New Mexico

MLG’s health dept. declares RSV emergency, pushes masks, COVID jabs

On Thursday, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) issued an emergency public health order regarding the rise of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), declaring masking is recommended.

Dr. David Scrase, the head of the NMDOH, wrote, “It is recommended that New Mexican families exercise additional precautions this holiday season to prevent transmission of RSV, including wearing masks when in indoor public settings and refraining from meeting with friends and family when experiencing respiratory disease symptoms.” 

He also declared, “New Mexican families are strongly encouraged to obtain vaccinations and boosters for influenza and COVID-19 to prevent additional illness.” 

Scrase’s order erroneously claimed, “the use of masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic was shown to reduce exposure and transmission of pathogens.” 

However, there is not a single scientific study proving masks work to prevent any disease, much less COVID-19, with recent studies finding no significant difference between N95 and medical masks, casting even more doubt on the effectiveness of masks in preventing disease.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wrote, “The real-world effectiveness of face coverings to prevent [the] acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been widely studied.”

Sen. Gregg Schmedes, M.D. (R-Albuquerque), wrote that the New Mexico Department of Health “recommends indoor masking for RSV today. They also recommend bivalent Covid vaccination for healthy people. They did not, however, cite any evidence.” 

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: 

MLG-appointed NM Supreme Court upholds giving her dominion over PRC

On Monday, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied a court challenge to the 2020 constitutional amendment that gave the governor full authority over the Public Regulation Commission (PRC), the most powerful regulator of utilities in the state.

The five-member, all-Democrat state Supreme Court is nearly entirely comprised of Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s appointees. 

Justices C. Shannon Bacon and David K. Thomson were appointed by Lujan Grisham in 2019, Justice Julie J. Vargas was appointed in 2020, and Justice Briana H. Zamora was appointed to the Court in 2021. The only justice not appointed by Lujan Grisham is Chief Justice Michael E. Vigil, who was elected by the voters in 2018.

The amendment transformed the formerly elected commission to a three-member panel appointed by the governor. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the petition was filed by the Indigenous Lifeways, New Mexico Social Justice & Equity Institute, and the Three Sisters Collective.

“This case presents a unique circumstance where there’s a real risk of abuse of power,” said the groups’ attorney Sarah Shore. “There’s a transfer away from the people who in their own constitution reserve rights to themselves to the political branches. This is not a circumstance where the Legislature is proposing to change rights that the people already delegated.”

“Shore argued that the amendment should be struck from the state constitution because it illegally rolled several reforms into one ballot question for voters to decide. She said most voters are neither lawyers nor lawmakers and were misled since the ballot measure did not reference the effect on the public’s right to elect commission members,” reported the Associated Press.

The justices denied the request, claiming they did not believe the amendment amounted to logrolling, which would have been illegal. 

Now, the PRC will be entirely controlled by the Democrat governor, who is sure to use it as a political weapon, as she has done in the past with her hostility toward energy producers. 

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.

Pro-energy group sounds the alarm on Biden slowing down oil leasing in NM

Joe Biden, in recent weeks leading up to and after the November 8 midterm election, has been sending mixed messages about American gas prices, which have continued to be setting records throughout his time in the White House.

Energy in Depth, a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, wrote regarding Biden’s continually changing rhetoric on gas prices, “At a rally in New Mexico earlier this month, [Joe] Biden claimed that there has been no slowdown in leasing in the state – although the facts say otherwise. But while campaigning for Democrats in New York state, President Biden bragged that there will be ‘no more drilling’ under his tenure.” 

“These mixed messages have real effects, particularly in states like New Mexico, where a large part of oil and natural gas production takes place on federal lands. In 2021, New Mexico became the second-largest producer of oil in the country, with approximately 54 percent of that production taking place on federal lands. Royalties and other payments from the oil and natural gas industry make up approximately 35 percent of New Mexico’s budget, which funds essential infrastructure, education, and healthcare priorities.”

Biden erroneously claimed at the rally for the reelection of anti-energy Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, “I know we have a lot of leases out here in New Mexico for oil companies. And we haven’t slowed them down at all. They should be drilling more than they’re doing now. If they were drilling more, we’d have more — more relief at the pump. But the oil industry hasn’t met their commitment to invest in America and support the American people.”

But according to an analysis from the group, the Biden regime has significantly slowed down leasing in New Mexico, right in the middle of a global energy crisis. Energy in Depth “took the total number of parcels offered by the Bureau of Land Management in New Mexico during a given Presidential administration and divided it by the number of years each president was in office to get the average number of parcels offered each year – and the results are startling.”

Biden has offered massively lower numbers of parcels for sale than the past two presidential administrations. The group said the Biden administration has offered 90.7 fewer parcels annually than the Barack Obama administration and 93.7 fewer than the Donald J. Trump administration.

“[T]he Obama and Trump administrations held an average of 3.25 and 3.5 lease sales in New Mexico per year, respectively, as President, while the Biden administration has only held or scheduled a total of two sales, with a current average of 0.67 lease sales per year. Even if the Biden administration were to hold three lease sales in 2023, it will have only offered an average of 1.7 lease sales per year in New Mexico – significantly less than the Obama and Trump administrations,” wrote the group.

Under the administration of New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham, many anti-energy bills have passed the state legislature, including the state’s version of the Green New Deal, which will wipe out the energy industry in New Mexico.

Rep. Herrell, narrowly defeated by Democrat, files paperwork for 2024

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Congresswoman Yvette Herrell (R-CD-2), who narrowly lost reelection to far-left Democrat Gabe Vasquez, had filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for the 2024 election.

Vasquez’s campaign wrote about the news, “Gabe is preparing to serve New Mexico’s working families in Washington this January, but in the meantime, we need to rebuild our campaign’s funds to prepare for the rematch ahead.”

The campaign claimed Herrell is a “far-right extremist” in an email, despite the Congresswoman not being extremist in the slightest. Vasquez used this type of rhetoric on the campaign trail to attempt to discredit Herrell.

Herrell hinted at another run in a November 17 email, writing:

No doubt, we are heartbroken for New Mexico, especially knowing we lost this seat by LESS THAN 1% in a district that was intentionally re-drawn to take me out of office by a much greater margin. In fact, we had amazing gains in every Democrat county – including Dona Ana County where we took 43% of the vote – which was a five point gain from just two years ago! 

I can assure you, it wasn’t for a lack of effort by our amazing campaign team. We knocked over 100,000 doors, made over 75,000 calls and made countless trips throughout the District. Unfortunately, the slim margin did not trigger an automatic re-count of the vote total, and our team could not identify any irregularities that would have warranted requesting one. 

After reviewing the outcomes, we can see by our data that voter turn out, by both parties, was lower than anticipated, but sadly, lower in some of the large Republican counties that could possibly have tipped the scale. 

It has been my greatest honor serving the people of New Mexico in the capacity as their US Representative in Congress. We were able to deliver solid results for our state – even while serving in the Minority. Our Constituent Services team closed over 2000 cases with a 98% success rate! I could not be more proud of how our team made a difference.

We know our work in Washington was not completed, and hundreds of people from all over the District and colleagues in Washington have asked me to stay in the fight…all options will be on the table – so stay tuned.

Again, thank you for your support, prayers and kindness, and thank you for believing in me the way I believed in myself!

The report from Herrell’s campaign was filed on November 22, 2022, right before the Thanksgiving holiday break.

Herrell won the election in 2020 against Democrat incumbent Rep. Xochitl Torres Small. She lost reelection to Vasquez in the November 2022 election by around a mere 1,000 votes after far-left Democrats in the state legislature gerrymandered New Mexico’s three congressional districts to favor Democrats.

The gerrymandered maps are currently in litigation and could be overturned, returning the Second District from favoring Democrats by four points to the previous map, which had the Second District favoring Republicans by 14 percentage points.

 

Teacher’s union chief uses tragic death of UNM student to push for gun grabs

On Saturday, 19-year-old Brandon Travis was fatally shot by a 21-year-old NMSU student-athlete at around 3 a.m., according to the Albuquerque Police Department. 

KOB 4 reports:

During the altercation, both students were shot. The 21-year-old was rushed to a hospital. At this time, we do not know his condition.

State police say Travis had conspired with a 17-year-old female and two other UNM students to lure the 21-year-old to campus and assault him.

Once on campus, Travis confronted the student and shot him. The NMSU student fired back. 

The University of New Mexico is a gun-free zone. The University’s policy states that except for small exceptions for peace officers, “no person may use or possess a weapon on any part of campus.” 

Despite no solid details available immediately after the shooting, far-left American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten used the death of Travis and others in a recent Colorado shooting to push for more anti-gun bills.

“Hatred and guns are a toxic combination. We must get weapons of war out of our communities and off our streets, and protect our most vulnerable so they can feel safe and live free from the never-ending threat of gun violence,” she wrote in a statement.

“And while these two shootings are the ones we’ve heard about, on any given day in this country, more than 100 lives are lost to gun violence. This madness must stop, and we must commit to expanding and building on the commonsense gun safety reforms of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that a majority of Americans—including gun owners—support, including a ban on high-capacity magazines and military-grade assault rifles.”

She then went on to erroneously claim if more unconstitutional anti-gun laws are passed, more lives will be saved. 

She said, “And while these two shootings are the ones we’ve heard about, on any given day in this country, more than 100 lives are lost to gun violence. This madness must stop, and we must commit to expanding and building on the commonsense gun safety reforms of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that a majority of Americans—including gun owners—support, including a ban on high-capacity magazines and military-grade assault rifles.”

Nationally, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are unlikely to get their anti-gun bills across the finish line with a divided Congress as the GOP takes back control in January. In New Mexico’s state legislature, Democrats have already pledged to fund radical anti-gun bills, including one to make people felons if they do not lock up their guns and others to expand “Red Flag” gun grabs.

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.

Disgraced Dem Stapleton ‘not in custody’ as corruption trial looms

Despite a massive corruption trial looming over Democrats’ ex-New Mexico House Majority Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo), she is “not in custody,” according to the Albuquerque Journal.

The Journal noted that Second Judicial District Judge Lucy Soliman “estimated that a trial will be scheduled some 400 days out. Stapleton, who is not in custody, did not appear at the Zoom hearing Thursday.”

Stapleton’s house was raided last July after it was revealed she had been allegedly embezzling around $1 million from New Mexico’s taxpayers — specifically New Mexico’s Children through the Albuquerque Public Schools, where she used to work. She was fired from the cushy $ 79,000-per-year gig.

The Piñon Post’s exclusive report uncovering her ties to other high-profile New Mexico Democrats has revealed Stapleton’s alleged graft has been going on for around 30 years, in tandem with Joseph Johnson, a shady former New Mexico secretary of health who also has previously been hit with bribery and fraud charges.

Stapleton was indicted on 26 counts, including ten counts of improper statutory citations ranging from second to fourth-degree felonies, two counts of violating the ethical principles of public service, both misdemeanors, nine counts of engaging in official acts for personal gain, all of them being fourth-degree felonies, at least one count of tax evasion (a fourth-degree felony), among others. 

In 2011, Larry Barker of KRQE 13 News found that Stapleton “pocketed more than $100,000 — money she didn’t earn — from APS over the years while serving in the legislature. But instead of being punished or forced to pay it back, Superintendent Winston Brooks changed the rules for Stapleton.” Brooks dismissed Stapleton’s $167,000 worth of unauthorized leave from APS, saying, “What I did was I changed the employee handbook so that anyone can be a legislator in Santa Fe and be paid for it.” 

In 2018, former Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission executive director Kimberly Greene and former employees Cheryl Yazzie and Charles Countee pleaded guilty to fraud and embezzlement charges by creating phony state vouchers to heist over $67,700 from the Commission. According to Greene, she claims she “was coerced by [then]-House Minority Whip Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque, to enter into a no-bid contract with eRead, an outside contractor for ACT/SAT program,” according to the New Mexico Political Report. However, Stapleton claimed, “I was never involved, never spoke to anybody about a no-bid contract.”

Dems join Keller to preview their extreme anti-gun bills for 2023 legislature

On Wednesday, Democrats previewed their extreme anti-gun bills via a press conference with far-left Democrat Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. Of course, the preview was marketed as “crime-focused” however, it only dealt with taking more guns away from law-abiding citizens via government action.

Keller tried pulling at heartstrings, telling reporters, “The difference between a violent crime and a deadly crime and a loss of life is typically the involvement of a firearm,” He said, “And because of that, the criminal justice system should reflect the enhancement that a life could be lost, a child could die, because of that weapon as opposed to if that weapon was not in the equation.”

Three Democrat lawmakers attended the presser, including Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D-Bernalillo).

“The purpose of the legislation is not to create another criminal penalty, but the purpose of the legislation is to remind gun owners and firearm owners that you have a responsibility to keep those firearms safely secured if you decide to own one. And when you are negligent in that responsibility, there will be a penalty,” claimed Representative Herndon.

Previously during a July Legislative Courts, Corrections, and Justice Committee, far-left Democrats mentioned plans they had to bring forth anti-gun legislation. At the meeting, opposing voices were silenced. 

As we previously reported:

State Sen. Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana) threatened to make parents felons and bankrupt them if they don’t lock up their firearms. He said, “You tell parents you’re gonna lose everything you own” if they don’t lock up guns. Cervantes added he wants to sue “manufacturers and marketers of guns” while saying, “Bring it on if you think the Constitution protects unfettered use and access of guns.” He then applauded Australia’s near-total ban on firearms.

Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) said during her commentary, “Before we start passing insane gun laws, we need to make sure they don’t get kicked back” on grounds of constitutionality.

State Rep. Gail Chasey (D-Bernalillo) claimed automatic firearms are “weapons of war.” 

Rep. Moe Maestas (D-Bernalillo) chimed in, comparing guns to “nuclear bombs.” He said that “forty years ago, there was an SNL skit where Everyone was walking around with a nuclear bomb. So apparently, that’s come to fruition.” 

Maestas was just tapped by the Bernalillo County Commission to fill the remaining term of former state Sen. Jacob Candelaria, who quit his post. He is married to anti-gun lobbyist Vanessa Alarid.

During the hearing, far-left Democrat Albuquerque-area legislators Dayan Hochman-Vigil and Pamelya Herndon released their plans to sponsor anti-gun bills in the 2023 Legislative Session. One measure would create and beef up the “Office of Gun Violence and Prevention,” which was initially funded $300,000 in the 2022 Legislative Session. Anti-gun activist Miranda Viscoli said the department, to be comparable with states like Colorado, needed approximately $3 million in funding. 

Herndon proposed a bill forcing New Mexicans to lock up their firearms. If they did not, and their gun somehow was used in an offense by a minor, the parent of that child could be made a felon if the victim of the crime is killed or permanently disabled. As noted by even some Democrats in the chamber, the bill would be the first crime proposal to base a defendant’s sentence not on their own actions but that of someone else (a minor) who got ahold of a firearm. 

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