Renato Costa

Redistricting group praises NM Supreme Court’s ruling in gerrymandering case

This week, the fully Democrat New Mexico Supreme Court dealt Democrats a shocking blow when it denied Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appeal for the high court to strike a bipartisan lawsuit challenging the state’s extremely partisan congressional district gerrymander. That means the case can now be heard at the state district court level.

In 2021, the Democrats in the New Mexico Legislature rammed through maps that cut communities of interest in halves or thirds while creating snake-like districts that are clear of a partisan gerrymander. 

During the process, the Democrats gerrymandered the Second Congressional District, which swung the seat from favoring Republicans by 14 points to now favoring Democrats by four points, resulting in New Mexico’s only Republican congresswoman, Yvette Herrell, losing to far-left Democrat Gabe Vasquez, in 2022.

The nonprofit group that was heavily involved in the redistricting process, which the Democrat legislature subverted, Fair Districts New Mexico, applauded the state Supreme Court on its move.

“Some people are declaring yesterday’s decision a victory for New Mexico Republicans, who are challenging in court the state’s redrawn congressional map,” said Hannah Burling co-President of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico and Project Leader of Fair Districts for New Mexico. “But no one knows what the final decision on that question will be. Instead, yesterday’s decision is a victory for voters who believe the courts can – and must – protect voters’ constitutional rights by considering cases alleging partisan gerrymandering.”  

Heather Balas, Vice President of the Election Reformers Network, said, “New Mexico’s court rightly joins a growing number of other state supreme courts in holding what the U.S. Supreme Court once recognized and what every voter knows to be true: that extreme partisan gerrymandering is incompatible with democratic principles and causes constitutional harms. Such cases must be at least heard.” 

Mason Graham, Policy Director for Common Cause New Mexico noted that New Mexicans deserve a fair and transparent process for redistricting. “This process was flawed from the outset. When elected officials from either party meet in secret to manipulate maps and protect their political power, voters lose faith in our institutions and in democracy itself. In that way, gerrymandering harms us all. Ensuring the courts retain the power to protect the interests of voters is an essential safeguard.”

“As New Mexicans we are proud that on the day following Independence Day, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed the balance of power enshrined in our state constitution and respected by the U.S. Constitution. This is not a win for any political party; this is a victory for all New Mexicans.” 

The support for sending the case to the lower court to determine the case and the condemnation from all sides of the extreme partisan gerrymander by the New Mexico Democrats in the majority at the Legislature is a testament to the bipartisan groups and officials, such as Democrat Roswell Mayor Tim Jennings, in supporting fair districts. 

This detail from Heinrich’s pre-Fourth of July tweet screams hypocrisy

Anti-fossil fuels Democrat U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich posted on Twitter Saturday a picture of him standing in what is supposed to be a New Mexico backyard with grilling supplies and an outdoor wok-type burner, traditionally used for cooking chicharrones, but one thing stood out in the photo.

The burner was attached to a propane tank. Propane is made through the processing of liquified natural gas. 

The Rio Grande Foundation’s president Paul Gessing wrote, “Gas grill. Love it.”

State Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo), the founder and editor of the Piñon Post, wrote, “The dude who wants to ban your gas stoves and ‘electrify everything’ cooks with propane,” adding along with a laughing emoji, “Who’s gonna tell him?” 

Heinrich has made headlines recently for his crusade against all fossil fuel-using products, including gas heaters, stoves, and water heaters.

The senator has adopted the far-left “Electrify Everything” movement of radical eco-leftists attempting to ban appliances, such as stoves, that run on gas. 

The Joe Biden administration has recently been under fire for its proposed attempt to ban gas stoves. The State of New York recently did just that, but going further to ban gas furnaces as well. 

During a 2021 nomination hearing for then-U.S. Energy Secretary Designate Jennifer Granholm, Heinrich pushed for electrifying “everything,” adding in a tweet, “Addressing the climate crisis means we need to focus on full electrification of our building, transportation, and industrial sectors. Thankfully, Secretary of Energy nominee @JenGranholm is on board to help us begin to electrify everything.”

He has since pushed for the electrification of everything from appliances to government buildings, such as some in Las Cruces. 

Now, Heinrich made one big faux pas in his supposed genuine quest to “electrify everything” by forgetting to electrify his Fourth of July cookout as he seeks to swindle the voters of New Mexico into another term in the U.S. Senate.

UNM president fumes after SCOTUS outlaws racist college affirmative action

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard and the Students for Fair Admission v. University of North Carolina cases that brings fairness back to American college admissions by ruling it is unlawful to consider race as the main factor in one’s admission to a U.S. college or university. The racist practice known as “affirmative action” pushes qualified candidates aside and, instead of admitting them, lets potentially less qualified candidates have their places due to various racial attributes.

Leftist University of New Mexico president Garnett Stokes, who assumed the role in 2018, was angered by the Court’s decision, writing on Twitter, “We at @UNM are concerned about the precedent today’s Supreme Court ruling sets for further efforts to curb diversity, accessibility, and social mobility within our institutions and impact access and opportunities for all underrepresented members of our communities.” 

“We know the educational and social benefits of inclusivity and will actively participate in exploring new ways that universities, including ours, can ensure diversity on their campuses,” she continued. “We will be examining the legal implications of the ruling and its possible effects on our practices. We will also continue to champion what we already do: build belonging through inclusivity and ensure our doors, experiences, and culture remain accessible and open to everyone.”

Despite the Supreme Court’s majority opinion clearly stating that “nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise,” Stokes and others have shown bitterness with the anti-racist ruling.

New Mexico House Speaker Javier Martínez claimed the ruling was made by a “rogue Supreme Court” he claims is “endangering Americans’ fundamental rights, freedoms and protections.” 

He continued, “By rolling back decades of progress toward racial equity in education, we risk repeating a long, dark history of discrimination and exclusion within the very system intended to foster opportunity.” Notice how Martinez stressed the word “equity” and not “equality.”

“To hollow out affirmative action ignores a history of oppression. The playing field has never been level for marginalized communities,” Democrat U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján said.

UNM President Pam Stokes via UNM YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsPn_oVGEUw

During the Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots that plagued the country in 2020, including in Albuquerque, Stokes stood by BLM and said, “Black Lives Matter is more than a social media hashtag. It’s a social movement that compels all of us to listen, stand up, and speak out. It’s a call for positive action to enact meaningful and fundamental change. So, I’m working with my leadership team to take both immediate and long-term action and build upon the efforts we’ve made, and continue to make, to unify our campus, raise and promote different voices, and ensure UNM embodies its foundational principles of strength through diversity, and progress through inclusion.” 

Longtime GOP state senator shockingly resigns

On Wednesday, Republican state Sen. Gay Kernan of Hobbs, who has served for 21 years, announced her retirement in a statement.

“After much prayerful consideration, and with the help of my family, I have made the difficult decision to resign from my seat as New Mexico State Senator for District 42, effective August 1, 2023. I have not taken for granted the trust and confidence the voters have placed in me,” she wrote.

Portrait of Sen. Gay Kernan.

“Serving the constituents of Lea, Eddy, and Chaves Counties in the New Mexico Legislature has been a privilege and a tremendous honor. While I will miss my constituents and colleagues, and while transitions can be challenging, I am confident the Lea, Eddy, and Chaves County Commissions will recommend a qualified nominee from which my replacement will be selected.”

KRQE News 13 reported, “Kernan has been serving in the legislature since 2002 when she was appointed by then-Governor Gary Johnson. With a lengthy record of service, Kernan is among the longest-serving senators in New Mexico.”

State Rep. Larry Scott (R-Hobbs) will apply to serve out the remainder of Kernan’s term, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

“I think I have ably represented the interests of my constituents in Southeast New Mexico, particularly when it comes to energy issues,” said Scott, president of Lynx Petroleum Consultants Inc.

“When I decided to run [for another term] three years ago, it was something that I struggled with, trying to figure out whether to run or not run, and I felt like I still had some things that I wanted to accomplish,” Kernan said to the New Mexican. “I’m glad I did, but four years is a long time … and I just really need to kind of reassess and be there for my family.”

On Wednesday, 21-year Republican state Sen. Gay Kernan of Hobbs announced her retirement in a statement.

“After much prayerful consideration, and with the help of my family, I have made the difficult decision to resign from my seat as New Mexico State Senator for District 42, effective August 1, 2023. I have not taken for granted the trust and confidence the voters have placed in me,” she wrote.

“Serving the constituents of Lea, Eddy, and Chaves Counties in the New Mexico Legislature has been a privilege and a tremendous honor. While I will miss my constituents and colleagues, and while transitions can be challenging, I am confident the Lea, Eddy, and Chaves County Commissions will recommend a qualified nominee from which my replacement will be selected.”

KRQE News 13 reported, “Kernan has been serving in the legislature since 2002 when she was appointed by then-Governor Gary Johnson. With a lengthy record of service, Kernan is among the longest-serving senators in New Mexico.”

State Rep. Larry Scott (R-Hobbs) will apply to serve out the remainder of Kernan’s term, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported

“I think I have ably represented the interests of my constituents in Southeast New Mexico, particularly when it comes to energy issues,” said Scott, president of Lynx Petroleum Consultants Inc. 

“When I decided to run [for another term] three years ago, it was something that I struggled with, trying to figure out whether to run or not run, and I felt like I still had some things that I wanted to accomplish,” Kernan said to the New Mexican. “I’m glad I did, but four years is a long time … and I just really need to kind of reassess and be there for my family.”

Dems suddenly care about Navajo Nation again after lauding DOI land grab

Democrats who backed Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland encroaching on the Navajo Nation’s sovereignty by putting in place a 10-mile buffer to ban all natural resource extractive activity are now manufacturing outrage over the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Navajo Nation’s access to the drying Colorado River.

The Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the 1868 treaty in question did not include the government’s duty for it to help secure water. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who is from Colorado, sided with the minority, which included all three Democrat-appointed justices.

“The 1868 treaty reserved necessary water to accomplish the purpose of the Navajo Reservation,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in the majority opinion. “But the treaty did not require the United States to take affirmative steps to secure water for the Tribe.”

“Today’s ruling is disappointing and I am encouraged that the ruling was 5-4,” said Navajo Nation president Buu Nygren in a statement. “It is reassuring that four justices understood our case and our arguments. As our lawyers continue to analyze the opinion and determine what it means for this particular lawsuit, I remain undeterred in obtaining quantified water rights for the Navajo Nation in Arizona. The Navajo Nation established a water rights negotiation team earlier this year and we are working very hard to settle our water rights in Arizona.” 

When the DOI snatched the land around Chaco Canyon from the Navajo Nation for supposed “conservation” purposes, Democrats lauded the decision to infringe upon the Navajos’ sovereignty. 

Now, they are claiming to care about the tribal nation. 

“This SHAMEFUL decision upends more than a hundred years of legal precedent at the expense of Tribal water rights and the Trust Responsibility,” asserted far-left Democrat Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury (NM-CD-01) in a melodramatic tweet.

Far-left U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich wrote, “A 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court just denied the Navajo Nation’s right to life sustaining water. This is an extremely disappointing decision that fails all Tribal Nations.”

However, the radical Democrats previously sent out a joint statement applauding the Chaco Canyon ban, disregarding the tribe’s sovereignty. They wrote at the time, “We applaud this historic step to protect Chaco’s irreplaceable resources for future generations.”

Hispanic and Latinos’ ‘drift’ away from Dems could mean Vasquez’s downfall

Far-left Democrat U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District could be in for a surprise in his 2024 attempt to seek reelection, as Hispanics and Latinos, who make up 60 percent of the District, are shifting away from the Democrat Party.

Vasquez narrowly won his race in November by a mere 0.7 percent, making him one of the most vulnerable GOP targets in 2024.

According to an Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll, “More Latinos continue to favor the Democratic Party, but their allegiance is drifting. Some Latinos signal growing differences on cultural issues and crime — and give Republicans an edge in handling the economy.”

“Latinos are still more Democratic than Republican by significant margins,” Ipsos pollster and senior vice president Chris Jackson said. “But when you’re talking about elections that are won by a percentage point, small losses can make a difference.”

“The Democratic coalition is complicated in the best of times. The more pieces are in play, the harder it’s going to be for any Democratic candidate to thread the needle.”

This could mean imminent doom for the first-term Vasquez, who faces strong opposition by Republican former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, who has vast support and won the seat over Democrat Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small, a Latina, in 2020. Herrell has national support from U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, along with many top Republicans in New Mexico. 

National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Delanie Bomar wrote, “For years, Gabe Vasquez and the Democrat Party have taken Hispanic voters for granted by ignoring the issues that are most important to them.”

She continued, “Under Biden’s failing economy, it’s clear New Mexico Hispanics are realizing Vasquez isn’t the guy for them.”

Far-left group tries to downplay NM’s abysmal child well-being ranking

A far-left group called New Mexico Voices for Children, which advocates for things such as abortion up-to-birth, weakened election laws, socialized “free” college, and child mutilation via transgender surgery and puberty blockers, is now trying to downplay the state’s abysmal rankings, most recently being listed 50th once again out of all other states in child well-being.

The group’s executive director Amber Wallin’s op-ed recently appeared in the Las Cruces Sun-News, telling New Mexicans the abysmal rankings “shouldn’t get you down.”

“While these improvements show up in the data, they don’t yet show up in the 50-state rankings. The rankings are based on data, but the various factors behind each indicator go beyond policies implemented by states. Childhood outcomes in a state are also intrinsically tied to its geography, history, assets, systemic inequities, and various other factors that contribute to a nuanced picture of child well-being that cannot be accurately represented by any one number or ranking,” she claimed.

Wallin also touted extreme government-growing programs, claiming they are helping, but the data hasn’t produced their results yet.

She wrote, “Our investments in child care assistance, voter-approved expansion of early childhood services, and child-focused tax policy improvements all received national accolades. These, along with the creation of a statewide paid sick leave policy for all workers, ending of predatory lending, and expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act all help ensure that New Mexico’s families have access to the resources we all need to thrive.”

Although she acknowledged, “This is not to say that there’s no room for improvement,” Wallin’s answer to the 50th ranking, which had multiple categories worsen in the latest “The Kids Count” report on child well-being, is more big government, Critical Race Theory in classrooms, more taxpayer money being flung at “free” daycare, and giving salaries to a legislature that has so far produced nothing but worse results for the state.

She concluded, “For example, we must continue our investments in early childhood. We must mandate that our K-12 curriculum reflects and validates our diverse child population. We must ensure that our Legislature has the resources it needs – including salaries and staff – that allow a broader segment of residents to serve in elected office. We must broaden our revenue base to cushion our budget from oil and gas volatility. We must ensure any new revenue comes from the sectors of our society who can afford to take more responsibility for supporting the services and infrastructure our people and businesses all rely upon. And we must ensure a just transition toward a greater reliance on renewable energy sources.” 

MLG takes full credit for NM’s lackluster jobs numbers trailing most states

On Friday, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham erroneously claimed her far-left “policies” were leading to job growth in the state — with a heavy spin.

She claimed that because of her, the state is now seeing the highest number of jobs in its history.” 

She wrote, in a press release, “The robust job growth in New Mexico is proof positive that we are enacting all the right policies to grow our economy,” adding, “We are paying people a livable wage, providing child care for working parents, and making it easier for employers to find prepared candidates by putting more people through college and technical training.”

Ironically, the press release admits that the state’s multi-billion-dollar taxpayer-funded “free” daycare is, indeed, “child care” — not the “Pre-K” that she previously claimed. 

The higher minimum wage has resulted in a higher cost of living in New Mexico, especially in more urban areas where rents and mortgages have ballooned to levels working-class citizens cannot afford. Her taxpayer-funded “free” college programs is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually. 

In the statement, she pointed to the fact that there were 869,400 jobs in New Mexico, which she says is the highest in history. 

However, according to historical data, jobs had increased in New Mexico for decades, including a high of 863,400 during the Donald Trump administration in January 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic, when Lujan Grisham locked down the state and plunged the number of available jobs to 758,100 in May of 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

During this extreme plunge during the Lujan Grisham lockdown, the unemployment rate ballooned to a massive ten percent, with it leading the nation during many months of her shutdown. She forced 40 percent of all small businesses in the state to close their doors due to her pandemic-era edicts, according to her own New Mexico Department of Tourism.

Also, during the Trump administration, the labor force participation rate was a healthy 58.1 in 2019 and 2020 (right at the start of Lujan Grisham’s tenure in January 2019), while now (with supposedly 869,400 jobs available), it sits at only 56.9. 

At 3.5 percent, New Mexico’s unemployment rate sits as the 34th-lowest out of all 50 states. 

Weak-on-crime policies by Lujan Grisham and her leftist allies in the Legislature have forced businesses to close due to shoplifting and unsafe environments for both patrons and employees. 

“The economic policies of Gov. Lujan Grisham and this administration are working,” claimed Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. 

“Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administration is not only growing our economy at a historic pace, but making the investments in higher education and career training we need to ensure that New Mexicans are ready to enter these high-skill, family-sustaining jobs,” chimed in Higher Education Department Secretary Stephanie M. Rodriguez.

Despite New Mexico’s employment failures under her administration, Lujan Grisham’s appointed cabinet secretaries are singing her praises, claiming she alone is responsible for any uptick in economic vitality in the state beleaguered by her failed far-left policies. 

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.

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