Renato Costa

See where NM ranked in child well-being on ‘The Kids Count’ report

The Baltimore-based nonprofit, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, recently released its annual “The Kids Count” report. The report examines data across 16 total indicators in four broad categories: education, health, economic well-being, and family and community. New Mexico was once again ranked last overall. The data is derived from the years 2021 to 2022. 

The state ranked 49th in economic well-being, with 24 percent of children in poverty — a mere once percent change from last year’s 25 percent.

35 percent of New Mexico children’s parents lack secure employment, an increase of three percent from the last year at 32 percent.

Children living in households with a high-cost burden remained the same at 26 percent, but still very high.

Teens not in school and not working shot up one percent to 12 percent from last year’s 11 percent.

In the category of education, New Mexico ranked 50th, with 59 percent of children ages three and four not in school (the same percentage as last year), 79 percent of fourth-graders not proficient in reading (up from last year’s 76 percent), 87 percent of eighth-graders not proficient in math (up from 79 percent last year), and 23 percent of high school students not graduating on time, a slight improvement from 25 percent previously.

New Mexico ranked 44th in health, with 9.4 percent low birth weight in newborns, slightly up from the previous 9.3 percent, six percent of children without health insurance (the same figure from last year), 43 teen deaths per 100,000 (up from 36 previously), and 36 percent of teens ages 10 to 17 who are overweight or obese (up from the previous 32 percent). 

In the family and community category, 44 percent of children in New Mexico live in single-parent households (the same as before), 12 percent of children live in households that lack a high school diploma (slightly better than the previous 14 percent), 19 percent of children living in high-poverty areas (up from 22 percent), and 19 teen births per 1,000 (down from 42 previously).

After $30K LGBT crosswalk, ABQ Mayor Keller paints something else rainbow

Woke far-left Democrat Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller made headlines in 2019 when he spent $30,000 of taxpayer dollars painting a crosswalk rainbow to celebrate LGBT “Pride.”

Now, the mayor is trying to outdo himself, this time painting a public city bus with a “Pride wrap” featuring rainbows and pictures of previous LGBT+ parades in the city.

“The wrap was curated by a city graphic designer who incorporated photos of local Albuquerque residents from previous Pride parades held in the city,” reported the Albuquerque Journal.

Albuquerque city bus. Image courtesy of CABQ in a press release.

“At a time when many places across the country are targeting this community, Albuquerque celebrates, supports, and stands with our LGBTQ+ friends and family,” Keller said in a news release. “We will continue to fight for equality and diversity in our city.”

The ABQ RIDE Pride bus wrap will be displayed throughout June, and will be a participant in the 2023 Pride Parade on Saturday, June 10, in Nob Hill.

“This bus is one of many reminders we deserve, telling us that we belong,” claimed Equality New Mexico executive director Marshall Martinez, a former Planned Parenthood lobbyist.

After praising drilling ban, Vasquez silent on Haaland’s conflicts of interest

Far-left Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez (NM-CD-02) lavished praise upon Joe Biden’s Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland after she ordered that a ten-mile radius around Chaco Canyon must be banned from oil and gas leasing to the ire of the Navajo Nation, which vehemently opposed the action after being shuttered from the process by the Department. 

“There are few places that are as important to our history, culture and heritage as Chaco – a sacred place worthy of protection. I stand with the Pueblos of my district and welcome @SecDebHaaland’s decision to withdraw mineral development in this region,” Vasquez tweeted following the decision.

However, shortly following Haaland’s Chaco Canyon proclamation, 11 U.S. House representatives sounded the alarm to the Interior secretary and top Interior Department ethics official Heather Gottry about her conflicts of interest regarding her family’s involvement in the decision.

The GOP lawmakers, led by U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR), wrote, “Under the standards of ethical conduct, federal government officials are required to recuse from particular matters involving specific parties where ‘a person with whom he has a covered relationship is or represents a party to such matter,’ unless authorized by the agency to participate.”

“Furthermore, a federal government official is barred from using their position for the private gain of family members or nonprofit organizations,” the lawmakers continued.

The signers noted that Haaland has been heavily involved with Pueblo Action Alliance (PAA), which lobbied extensively for the DOI to ban oil and gas leasing at the cultural site.

Fox News wrote, “PAA Executive Director Julia Bernal boasted in 2021 that she met personally with Haaland, whom she referenced as ‘Auntie Deb,’ about the group’s broad opposition to oil and gas leasing.”

Haaland’s daughter Somah, who works for PAA, lobbied for the ban to members of Congress and others involved in policy decisions relating to the order.

“In addition, the letter cited Haaland’s latest ethics filing, which showed her husband Skip Sayre does consulting work for the Laguna Development Corp., a firm that is affiliated with the Laguna Pueblo, an Indigenous tribe. Like the PAA, the tribe has advocated in favor of a buffer zone around Chaco Canyon where new leasing would be banned,” the report continued.

However, as Haaland’s clear conflicts of interest in the deal hit news waves, Gabe Vasquez remains radio silent on the Democrat former congresswoman from New Mexico’s actions as Interior secretary.

“Gabe Vasquez is always happy to jump aboard the extremism train at the expense of New Mexicans,” the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokeswoman Delanie Bomar wrote. “Vasquez will bend over backwards to excuse corruption and conflicts of interest as long as it means shutting down New Mexico oil and gas production.”

50 percent of New Mexico’s general fund derives from the oil and gas industry. Vasquez is a radical environmentalist who backs Green New Deal policies and “environmental justice” left-wing initiatives to attack the oil and gas industry. He narrowly claimed the seat he currently occupies in 2022 after far-left Democrats in the New Mexico Legislature gerrymandered the seat to snatch it from GOP hands. 

NM land commissioner issues edict further restricting oil and gas

On Friday, Democrat state Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard issued an executive order from her office banning any oil and gas leasing within one mile of any school. 

She wrote in the edict, “I, Stephanie Garcia Richard, Commissioner of Public Lands, do hereby order and direct that the state trust lands located within one mile of a school or other educational institution shall not be leased for new oil and gas purposes until further order, effective immediately.”

It also read that “nothing herein shall restrict the State Land Office from authorizing the placement of infrastructure or permitted uses for the purpose of ensuring that appropriate public health, safety or environmental standards are met,” apparently attempting to usurp more broad power to restrict the oil and gas production under the guise of “health” and safety.” 

Nowhere in the order are citations to any studies or scientific evidence to justify her action. 

During a press conference, Garcia Richard said, “There is no reason to greenlight operations that produce dangerous pollutants so close to schoolkids when we have millions of acres of state lands to work with.”

“Ultimately, we need a public health buffer around schools enshrined in state law, and this order provides an opportunity to engage the Legislature, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders on developing a comprehensive and long-term solution,” asking lawmakers to pass legislation to codify this order.

Jim Winchester, Executive Director of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, wrote, “IPANM agrees that safe and reasonable setbacks are necessary between certain production sites and schools, however, we have concerns that the distance to be enforced under the State Land Office’s assumed discretionary authority is arbitrary and isn’t based on any definitive evidence of health impacts.”

“While it would have been appropriate for the State Land Commissioner to consult with industry before issuing this order carte blanche, we will work with her office on a case-by-case basis if there are particular tracts of land that might otherwise be safely and responsibly developed to provide critical revenues to improve New Mexico’s schools.”

Oil and gas revenues comprise 50 percent of the state’s General Fund, meaning further restrictions will directly harm state programs funded by oil and gas, such as education and health care.

Gov. Lujan Grisham celebrates ‘LGBTQIA2S+’ month of ‘Pride’

On Thursday, far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wished New Mexicans a “Happy #Pride” to the “LGBTQIA2S+ folx.”

She wrote, “​​Happy #Pride month to all the LGBTQIA2S+ folx in New Mexico! “Pride” means something different to all of us, but this month we take time to celebrate who we are – and honor those who paved the way for change. #LoveIsLove.”

“As LGBTQ+ rights are under attack in so many states, New Mexico will not go backward. During the last session, I was proud to sign legislation making sure gender-affirming care remains available in New Mexico. This state will remain a haven for queer people everywhere,” she added.

The post featured a picture of the “Progress Pride” flag, which Northwestern University claims added colors to the original rainbow supposedly include transgenders and “people of color.” 

“The flags black and brown stripes represent marginalized LBGT communities of colour, community members lost to HIV/AIDS, and those currently living with AIDS,” wrote Northwestern

The designer, Daniel Quasar, said the flag was meant to “shift focus and emphasis to what is important in our current community climate.” It has been used by the radical fringe parts of the LGBT community.

According to the Portland Art Museum, the governor’s long alphabet of letters and numbers, “LGBTQIA2S+,” means “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Two-Spirit.” 

In the 2023 Legislative Session, the governor promoted extreme laws that exposed local governments and schools to lawsuits if they did not facilitate abortions or “gender-affirming care,” meaning transgender surgeries and puberty blockers. 

The Democrats also expanded the state’s “Human Rights Act” to include “gender identity,” creating new opportunities for lawsuits. 

In previous years during the month of June, which has been coopted as “pride” month, Lujan Grisham and then-House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) stood on the roof of the capitol holding LGBT pride flags.

Gov. Lujan Grisham and Speaker Egolf hoist Pride flags atop the Capitol in Santa Fe
Gov. Lujan Grisham and then-Speaker Egolf hoist Pride flags atop the Capitol in Santa Fe

In the past, Lujan Grisham touted her support for “pride” month to the “LGBTQ+” individuals. Apparently, she added new letters to her alphabet in 2023. 

As ABQ fails, Mayor Tim Keller floats running for another term

New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque, has become a warzone under Democrat Mayor Tim Keller, being one of the deadliest cities in the United States, and crime forcing businesses to flee after skyrocketing crime led to devastating losses. 

Murder and pillaging are the norms in Albuquerque, with tent cities, and waiting times for police to arrive at the scene of a crime can take 40 minutes or even longer.

For crime alone, not to mention the other slew of issues the Democrat mayor has passed, including $30,000 crosswalks, bans on plastic bags (that are now overturned), and bureaucratic “equity” offices, Keller is hinting at yet another term in the city despite the abysmal record.

In response to a question from New Mexico PBS about seeking another term in 2025, Keller said, “That’s certainly what I’m looking at right now. It’s not a secret.” 

“I’m talking about groundbreakings in the State of the City, but if we’re looking at completions, we’re looking at like 2026, 2027, and so right now, that’s driving me to say, ‘Hey, I want to make sure to be here to stick around for that,’ and even getting out of consent decree,” he continued. 

The major shift from the far-left mayor toward seeking another term comes after he won the 2021 municipal election for a second term against two candidates, one of them being former Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales. 

He won about 56 percent of the vote to Gonzales’ 26 percent and the radio talk show host’s 18 percent. Both candidates appeared to have split the vote in Keller’s favor and avoided a runoff election since the mayor narrowly won above a 50 percent majority. 

‘“The foundation that we’ve built to deal with crime and homelessness includes things like the Gateway Center, and our community safety department, and even the 100 new officers we have in the pipeline at the academy, and our crime-fighting initiatives through the Roundhouse to stop the revolving door – so this winter is really important,” claimed Keller on election night.

So far, Albuquerque remains failing in its supposed attempts to stem the effects of crime, and KRQE 13 News reported that Keller has so far failed to meet his 95 percent operational compliance level at the Albuquerque Police Department.

Does Tim Keller deserve a third term as Albuquerque mayor?

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Heinrich desecrates Memorial Day, uses holiday to promote abortion

On Memorial Day, most public officials used the somber holiday to honor and remember the fallen U.S. soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s freedoms. 

However, that did not stop New Mexico’s far-left Democrat U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich from politicizing the day to promote his radical abortion stance.

“Service members and their families are stationed according to need. That means 40% of active-duty servicewomen live in states that have banned or restricted abortion,” he wrote on Twitter.

“We have a bill that will make sure they have access to reproductive care, regardless of where they live.” 

New Mexicans responded as expected, with Ronnie Lucero of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly writing in reply, “It’s Memorial Day and this guy is talking about killing babies.” 

Another wrote, “You are disgusting. Speaking about abortion rights on Memorial Day. I don’t think the unborn fought and died for our freedom. DISGUSTING!” 

“When you think @MartinHeinrich couldn’t sink any lower on a day of remembering the ones that served and sacrificed. He [somehow] sabotages this day. By mixing abortion into this day of remembrance,” wrote another New Mexican.

One person opined, “Never miss an opportunity even if it’s disgusting.  Then again you are what you tweet!!!”

Heinrich supports unrestricted abortion up to the date of birth. He is running for a third term in his seat amid rumblings he is trying to position himself for the governorship in 2026, as incumbent abortion up-to-birth Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, is term-limited. 

Feds allege ‘pirate’ station hiding at Spaceport America

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau alleges that pirate frequencies are operating out of FAA-licensed Spaceport America in Sierra County near Truth or Consequences. 

“An Agent from the Denver Office confirmed that unauthorized radio signals were transmitted on frequencies 95.3 MHzx and 96.3 MHz from the Spaceport America property located between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, between June 21 and June 25, 2022 during the Spaceport America Cup 2022 event,” the FCC wrote on May 24, 2023.

Land Rover MENA via Wikimedia Commons.

“Enabled with new powers by Congress under the industry-friendly PIRATE Act, the FCC has recently been dispatching a sheaf of enforcement letters like this, targeting a station catering to New York City Ecuadorians and another pirate radio station allegedly transmitting from a church,” reported

Federal Communications Commission via Wikimedia Commons.

“The letter — typically the first notice of an open investigation and warning prior to enforcement — states that continued broadcasting from the site may result in a fine in excess of $2 million.” adds, “FCC agents have determined that exceptions for low-powered devices do not apply in this case, potentially constituting a violation of the Communications Act of 1934.” 

The Spaceport opened in 2011 and is owned and operated by the New Mexico State Land Office, but it does not have an FCC license to broadcast on either alleged frequency.

ABQ Public Schools spends insane amount per pupil as enrollment drops

According to figures compiled by the Rio Grande Foundation (RGF), Albuquerque Public Schools is spending an insane amount of taxpayer dollars per student while enrollment in the school declines.

“Albuquerque Public Schools, the State’s largest district unveiled its FY 2024 budget (next school year) and it’s a doozy. As noted on the APS website, total district spending for the upcoming fiscal year will be $2.16 billion,” wrote the group.

RGF noted, “According to the just-passed budget (which we obtained) the District’s enrollment will have dropped (again) to 68,902. So, dividing the $2.16 billion budget by 68,902 students gets you a mind-blowing spending number of $31,349 PER STUDENT!”

“That’s an increase of almost 69% since 2020 PER STUDENT. Will APS or any of New Mexico’s other school districts be able to move the needle on student outcomes or is the State just pouring good money after bad?” 

On average, education systems nationwide spend $15,120 per pupil in K-12 public education annually, according to figures from the Education Data Initiative. That means APS delves out more money than double the national average per student.

Despite the high spending, the school district has only a three percent higher graduation rate than the state at 80 percent versus the state average of 77 percent. 

“Public Schools in Albuquerque Public Schools School District have an average math proficiency score of 52% (versus the New Mexico public school average of 25%), and reading proficiency score of 75% (versus the 58% statewide average),” according to Public School Review

Storm chasers capture videos of tornado hitting ground near Grady, New Mexico

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service warned about a tornado storm near Grady, New Mexico, in Curry County. The storm also affected Roosevelt and Quay counties. 

Multiple reports say that the wind was at 90 miles per hour, which is destructive to structures, along with the hail. The shelter-in-place alerts went into effect until at least 8:15 p.m.

See some of the views of the storm caught by storm chasers, with the twister hitting ground shortly after 7:00 p.m. in Grady:

Tornadoes are rare in New Mexico, making this one, which is significant, something for residents to respond to with caution.

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