Renato Costa

MLG flaunts opulence with $368 per plate catered meals at the gov’s mansion

Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is at it again with lavish spending on catering at the governor’s mansion.

According to a report from the Santa Fe New Mexican, Lujan Grisham blew $7,336 in taxpayer money on food, labor, bar supplies, and glass rentals provided by the Santa Fe-based Adobo Catering for a January 18 legislative event, which was one of the less-extravagant gatherings she hosted, presumed for the 112 legislators and one of their guests (coming out to $32.75 per plate if 224 people attended). However, some legislators did not attend, many being Republicans.

A catered event for seven people in January with Sandia Pueblo Gov. Stuart Paisano cost a whopping $2,582, coming out to $368.85 per plate. 

Three other dinners, some with former staffers, her Public Safety Secretary Jason Bowie, and state Sen. Michael Padilla (D-Albuquerque) cost a combined $2,200. 

A February breakfast for freshman legislators cost $1,679, totaling $104.93 per plate, if all 16 legislators attended (or were invited). One Republican freshman legislator told the Piñon Post they never recalled receiving an invitation, so it may have only been for the Democrat freshmen. In that case, the cost of the nine freshmen, including appointed Rep. Art De La Cruz (D-Albuquerque) and returning Rep. Joseph Sanchez (D-Alcalde), would be $167.90 per plate, including the governor.

“While there were a few purchases of wine, none of the expenses is likely to ignite any outrage,” the report noted. Alcohol purchases with taxpayer dollars are prohibited. 

Lujan Grisham’s spokeswoman Maddy Hayden defended the opulent spending, claiming, “The governor does not take her duty as a steward of taxpayer funding lightly.”

The governor previously came under fire for wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars used for $200-per-pound Wagyu beef steaks, ahi tuna, and expensive wines and liquors, all totaling up to around $13,500. This all happened while New Mexicans were forced to stand in long breadlines at grocery stores due to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s restrictive public health orders. 

As we exclusively reported in December 2021: 

According to the documents obtained in the IPRA, the taxpayers paid Abobo Catering $1,057.27 for a party, totaling over $150 for each person’s expensive meal.

The menu included “[s]ous vide and butter-basted beef tenderloin with roasted vegetable Napoleon and rosemary red wine demiglace.” Dessert included a “chocolate pear tartlet with hazelnut crisp.” According to the memo, the bar, bar supplies, and “dinner wine” were provided by the “client,” i.e., possibly the taxpayers in another form.

New Mexico’s 4/20 pot sales grew like a weed

On April 20, marijuana smokers, dispensaries, and advocates celebrated the “420” holiday that praises the consumption of pot. In New Mexico, the formerly contraband drug was legalized beginning on April 1, 2022.

In 2022, New Mexico pot sales on the unofficial stoner holiday hit $1.12 million, according to Albuquerque Business First. However, in 2023, those numbers grew exponentially.

New Mexico sales of marijuana on April 20, 2023, rose 86 percent from last year to hit $2.82 million.

“This year’s 4/20 average transaction total was $50.28, up from the March average of $44.60. Hobbs recorded the highest average transaction size at $94.96,” reported the outlet.

The sales increase may also have something to do with the jump in dispensaries in the state, with 1,421 retail licenses in 69 towns in 2023 versus 681 stores operating in 37 towns in 2023.

The massive jump in sales also meant a 124.72 percent jump in transactions from last year to now, with 22,402 transactions in 2022 versus 50,342 transactions in 2023.

Software company Akerna noted that nationwide, 420 pot sales ballooned to $154.4 million in 2022, with that number rising to over $192 million in 2023, according to Cova.

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MLG, AG Torrez furious after Edgewood passes pro-life sanctuary ordinance

After the Town of Edgewood passed its pro-life sanctuary city ordinance early Wednesday morning, pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Raúl Torrez responded with furious statements, obviously triggered by the move to protect human life in the womb.

Even more angering to them is the ordinance is based on a federal law, the Comstock Act, which supersedes state statutes far-left Democrats have passed, such as 2023’s H.B. 7, attempting to circumvent local control of abortion.

Lujan Grisham’s office told the Albuquerque Journal, “Abortion remains legal and accessible to every New Mexican. The governor recently signed into law HB 7, which prohibits local governments from enacting abortion bans.”

“It is clear the Town of Edgewood’s ordinance will be unenforceable in light of the passage of HB 7. We will take whatever action is needed to ensure that the laws of New Mexico are upheld in every community, including those seeking to strip women of their reproductive rights,” she concluded.

Torrez said, “The ordinance passed [Wednesday] in Edgewood is yet another example of Texas based lawyers misleading local communities and enlisting them in their effort to bring about a national abortion ban. The New Mexico Constitution and state statutes prohibit local communities from regulating access to healthcare or infringing on a woman’s fundamental right to make the most personal decision regarding her body and her future. Attorney General Torrez is closely monitoring these unlawful actions and looks forward to resolving these important issues in the action currently pending in the New Mexico Supreme Court.”

Interestingly, Torrez references Texas, despite the locality passing the pro-life ordinance on its own accord, whereas he and Lujan Grisham have worked hard to woo Texas women to New Mexico to get their abortions on the state line. Recently, the governor rammed through $10 million to construct a new abortion facility in Las Cruces to service Texas women. 

Edgewood is just the latest locality to pass the pro-life ordinance. Places such as Eunice, Clovis, and Hobbs have passed similar pro-life ordinances protecting life in the womb and ensuring women are not maimed or killed by the deadly abortion drugs used in chemical abortions.

Melanie Stansbury poses with disgraced Tennessee rep. who led insurrection

On Wednesday, far-left U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-01) proudly posed alongside formerly ousted Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones, a Democrat, who was booted from his role after leading an insurrection upon the Tennessee House of Representatives. After four days of being out of office, the far-left Nashville Metropolitan Council quickly reinstated Jones. 

Jones was charged in 2020 for assaulting people in cars during the George Floyd riots, of which he was an organizer. Watch here: 

According to Scoop Nashville, “Throughout the entire time, he has faced over a dozen charges but always denied that he was violent – despite multiple assaults, assault on an officer, and reckless endangerment charges. In the newly obtained video, one of his assaults was captured, and presented to the Grand Jury – and he was indicted on two counts of reckless endangerment.”

Stansbury, who is a fringe environmentalist and supporter of every left-wing policy imaginable, including weaker election laws and abortion up to birth, posed for a photo with Jones while praising the extreme lawmaker.

She wrote, “It was such an honor to run into the one and only Rep. Justin Jones this morning—inspiring defender of democracy and the duly elected people’s representative of Tennessee’s House District 52. We are with you, @brotherjones_!” 

Screenshot of Rep. Stansbury’s tweet with insurrectionist Justin Jones.

However, Jones and other lawmakers leading an insurrection upon the Tennessee House appears to be Stansbury’s idea of “defending” so-called “democracy,” with other Democrats, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, praising him and welcoming the fringe politician with open arms. 

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Gabe Vasquez silent as NM Dems fling 2024 endorsements at Biden

On Tuesday, Joe Biden announced another run for the presidency in 2024 without a formal announcement rally but rather a video touting his support for abortion and weaker election laws. 

Naturally, former 2020 vice-presidential shortlisted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico has already endorsed the octogenarian.

“I’m proud to stand with @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris in their reelection campaign – standing together to protect our democracy and freedoms,” she wrote on Twitter.

Far-left U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger de Fernandez (D-NM-03) wrote on Twitter, “Nuevo Mexico, estamos listos para cumplir el trabajo,” which translates to “New Mexico, we are ready to get the job done!”

Other far-left U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-01) wrote, “In 2024 we’re going to take back the #USHouse, hold our Senate majority, and re-elect @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris.”

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) wrote, “Historic investments in infrastructure and our climate, 12.4 million new jobs, and the first gun safety reform in decades–just to name a few. We must keep going forward, so let’s finish the job and send @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris back to the White House!” 

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) praised Biden for choosing staffer Julie Chávez Rodríguez as his new campaign manager in his endorsement.

He wrote, “Julie Chávez Rodríguez is a proven leader and organizer, and it’s great to see her continue her family’s legacy of public service. Excellent first hire.”

Noticeably silent was far-left U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, who has yet to endorse Biden for his 2024 shot at the presidency. It is unclear why he is the lone member of New Mexico’s all-Democrat congressional delegation not to endorse, but it could be the same reason former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small was reluctant to endorse Biden in 2020, with him being wildly unpopular across the nation. 

A recent USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found that of those who voted for Biden in 2020, 40 percent of them said he should not run for another term. What is more devastating to the octogenarian is that 35 percent of respondents said they would vote for a third-party candidate over Biden, even if it meant President Donald Trump would win the White House again.

See how much MLG’s staffers are making after their extravagant raises

The Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham administration is no stranger to seeing hefty pay raises for staffers, as we have reported for years, such as in 2021 when she gave a $32,000 raise to a special assistant to New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney, who also got a hefty raise. 

But new figures from the governor’s office show extravagance in raises to staffers after her 2022 reelection. 

According to figures from the New Mexico Sunshine Portal, her new chief of staff =, Daniel Schlegel, got a staggering $72,524 pay raise — a 64 percent increase.

Administrative assistant Sheila Nelson got a 50 percent pay increase of $28,462, senior advisor Courtney Kerster got a 30 percent pay bump of $41,100, cabinet director Mariana Padilla was raised 28 percent or $37,850 in pay, and deputy chief of staff ​​Diego Arencon and director of cabinet affairs Caroline Buerkle both got a 19 percent pay increase totaling $28,218.

Many other instances of lavish pay raises happened across the board from legal assistants to senior-level staffers, who made up to a mind-boggling $185,000. 

The governor’s spokeswoman Maddy Hayden claimed, “Merit-based raises are standard practice across virtually every workplace, and the governor recognizes the extremely hard work employees in her office do every day, which routinely includes work on holidays, late into the evening and over weekends, to serve the people of New Mexico,” as reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican

“Hayden did not respond when asked why some employees in the Governor’s Office, such as Martin Chavez, a former mayor of Albuquerque who has served as Lujan Grisham’s infrastructure adviser since November, or administrative assistant Shiela Nelson, didn’t get salary increases,” the outlet reported

The median income in Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office is $131,950.00, with the lowest-salaried person, a constituent services deputy director, receiving $41,600.00 with the next-highest salary being $58,760 for a “special assistant.” The highest-paid positions in the office are tied at $185,000. 

The median household income in New Mexico is $54,020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Albuquerque ranked on a national list — this time for something good

New Mexico’s largest city is making headlines by being ranked on a national list — but unlike in the past — it’s for something good this time.

Money Magazine ranked Albuquerque as one of its best places to travel in 2023. It is ranked alongside Lisbon, Portugal; Alexandria, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Barcelona, Spain.

The magazine says the average cost of a trip to Albuquerque is $1,889.00. 

“To explore the city, stay in downtown or Old Town, two of Albuquerque’s most historic (and walkable!) neighborhoods. You’ll have easy access to public art, boutiques and day spas, and a hotel will only cost you about $145 a night — 53% cheaper than in nearby Santa Fe,” Money writes.

The article also boasts the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway and Central Avenue, which it writes “is packed with neon signs and quirky restaurants.”

“One last note on Santa Fe: Albuquerque’s neighbor to the north is just an hour and a half train ride away, and the scenery you’ll see from the Rail Runner Express train is worth the trip alone. An adult day pass is just $2.25, so you can hit up the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Meow Wolf and the New Mexican Museum of Art and be back in Albuquerque in time for another gorgeous sunset,” it adds. 

Money also boasts New Mexico’s state question when referencing cuisine choices while also advising visitors to pack “plenty of layers due to the fluctuating desert temperatures. The final recommendation Money has is to “drink lots of extra water — and don’t overdo it on the cocktails” due to the high elevation. 

The good press is a welcome change from the constant headlines broadcasting the Duke City’s horrific crime problem, making it one of the deadliest cities in the country. Many businesses, even big box stores like Walmart, have fled Albuquerque due to an increase in theft and crime-related losses. Despite these, the Money Magazine spread focuses on some of the good aspects of the city and why one should visit.

U.S. Supreme Court lets abortion pill stay on market for now

A short 7-2 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court Friday evening ordered the abortion drug mifepristone may remain on the market until a federal lower court rules on the matter, giving the Joe Biden regime a temporary win pending a court determination.

“In this case, the issue is not abortion pills directly, but whether the FDA acted appropriately in approving the drug more than 20 years ago. The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents the pro-life plaintiffs, alleges the FDA ‘chose politics over science’ in approving the drug and acted unlawfully by removing safeguards around mifepristone, including permitting the pill to be delivered by mail,” reported Fox News

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. wrote, “ At present, the applicants are not entitled to a stay because they have not shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the interim. The applicants claim that regulatory “chaos” would occur due to an alleged conflict between the relief awarded in these cases and the relief provided by a decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. It is not clear that there actually is a conflict because the relief in these cases is a stay, not an injunction, but even if there is a conflict, that should not be given any weight. Our granting of a stay of a lower-court decision is an equitable remedy.”

He further noted, “The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has engaged in what has become the practice of ‘leverag[ing]’ district court injunctions “as a basis’ for implementing a desired policy while evading both necessary agency procedures and judicial review.” 

Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas were the only justices to dissent from the majority opinion, with no other justice weighing in on the matter. 

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter followed U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk’s ruling on a case ordering the abortion drug to be banned from being distributed due to the unsafe nature of its contents, which has been proven in the case.

A 2021 scientific study found from FDA data between 2000 and 2019 that there were many deaths and adverse medical events directly linked to the use of mifepristone. The researchers found in their research that “[s]ignificant morbidity and mortality have occurred following the use of mifepristone as an abortifacient.”

Until the Fifth Circuit rules on the case, the abortion drug will be allowed to be disseminated. Some radical far-left pro-abortion sources are claiming they will create a black market for the killing drug even if a court strikes it down, opening the possibility for more women to be maimed and killed by the abortion industry via contraband efforts. 

Alec Baldwin gets off scot-free of criminal charges from deadly ‘Rust’ shooting

Alec Baldwin’s attorneys have revealed that criminal involuntary manslaughter charges against the actor stemming from the fatal October 2021 Rust shooting resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins will be dropped.

“We are pleased with the decision to dismiss the case against Alec Baldwin and encourage a proper investigation into the facts and circumstances of this tragic incident,” attorneys Luke Nikas and Alex Spiro said in a statement.

Set armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed still faces charges connected with the shooting, although attorneys are confident those charges will also be dropped. 

“We fully expect at the end of this process that Hannah will also be exonerated,” her attorneys, Jason Bowles and Todd Bullion say. 

“A third person involved in the on-set catastrophe, assistant director David Halls, previously pleaded no contest to a single count of petty misdemeanor negligent use of a deadly weapon. He had handed the gun to Baldwin before it was fired but neglected to make sure the gun didn’t hold live bullets,” according to the New York Post

Hutchins’ family’s attorney said it was “clear what happened.”

Baldwin “had the gun, he says he pulled the hammer back, it fired, and she was killed. … The experts will look at it and make any determinations, but we don’t think this was caused by any defect in the weapon.”

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by Hutchins’ family, Baldwin rejected, arguing the family was being “misguided.”

Rust has since resumed filming this week at a new location in Montana. Baldwin is both starring in and producing the film. 

Lujan Grisham tries playing the victim after being labeled a ‘murderer’

State Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo) recently took to Twitter to characterize Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s comments supporting abortion up-to-birth as the governor being a “murderer.”

Following the tweet, Lujan Grisham’s office played the victim, telling the Santa Fe New Mexican, “Comments like these absolutely have the potential to incite violence, including to the governor, her family and colleagues.”

It is unclear how she equates being called a “murderer” to “inciting violence,” but she is well-known for name-calling of her own. 

She told New Mexico sheriffs who were unhappy with her anti-gun laws that they were “rogue sheriffs” having a “childish pity party,” and she called her political opponents “QAnon lizard people.”

Lujan Grisham’s former communications director Tripp Stelnicki called the Republican Party in New Mexico a “death cult” for not wanting to cripple small businesses with lockdowns.

She also Lujan Grisham applauded ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter rioters during the George Floyd riots who took to the streets to protest (many without masks or social distancing), writing, “This is a violation of the mass gatherings, no doubt, but we’re just going to take a leap of faith in protecting protesters who have no other way, quite frankly. Right? There’s no other way to be seen, to be heard, to be respected, and to be clear about your message.” This came while conservatives were met with scorn for protesting. 

However, when it comes to being labeled a “murderer” for signing laws to institute abortion up-to-birth in the state, squander $10 million in taxpayer funds for a new state-sponsored abortion mill, and sign laws to restrict local governments from following federal laws banning abortion drugs, she apparently can’t take the heat.

Rep. Block, who was elected in 2022, is the founder and editor of the Piñon Post and a longtime pro-life advocate, fighting on the frontlines for the right to life from conception to natural death. He sponsored New Mexico’s first-ever Heartbeat Bill, H.B. 258, during the 2023 Legislative Session to protect children in the womb from the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected.

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