Renato Costa

Ex-Gov. Bill Richardson angered over PRC candidates sent to governor

Democrat ex-Gov. Bill Richardson is decrying the state Public Regulation Commission (PRC) nominees submitted by the Public Regulation Commission Nominating Committee as non-representative of New Mexico, specifically in regard to Native Americans.

Richardson told the Associated Press that the exclusion of these rural-area individuals was “a glaring omission.” 

He said, “To ignore northwestern New Mexicans and the Navajos in Cibola, McKinley, and San Juan counties is both short-sighted and insensitive,” adding, “The PRC needs to go back to the drawing board. Period.”

Most of the nine nominees selected to fill the three spots on the newly created governor-appointed commission are from the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.

Former Four Corners Power Plant engineer Jeff Peace, who applied but was not selected as a nominee, said, “We don’t have [representation] now. And if it’s not me, then somebody else,” saying, “But like I said, we just keep getting shortchanged up here.”

Regarding the outrage over the nominees, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s press secretary Nora Sackett told the AP, “The governor’s role is just one aspect of the comprehensive process that seeks to ensure qualified professionals can be relied upon to work on these technical matters that affect every New Mexican.”

The report noted:

Joseph Little is among those who will be considered by the governor. From the Mescalero Apache Nation in southern New Mexico, Little has worked with tribes on everything from water rights to utility easements.

The others are Cholla Khoury, New Mexico’s chief deputy attorney general for civil affairs; Amy Stein, who has worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and California before teaching in Florida; former Public Service Co. of New Mexico resource planner Patrick O’Connell; former Republican state lawmaker Brian Moore; FERC senior policy adviser Gabriel Aguilera; Carolyn Glick, who worked for years at the PRC as general counsel and a hearing examiner; Sandia National Laboratories engineer James Ellison; and Arthur O’Donnell, who has served as a PRC consultant.

But still, Richardson insisted, “I just think it was very insensitive and wrong not to include a Navajo.”

Read more about all the PRC nominees here.

Egolf resigns from PRC committee after ethics panel rules he violated law

Retiring New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) has resigned from his position on the Public Regulation Commission Nominating Committee after appointing himself to the post. The committee was formed after voters in 2020 changed the PRC from an elected board to a governor-appointed board. A legal challenge to the constitutional amendment was thrown out by the majority Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham-appointed New Mexico Supreme Court.

The move comes amid an ethics complaint filed by state Rep. Miguel García (D-Bernalillo), who charged that Egolf broke the law and the state Constitution with his self-appointment. 

According to the State Ethics Commission (SEC), García’s charges were found to be valid. SEC executive director Jeremy Farris wrote that the Commission “has determined that probable cause supports allegations asserted by the complainant [García] … that you violated the Governmental Conduct Act.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican further reported, “Farris wrote that Egolf could ‘correct the violation’ by resigning from the nominating committee in 10 days. Otherwise, he wrote, Hearing Officer Alan Torgenson would preside over a public hearing ‘to determine whether a preponderance of the evidence establishes a violation of the Governmental Conduct Act.’”

Now that Egolf has resigned no hearing on the matter will occur, according to House Democrats’ spokeswoman Camille Ward.

The resignation came the same day the committee had nominated nine individuals for Lujan Grisham to pick from for the PRC. The previous five-member elected commission is now a three-member panel — all of whom Lujan Grisham will select.

Antifa tries to violently shut down Charlie Kirk event at UNM

On Wednesday, the University of New Mexico’s chapter of the conservative group Turning Point USA hosted the organization’s founder, Charlie Kirk, to talk on campus. 

The event was met with violent protests from far-leftists, including Antifa and members of the extremist Party for Socialism and Liberation. Some demonstrators slung anti-American sentiments, such as one person who said, “Americans, f**k Americans.”

“It’s really interesting when you try to show up on a college campus and do an optional, voluntary event, how angry the other side gets. But it’s a very important moment for people to recognize and understand that the other side — the left, the radical left — they’re acting like the very same domestic violent extremists that the entire federal government is now organized to go after, and we’re told that’s on the American right,” Kirk told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in response to the violent protest.

According to KRQE News 13, “Three people were detained before being given summons and escorted off campus. There has been no word on the charges they’re facing as of 10 p.m. Wednesday.” 

Previously in September, a violent mob formed around conservative activist Tomi Lahren’s event at UNM, shoving police officers down and attempting to bang down the door to Lahren’s talk.

Watch a video of Kirk’s event at UNM here: 

More businesses forced to go ‘cashless’ due to robberies, skyrocketing crime

Many small businesses are being forced to go “cashless” after a string of robberies that have left them with thousands of dollars swiped by criminals. 

Santa Fe’s Rowley Farmhouse Ales was robbed on November 8 of over $2,000 and a safe that costs about $1,000. 

“They ripped out our safe and about two grand. Plus the safe cost about a grand,” co-owner Jeffrey Kaplan told the Santa Fe New Mexican. This was the second time the establishment has been robbed, the first robbery also netting the criminals about $2,000. Now, the taproom is forced to go cashless.

The criminals  know restaurants have money,” Kaplan said, adding, “We said, ‘Let’s make this less of a target.’ ”

Albuquerque’s Burritos Alinstante restaurants are also cashless now due to crime.

The New Mexican reported, “The reason? Too many robberies where people with guns and wrenches and other weapons or tools came into the restaurants threatening employees and demanding cash,” according to Mary Ellen Chavez, who runs the restaurant chain.

“We had been robbed six or seven times in one of our stores in a very short period of time — six or eight weeks — and my employees were terrified,” Chavez said. “We were trying to figure out how to keep them safe and keep them going [to work]. And our solution helped everyone in that location feel a whole lot better.”

The move results in restaurants and other establishments having to pay three to four percent per transaction to credit card companies. But according to Chavez, after the implementation of the cashless policy, there haven’t been any burglaries as of yet. 

Carol Wight of the New Mexico Restaurant Association told the New Mexican that restaurants “are very concerned for their employees and staff, and they don’t want them handling cash and being vulnerable to burglaries,” adding, “We’ve had people held up and shot at gunpoint in restaurants. … You put somebody at risk every time you take money out of the safe and send it to the bank; you put them at risk just by having it on the premises.”

New Mexico has the second-highest violent crime rate in the entire nation, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s statistics. In 2021, for every 100,000 New Mexicans, law enforcement reported 2,189 crimes against persons or affecting 2.92% of the population. The only state with worse overall crime was Arkansas, with 2,276 crimes per 100,000 people.

In shocking move, NM House GOP elects all new leadership

On Saturday, the New Mexico House Republicans elected new leaders of the GOP caucus, propelling three new faces to all of the leadership positions. 

In a surprise move, GOP Caucus Leader Jim Townsend (R-Artesia) decided not to seek a third term in the position, although he will still remain a representative in the New Mexico House. The caucus elected Rep. Ryan Lane (R-Aztec) to succeed him in the vacant position.

House Republicans elected Rep. Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho) to succeed GOP Whip Rod Montoya (R-Farmington) for the caucus whip position. 

Rep. Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena) was chosen for the House GOP caucus chair position, succeeding retiring Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Truth or Consequences), who did not run for reelection and will be leaving the chamber. Republicans now hold 25 seats in the 70-member lower chamber, a net pickup of one seat.

Rep. Lane told the Santa Fe New Mexican, “I think Jim thought it was a natural transition and the time to help new leadership come on board, you know, and finish out sort of the work that [Jim Townsend] begun.”

The shocking move by the New Mexico House Republicans comes as Democrats are making significant shakeups in their own caucus, with Speaker Brian Egolf retiring from the chamber at the end of his term and Rep. Javier Martinez (D-Bernalillo) the favorite to succeed him in the Democrats’ caucus. 

The Democrats also selected Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo) as the new majority floor leader, succeeding Martinez, and newly elected Reena Szczepanski (D-Santa Fe) as their new majority whip. They also chose Rep. Raymundo Lara (D-Bernalillo) as their new caucus chairman.

NM House Dems nominate far-left racist Javier Martínez for speaker

On Saturday, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that the New Mexico House Democrats, including those newly elected on November 8, voted to select far-left Majority Leader Javier Martínez as their pick to be the next House speaker.

Martínez is an unashamed racist agaisnt white people. He said in 2021, “one cannot be racist against White people.” 

He is known for his harsh criticism of Republican policies, and his support for far-left policies, such as abortion up-to-birth, the anti-police agenda, the “Green New Deal,” and higher taxes. Martinez also supports disrespecting the American flag by kneeling for the National Anthem. 

Martinez has in the past supported radical bills promoting illegal immigration, including one bill to put illegal alien teachers in New Mexico schools.

The Democrat also has admitted that Democrat “racist” policies in New Mexico, with leftists holding power for over 90 years, have led to failures in child proficiency in schools. 

After receiving the Democrats’ nomination, he praised the retiring current Speaker Brian Egolf, another far-leftist, saying under his rulership, the state has “passed some of the most transformative legislation in state history, including key investments in education, infrastructure, public safety, our environment, and more.”

First-term Representative-elect Reena Szczepanski (D-Santa Fe), who was hand-picked by Egolf, was nominated as the Democrats’ new majority whip. 

Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo) was chosen to succeed Martínez as floor leader, another establishment choice from Democrat-dominated Albuquerque. Rep. Raymundo “Ray” Lara (D-Doña Ana) was picked to be the Democrats’ new caucus chair. 

The new picks from the Democrats demonstrate a hard-left turn, in the same vein as Egolf, who no doubt is content with the extreme left-wing leadership in the House.