Renato Costa

Keller sues store, claims it — not the city — is responsible for criminals, vagrants

The City of Albuquerque is taking legal action once more against the Adam Food Market, situated at 7817 Central Avenue NE, a site notorious for criminal activities, including seven homicides since 2020. 

Mayor Tim Keller stressed Albuquerque’s supposed commitment to public safety and the responsibility of businesses to contribute to a secure community environment, especially in light of the repeated violent incidents associated with the market.

Despite a previous lawsuit to temporarily close the market being dismissed, the persistence of criminal activities under new ownership has prompted the city to initiate another lawsuit. 

Recent undercover operations by the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) at the market led to multiple felony arrests and the seizure of illegal drugs and firearms, highlighting the ongoing issues at the location.

APD officials, having discussed the crime situation with the market’s new owners without receiving any subsequent cooperation, are now suing the establishment. APD Chief Harold Medina expressed optimism about building a stronger case this time around based on the new evidence the City gathered.

Mayor Keller pointed to what he claimed was a significant financial and resource burden the Adam Food Market has placed on the city, with $400,000 spent over four years addressing incidents at the location. According to Keller, this expenditure detracts from other essential city services and emergency responses. However, the lack of meaningful crime prevention and the emboldening of criminals and vagrants due to the City’s policies apparently don’t factor into the lawsuit.

The city’s legal team, led by City Attorney Lauren Keefe, is preparing to officially file the lawsuit in the coming week, aiming to address and mitigate the crime hotspot’s impact on the Albuquerque community, according to KRQE 13 News.

Across Albuquerque, businesses have been forced to hire private security to protect their properties, with the businesses being forced to remove vagrants from the premises, while the City’s ordinances clearly show it is Albuquerque’s responsibility. 

To hit GOP opponents, Stansbury trashes gun shop owners, energy sector

Far-left Democrat Rep. Melanie Stansbury of New Mexico’s First Congressional District appears to not care about alienating more voters in her latest attack on the two Republicans running to challenge her in November. 

Stansbury’s team sent out a fundraising email Sunday hating on gun store owners and the energy industry (oil and gas specifically) — which provides a majority of the state’s budget for schools and hospitals.

In typical fashion, her team wrote, “Picture this: two extremist Republicans are gunning for our seat — one’s a gun store owner, and the other’s all about big energy.” 

The email added, “We can’t let them hijack our future,” insinuating that owning gun stores and working in the energy industry is in some way how New Mexico’s “future” will be upended. 

Albuquerque-area gun store and shooting range owner of Calibers, Louie Sanchez, and former independent-turned-Republican and retired energy executive Steve Jones of Ruidoso are competing in the June 4, 2024, primary to take on Stansbury.

Stansbury’s email concluded, “Democracy is on the line, John, and keeping NM-01 blue is critical to protecting it. Will you chip in $10 to join the fight with us?” 

It is unclear how keeping Stansbury, a passionately open-borders, pro-abortion up-to-birth Democrat who has spread disinformation about Republicans, is somehow securing “democracy.” 

Leftists already trying to downplay Dems’ horrible votes during 2024 Legislature

As the Democrat near super-majority state House and Senate in New Mexico attempted to pass loads of far-left policies, the imminent 2024 election loomed over the Roundhouse. 

Democrat political analysts are already playing defense for the Democrats who took horrible votes to increase gas prices, restrict gun ownership, and other unpopular measures. 

Michael S. Rocca, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico, states that the voters most attuned to legislative activities are likely already decided on their candidate or party preferences, rendering the session’s outcomes minimally influential.

“Michael S. Rocca, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico,” he told the Santa Fe New Mexican, adding, “Which means, regardless of what is going on [in the session, has very little effect on voters.”

“The average voter does not pay attention to the daily activities of the Legislature,” said pollster Brian Sanderoff, discounting the voters’ attention to bills that will inevitably harm them — unlikely.

He said that political campaigns can “cherry-pick particular votes of a specific legislator in an effort to portray them as soft on crime, for example, or as someone who voted to create a new gas tax or whatever.”

Instances exist where a legislator’s cumulative record has become a liability, as seen in 2020 when a far-left push successfully ousted several moderate Democrats over votes on key issues like abortion. These outcomes were most notable in primary elections, which tend to expose incumbents to greater risk.

The defeat of the paid family and medical leave bill, opposed by a coalition of 11 Democrats and 25 Republicans, exemplifies the potential for legislative votes to surprise and shape political narratives. Despite this, Rocca suggests that legislators likely weigh the electoral implications of their votes carefully, often voting in a manner that aligns with their constituents’ preferences to secure reelection.

The emphasis on personal connections with voters, highlighted by outgoing Albuquerque Sen. Mark Moores (R) and Jerry Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque), underscores the importance of grassroots engagement over individual legislative decisions. According to Ortiz y Pino, it’s often the personal interactions and constituency services that leave a lasting impression on voters, rather than the specifics of legislative records.

Despite some “experts” and their opinions on the horrible votes taken during the recent legislative session, such as all but one Democrat voting against increased reimbursement rates for the DD Waiver, the bad votes for things such as anti-gun bills and increases to gas taxes will certainly play a role — especially as many incumbent Democrats are retiring and leaving winnable seats up for grabs.

Democrat ex-NM House Speaker Egolf finds himself in hot water again

In the scenic high desert city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, a scandal involving former Speaker of the House Brian Egolf and his spouse, Kelly Egolf, has captured the public’s attention, as reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican. The duo is embroiled in accusations surrounding a cold-pressed juice business, with allegations of defrauding investors out of substantial sums. This case has become a focal point for discussions on ethics and transparency within the realms of business and politics.

The heart of this scandal lies in a lawsuit brought forth by notable members of the Santa Fe community, including those from the art and philanthropic sectors. These plaintiffs contend that the Egolfs engaged in a deliberate plot to mislead investors, manipulating the transfer of company assets without proper authorization. The company in question, New Mexico Fresh Foods, encountered financial difficulties, leading to a complex series of transactions that culminated in the assets being acquired by Invictus Unlimited, a firm under the Egolfs’ control.

The lawsuit highlights Kelly Egolf’s role as the manager and CEO of New Mexico Fresh Foods and her involvement with Verde Juice. It is alleged that she provided investors with inaccurate and overly optimistic information about the company’s financial health, encouraging further investment despite the company’s deteriorating financial situation.

The aggrieved investors, who collectively injected close to $4 million into the venture, are now seeking restitution for damages and legal expenses. They accuse the Egolfs of not fulfilling their fiduciary duties and engaging in deceptive practices. Their legal representation is adamant about holding both Brian and Kelly Egolf accountable for the financial debacle.

In response to these serious allegations, the Egolfs’ legal counsel, led by Mark Baker, has dismissed the lawsuit as baseless, asserting that it overlooks critical facts and unfairly targets the Egolfs and their efforts to support local entrepreneurship. This defense highlights the contentious nature of the case and the broader implications it has for the reputation of business and political figures in Santa Fe.

The unfolding of this lawsuit has sparked a broader debate on ethical conduct and the responsibility of leaders in maintaining trust within their communities. The allegations against the Egolfs serve as a stark reminder of the potential consequences of ethical lapses in business and political endeavors.

The narrative of Brian and Kelly Egolf’s involvement in this alleged scheme underscores the delicate balance between ambition and integrity. It raises pertinent questions about the influence of political stature on business ventures and the ethical obligations of those in positions of power.

As this legal drama continues to unfold, the Santa Fe community and observers nationwide are keenly watching, anticipating the resolution of this case and its implications for business ethics and political accountability.

At its essence, this scandal is a narrative about the betrayal of trust and the ramifications of deceptive practices. Investors who believed in the potential of a local enterprise feel misled, bearing the financial burden of a venture gone awry. This situation prompts a broader reflection on the significance of honesty and clarity in business dealings and the critical role of trust in fostering sustainable ventures.

Vasquez’s shocking allegiance to extremist open borders groups revealed

GreenLatinos, a radical environmental and “social justice” organization, is currently calling on Joe Biden to reject stricter border security measures being considered in Congress. The move has sparked controversy, shedding light on the debate over immigration and border security policies within the Democrat Party.

At the forefront of this call is Gabe Vasquez, the founder of the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project, an environmental advocacy group. Nuestra Tierra lists GreenLatinos as a community partner, emphasizing their collaboration to address issues. In September, Nuestra Tierra took to Instagram to highlight their partnership with GreenLatinos and the Office of New Mexico’s U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez.

Jessica Loya, the Policy Director at GreenLatinos, has also been linked to Vasquez through political contributions. Loya donated $350 in 2022 and $275 in 2023 to Gabe Vasquez for Congress, further solidifying the ties between the two entities.

However, Vasquez’s stance on border security has drawn significant attention. Before entering Congress, Vasquez characterized the border crisis as a “non-existent threat” and criticized previous border security efforts as “ill-informed” and “in bad taste.” 

He advocated for the elimination of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, alleging a lack of humanity in its operations. Since taking office, Vasquez has consistently voted against measures aimed at bolstering border security, including hiring more Border Patrol agents, deploying advanced technology to the southern border, ending catch-and-release policies, and streamlining the asylum process.

Vasquez’s position on border security remains ambiguous as Congress engages in negotiations over proposed border security legislation. While Vasquez is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which has publicly opposed Joe Biden’s efforts to tighten border security, he has yet to express his stance on the matter.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has criticized Vasquez’s affiliations and statements, branding him as a “radical open border activist.” NRCC spokeswoman Delanie Bomar emphasized the company one keeps, stating, “The saying ‘Show me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are’ rings truer than ever with Gabe Vasquez.”

In response to Vasquez’s recent claim that Republicans are politicizing the border issue due to the upcoming elections, CNN anchor John Berman pushed back, highlighting the genuine concerns surrounding the border situation.

The debate over border security intensifies as immigration remains a critical issue, with 302,000 illegal immigrants crossing the southern border in December alone, an issue that directly affects Vasquez’s district. Vasquez’s stance on border security and his association with GreenLatinos is now under increased scrutiny as the nation grapples with this complex and contentious issue.

Committee OKs potential fix to kids sleeping in CYFD offices

New Mexico’s embattled Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) is on the brink of finding a potential resolution to the issue of teenagers being forced to sleep in agency offices, a situation that’s drawn concern statewide. Despite the Department saying it is already looking into the matter, some legislators are still keen on proceeding with an investigation.

The plight of these young individuals, with no alternative but to spend nights in governmental buildings, has caught the attention of various stakeholders. During a Monday session of the House Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee, expert witness Brooke Tafoya highlighted the urgency of the situation, stating, “Ultimately, we know that CYFD is in a state of crisis.”

The problem gained further attention following a report by News 13, revealing that youths under CYFD care have had to resort to staying in 19 different offices throughout New Mexico. The discussion on how to address this issue was a focal point at the committee meeting.

In response to the ongoing crisis, H.M. 10, sponsored by Reps. Tara Jaramillo (D-Socorro), Eleanor Chávez (D-Albuquerque), Meredith A. Dixon (D-Albuquerque), Harry Garcia (D-Grants), Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena), among others in both chambers, proposes the establishment of a task force dedicated to investigating and devising solutions for the accommodation issues faced by these youths. 

The call for action is driven by a shortage of behavioral health services and an insufficient number of foster homes. Maralyn Beck of the New Mexico Child First Network expressed frustration with the delays in addressing these challenges, emphasizing that a struggling agency cannot rectify the situation on its own.

CYFD’s cabinet secretary-designate, Teresa Casados, however, has expressed reservations about the proposed task force, fearing it might just replicate existing efforts within her department to tackle these problems, “My only concern is that we’re duplicating the efforts that we need to address these issues,” she said during the hearing. However, there is no CYFD task force specifically meant to address the crisis.

Nonetheless, the New Mexico Child First Network believes more assistance is critical. Beck pointed out the need for a broader approach, including step-down services and an increase in traditional foster care options, “I will say that if the department thinks this is only about treatment foster care, then we have a bigger issue. We need step-down services, we need more regular foster parent homes.”

The memorial passed the committee unanimously, with Chairwoman D. Wonda Johnson (D-Gallup), Vice Chairwoman Natalie Figueroa (D-Albuquerque), co-sponsor Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo), Rep Janelle Anyononu (D-Albuquerque), Majority Floor Leader Gail Chasey (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque), and Rep. Martin Zamora (R-Santa Rosa) all supporting the measure. It now heads to the House floor for consideration.

Lujan Grisham walloped in court again over unconstitutional gun grabs

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico’s Judge Kea W. Griggs denied an emergency motion filed by defendants, including far-left, gun-grabbing New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, to stay a preliminary injunction. This injunction had previously halted a public health order issued by the New Mexico Department of Health, which temporarily banned firearms in public parks in Bernalillo County and Albuquerque.

The court’s decision is a significant setback for Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administration, which had sought to implement these firearm restrictions as part of a broader public health emergency declaration due to gun violence. Critics argue that this move by the governor and her administration is an overreach of executive power, questioning the effectiveness and legality of such firearm restrictions.

The court’s order underscores a failure on the part of the governor’s team to provide sufficient historical evidence justifying the firearms ban in public parks. The ruling cites the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, which establishes a standard for evaluating Second Amendment cases based on historical tradition. The court found that the defendants, including the governor’s office, did not meet the burden of showing a historical tradition of banning firearms in public parks.

The Court wrote that the “[d]efendants’ arguments are contradictory. They cite … three shootings [that] occurred in Albuquerque parks before the public health order’s ban on firearms in Albuquerque parks, as proof that a ban is necessary. However, those shootings occurred during what Defendants allege was a separate firearm ban imposed by the City of Albuquerque.”

It further added that the defendants “assert or imply that by referencing the months of September and October in his declaration, Plaintiff was asserting he only attends parks in September and October, and no other time. The Court disagrees.”

This decision raises serious questions about the governor’s approach to public safety and constitutional rights. The insistence on pursuing a public health order that restricts Second Amendment rights without adequate historical justification reveals a grievous disconnect with legal precedents and historical standards.

The rejection of the governor’s motion also reflects on the broader issue of balancing public safety with constitutional rights. While the intention to address gun violence is commendable, the method of implementing such policies must align with constitutional standards and historical precedence. 

Furthermore, the ruling also vacated the temporary stay of the preliminary injunction pending briefing on this motion, thereby allowing the earlier court decision to enjoin the firearms ban in public parks to stand. This outcome is a clear indication that executive actions, particularly those impacting constitutional rights, must be carefully scrutinized and justified within the established legal framework.

Alec Baldwin charged again in fatal ‘Rust’ shooting case

Actor Alec Baldwin faces a renewed charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the tragic incident on the set of the movie “Rust,” where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed. This marks the second time Baldwin has been charged in this case.

The charge stems from an incident in October 2021, during the filming of the Western “Rust” around Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Hutchins was fatally struck by a live round fired from a prop gun. The indictment states, “The above named defendant did cause the death of Halyna Hutchins by an act committed with the total disregard of indifference for the safety of others.”

Baldwin has consistently rejected the allegations, asserting that he did not pull the trigger of the gun that led to Hutchins’ death. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the incident.

Originally, Baldwin faced the same charge in January 2022, brought by the Santa Fe district attorney. He pleaded not guilty, and the initial charges were dismissed in April of that year after it was concluded that further examination of the weapon was required. However, the district attorney had indicated the possibility of refiling the charges.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer responsible for the weapons on the “Rust” set, has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

If convicted, Baldwin could be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison.

It’s official: See all the gun grabs Lujan Grisham wants for upcoming session

In a press conference Friday, anti-gun Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, flanked by various state public safety officials, police, and advocates for reducing gun violence, including discredited anti-gun activist Miranda Viscoli, introduced a slew of fringe anti-gun bills to take away New Mexicans’ Second Amendment rights in the upcoming 30-day legislative session.

Described by the Governor as the so-called “largest, most comprehensive package” in the legislative history of the state, these proposals primarily target gun rights, which Lujan Grisham claims plagues “every corner around the globe.”

Governor Lujan Grisham mentioned her discussions with the Democratic caucus and supporters of her public safety package, expressing optimism about Democratic support this year. However, most of the legislation she introduced at the state Capitol news conference was not yet available on the Legislature’s website. The proposed measures include, per New Mexico Shooting Sports Association:

  • 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

The state Supreme Court is currently deliberating on a case against the governor’s executive order that bans firearms in children’s play areas in Albuquerque after she previously attempted to “suspend” Bernalillo County and Albuquerque residents’ gun rights but was immediately slapped down in court due to the edict’s blatant unconstitutionality. 

Lujan Grisham highlighted that some of the proposed bills enjoy bipartisan support. One significant proposal would allow judges to detain suspects charged with serious violent crimes until trial, unless countered by substantial evidence. This proposal has been a subject of intense debate, with proponents arguing for community safety and opponents citing constitutional rights concerns.

Second Judicial District Attorney Sam Bregman emphasized the necessity of detaining certain suspects to ensure community safety. Representative Craig Brandt, a Republican from Rio Rancho, who is sponsoring the pretrial detention bill, mentioned working with the governor on various crime and public safety bills but expressed his resistance to any measures infringing on constitutional rights, per the Associated Press.

Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca criticized the governor’s approach as overly partisan and overly restrictive on Second Amendment rights. He urged for a tougher stance on criminals rather than law-abiding citizens. GOP Representative Rod Montoya of Farmington pointed out that past Republican-led crime bills often faltered in Democrat-controlled committees, but he remained hopeful about reintroducing them this year despite anticipating resistance from the Democrat-majority Legislature.

Dem NM House Speaker Martínez previews goals for upcoming session

In a revealing interview with the New Mexico Democrat Party’s Chair Jessica Velasquez for the Democrats’ “Blue Opiñon” newsletter, Speaker Javier Martínez shared his vision and expectations for the upcoming legislative session, along with his commentary on his party. The interview, available for viewing at this link, offered a glimpse into the priorities and challenges as seen by the Speaker.

Speaker Martínez proudly highlighted the supposed diversity of the NM Democrat Caucus leadership, claiming it to be “the most diverse in the country.” He noted the presence of many “young mothers” among the leadership.

Looking ahead under his leadership, Martínez emphasized his desire to maintain a “tone of civility” in the legislative process. He committed to avoid debating controversial bills in the early hours, stating, “We try our best not to debate controversial bills at three in the morning.” He says he expects the 2024 Legislative Session to be a “really productive session.”

As for the 2024 elections, Martínez confidently projected that the Democratic majority, currently holding 45 seats, is set to grow.

In terms of legislative priorities for the next session, Martínez outlined several key areas:

  • Education: He wants the creation of the “Tribal education trust fund” sponsored by state Rep. Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo)
  • Early Childhood Education: Martínez plans to build upon the existing fund, which is already spending billions on socialist taxpayer-funded “free” daycare.
  • “Climate Change”: He mentioned incentives for solar panels and electric vehicles, along with geothermal subsidies.
  • Public Safety: The Speaker stressed what he perceived to be the need for behavioral health funding to address “generations of divestment” and to “hold criminal actors accountable for their crimes.”
  • “Economic Diversification”: Martínez discussed expanding legal marijuana, opportunity investment funds, and addressing climate change.
  • “Gun Safety”: He expressed a firm stance to “tackle head-on” bills Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wants to snatch New Mexicans’ rights. 

Martínez ended the interview by emphasizing wanting to keep New Mexico to be a “safe space” to be a “transgender person, a transgender child, as well as abortion.” He said, “We are a very Catholic state,” but “we are also a place where women can access reproductive health care [abortion up-to-birth] and transgender children can live to be themselves.”

This interview provides a clear roadmap of the legislative and social issues that Speaker Martínez and the NM Democrat Caucus plan to address in the coming legislative session, as well as some key topics he aims to prioritize. 

1 2 3 4 5 6 17
Scroll to Top