expense difference over the lifetime of your more expensive electric vehicle. Put another way, a gas-powered car will cost you $600 more a year to drive. But over an average of six years of owning an EV versus a gas car, the EV will set you back $13,000 more.”

The average range for an EV is also 250-500 miles — a deal-breaker for many New Mexicans who travel long distances. The longest-range EV is the 2023 Lucid Air, which has the capability of up to 516 miles, but it comes with a price tag of $139,650 for the base model, according to Car and Driver.

“Studies have shown that most of the people who buy electric vehicles have an annual income of over $150,000 a year,” Behrens said to KOAT 7.

The outlet’s report noted, “While electric vehicles make up less than 1% of cars, the data did show that about 4% of cars in New Mexico are hybrids.”

NM Supreme Court lets GOP’s gerrymandering case proceed

On Wednesday, the New Mexico Supreme Court allowed the Republican Party of New Mexico’s (RPNM) challenge to gerrymandered maps drawn in 2021 to proceed, according to multiple reports.

RPNM is suing after Democrats rammed through extreme partisan gerrymandered maps last December that shifted the congressional map extremely in their favor. In the Second Congressional District, represented by GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell, the gerrymandering swung the seat from favoring Republicans by 14 points to now favoring Democrats by four points, according to FiveThirtyEight. That made Democrat Gabe Vasquez narrowly win the seat in the November 8 election.

The lawsuit claims Democrats illegally designed the new map to damage the reelection chances of the only Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, which now has proven to be an accurate assertion following the November 8 General Election.

The “drafters intentionally ‘cracked’ Republicans in southeastern New Mexico, thereby substantially diluting their votes,” the lawsuit alleges, adding that Democrats intentionally split communities of interest for political gain.

The Democrat-drawn map, which was originally made by the dark money George Soros-funded group the “Center for Civic Policy” (CCP), achieved the partisan gerrymander by plunging the Democrat-dominated South Valley of Albuquerque into the Second District while putting more conservative areas such as Hobbs and Roswell in the First and Third Congressional Districts.

In April, District Judge Fred Van Soelen of Clovis ruled it was too late to hear the case due to the approaching June 7, 2022, primary election. That has sent it to the state Supreme Court, which has taken the case. All five members of New Mexico’s fully Democrat Supreme Court either have been supported by Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who signed the maps into law, or were appointed by the governor. 

Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Roswell’s Democrat Mayor Tim Jennings, State Sen. David Gallegos (R-Eunice), and a group of Republican voters. 

The Democrats’ attorney, Holly Agajanian, representing Lujan Grisham, argued strangely against democracy while arguing in front of the Court. She said, “Just because something is considered anti-democratic doesn’t mean the court has to step in. And I know that doesn’t feel right based on what everything we think justice is. It feels funny for me to say that. But at the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that’s the case. Because in our system of government… These anti-democratic effects we see can only be remedied through the legislature.” 

Attorney for the plaintiffs, Daniel J. Gallegos, argued the maps drawn by the Democrat legislature are a “violation of the state’s equal protection clause,” citing the Legislature throwing out all the maps proposed by the Citizens Redistricting Committee and instead drawing their own hyper-partisan map.

The state Supreme Court ruling read that “that the verified petition for writ of superintending control is GRANTED with respect to Petitioners’ request that this Court provide the district court guidance for resolving a partisan gerrymandering claim” and that “the district court shall take all actions necessary to resolve this matter no later than October 1, 2023.”

In a writ of superintending control, the Court wrote, “a petition for writ of superintending control having been granted by this Court on July 5, 2023, and the Court being sufficiently informed and good cause appearing for the issuance of a writ of superintending control; NOW THEREFORE, you, Hon. Fred Van Soelen, are ordered to proceed in D-506-CV-2022-00041 in accordance with the order issued contemporaneously with this writ.”

Lujan Grisham reveals her plan to mandate EVs, hike gas prices

In her latest act to reach her so-called “climate change” goals, far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to mandate that nearly half of all cars sold in New Mexico be electric vehicles by 2027 (43 percent), she announced on Monday.

The proposed mandate would make the percentage increase to 82 percent by 2032.

The average cost of an electric vehicle is $64,000, while the average cost of a new vehicle in the U.S. is $48,000 — which is 33 percent higher for an electric vehicle.

She wrote on Twitter, “Today I promised to enact advanced Clean Car & Truck rules to expand consumer vehicle options, combat climate change and improve air quality. This is how NM continues to be a #climate leader.”

Although the plan was not released Monday, the Albuquerque Journal noted the final rule should be finalized by Friday. It reported, “Under the proposal, automakers would also have the option of buying credits from other companies to help meet the 43% requirement for 2027 electric vehicles.”

Also on Monday, the governor demanded the state Legislature pass the extremist “clean fuel standard,” which would hike gas prices by over 50 cents per gallon, according to estimates. The bill has died three years in a row and is unlikely to get through with the makeup of the current New Mexico House and Senate. 

Larry Behrens of the pro-energy group Power The Future wrote of Lujan Grisham’s proposal, “This is another misguided proposal that begs the question if the governor’s electric vehicles are so popular,” adding, “why does she have to force them on us? These arbitrary goals with arbitrary deadlines have real consequences as the cost of vehicles rises on New Mexico’s families.”

Shocking questions arise after another disabled patient dies under state care

According to Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH), another disabled patient on the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DD Waiver) has passed away.

NMDOH wrote in a press release, “The client reportedly fell, was treated at a hospital for a head injury and subsequently died on June 17, 2023. The department’s Division of Health Improvement continues to investigate this case for any instances of abuse, neglect and exploitation in relation to the care provided to this client.”

“The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating this matter. In an abundance of caution the DOH is also referring this case to the Attorney General’s Office for further review and investigation.”

The Department added, “The individual received an in-person wellness check on April 4, 2023, and appeared healthy without evidence of abuse or neglect when the state conducted in-person wellness checks on all individuals being cared for under the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DD Waiver) programs.”

However, the revelation of the April wellness check raises more questions.

In May, a 38-year-old disabled woman, Mary Melero, died due to constant physical, emotional, and sexual torture for years under her two caregivers. She was also on the state’s DD Waiver, and her abusive caregivers raked in $250,000 of taxpayer money.

At the time, the NMDOH wrote on May 18, 2023, “This shocking case prompted DOH to conduct and complete in-person wellness checks on all individuals being cared for under the state’s Developmental Disabilities Waiver (DD Waiver) programs to ensure they are in good health and being well cared for by providers.”

So, if NMDOH did, indeed, conduct wellness checks in May, why is the state now only noting the wellness check from early April? 

After Ms. Melero’s death caused by her caregivers’ torture, NMDOH wrote, “State leadership and the DOH also immediately established what is now an ongoing independent, third-party investigation evaluating both the agency’s Developmental Disabilities Support Division and the Division of Health Improvement procedures to identify systemic flaws that allowed the alleged incidents to occur.”

The Department repeated this claim verbatim, writing in the June 29, 2023, statement on the latest death, “State leadership and the DOH established what is now an ongoing independent, third-party investigation evaluating both the agency’s Developmental Disabilities Supports Division and the Division of Health Improvement procedures to identify systemic flaws and improve processes.”

While the complete details of the latest DD Waiver patient’s death are unknown, the state’s claims to have done wellness checks on “all individuals” after Ms. Melero’s tragic slaughter identify more problems with the NMDOH’s care for people with disabilities under state oversight and care.

ACLU tries bullying Alamogordo hospital into offering abortions, trans services

The fringe group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is attacking Otero County again. This time, the extremist dark money organization is triggered after the announcement Alamogordo’s Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center (GCRMC) is joining the CHRISTUS Health group, which is Catholic. The health group, which is based in Irving, Texas, runs 600 successful facilities in the country, including in Santa Fe, many of them being top-rated. 

GCRMC CEO Jim Heckert said the merger would create $100 million in new investment over the next decade.

In a hostage letter typical of the group, the ACLU claimed the hospital’s merger must incorporate abortions and “LGBTQ+ inclusive” services, “including gender affirming care for transgender patients, and end-of-life care options.”

“We firmly believe in the fundamental right to religious exercise and expression, and we have a long history of defending that right,” claimed ACLU’ of New Mexico’s “Reproductive Rights and Gender Equity” managing attorney Ellie Rushforth. 

“However, religious freedom does not give a health care system the right to limit information and access to basic health care by imposing a narrow set of directives on everyone. The hospital should seek feedback from their community and take more time to consider the potential risks posed by this transaction to their patients and health care providers.” 

Religious freedom guarantees a private non-profit hospital to do whatever it so chooses regarding its beliefs. But the ACLU believes that “religious exercise” in America now must be limited if that religious belief includes pro-life, anti-transgenderism aspects.

At a recent meeting, the Otero County Commission met to reject a proposal to involve the state attorney general in investigating the merger. Instead, the Commission is working on a letter of support for the hospital’s union with CHRISTUS.

Another Michelle Lujan Grisham cabinet member resigns

Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Economic Development Department (NMEDD) Secretary Alicia J. Keyes has resigned from the administration — the seventh cabinet appointee to bail on the administration since last November’s election.

The governor claimed in the announcement, “Secretary Keyes’ commitment to carrying out the vision of my administration and her dedication to making New Mexico a great place to live have been integral to the economic health of our great state. I wish her the very best in the future.”

Portrait of Secretary Alicia Keyes via NMEDD.

“My greatest joy has been collaborating with New Mexicans in every corner of the state to create higher-paying jobs and build economic security for future generations,” Keyes said in a statement.

She added, “I want to thank Gov. Lujan Grisham for this opportunity and unwavering support and encouragement. I’m looking forward to continuing to drive economic development forward in my next chapter.”

The NMEDD secretary was paid $200,000 annually, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican. Her last day will be July 13, 2023.

“Keyes plans to take personal time before pursuing opportunities in the private sector while remaining in New Mexico. The administration is actively seeking Keyes’ successor,” according to Lujan Grisham’s press release.

The Lujan Grisham regime has been a revolving door of cabinet members and other staff, with key departments feeling extreme uncertainty amid the constant shift between cabinet members and staffers. 

Libs flip out after someone writes ‘Jesus Saves’ in chalk on Santa Fe ‘Pride’ flag

The far-left was radio silent during the Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots that resulted in the destruction of property, attacks on businesses, and the desecration of historical monuments. They were equally silent when extremist anti-Hispanic hate groups attacked and toppled the Soldiers Monument that formerly sat in downtown Santa Fe for over 150 years.

However, now they suddenly care about vandalism after an LGBT “Progress Pride” flag installed on the pavement in Santa Fe’s plaza by the City was repeatedly defaced. The flag claims to support not only the gay community but includes transgender and “people of color” in its design as supposed marginalized communities. 

Someone wrote “Jesus Saves” across the flag in white chalk. 

Santa Fe City Manager John Blair complained about the taxpayer-funded painted flag being defaced, telling KOB 4, “Intentionally placing ‘Jesus saves’ over a version of a pride flag is not intended to be loving or welcoming. It’s meant to be discriminatory and hateful.”

Apparently, Blair believes Jesus is “hateful.”

According to KOB 4, “This display will only be up until the end of the month, but the city is planning on installing a permanent rainbow flag over by the Rail Yard Markets.”

In Albuquerque, a taxpayer-funded $30,000 rainbow crosswalk that was installed by far-left Mayor Tim Keller has been repeatedly vandalized. 

It is unclear why these cities that purport to be proud of their flag would put it in a place where it can be written on, much less walked or driven on. 

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Former state Senator Carroll Leavell passes away

On Monday, it was revealed that former state Sen. Carroll H. Leavell, a Republican, passed away at the age of 86.

He served in the New Mexico Legislature, representing Eddy and Lea Counties from 1997 to 2018 in the New Mexico Senate. He retired on December 4, 2018, for health reasons.

Leavell earned a B.A. in business and economics at Eastern New Mexico University in 1958. He was the president and general manager of Leavell Insurance and Real Estate, Inc. from 1964 to 2002.

In the Legislature, Leavell sat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee. 

He sponsored legislation to promote the oil and gas industry, make changes to the insurance industry, promote volunteer firefighters, and lower taxes. 

“Being the State senator from Jal and representing Southeastern New Mexico have been a source of pride for me. Jal is possibly the furthest city in the state from Santa Fe and I always had fun reminding folks of that,” Leavell told the Carlsbad Current-Argus upon his resignation.

“Thank you southeastern New Mexico for giving me the honor and the distinct pleasure to serve you at the State Capitol. My constituents in Lea and Eddy counties continued to have faith in me and returned me to office over the years,” he said, adding, “In return, I diligently performed my duties as state senator to the best of my abilities.”

According to Leavell’s bio, he was a trustee at the College of the Southwest since the 1990s, a trustee of the Woolworth Community Library Fund since the 1970s, a member of Jal Hospital District’s board of directors, the First Methodist Church, Jal Public Library, the Society of Certified Insurance Commissioners, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico, among others.

The New Mexico House Republican caucus wrote in a statement via Twitter, “Our caucus is sending their heartfelt condolences on the passing of retired State Sen. Carroll Leavell. We are thankful for his many years of public service and grateful for his friendship. Thank your for the dedication to your community and our state.”

“Senator Leavell will be remembered as a statesman and leader of the utmost integrity. As a longtime member of the Senate, he put the needs of his constituents ahead of politics and he was widely respected by members on both sides of the aisle. Senator Leavell will be dearly missed and we send our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time,” wrote the New Mexico Senate GOP caucus.

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