New Mexico

Juan de Oñate statue returning to Rio Arriba County

The statue of Juan de Oñate, a figure entangled in the complexities of New Mexico’s history, is set to return to the Rio Arriba County Complex on September 28, 2023, in a ceremony slated to begin at 10 a.m.

Residents from the community have been invited to witness the statue’s reinstallation, with hopes that the event will proceed peacefully and without incident. The county office, situated on Industrial Park Road, will be the statue’s new home.

The Rio Arriba County Commissioners have made the decision to reinstall the statue, and Chairman Alex Naranjo has expressed that most individuals he’s spoken with are generally supportive of its return.

The statue, commissioned in 1990 or possibly 1989 for $100,000 from sculptor Sonny Rivera by the Rio Arriba County Commission, was removed in June 2020. This removal followed credible threats and assaults on other statues created by the same sculptor, including the Soldiers Monument in the Santa Fe Plaza. Interestingly, Alex Naranjo’s uncle, Emilio, led the effort to construct and erect the statue.

Throughout the 1990s, the United States witnessed controversies surrounding statues dedicated to historical figures, with many of these statues being defaced, destroyed, or removed due to protests. Even sculptures honoring famous Civil War generals were not spared from this turmoil. In late 1997, vandals removed the left foot of the Oñate statue, resulting in estimated repair costs of $10,000. Oñate has been accused of ordering the removal of the left foot from any man over the age of 25, according to the Office of the New Mexican State Historian. Some websites also accuse him of “sentencing hundreds of people to 20 years of ‘personal servitude.'”

This defacement of the sculpture was a protest against Oñate’s role in the 1599 Acoma Massacre. The year prior, in 1598, 12 Spanish soldiers were killed in a battle between Spanish colonizers and Native Americans. Oñate’s nephew and soldier, Juan de Zaldivar, lost his life in the conflict while attempting to meet with Acoma leaders.

Juan de Oñate served as the colonial governor of the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo, Mexico and ordered a retaliatory strike against the Acoma Pueblo in 1599.

The larger-than-life Juan de Oñate bronze sculpture, depicting New Mexico’s first Spanish colonial governor mounted on a horse, holds a unique place in the emotions and opinions of the people of northern New Mexico. Its significance and impact on various communities are intertwined with Juan de Oñate’s historical role.

Juan de Oñate, originally from Zacatecas, Mexico, was the son of a prominent owner of silver mines in central Mexico. In 1598, suspecting the existence of additional precious metal reserves to the north, he financed and led a lengthy caravan of soldiers, missionaries, civilians, and livestock through the deserts of northern Mexico and into Pueblo country. The Tewa people of Ohkay Owingeh, described as “gentlemanly” by the Spanish, vacated Yunque Yunque, an Ohkay Owingeh pueblo complex on the west side of the Rio Grande, offering it to Oñate and his party as a place of shelter upon their arrival.

They remained there for several years until the capital of the newly claimed “Kingdom of la Nueva Mexico” was moved to Santa Fe. Oñate’s penetration into Pueblo Indian territory and the establishment of the first Spanish Mexican colony led many Indo-Hispano individuals in northern New Mexico to regard Oñate as a hero and significant leader.

However, it is worth noting that the ordinary Indo-Hispano person had little knowledge of Oñate or his colony until Anglo historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists working in Santa Fe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries meticulously analyzed Spanish colonial archives across two continents. Their findings, published revelations, and interpretations significantly impacted the understanding of both Native and Indo-Hispano history and history combined.

The world’s largest equestrian bronze statue of Oñate remains in El Paso, Texas, where the Spanish colonial governor is responsible for naming the city El Paso del Norte. He was the founder of the Camino Real (Royal Highway) and the Hispanic Southwest in 1598.

Edgewood’s battle for pro-life ordinance takes unusual turn

Edgewood voters will not vote on a pro-life ordinance in November. The petition-driven initiative to overturn the ordinance by extremist pro-abortion activists, which the town commission approved in April, will not appear on the local election ballot, as anticipated.

Santa Fe County Clerk Katharine Clark informed Edgewood’s town manager, Nina McCracken, in a brief letter earlier this month that her office regards the issue as a non-binding “advisory question,” rendering it ineligible for the November 7 ballot.

McCracken clarified that the ordinance is temporarily on hold due to the petition. She explained, “The next election at which the ordinance can be considered would be in February if the commission calls for a special election.” McCracken emphasized the town’s commitment to supporting the voice of the people.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, this decision aligns with the direction given by the Secretary of State, as the issue is categorized as an advisory question, making it unsuitable for the ballot, claiming it has no legal weight.

Notably, no local abortion-related ordinances will appear on any New Mexico ballots. Instead, the ongoing dispute between some local governments and the state over the provision of abortion services will be settled in the courtroom this December.

The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on December 13 in a case that seeks to determine the impact of a recent law that codified a woman’s right to reproductive health services, including abortion, on local municipalities that pass ordinances contrary to this law.

The case is between New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez’s office and the counties of Lea and Roosevelt, as well as the cities of Hobbs and Clovis, which have passed pro-life ordinances despite the state law legalizing abortion.

At this point, Edgewood is not directly involved in this legal battle. Solicitor General Aletheia Allen from Torrez’s office suggested that all parties are waiting to see the outcome of the Supreme Court’s ruling before initiating any legal action regarding the Edgewood issue.

The Edgewood ordinance, approved by the commission in April, aims to ban access to abortion pills and enables individuals to file lawsuits against those who violate this prohibition, subjecting the defendant to a minimum fine of $100,000. The ordinance is based on the federal Comstock Act, not state or local statutes.

While the issue may not be on the November ballot, it remains a topic of considerable significance in the ongoing debate surrounding abortion and local governance.

Abortionist who botched woman’s procedure counter-sues victim

In a startling turn of events, pro-life advocates are gearing up to support Jane Doe (used to protect identity), a woman who underwent a traumatic experience during a botched abortion three years ago. Abortionist Franz Theard, responsible for the botched procedure, is now countersuing Jane for speaking out against his alleged malpractice.

The incident, which unfolded three years ago, saw Theard perform both chemical and surgical abortions on Jane Doe. Tragically, the procedures did not go as planned, leading to severe complications. When Jane returned home, understandably distraught after passing fetal remains, Theard reportedly left the scene. He subsequently had Jane arrested and pressed charges against her for causing a public disturbance.

Fortunately, Jessica Sifuentes, President of the Southwest Coalition, was present at the time of the incident. Sifuentes managed to secure Jane’s release from jail and arranged for her to receive medical attention to address an infection. Through Abortion on Trial, Jane received free legal representation to pursue justice for the alleged reproductive injustice she endured. She is now suing Franz Theard on seven charges, including medical malpractice.

In a shocking development, it has come to light that Theard is now countersuing Jane Doe, ostensibly in response to her public statements about the incident. The pro-life community sees this countersuit as an attempt to stifle Jane’s ability to speak out against what she perceives as medical malpractice.

The situation has attracted significant attention from pro-life activists, with lead attorney Mike Siebel scheduled to reveal further details about the case at the upcoming 40 Days for Life kickoff rally. This rally, set to take place at IHM Cathedral’s Finley Hall, aims to shed light on the alleged injustices faced by women who travel from Texas to New Mexico for abortions.

The case involving Jane Doe and Franz Theard has the potential to set a precedent that could impact the fate of Theard’s abortion facility. Pro-life advocates believe that exposing the challenges faced by women in such situations is critical, and they see this case as a potential turning point in the fight for life-affirming women’s healthcare in the region.

The rally on Sunday provides an opportunity for individuals to join the pro-life movement and be part of an initiative that could shape the future of pro-life advocacy in the region. Pro-life supporters are eager to stand alongside Jane Doe and all those who seek to address reproductive injustices and advocate for the sanctity of life.

Horrific New Mexico abortion statistics released

In just over three years, New Mexico has witnessed a horrific 220% increase in abortions, the highest surge of any state in the nation, according to a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute. 

The Guttmacher Institute, a far-left, pro-abortion research organization focused onaborting more babies, recently released data illustrating the shocking rise in abortion rates across states. However, New Mexico’s numbers are particularly distressing. From January 2020 to June 2023, our state recorded an astounding 6,480 more abortions than in previous years.

“Colorado, where abortion also remains legal, saw an 89% increase in abortion during the same period. New York [S]tate saw an increase of 18%. California experienced a 16% increase during that time,” the Albuquerque Journal noted.

This surge, which predates the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson decision and the Texas six-week gestation protection, indicates a deeply troubling trend in the state.

The Guttmacher Institute’s data scientist, Isaac Maddow-Zimet, notes that this increase is not solely due to recent legal changes but reflects a complex interplay of factors. The availability of telehealth, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the existence of abortion support networks in our state have all contributed to this disturbing rise, according to Maddow-Zimet.

Furthermore, the enactment of the Texas six-week protections for babies in the womb created a demand in New Mexico as an abortion tourism destination. 

The rise in abortion cases in New Mexico is not just a regional issue but a reflection of our state’s proximity to those where life in the womb has been protected.

The Guttmacher Institute’s report serves as another tragic reminder of New Mexico’s extreme abortion up-to-birth policies rammed through in 2021 by far-left Democrats that left mothers, babies, and medical professionals defenseless.

New poll delivers devastating news for gun-grabbing Gov. Lujan Grisham

A recent statewide survey commissioned by the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association (NMSSA) has shed light on the sentiments of New Mexico voters regarding public safety measures. The data overwhelmingly suggests that most voters in the state believe that the key to ensuring safety for their families is addressing crime and incarcerating criminals rather than implementing unconstitutional gun bans.

Ryan Munce, President of co/efficient, a national public opinion research firm, emphasized the findings of the survey, stating, “Our statewide survey affirms that most New Mexico voters believe their community is less safe due to Democrat Gov. Lujan Grisham’s ban on law-abiding citizens carrying firearms. There is broad agreement that violent criminals will still have guns and will still commit crimes.”

A striking 68 percent of New Mexico voters expressed their opposition to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s order that prohibits law-abiding citizens from openly and concealed carrying firearms in Albuquerque. Moreover, 89 percent of voters firmly believe that criminals will ignore this ban.

Munce highlighted the consensus among New Mexicans, noting, “To keep their families safe, New Mexicans agree that politicians and law enforcement should focus on putting violent criminals in prison instead of disarming law-abiding citizens in public.”

The survey also revealed that an overwhelming 83 percent of respondents consider a “crackdown on crime,” which includes “putting criminals behind bars,” to be the most effective approach to protecting families and loved ones from harm. This perspective underscores the belief that it is the actions of criminals, rather than inanimate objects, that are primarily responsible for crime. The governor has refused to call a special session to address crime, despite the crisis ravaging New Mexico streets.

Conducted between September 14 and September 18, 2023, the survey included 1,367 likely general election voters and employed a combination of mobile text responses and landline phone interviews. The survey’s demographic composition was designed to mirror the age, gender, education level, race, geography, and party affiliation of the true voting population, yielding a margin of error of 3.21 percent.

According to FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings system, co/efficient has a B+ rating, with its polls favoring Republicans by 2.3 percentage points. Regardless of this fact, that means 65.7 percent of respondents still massively oppose the governor’s anti-gun edict.

Biden regime’s Deb Haaland plotting another NM land grab

The Biden administration has proposed prohibiting oil drilling and mining on thousands of acres of land in northern New Mexico, aimed at safeguarding Native American heritage and cultural sites.

The Department of the Interior (DOI) unveiled the plan to ban new mining claims and oil and gas development across more than 4,200 acres in Sandoval County, situated north of Albuquerque. If the proposal is finalized and implemented, it would remain in effect for up to 50 years.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland expressed the administration’s commitment to protecting these lands in response to calls from tribes, elected officials, and local communities. Secretary Haaland stated, “Today we’re responding to a call from Tribes, elected leaders, and community members who want to see these public lands protected.” She added, “We look forward to hearing more from the public to inform decisions about how activities, like gravel mining, may impact these lands, including the important cultural and natural resources.”

Melanie Barnes, the state director of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) New Mexico office, emphasized the Placitas area’s significance for Tribal Nations and the local community. The region contains archaeological resources dating back hundreds of years and is popular for hiking, camping, sightseeing, and hunting.

The BLM’s proposal aims to “protect, preserve, and promote the scenic integrity, cultural importance, recreational values, and wildlife habitat connectivity” in the area.

The Pueblo tribes of San Felipe and Santa Ana had previously advocated for protections in this region, emphasizing its archaeological significance. The proposed action aligns with their concerns and priorities.

In 2019, while serving in Congress and as vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Secretary Haaland introduced the Buffalo Tract Protection Act, which mirrors the recent proposal. She cited the pollution and environmental impact that local residents and tribal citizens experienced due to the area’s numerous mines.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) reintroduced the legislation earlier this year, consistently urging the DOI to block mineral development in Sandoval County.

The Congressional Budget Office conducted an assessment of the Buffalo Tract Protection Act using information from the BLM. The report, issued in August, highlighted that the region affected by the mineral ban has a high potential for sand and gravel extraction, which is essential for infrastructure projects like road construction. It also indicated minimal potential for the development of other minerals.

However, the report projected that the land withdrawal would result in a decrease of $2 million in federal revenue. Despite this fiscal impact, proponents of the measure stress the importance of preserving cultural heritage and protecting the environment in the region.

The Interior Department led by Haaland recently approved a land grab from the Navajo Nation around Chaco Canyon that marked off a ten-mile radius from new oil and natural gas leasing for the next 20 years, which will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue to the tribal nation.

Far-left U.S. Rep. Vasquez to support resolution condemning Gov. MLG

Far-left U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico plans to break ranks with his party by supporting a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives condemning Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s illegal executive order banning guns in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which a judge recently struck down. Vasquez, a responsible gun owner, expressed his commitment to “common-sense solutions that reduce gun violence.” 

He also mentioned his support for the extreme anti-gun “Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act.”

In his statement, Vasquez emphasized the importance of producing constitutional, legal, and enforceable solutions to protect families and children, despite being considered one of the most vulnerable House Democrats seeking reelection.

The resolution, sponsored by Republicans, condemns Governor Lujan Grisham for “blatantly violating the Second Amendment to the Constitution” and depriving New Mexico citizens of their right to bear arms. Last week, following public outcry and lawsuits, the governor amended her order, restricting the prohibition on openly carrying firearms or concealed weapons in Bernalillo County to parks and playgrounds.

While the Republican-sponsored resolution was initially scheduled for consideration on the House floor, it has been temporarily withdrawn. During a House Rules Committee meeting on Monday, Democrats accused Republicans of using the resolution as a political stunt, with some labeling it a “waste of time.”

U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York characterized the resolution as ineffectual, alleging that it was intended to divert attention from Republican failures in governance. U.S. Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts expressed incredulity at the extensive debate surrounding a nonbinding resolution when more pressing issues like gun violence and government shutdowns demanded attention.

In contrast, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin defended the resolution, asserting that it recognized Second Amendment rights and condemned the governor’s “unconstitutional order.” He argued that the order did not contribute to public safety and only infringed on New Mexicans’ rights, citing New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez’s warning that only responsible gun owners would comply with the ban. Tiffany concluded that the ban was not only bad policy but also blatantly unconstitutional, emphasizing that the Second Amendment was not a mere suggestion.

“Gabe Vasquez is a defund the police extremist who is only speaking up to cover his own political hide. Voters see through this transparent calculation from an extreme politician,” said the National Republican Congressional Committee’s spokeswoman Delanie Bomar.

NM Reps. Block, Lord formally launch impeachment process against Gov. MLG

On Tuesday, State Representatives John Block (R-Alamogordo) and Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) officially initiated the process to impeach Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The lawmakers introduced a certificate form for their colleagues in the State House and Senate to sign, signaling their call for an extraordinary session aimed at impeaching and removing the governor from office.

The impetus for this move arose from a recent controversial action by Lujan Grisham. She issued an order prohibiting law-abiding citizens from openly or concealed carrying firearms in Bernalillo County while simultaneously asserting that constitutional rights and her oath of office were not “absolute.” A federal judge promptly intervened, issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) to halt the governor’s edict. Her actions were decried far and wide by both Republicans and Democrats.

“The U.S. Constitution is absolute and designed to protect the rights of the people against tyrannical decisions like Governor Lujan attempted to do,” declared Rep. Lord, highlighting the fundamental principles underpinning the impeachment proceedings.

The effort spearheaded by Representatives Block and Lord involves disseminating the certification form, tailored for both the House and Senate, to all 112 members of the Legislature. Each legislator will return their signed forms to Legislative Council Service Director Raul E. Burciaga.

In conjunction with this formal process, the two lawmakers launched a web page,, to galvanize New Mexicans to call for the governor’s resignation. The website empowers citizens to send emails to all Democratic state lawmakers, urging them to endorse the certificate form for an extraordinary impeachment session of the legislature. Furthermore, will serve as a record-keeping tool, tracking the lawmakers who defend constitutional principles by supporting the call for an impeachment session.

Rep. Block emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “We are taking formal steps for Gov. Lujan Grisham’s impeachment because her despotic actions violated her oath and put every single New Mexican in danger. We must nip this governor’s lawlessness in the bud, which is why we have led the charge since day one to see the governor impeached. We mustn’t fail in this effort, or else every petty tyrant across the land will use Lujan Grisham’s illegal actions as precedent to seize more power by trampling on Americans’ rights.”

The move by Reps. Block and Lord signals a critical juncture in New Mexico’s political landscape as the state grapples with balancing executive authority and individual liberties.

Herrell beating Vasquez in new CD-2 poll

The 2024 elections may still be over a year away, but New Mexico’s Second Congressional District is already capturing the nation’s attention due to its history of heavy partisan gerrymandering. In the previous election, far-left, anti-police Democrat candidate Gabe Vasquez narrowly edged out Republican Yvette Herrell by a margin of approximately 1,300 votes, and both candidates are gearing up for another showdown.

In a recent KOB 4 survey conducted by SurveyUSA, which involved over 500 likely voters in CD-2, the results indicate that the upcoming election is likely to be just as tight as the last one. Despite the district’s gerrymandered boundaries, Yvette Herrell currently leads Gabe Vasquez by a mere one percentage point, with Herrell polling at 46 percent and Vasquez at 45 percent. Particularly noteworthy is that only nine percent of respondents claimed to be undecided at this early stage in the election cycle, a relatively low figure considering the historical context.

Ken Alper, the pollster from SurveyUSA, emphasizes that both Herrell and Vasquez are well-known to the voters in the district. As “known quantities,” any significant developments or events, such as a major news story or a pivotal debate, could potentially sway the tightly contested race.

Gabe Vasquez faces the unique challenge of being an incumbent who has not yet served a full year in Congress. This limitation stems from the difficulty he has encountered in making a substantial impact with Republicans controlling the legislative process. The survey results reveal that a third of likely voters hold a favorable impression of Vasquez, while 28% have an unfavorable opinion, resulting in a net favorable rating of +5. The remaining 39% either have a neutral opinion of him or lack an opinion altogether.

For Yvette Herrell, the path is more straightforward. She must vigorously campaign, reiterate her positions to voters, and secure those critical extra votes. Herrell’s favorability ratings closely mirror Vasquez’s, with a net favorable rating of +6. Approximately 38 percent of likely voters view her favorably, while 32 percent hold an unfavorable opinion. Importantly, fewer people have a neutral or no opinion of Herrell, with that figure standing at 31 percent.

Herrell’s previous three attempts at securing the office have evidently contributed to her higher name recognition and the reduced number of undecided voters. Voters in the Second Congressional District are becoming increasingly familiar with her stances and policies.

As the 2024 election approaches, it is clear that the Second District’s history of partisan gerrymandering has not deterred competitive races, to the chagrin of far-left Democrats who tried to flip the district through shady means. Yvette Herrell’s narrow lead in the latest poll underscores the district’s political diversity and the potential for shifts in the balance of power. With voters keenly aware of the candidates and their positions, the contest promises to be a closely watched and hard-fought battle in the coming months.

A link to the full survey can be found here.

ABQ Journal scorches ‘self-absorbed’ Lujan Grisham in scathing editorial

In a scathing Albuquerque Journal editorial, the newspaper’s editorial board pulled no punches in its assessment of New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent decisions. The article begins with a nod to Kenny Rogers’ timeless advice about knowing when to fold, an allusion that sets the stage for a blistering critique of the governor’s approach to crime and her controversial gun ban.

The governor’s unilateral decision on September 8th to impose a wide-ranging gun ban across Bernalillo County initially sparked controversy, with New Mexicans rightly decrying it as a flagrant violation of Second Amendment rights. In response to the national backlash and a federal judge’s restraining order, Gov. Lujan Grisham revised her public health order to limit the gun ban’s scope to “public parks and playgrounds” in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County — still a violation of Second Amendment rights.

However, the Albuquerque Journal editorial board argues that this move was too little, too late. They point out that the governor’s decision to backtrack came only after widespread opposition and legal challenges, questioning her original intent and decision-making process.

One of the op-ed’s key points is the governor’s failure to address the pressing issue of rising crime rates in the state. The editorial board highlights that, during the 2023 legislative session, Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate rejected numerous crime-fighting proposals, many of which had bipartisan support. These proposals aimed to enhance public safety by addressing issues like pretrial detention, bail conditions, and sentencing for violent offenders.

The board criticizes the governor’s reluctance to call a special legislative session to address these urgent concerns, even as House Republicans called for action on the crime bills that had been shot down during the regular session. They argue that Gov. Lujan Grisham’s inaction raises questions about her commitment to combatting crime effectively and her ability to lead bipartisan efforts to address the issue.

The op-ed contends that the governor’s preference for going it alone, as seen in her handling of the gun ban and other matters, undermines her credibility and effectiveness. It suggests that Gov. Lujan Grisham is too partisan, self-absorbed, and politically ambitious to engage in the kind of bipartisan problem-solving that New Mexico needs.

“Lujan Grisham can’t be relied upon to lead a crime-fighting effort. She’s too partisan, too unpopular with state lawmakers, too self-absorbed, too interested in scoring political points, too discredited now on the national stage after her unconstitutional overreach, and too politically ambitious on a national level to shape solid bipartisan solutions that could really make a difference here in New Mexico,” wrote the board.

The editorial concludes with a call to action for lawmakers from both parties to convene an extraordinary session on crime, even if the governor is not on board. The editorial board questions whether legislators have the will to fulfill their responsibilities and override any potential veto by the governor in the next regular session.

The Journal piece also highlights the growing dissent from law enforcement officials, with several sheriffs and a district attorney publicly expressing their unwillingness to enforce or support the gun ban. This added layer of opposition, including skepticism from a CNN interview, underscores the widespread concerns surrounding the governor’s decisions.

In a state grappling with escalating crime rates and constitutional debates, the Albuquerque Journal’s editorial serves as a powerful critique of Gov. Lujan Grisham’s leadership and decision-making, challenging her to reconsider her approach and engage with lawmakers to address the pressing issue of crime in New Mexico.

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