New Mexico

Heinrich ‘mourns’ death of woman who attacked two with knife, disobeyed police

On Wednesday in an apparent attempt at “solidarity” with those angered over the death of the late eight-time convicted drug addict George Floyd, Sen. Martin Heinrich sent out an email to his fundraising list titled “justice and reform.”

The email touched on the George Floyd trial and the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin. He wrote, “Yesterday, Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd. The jury saw what we all knew — that George Floyd was cruelly and needlessly murdered. This verdict can’t bring him back, but I hope that it can grant a measure of comfort to his loved ones and set our nation on a path of reform.” 

“We mourn George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Antonio Valenzuela, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Ma’Khia Bryant, and all of the other Black, Latino, and Native American men, women, and children whose lives have been cut short. For too long, we received no answers, no justice, and no accountability,” he added.

Interestingly, Heinrich included the name of Ma’Khia Bryant of Columbus Ohio, who experts state explicitly was not a victim of police violence. Bryant, who was shot dead, charged at two individuals with a large knife after repeatedly being told by the officer to stop before shooting her as she lunged at another woman with the knife.

According to Philip Stinson, a Bowling Green State University professor who has compiled nationwide statistics on fatal shootings that have led to criminal charges against officers, “from looking at the video, it appears to me that a reasonable police officer would have had a reasonable apprehension of an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death being imposed against an officer or someone else. That’s the legal standard.” 

Others, including basketball player LeBron James have been blasted for trying to politicize the justified killing of Bryant to advance a political agenda. James posted a tweet featuring the police officer involved in the shooting. His tweet read, “YOU’RE NEXT,” which many interpreted as a threat on the officer’s life.

It is unclear if Heinrich stands by James’ statement, but his use of Bryant to further a political agenda should be noted, for the evidence is still coming out, showing the policeman who shot Bryant was, indeed, acting within the bounds of his training and the law. Heinrich also used the opportunity to promote the newly signed New Mexico anti-police bill, H.B. 4, but he said he wants national reform on policing. Heinrich wrote:

Earlier this month, New Mexico took an important step forward by enacting important reforms in our criminal justice system. It’s time to take up similar reforms on the national level, beginning with the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

Gov. MLG’s longtime senior policy advisor resigns amid governor’s groping scandal

On Wednesday, it was reported that Michelle Lujan Grisham’s senior policy advisor Dominic Gabello had resigned from the administration, making him the latest top-level official to leave her office amid her sexual assault scandal where she paid off a former staffer $62,500 with campaign funds who alleged she groped his crotch. 

Gabello will not abandon the Governor entirely but will cash in on his work for Lujan Grisham by “starting his own business and continuing to serve as a political consultant to the governor on the campaign side,” according to Nora Sackett, the Governor’s press secretary. 

Sackett says Gabello’s last official day will be April 30, telling the New Mexican that Gabello “was out of the office and unavailable for comment Wednesday.” 

“Dominic Gabello is a veteran political adviser, who has been a major part of Gov. Lujan Grisham’s team for near a decade and managed her congressional and gubernatorial campaigns,” campaign spokesman Jared Leopold said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have his help on Gov. Lujan Grisham’s campaign.”

While working in the administration, Gabello was getting $143,769 per year as senior policy adviser, which is comparable to other staffers’ salaries in the well-paid Lujan Grisham office. 

The resignation comes after Department of Workforce Solutions cabinet secretary Bill McCamley quit unexpectedly, John Bingaman, the Governor’s former chief of staff, left the administration to manage a private investment firm, and in January, Victor Reyes, the governor’s legislative director, stepped down. 

Last year, Department of Finance and Administration secretary Olivia Padilla-Jackson, Department of Health secretary Kathy Kunkel, and state epidemiologist Dr. Michael Landen all resigned, among others.

Gabello was front and center in the Governor’s groping controversy, where James Hallinan, the victim, claimed Gabello tried to talk him out of reporting the incident.   


Gabello was also central in organizing a meeting with communist Chinese officials in New Mexico, where Lujan Grisham and Chinese Consul General Zhang Ping discussed possibly making New Mexico a sister-state with the hostile nation. 

Congressional Hispanic Caucus demands Biden tap failed ex-Rep. Torres Small for Ag Dept. post

On Tuesday, Axios reported that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is demanding that the Joe Biden regime nominate failed ex-House members defeated in 2020 to positions in his administration.

Among the names the caucus reportedly floated was that of Democrat ex-Rep. Xochitl Torres Small who was soundly defeated in 2020 by Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell after Torres Small “won” the Second District in 2018 by a handful of absentee Democrat ballots miraculously discovered the next day after the election.

Axios writes, “CHC members… pushed former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) for undersecretary of rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a job for which she is already said to be a candidate.” 

The news comes after Torres Small joined a political action committee called “Shield PAC” with other defeated 2020 Democrats to “inoculate their most vulnerable incumbents from the type of attacks that proved so effective in 2020, when they lost seats in the House.” 

According to the PAC website, it claims that if these Democrats don’t keep their seats, “the seditionist, Trump-loving GOP will take over the House.” These extreme attacks from a supposed “moderate” Democrat PAC show that these calls for moderation appear to be merely smoke and mirrors. 

In Congress, Torres Small supported socialist taxpayer-funded “free” college, amnesty for criminal aliens, New Mexico’s “mini” Green New Deal, and bills that would put men in women’s bathrooms. When asked directly to address her refusal to support a bill giving basic medical care for babies born alive after botched abortions, she stood by her infanticide stance. Torres Small also voted to impeach President Donald J. Trump, which likely was the final nail in her coffin. 

Now, it appears Torres Small is gunning for a cabinet position while the Democrat Hispanic Caucus is doing everything it can to promote her for possibly another run in 2022. 

The move comes after the Caucus, including New Mexico Rep. Teresa Leger de Fernandez and Ben Ray Luján met with Joe Biden to discuss immigration. Torres Small previously refused to endorse Biden until she was pressed to say she would during a candidate debate.

‘Offensive’: Leftists target Georgia O’Keeffe after NM Tourism Dept. unveils ad featuring artist

World-renowned artist Georgia O’Keeffe is one of New Mexico’s most celebrated artists for her paintings of landscapes, flowers, bones, churches, and other breathtaking visuals while she resided in the Land of Enchantment. 

O’Keeffe is now being featured in an advertisement from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s newly revamped Tourism Department, with visuals of New Mexico and the following quote from the artist: 

“When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air – it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different.”

Despite the seemingly innocent use of the quote to paint a picture of New Mexico’s beauty, the far-left extremist group “Three Sisters Collective,” which helped fuel the fire in the toppling of the Santa Fe Plaza obelisk, is taking exception to the advertisement, claiming the ad is “romantic settler voyeurism.” 

“It’s literally an erasure of indigenous people of this area,” said Dr. Christina M. Castro with the Three Sisters Collective. “We will no longer be dehumanized this way. We are living, thriving cultures and we are here in New Mexico and we expect better from our Tourism Department.”

The Three Sisters Collective applauded the vandalism of the Plaza obelisk before it was completely toppled by radicalized domestic terrorists. The group wrote on Facebook, “With regard to the graffiti written on the obelisk, although uncomfortable for some, the vandalism of this object pales in comparison to hate crimes against Indigenous, Black and Brown people.” However, the monument was erected to commemorate New Mexico’s role in fighting the Confederacy — the very opposite of support for racism or hatred for Black and Brown people.

Then the Santa Fe-based Georgia O’Keeffe Museum itself, which is supposedly supportive of O’Keeffe and her work, branded the ad and the quote from the artist as “colonialist.” 

The statement reads as follows:

“The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum does not support the use of Georgia O’Keeffe quotes describing the New Mexico landscape as ‘her country’ or claiming ‘that was mine’. While these quotes are from the artist, it is now clear that this is the language of possession, colonization, and erasure. Such language is offensive, insulting and insensitive. We strongly discourage the use of these problematic phrases, as well as ‘O’Keeffe Country’ to promote tourism or represent Northern New Mexico. The O’Keeffe Museum recognizes the importance of tourism to the state economy. However, we are advocates for informed tourism that is inclusive of all of our stories and educates visitors on the nuances of our past and the richness of our multicultural present. The O’Keeffe is in open conversation with the NM Department of Tourism to encourage dialogue that supports informed tourism and economic opportunity for all of our communities.”

According to the far-left Santa Fe Reporter, “The messaging within this campaign is representative of a broader effort to overwrite Indigenous connections to place, which is a function of the ongoing colonial project,” says Felicia Garcia (Chumash), co-host of the Exhibiting Kinship podcast and a Santa Fe-based museum professional. “Colonial ideologies related to land and land ownership—such as manifest destiny, terra nullius and Western notions of private property—continue to harm Indigenous people. Indigenous place names, landmarks, stories, boundaries or lack thereof have been overwritten by romanticized US mythologies like this one.”

The far-out local criticisms of O’Keeffe mimic others from left-wing East Coasters, including Dr. Sascha Scott of Syracuse University in New York, who claimed O’Keeffe’s paintings for Dole Food Company in Hawaii during her time visiting the islands are “colonialist.”

She says that O’Keeffe’s paintings from the trip “were structured by colonialism, and Dole advertisements that feature her paintings served to justify and naturalize U.S. conquest. To understand O’Keeffe’s work as participating in the highly racialized project of colonialism is to disrupt dominant histories that, often unwittingly, contribute to the ongoing disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples. Doing so is an important step toward ‘decolonizing’ the history of American modernism.”

However, the Texas-based public relations firm Giant Noise, which handles state tourism PR, told the Reporter in a statement that “This video is not in market; it was an example to premier the brand refresh. Creative pieces are still in production.”

The ad has been effectively scrubbed from the internet, but snippets from it can be seen in KRQE’s report below:

MLG fundraises off of her newly signed recreational pot bill

On Tuesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent out a fundraising email lauding her signing of the Democrats’ extreme recreational marijuana bill, despite concerns from law enforcement about public safety.

Lujan Grisham relished in the bill’s signing, writing, “I was deeply proud to sign this bill into law because I know it will open up so many opportunities for New Mexico. Opportunities for workers and entrepreneurs to build prosperous careers. Opportunities to generate more revenue for state and local governments. And opportunities to mend the harm done by the failed war on drugs – which has taken a disproportionate toll on communities of color.” 

She claimed the bill is just what she was “dreaming of” when she introduced her extreme proposals before the legislative session, many of which she got, including abortion up to birth, assisted suicide legalization, raiding the permanent fund for free daycare, among other extreme measures.

“This is the kind of change I’m dreaming of when I talk about building a brighter future for New Mexico – a win-win that allows both individuals and communities to thrive. Together, we’ll keep fighting to make our bold agenda a reality. This session, we’ve proven that it’s possible.” 

Then she made an appeal for cash, writing that she wanted to hit a $10,000 fundraising goal, asking, “If you supported legalizing cannabis in New Mexico, will you donate $15 or more right now to keep our state blue?” 

It is unclear if Lujan Grisham’s appeal to her far-left supporters will yield success, but Democrats did everything they could to ram through the bill but failed in epic proportions by not getting it through the regular session. The initial failure resulted in the Governor calling a hurried special session to ram the bill through in record time and signing the proposal as fast as she could. 

Congresswoman Herrell promotes energy independence with the ‘POWER’ Act

On Tuesday, Republican U.S. House Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a video featuring Congresswoman Yvette Herrell of New Mexico’s Second District where she spoke about the bill she is sponsoring, the Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021, which aims to put America back on the road to energy independence.

The bill comes after Joe Biden’s administration killed at least 12,000 jobs with his disassembly of the Keystone XL Pipeline and a ban on oil drilling leases on federal land, among other extreme proposals.

“More than half the oil and more than two-thirds of the natural gas produced in New Mexico is on federal lands,” said Herrell. “A moratorium on new leases will devastate our state’s economy, destroying more than 60,000 jobs by 2022, and decimate our state’s budget,” she said.

In the video, Herrell said, “We know what it’s like to have energy independence in our country, and we’ve got to keep it going that way. In fact, we’re seeing production levels higher than ever, but our emissions lower.” 

She added, “When we work together with science, technology, and our industry partners, we can produce better energy–more affordable energy–for all of America.” 

“We can protect our federal lands, we can protect drilling on federal lands, and we can ensure that our American households have good clean affordable energy,” she concluded.

WATCH her message below and read more about her bill here. 

Herrell’s message comes after the Piñon Post reported on State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard appeared to support Joe Biden’s anti-energy ban on federal land drilling, in response to a letter from Herrell requesting support for New Mexico’s energy independence.

ABQ police union grabs national headlines after officer resignations from APD rapid response team

On Monday, Albuquerque Police Officers’ Association president  Shaun Willoughby appeared on Fox News to talk about the recent resignations of Albuquerque Police officers from the “Emergency Response Team” following an arrest at a recent Albuquerque protest, which the Piñon Post covered last week. 

Willoughby said on Fox & Friends that officers don’t feel supported and ‘don’t trust their leaders.” He stressed that Albuquerque officers are “tired of being managed by politics.” 

The outrage from the police union followed nineteen officers quitting the team over Seventeen officers, one lieutenant, and two sergeants resigned from the team after “an armed man who was taunting demonstrators was detained by field officers during the protest and at the time of his arrest, the man was not charged.”

“We have an individual that’s being removed from this counter-protest for doing absolutely nothing wrong,” Willoughby said. “He didn’t violate any laws. He was exercising his constitutional rights within the city of Albuquerque and we had a sergeant taken off of his job, gun and badge removed.”

Willoughby noted how the Emergency Response Team is “an extracurricular activity” and that he doubts APD “will get anybody to replace these jobs.”

“Who wants to take on that professional liability … [of] being involved in these protests that just are never-ending?” he asked.

Previously, Willoughby said, “We are seeing a dramatic increase of Albuquerque police officers applying to go to other departments,” He added, “Morale, let’s not even talk about it because it doesn’t exist. There is no morale. Your Albuquerque police officers are absolutely miserable at work— nobody’s happy.”

According to Willoughby, over 20 APD officers have quit the force altogether within the last two months, following an all-out assault on law enforcement during the legislative session earlier this year and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller having social workers respond to some calls instead of officers. There have also been many proposals from the Albuquerque City Council to “defund” parts of APD.  

WATCH:

Dem NM Land Commissioner Garcia Richard appears to support Biden’s federal oil leasing ban

Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District sent a letter on March 30 to New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard regarding concerns of oil producers in the district who are concerned over the Joe Biden regime’s new oil and gas leasing ban, which will negatively affect New Mexico.

“As you know, one of the first actions of the Biden administration was to implement a ban on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. On its own, this will have an extremely detrimental impact on our state’s economy and general fund, but I fear these implications will be exacerbated by additional impacts on leases on lands under the management of your department,” wrote Congresswoman Herrell.

“I have had several constituents reach out to me concerned that access to their state leases, day to day operations on and the development of those leases will become increasingly difficult if the leasing moratorium on federal lands continues,” she continued.

“I would also call on you to join me and use all the power at your disposal as State Land Commissioner to oppose the federal leasing ban imposed by the Biden administration. Oil and gas production employs over 100,000 people in our state and contributes revenues that make up nearly forty percent of our general fund. 94% of the earnings from the state trust lands, under your management, goes directly to support education. An attack on the oil and gas industry is an attack on the future economic sustainability of our state and the future of our children,” concluded Herrell.

Even Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham previously said she was concerned over the extreme ban by Biden on all federal oil leases, saying to the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce last month, “I’m clearly concerned that right out of the gate with very little guidance, we have an announcement to stall … a moratorium on lease applications, and the reality is: a lot of oil and gas … in the Permian [Basin] is on private land in Texas.”

But Garcia Richard said in an April 12 response to Herrell, exclusively obtained by the Piñon Post, that she has had no contact with the Biden administration over the leasing ban, which will negatively affect New Mexico’s bottom line. She also touted the State Land Office raising $1 billion annually. 

“The Department of the Interior has not consulted with the State Land Office during the implementation of new executive orders, rules, and regulations for activity on federal land. We hope to be involved in future discussions related to easing the potential impacts of these orders on the state,” wrote Gracia Richard.

“I appreciate your concern regarding the checkerboard nature of lands across our state and the West and how this plays into the Biden administration’s pause on federal leasing. Knowing this fact, you will also understand that our state’s and other states’ reliance on oil and gas is a shortsighted budgeting mechanism, because it is a finite resource. Long-term solutions and diversification are necessary.” 

She then added that knowing nearly 40% of New Mexico’s general funding keeps her “up at night,” following up on ways she has done her part to dismantle the oil and gas industry in New Mexico, saying she is using “every tool at our disposal to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for the clean-up of state trust land that they use to make profits. In just the last six months, we have forced the plugging of 16 abandoned wells, fully reclaimed 12 contaminated sites, and sued 15 companies when they would not cooperate with our clean-up efforts.”

Garcia Richard said she hoped Herrell would join in with the far-left Democrats in New Mexico’s congressional delegation to push forward legislation to “plug” wells.  She also said that she hopes Herrell will join her for “when the wells run dry, New Mexico has revenue streams from industries like film, science and technology, aerospace, hemp, and agriculture–truly every option available–to ensure that we can continue funding our state’s needs.” 

However, Garcia Richards’ hollow concerns over wells “running dry” is not a concern. According to Forbes, the inventory of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) “suggests that Permian Basin production still has a lot of room to run.” The Forbes report notes that “ If all drilling suddenly ceased in the Permian, there is nearly a year’s worth of drilled inventory that still needs to be completed. That’s a lot of oil waiting to be extracted.” 

In Garcia Richard’s letter, she said she had concern over the amount of land at her disposal to lease, however, she has leased land to unsustainable wind power companies, which are a hazard to wildlife (specifically birds and bats) and the wind turbines cannot be recycled. They also need oil to run, while being heavily subsidized by the state. 

In response to Garcia Richard’s letter, which appeared to support the Biden regime’s oil leasing ban, Larry Behrens of the pro-energy group Power The Future said, “The response from Commissioner Garcia Richard shows she is extremely out-of-touch. The federal order is months old now and Garcia Richard admits her office has not reached out at all to get any clarification from the Interior Department. Considering… Biden’s terrible orders, Congresswoman Herrell is reaching out to save New Mexico jobs and Commissioner Garcia Richard’s response proves she’s done nothing but appease radical environmentalists.” 

Department of the Interior secretary Deb Haaland recently announced even more anti-energy policies and the enactment of a new “climate task force” to enact what she calls “environmental justice.” Garcia Richard and Haaland, who is a proponent of the Green New Deal, have supported each other in the past. 

Read more about Haaland’s new anti-energy edicts. 

Gov. MLG to speak at pro-abortion group’s pre-Oscars event with Jane Fonda, Samantha Bee

On Tuesday, embattled Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who was accused and later settled $62,500 for sexual assault, will take part in a pre-Oscars event with the pro-abortion, sexist group “EMILY’s List,” which funnels millions of dark money dollars each year to pro-abortion candidates. 

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), EMILY’s List gave Lujan Grisham at least $40,000 in direct contributions during the time she was in Congress. That amount does not account for the independent expenditures of the group in her favor. During Lujan Grisham’s 2018 run for governor, the dark money group funneled over $11,000 in direct contributions to her campaign, while spending an unknown amount on independent expenditures. 

According to the press release from EMILY’s List, the “virtual” event will “feature a panel discussion hosted by the EMILY’s List Creative Council, where a powerful mix of entertainment industry and elected leaders will come together to spotlight the groundbreaking women who are leading the way in politics and the entertainment industry.” 

Lujan Grisham will share the virtual stage for a “keynote panel” with raunchy “comedian” Samantha Bee of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” disgraced aging actress and anti-American Vietnam War activist “Hanoi” Jane Fonda, actresses Regina King and Lucy Liu, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), and EMILY’s List Creative Council Co-Chair Chelsea Handler. 

The release notes that EMILY’s List’s “vision is to be a driving force of change in America by electing more Democratic pro-[abortion] women to national, state, and local office, and this event serves to bring together politics and entertainment ‒ two areas where industries need to continue to make more space for women.” 

The event, which purports to support women, features Gov. Lujan Grisham despite claims of sexual assault and later hush money payoffs to the victim. It also ignores the 750 million female babies worldwide killed through abortion over the past 50 years. 

On May 14, Lujan Grisham will receive an award from Planned Parenthood New Mexico for her role in installing the most destructive anti-life bill in the country, S.B. 10, legalizing abortion up-to-birth and infanticide and removing all protections from women, doctors, and babies.

The 93rd Academy Awards (Oscars) will air on Sunday, April 25 at 6:00 p.m. MT on ABC.

Widower of ABQ homicide victim launches PAC to defeat Mayor Tim Keller

On Monday, it was reported that Sam Vigil, the widower of Jacqueline “Jacque” Vigil, who was killed by an illegal alien, Luis Talamantes-Romero, in their driveway in 2019. 

Vigil previously filed a lawsuit against far-left Democrat Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) in January blaming Albuquerque’s “sanctuary” policy, in part, for the death of his wife, saying that Talamantes-Romero used Albuquerque as a “home base” for criminal activity, ultimately leading to the tragic death of Mrs. Vigil. 

Keller signed a “sanctuary city” resolution passed by the The Albuquerque City Council in 2018, allowing criminal aliens to flood into the city as a safehaven for crime.

The lawsuit alleged, “After this gangster-style shooting, no steps were taken by APD to apprehend Talamantes-Romero or Aguilar, and APD did not inform federal law enforcement that Talamantes-Romero or Aguilar had illegally re-entered the country and committed multiple felony offenses.” It added that APD “ignored this gift from God to avert tragedy and continued to value political principles over the safety and welfare of the citizens of Albuquerque.” 

Now, Vigil is the chairman of the “Save Our City committee,” working “to address the serious crime and leadership problem in Albuquerque,” according to the committee’s filing on the City of Albuquerque website. 

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Vigil said he is “scared of Albuquerque crime, and ‘something has to be done.’ He said he views Keller – who is seeking a second term in the Nov. 2 election – as the ‘leadership problem.’ And unless Keller makes dramatic policy changes, Vigil sees unseating the mayor as the committee’s central purpose.” 

Keller’s campaign manager is Neri Holguin, who has consulted on many far-left Democrat campaigns, including that of Sen. Liz Stefanics (D-Santa Fe), porn star-turned state Rep. Roger Montoya (D-Velarde), Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe), Democrat Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis, and others. She also is listed as a donor to a group that works to harbor criminal aliens in New Mexico through the courts, the “New Mexico Immigrant Law Center.”

She claimed Keller did what he could to bring justice despite allowing the criminal alien to reside in Albuquerque to begin with through the dangerous “sanctuary city” resolution encouraging aliens to surge into Albuquerque. 

“This last year, the Mayor showed nothing less than strong leadership in crisis…. The pandemic, unrest, and national crime trends our city experienced was unparalleled. Much of our comeback today is a result of the Mayor’s decisive action and management of Albuquerque,” said Holguin. 

However, Keller has championed rabidly anti-police policies, including returning equipment donated by the Military to APD. He also has spoken on multiple occasions in front of anti-police Antifa-linked protests that resulted in looting and shooting on the streets of Albuquerque. 

Previously, Vigil spoke in front of the Republican National Committee in 2020 to support President Donald J. Trump. There, he told the nation the story of his slain wife and the Democrat-run city’s dereliction of duty in handling the case.

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