New Mexico

WATCH: Rep. Herrell delivers GOP response to Biden’s border crisis

On Saturday, Congresswoman Yvette Herrell delivered the Republican response to Joe Biden’s border crisis. Herrell represents New Mexico’s Second District, which includes New Mexico’s border with Mexico — straight in the middle of Joe Biden’s border catastrophe. Here’s what Congresswoman Herrell said in her address: 

The district I represent is right on the border with Mexico. I have seen the Biden border crisis firsthand and so have many families in southern New Mexico who feel totally abandoned by their government and by their president. They know we need to preserve Title 42 to defend our border from new outbreaks of COVID. They also know we need to implement the successful ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy.

Today I met with the ambassador from Guatemala who was even more invested in helping us secure our border than … Biden. Unfortunately, there is a fundamental division in Washington. Republicans believe that our government has a duty to protect our citizens and secure our border.  

We believe that our government has a responsibility to know who illegally crosses our border and then enforce the law. But Washington Democrats do not believe that Americans have the right to protect their home or even question the surge of thousands of non-citizens into the country. Instead, they would rather demonize the brave men and women of our Border Patrol and ICE ( and hide from accountability. 

Democrats in Congress would rather ignore Joe Biden’s humanitarian disaster than give up their dream of open borders. But Americans won’t be distracted — not by the media or the Radical Left. 

We stand for our workers, we stand for Law Enforcement, we stand for safe communities, we stand for borders, we stand for America.


Afghan refugees assault female soldier at complex in New Mexico

On Friday, it was reported that Afghan refugees had assaulted a female service member at the Doña Ana Complex at Fort Bliss in New Mexico. “We can confirm a female service member supporting Operation Allies Welcome reported being assaulted on Sept. 19 by a small group of male evacuees at the Doña Ana Complex in New Mexico,” Fort Bliss Public Affairs said in a statement. “We take the allegation seriously and appropriately referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The safety and well-being of our service members, as well as all of those on our installations, is paramount.”

“Task Force-Bliss is also implementing additional security measures to include increased health and safety patrols, additional lighting, and enforcement of the buddy system at the Dona Ana Complex. We will cooperate fully with the FBI and will continue to ensure the service member reporting this assault is fully supported,” added the statement.

Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, who represents southern New Mexico, responded to the news, writing, “My prayers are with the courageous soldier and her family. This is yet another tragic failure in the vetting process for Afghan nationals. The American people deserve answers.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said, “Joe Biden made a decision to shove tens of thousands [of] people on planes to make it look like his botched evacuation was going well. The truth is he had no idea who he brought to the US. That’s why I led a letter today demanding accountability and answers.”

Other incidents have happened across the country with Afghan refugees. “In unrelated cases, two individuals have been charged with crimes while at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Bahrullah Noori, 20, is charged with attempting to engage in a sexual act with a minor using force against that person, and with three counts of engaging in a sexual act with a minor, with one count alleging the use of force. The indictment alleges that the victims had not attained the age of 16 years and were at least four years younger than the defendant,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin said Wednesday evening.

The news of the assault in New Mexico comes as embattled alleged serial groper Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham toured the Fort Bliss facility in New Mexico on Friday, saying in a statement, “Whenever the federal government tells us they need our help, New Mexico is ready to help these families on their way.” The trip to the facility was not previously publicized but the Santa Fe New Mexican reports,“Her office said she walked through the processing area at Fort Bliss Army base, spoke with volunteers about the need for winter coats and other items for those at the facility and saw how the refugees were screened for COVID-19.”

All seven GOP candidates for governor face off at Edgewood forum

On Thursday, all seven Republican contenders for the governorship gathered at Legacy Church in Edgewood for an East Mountains forum organized by Republican volunteers in the area. At the event, all the candidates distinguished their unique platforms, experience, and focuses they would take if elected governor for the first time in a forum setting.

Former Cuba mayor and Right to Life Committee of New Mexico executive director Ethel Maharg focused on all the issues at the event, but focused on the state being the “abortion capital of the world.” She said, “You see, we can save schools, the economy. We can do the audits. We can do Border Patrol, all these different things that we’ve been talking about. But when it comes down to it, I want to ask you this question: For who? If we do not take care of the most vulnerable, it won’t really matter.” 

Former Gary Johnson official and educator Tim Walsh focused on education, telling the audience that the Children, Youth, and Families Department was a “cancer sore” that has “never worked appropriately.” He said as governor he would consolidate the agency into the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. He also focused on charter schools and school vouchers.

Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block was one of the few candidates who took subtle jabs at other candidates, including Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Truth or Consequences) for some of her votes and financier and retired Brigadier General Greg Zanetti of Albuquerque for his past work for Bill Gates. Block touted his law enforcement endorsements and his past championing Right to Work in the state.

“I will also get rid of vaccine passports and forced vaccines,” said Block. “I as your governor will never shut down your business, your church, or your school, and I will never overrule a school board. That is for you to decide on the local level. You elected those school board members. You vote them out if you want to.”

Zanetti agreed with many of the other candidates on issues and distinguished himself with his focus on water. “Without water, we got nothing,” he said. “Do you know that New Mexico, by some estimates, has 15 billion — billion — acre-feet of brackish water? It’s amazing. Now, some people say that’s too high. Some people say it might be a tenth of that. All right, let’s just say it’s 2 billion acre-feet. That’s enough for Albuquerque to have water for 1,000 years.”

Dow spoke at length of her experience in education and her experience as a representative but made clear the Constitution came first. “This is a divinely inspired document; this is non-negotiable,” she said. “And when we have a governor who has a reverence and a respect for our constitutional republic, who understands what it means to fight for individual state rights, especially as a Western state, that will be my priority.”

Businesswoman Karen Bedonie of Mexican Springs differentiated herself from the other candidates, putting a forensic audit of the 2020 election front and center. She said, “Without a forensic audit, none of this matters.” She made clear, “We need it here in New Mexico. We are dirty, very dirty. And right now, nobody wants to get any county done because they say, ‘Oh, it costs too much money.’ But guess what? There’s people out there that are willing to help us. I have been on the ground. We need at least one county or two counties to actually go through this forensic audit to trigger the rest of them.”

Louie Sanchez, who has experience as a co-owner of Calibers gun store and shooting range and as a long-time medical professional, said, “Everyone up here is saying, ‘I’m the only candidate. I’m the only.’ Well, I’m the only candidate who actually owns a gun store.” Sanchez mentioned how he would focus on health care, whereas other candidates had not put it as central to their campaigns. “Why aren’t we talking about health care?” he asked. “That’s the only thing we really have good going in this state. We’re 33rd in health care.” 

The reception of the event from attendees seemed mostly well-received, with all candidates getting equal time to speak and differentiate their priorities in one place. But despite all the differences between these candidates, they all focused on one priority: taking out Democrat alleged serial groper Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in 2022.

UNM students to be expelled by Sept. 30 if they reject the jab

According to an email sent to all students at the University of New Mexico, students are threatened with immediate expulsion if they do not get forcibly jabbed with the COVID-19 inoculation. 

“The consequences for failing to comply with the Administrative Mandate on Required COVID-19  Vaccination are disenrollment from the University and a registration hold,” the email, which was sent by associate provost for student success Dr. Pamela Cheek said.

“Students have until September 30, 2021, to comply with the mandate. Students who have not complied with the mandate will receive notice of pending disenrollment and registration hold beginning October 1, 2021 and will receive notice of finalized disenrollment on or after November 5, 2021.”

Cheek adds, “To be fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021, students will want to receive their first dose of two-dose vaccinations no later than September 9, 2021. UNM is offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at its vaccination clinics in the Student Union Building atrium weekdays from 10am – 2pm throughout the month of September.” 

“COVID-19 vaccination is also available at a variety of New Mexico locations and may be scheduled through the NMDOH vaccination website.” 

The forcible inoculation of students at UNM is just one of the many harsh penalties installed in New Mexico, most of them being attributed to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has reimposed a strict indoor mask mandate, forced the vaccination of medical workers, and is making children wear masks all day at school, among other things.

Pueblos’ redistricting map would oust only Native American NM congresswoman

19 Native American pueblos and the Jicarilla Apache Nation have submitted congressional redistricting plans to the Citizens Redistricting Committee, which ironically would likely oust current Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell — a Native American member of the Cherokee Nation.

“This effort reflects not only an understanding of the importance of tribal involvement in the redistricting process, but more importantly, the need to protect our cherished right to vote,” claimed Wilfred Herrera Jr., governor of Laguna Pueblo and chairman of the All Pueblo Council of Governors.

As reported by the Albuquerque Journal:

The proposed congressional map would dramatically reshape the 1st Congressional District, currently in Albuquerque and the East Mountains.

Southwestern Albuquerque and the South Valley would become part of the southern New Mexico-based 2nd Congressional District.

The 1st Congressional District, meanwhile, would cover parts of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque, and swing down to pick up Soccoro.

The plan would also make the Third Congressional District span all the way from San Juan County down to Chaves County. Native Americans would make up 17% of the voting-age population in the District. 

The proposal putting the South Valley of Albuquerque into the Second District would break up the constituency and swing the Second District to become Democrat-controlled, pushing Native American Rep. Herrell out of power. Similar proposals by far-left fringe groups eerily mirror those of the Native American pueblos, which would, in bad faith, sway all New Mexico’s districts to be Democrat-controlled. 

The tribal nations claim they “worked hard to maintain tribal voting power, develop new voting districts with Native American influence, and to bring New Mexico closer to parity after a century of voter disenfranchisement and suppression.”

Read all the charges on Sheryl Williams Stapleton’s grand jury indictment

Ex-state Rep. and Democrat Majority Leader (the second highest-ranking member of the New Mexico House) Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D-Bernalillo) has been embroiled in scandal ever since it was revealed in July 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. 

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.

On Monday, Stapleton was indicted on 28 counts. Here they are, per ABQ Raw:

The charges include 10 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. 

The lengthy grand jury indictment is bad news for Stapleton, who claims she is innocent, per her attorney, despite the crippling evidence against her. But her past record of bad-faith actions in office does not exactly show a gleaming record.

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.”

Now, New Mexicans will see if justice exists in New Mexico’s justice system, with many former corrupt elected officials have gotten off easy with probation, parole, and little, if any jail time. Maybe 30 years’ worth of alleged corruption in Stapleton’s case will force the justice system to make an example of her.

BernCo Sheriff Gonzales receives slew of GOP endorsements

Over the weekend, Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales, one of the two Democrats running for the Albuquerque mayorship received a slew of Republican endorsements from high-profile current and former public officials.

Albuquerque City Councilor Trudy Jones, a Republican, was the first of the slew of endorsements, writing, “Sheriff Manny Gonzales is a strong fiscal conservative who will help us rein in wasteful government spending and ensure we focus government spending on basic services. Sheriff Gonzales will make fighting crime and homelessness a top priority. I enthusiastically endorse Manny Gonzales for Mayor.” 

Jones has been known to be one of the most conservative members of the Albuquerque City Council and her endorsement of the Sheriff may add more credibility to the Democrat’s race. 

Former state Auditor Wayne Johnson, who served in the position following Tim Keller’s abdication of the role to successfully run for Albuquerque mayor in 2017, also endorsed Gonzales. He wrote, “Sheriff Gonzales has spent his career keeping residents of Bernalillo County safe, even as crime in Albuquerque spiraled out of control. He’s a strong leader who works with everyone who wants to make their community better and safer. I worked with Manny as a Bernalillo County Commissioner and am proud to endorse him for mayor.”

Another Republican, former Secretary of State Brad Winter wrote, “Sheriff Manny Gonzales has earned a reputation as being an honest, tough-on-crime lawman. He’s born and raised in Albuquerque and honorably served in the Marine Corps. For Manny, it has always been about serving his fellow citizens. Manny is exactly the type of leader we need right now in Albuquerque and I’m proud to endorse him for Mayor.”

Gonzales, who is the only law enforcer and the only military veteran in the race, has fought a toxic campaign between the three major candidates in the running, with his unsuccessful battle to receive public financing after a strung-out lawsuit filed by Keller.

After the slew of losses in court, Gonzales has turned to fundraising, saying on September 17 that his campaign had already raised $100,000 in 72 hours. Gonzales formerly endorsed Keller in his race for mayor in 2017 and endorsed Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for governor in 2018. However, he claims he made a mistake with the endorsement. He did, however, partner with the Trump administration to fight crime in Albuquerque.

Gonzales faces Keller and one Republican opponent, Eddy Aragon, a radio show host. Aragon has made note that he is the only Republican running in the race, and his campaign has even pressured other Republican public officials, some of whom do not even live in the Albuquerque area, to endorse him via his surrogates on Twitter. Aragon has also been critical of Gonzales’ campaign manager, who appears to be a far-leftist. He is running on a “five C’s” platform of “Corruption, Commerce, City, Covid, and Crime.” Retired Brigadier General Greg Zanetti, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, has endorsed Aragon in the race.

Keller is in stark contrast to both Aragon and Gonzales, running on a hard-left ticket. His record includes defunding the police and replacing some outgoing 911 calls with social workers, spending $30,000 on a rainbow crosswalk, achieving the most annual homicides in Albuqurque in history, and championing abortion up-to-birth and infanticide. Keller is endorsed by the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Michelle Garcia Holmes announces candidacy for CD-1

On Saturday, Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes, a former law enforcer and congressional candidate announced her candidacy for the First Congressional District to challenge incumbent Rep. Melanie Stansbury who won a special election by defeating Republican nominee Mark Moores. 

Holmes has 30 years of experience as a commissioned law enforcement officer. She served as chief of staff for Attorney General Gary King and says she “is a strong advocate for children and families.”

“I have a solid life long record of fighting for New Mexico’s citizens.  I will be a leader who listens – one with the vision to make the changes we need – and someone who will not quit fighting to support working families, our business community, our veterans and seniors.  The people of New Mexico will be my number one priority,” she said in a press release.

Garcia Holmes touts her work for the Attorney General’s office, where she “oversaw cross-cultural projects to educate New Mexicans on the dangers of methamphetamine. She also worked on collaborative efforts to fight government corruption, starting New Mexico’s first Government Accountability Division.  Garcia Holmes also worked to pass New Mexico’s first anti-human trafficking law and tougher Child Pornography laws,” the candidate declared.

“We need to get past pandemic shutdowns. Let’s focus on addressing our State’s economic needs; let’s fight the crime wave that has overwhelmed us. Let’s embrace the value of a hard day’s work, just like our parents did. I will work hard to make New Mexico safe and economically strong,” she said.

“I am running for Congress because we need leaders in Washington who will support our seniors and Veterans. The present leadership is out of touch with our citizens’ needs. I will bring people together and get us moving in the right direction,” she added.

Garcia Holmes is the first Republican to throw their hat in the ring to challenge Stansbury. Stansbury is a far-left extremist who demeaned Native Americans, telling displaced Dinè workers to go “sell your art or your wool.” Stansbury supports defunding the police, crippling the economy with the Green New Deal, full-term abortion, among other extremist views.

NM ethics board rejects Lujan Grisham’s attempt to dismiss complaint

On Thursday, the New Mexico State Ethics Commission’s hearing officer, retired Judge James S. Starzynski, denied Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign’s motion to dismiss an ethics complaint filed by Piñon Post editor and founder John Block regarding the Governor’s spending of thousands of campaign dollars to her daughter for hair and makeup. The campaign reported these expenses as “media preparation.”

The motion to dismiss by Lujan Grisham’s campaign, New Mexicans for Michelle (NMFM), claimed Block had no “actual knowledge” of the details of the complaint and that because the Ethics Commission signed a joint powers agreement with the Secretary of State (SoS), that it had no authority to rule. The Secretary of State’s office previously claimed the use of the funds was legitimate, despite state law and the SoS’s own guidelines saying exactly the opposite.

In response to the motion to dismiss, Block wrote, “The law clearly states, ‘The commission may share jurisdiction with other public agencies having authority to act on a complaint or any aspect of a complaint.’ … According to the Joint Powers Agreement signed by the Secretary of State’s office and the State Ethics Commission, the Ethics Commission does, in fact, have the authority to investigate this complaint and any such argument from the respondent’s council otherwise is an attempt to usurp… the Commission’s authoritative duties enacted by the Legislature.” 

Block added in his response letter that attempts at poking holes in what he believes to be a clear-cut case just “undermines New Mexicans for Michelle’s frail argument, which is bound together by obscure interpretations of state law and conjecture.”

In a prior jurisdiction determination following the motion and Block’s response, Ethics Commission Executive Director Jeremy Farris said the Lujan Grisham campaign’s “argument is unconvincing.  The Commission did not decline to exercise its jurisdiction over this matter.”

Now, Lujan Grisham is facing another blow from Starzynski, who wrote the following in his September 16 ruling:

NMFM correctly points out that the State Ethics Commission Act requires Block to have “actual knowledge of the alleged ethics violation”, that is, of the facts upon which he relies in his Complaint. See NMSA 10-16G-10(A).  It thus argues that  “Block did not have actual knowledge of the purposes of the expenditures he claims were impermissible,” and therefore lacked the actual knowledge required to submit a complaint to the Commission. See Motion at 7. Instead, NMFM argues that Block only “reviewed publicly filed campaign reports, found expenditures for hair and make-up, then used public records of the Governor’s calendars to conjure up events that he believed were related to the expenditures.” Id. 

To begin with, NMFM’s listing of the payment of $1,040.00 for “media preparation” can be construed as an admission of the activity in question.  Erin Grisham’s statement in her LinkedIn profile (as recited by Block in the Complaint 7) that she provides services as the “stylist and cosmetology consultant for Michelle Lujan Grisham for Governor”, see Complaint at 2, serves as another admission by one of the participants in the alleged campaign violation.  In consequence, reading those admissions provides [Block] the “actual knowledge” he needs to file the Complaint.  

Actual knowledge” is defined as “[d]irect and clear knowledge, as distinguished from constructive knowledge[.]” Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019). Courts generally discuss the term in the context of determining whether a party’s knowledge of some fact or condition triggers (or defeats) a statute of limitations defense or some other legally-significant condition precedent. 2 “[Actual knowledge] does not mean first-hand knowledge, but only ‘knowledge’ as the word is used in common parlance[.]” Collins v. Big Four Paving, Inc., 1967-NMSC-019, ¶ 13, 77 N.M. 380, 423 P.2d 418. 

Even if the listing of the payment and the publication of the LinkedIn profile are not treated as admissions, Block has satisfied the State Ethics Commission Act’s “actual knowledge” requirement.  Block’s allegations are based on his review of NMFM expenditure reports and Erin Grisham’s LinkedIn profile. These allegations support a plausible inference that NMFM paid Erin Grisham for hair and make-up expenses. The State Ethics Commission Act does not require Block to have witnessed the make up being applied or the hair styled, and the receipt of a check, as a precondition to submitting a complaint. 

Starzynski added that “in order to fairly dispose of the Complaint, there must be a factual investigation by General Counsel. For that reason, the Motion to Dismiss filed by New Mexicans for Michelle should be denied, and the General Counsel should initiate the requisite investigation.” 

This is just the latest win regarding this complaint, which was originally filed in May, and it appears to be advancing to the final stages, where a concrete determination can be made on whether the Lujan Grisham campaign did, indeed, break state law.

Trump-hating socialist who thinks America is a racist country running in CD-2

On Wednesday, Gabe Vasquez, a far-left city councilor in Las Cruces, announced he is running for Congress in New Mexico’s Second Congressional District to challenge incumbent Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell.

Vasquez is a known socialist who is diametrically opposed to most values held by the district — values that ex-Rep. Xochitl Torres Small — tried to use to sway moderates. He is a far-left rabid partisan with some of the most extreme far-left views available.

Vasquez believes President Donald Trump’s southern border wall is an “insult” and he believes in the naturalization of criminal aliens into New Mexico.

Vasquez claimed that because President Trump was not convicted during the Democrats’ second impeachment inquisition in February, that the country is “deeply rooted” in “white supremacy.” With words like this, it is hard to see how any voters of President Trump would ever consider a vote for Vasquez, as some may have voted for Torres Small.

Vasquez even went so far as to claim Trump, his supporters, and his “enablers” were terrorists toward immigrants.

In June, during the George Floyd protests, Vasquez once again claimed the United States is systemically racist and the “systems” (referring to police) are “built on oppression. He wrote, “Black lives matter. Until we deconstruct and rebuild the systems of oppression that keep black people in perpetual harm, justice will not be served. That includes law enforcement, the economy, and the disgusting wealth inequality that keeps white rich men in power.” 

In an unhinged op-ed, Vasquez even claimed his opponent, Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, should be “expelled.”

Vasquez’s extreme rhetoric appears not only out of step with the norms of the District but of New Mexico. Herrell’s leadership on multiple issues — despite being in the minority — shows her willingness to compromise, such as sending letters to Kamala Harris and Joe Biden. Vasquez on the other hand appears to be a rabid partisan with not much to offer other than constant hatred for President Trump and Congresswoman Herrell.

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