New Mexico

After backlash, ABQ City Council drops bill jailing people for non-compliance with COVID mandates

The Piñon Post has learned that Ordinance 20-40, sponsored by Councilors Isaac Benton and Cynthia Borrego, which would mandate fines and jail time for those not following public health orders, will no longer be considered at Monday’s 3:00 City Council meeting.

According to City Council staff, “the sponsors have chosen to take it off the agenda for today,” but they “have not said” if they will place it back on the agenda. 

Our reporting was followed-up by a formal announcement from the Council, reading, “City Councilors Cynthia Borrego and Isaac Benton have announced that they are withdrawing O-20-40, relating to enforcement of Public Health Orders. They will turn their attention to creating an educational campaign to assist community compliance with Public Health Orders.”

The proposal would have charged all who “knowingly obstruct, impede with, or interfere with any City employee’s officer’s or agent’s enforcement of any public health laws, orders, or restrictions” with a misdemeanor, which is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both. 

The backtracking on the proposal appears to be, at least in part, due to public outrage, with many reaching out to city councilors demanding they vote against the proposal. The New Mexico Republican Party shared a post on Saturday urging supporters to contact councilors to oppose the bill.

Albuquerque residents were planned to protest the bill at 12:00 noon on Monday, however, according to one organizer of the protest, it will now be “turned into a celebration.” 

Regardless, if citizens would like to contact City Council members regarding the proposal, their emails can be found below:

Mayor Tim Keller:

Councilor Lan Sena, District 1:

Councilor Isaac Benton, District 2:

Councilor Klarissa Peña, District 3:

Councilor Brook Bassan, District 4:

Councilor Cynthia Borrego, District 5:

Councilor Pat Davis, District 6:

Councilor Diane G. Gibson, District 7:

Councilor Trudy Jones, District 8:

Councilor Don Harris, District 9:

In a crippling blow to MLG, Biden picks Hispanic California AG for HHS post in fictitious cabinet

On Sunday, it was reported that former vice president Joe Biden had selected Xavier Becerra, California’s Attorney General to head Health and Human Services (HHS) in his fictitious administration, dealing an epic burn to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who turned down a post for Secretary of the Interior. Now, she appears out of consideration completely. 

The New York Times reports:

Joe Biden has selected Xavier Becerra, a former congressman who is now the Democratic attorney general of California, as his nominee for secretary of health and human services, ending a politically delicate search that brought complaints from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about a lack of Latinos in the incoming cabinet.

Mr. Becerra became Mr. Biden’s clear choice only over the last few days, according to people familiar with the transition’s deliberations, and was a surprise. He has carved out a profile more on the issues of criminal justice, immigration and tax policy, and he was long thought to be a candidate for attorney general.


Mr. Biden’s selection of Mr. Becerra comes as the president-elect is under increasing pressure from the Latino community to diversify his cabinet. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico had been thought to be in line for the health secretary’s job, but she apparently fell out of the running. Instead, news leaked last week that Ms. Lujan Grisham was offered, and turned down, the position of interior secretary.

The leak prompted [Rep.] Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico to use a private meeting with top Biden advisers to rebuke the incoming White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, and other senior Biden officials for their treatment of Ms. Lujan Grisham, according to a Democrat familiar with the discussion.

Mr. Luján’s frustration revealed a broader concern that few Latinos have been chosen for high-ranking positions in the Biden administration. Alejandro N. Mayorkas, a Cuban-American and the nominee for secretary of homeland security, has been the only Hispanic selected for a cabinet job.

Lujan Grisham released a statement after the announcement, writing, “As I’ve consistently said, I have the best job in the world as governor of New Mexico.” She added, “I look forward to working with the Biden administration as we tackle the challenges we’re facing here in New Mexico and also across the country; COVID-19, combating climate change, and rebuilding our nation’s economy are just a few of the areas where we need to make significant progress right now.”

As attorney general of California, Becerra has been a rabid anti-life advocate, arguing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, leading unsuccessful assaults on pro-life pregnancy centers and other measures to end human life in the womb at all costs. 

Lujan Grisham had Rep. Ben Ray Luján, her alleged cousin, and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus lobbying the 78-year-old former vice president for the HHS post, but due to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s ungrateful snub of the Department of the Interior role, she will now not be a member of the fictitious administration at all.

EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with New Mexico GOP Chairman Steve Pearce

John Block, editor of the Piñon Post, had a discussion with former Congressman and current Chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, Steve Pearce.

The exclusive interview touches on what Pearce has done during his tenure as chairman, how he has utilized his political connections to build up New Mexico, and the victories the Party saw in the last election. The Chairman also revealed what his vision is for his next term in the chairmanship if re-elected.

Republican Party chair elections are held on Monday, December 7, 2020, where the State Central Committee members will vote. Learn more about the New Mexico GOP by visiting their website, NewMexico.GOP.

Interview will premier at 9:00 a.m. local time.

ALERT: ABQ City Council voting Monday to fine, jail citizens breaking public health orders

On Monday, the Albuquerque City Council, overseeing New Mexico’s largest city, will consider a motion allowing $500 fines and 90 days in jail for non-compliance with public health requirements.

The proposal, brought forth by Councilors Isaac Benton and Cynthia Borrego would charge all who “knowingly obstruct, impede with, or interfere with any City employee’s officer’s or agent’s enforcement of any public health laws, orders, or restrictions” with a misdemeanor, which is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or both. 

“It’s really important that we all work together but for the people who don’t feel like they can work with this, it puts another layer, basically, of enforcement,” said Councilor Cynthia Borrego, who serves District Five. “For people who are just resistant and have that sentiment that ‘I’m not going to cooperate’, unfortunately, we need to do something to bring those numbers down and that’s what this really is doing.”

“Borrego says, if approved, the bill could also include penalties like up to 90 days in jail for refusing to comply with the public health order. The bill’s co-sponsor, Councilor Ike Benton, tells us stronger enforcement is needed and he has concerns about public health directives being ignored, so he hopes this added city ordinance, on top of state law, will make people take the orders more seriously,” reported KRQE News 13. 

The news comes as New Mexicans are already locked down due to the Governor’s public health orders, which have caused businesses to close and New Mexicans to stand in long lines to buy food and basic necessities at grocery stores.

If the Albuquerque City Council approves this measure, it would mean even harsher enforcement of the strict health orders and even less freedom for citizens. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office previously called restrictions on grocery store capacities merely a “minor inconvenience” and long lines at stores “Republican talking points.” 

The meeting will take place virtually on Monday at 3:00 p.m. More information about the meeting and to submit public written or live testimony can be found here. Citizens can contact Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque City Council to oppose the bill by contacting the councilors below: 

Mayor Tim Keller:

Councilor Lan Sena, District 1:

Councilor Isaac Benton, District 2:

Councilor Klarissa Peña, District 3:

Councilor Brook Bassan, District 4:

Councilor Cynthia Borrego, District 5:

Councilor Pat Davis, District 6:

Councilor Diane G. Gibson, District 7:

Councilor Trudy Jones, District 8:

Councilor Don Harris, District 9:

NM GOP files lawsuit to impound ballots in Bernalillo County, citing ‘unusual’ election activity

On Friday, the Republican Party of New Mexico announced they have financed and filed a lawsuit requesting for Bernalillo County ballots in the First Congressional District to be impounded to search for irregularities.

“There are questions that still persist in this election that involve election integrity, and we must look closely at what happened here in New Mexico,” said Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce.

According to the news release, the New Mexico Republican Party asked congressional candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes, who ran for the seat, to submit the petition. “New Mexico law grants candidates the right to have authorities impound tally sheets, registration certificates, paper ballots, absentee ballots, statements of canvass, absentee ballot applications and absentee ballot registers,” says the release.

NM GOP and Garcia Holmes are petitioning the Court to impound ballots in Bernalillo County’s 70 election-day voting convenience centers, 17 early alternative voting locations, and 88 absentee voter precincts.

“The Republican Party of New Mexico is also considering impounding ballots in other counties,” the release adds. 

Last month, President Trump’s legal team members, including Rudy Giuliani and Boris Epshteyn, mentioned over 180,000 ballots in question in New Mexico, which they were seeking to review. Being the most populous in the state, Bernalillo County will be lucrative for searing for fraud if the Court allows the petition to move forward. 

New Mexico uses the Dominion Voting Systems machines, which have been in question due to their ability to switch votes. Felon ex-Secretary of State Dianna Duran originally implemented them in New Mexico’s voting system in 2014.

People can help the Republican Party of New Mexico get over the finish line by donating at the website here. To read more about voter fraud in New Mexico, read more from the Piñon Post here.

Chairman Steve Pearce will be on Breitbart SiriusXM Radio on Saturday morning to discuss the ballot impounding and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Ben Ray, other triggered Dems claim news of MLG snubbing Interior post will ‘harm’ her reputation

According to a report by the discredited CNN news network, Rep. Ben Ray Luján and other Democrat members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were triggered by the news hitting airwaves that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham had snubbed an offer to be Joe Biden’s Interior Secretary in the 78-year-old former vice president’s fictitious presidential cabinet. 

The CNN report says that while on a call with Democrat members of Congress and Joe Biden’s chosen chief of staff Ron Klain, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, alleged cousin to Gov. Lujan Grisham, and other Democrats were triggered by the news getting out that the Governor had turned down Biden’s offer to be his Interior secretary.

According to the report: 

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a member from New Mexico, spoke up first, according to Grijalva, but was followed by a chorus of members in the CHC about the harm it had done to Lujan Grisham’s reputation and other women who had been interested in positions in Biden’s Cabinet.

“You can’t be cavalier with this stuff. Their reputations are on the line and when something comes up like, ‘We offered her something and she didn’t take it,’ it puts a bad light on her and on other candidates,” Grijalva said.

Grijalva said that members were also frustrated that it had hurt Rep. Deb Haaland, a Democrat from New Mexico, who had expressed an interest in the top job at Interior.

“Most of us interpreted it as a slap in both their faces,” Grijalva said. He added that Klain “shared both the concern and sometimes the anger that members were expressing.”

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) said that “there had yet to be a single Latina named to the Cabinet, and said the information about Lujan Grisham turning down the post at Interior going public seemed like an attempt to discredit a very qualified woman.” She added, “As someone who read the articles … the way it read was someone was trying to send a message that she had her shot and she walked away.” 

Previously, Rep. Luján and other Democrats sent a letter begging Biden to nominate Gov. Lujan Grisham to the Department of Health and Human Services, despite her abysmal leadership during COVID-19, which has cost thousands of lives, with stark economic ramifications due to her lockdown of the state. This has resulted in countless jobs lost and hours-long bread lines forming outside of food stores.

The Democrats’ frustration aimed toward the Biden team appears to be hitting deaf ears, as Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has been reported to be the favorite for the spot, a massive blow to Lujan Grisham.

MLG ‘no longer favored’ for HHS post in fictitious Biden cabinet after she declined Interior role

On Wednesday, it was reported by Politico that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was asked by former vice president Joe Biden’s team to be his Secretary of the Interior in his fictitious cabinet, however, she had reportedly turned down the job, according to three sources. She has been lobbying Biden for a role as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), touting her supposed experience in health care. 

Lujan Grisham has locked down the state during COVID-19, which has resulted in high unemployment and countless businesses closed, while COVID-19 case numbers and deaths are through the roof. This alone could disqualify her for HHS. She also grifted the people of New Mexico, along with her close friend and business partner, state Rep. Deb Armstrong, who “won” non-competitive state contracts to handle administrative work for the state’s high-risk insurance pool, despite the program being nullified by the implementation of Obamacare. 

Now, the Biden team appears to be snubbing Lujan Grisham after she turned down the Department of the Interior post. Politico reports that the favorite for the role is no longer the New Mexico governor. The publication writes, Rhode Island Gov. “Gina Raimondo is now a top contender to be President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to run the Department of Health and Human Services, according to two people close to the transition.”  

“Raimondo’s rise comes as New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is no longer favored for the role, according to one of those sources and another familiar with the discussions.” 

However, the discredited “news” network, CNN, is still trying to lobby for Gov. Lujan Grisham’s appointment, with their television host Don Lemon, having Grisham on his program to discuss her potential nomination. Lujan Grisham’s close friend–if not family member–Rep. Ben Ray Luján has also been lobbying Biden to nominate the Governor, which appears to have fallen on deaf ears from the 78-year-old former vice president.

Lujan Grisham’s press secretary, Nora Sackett, took to Twitter on Wednesday to blast “national media” for not correctly reporting the Governor’s last name, re-sharing a tweet that said, “Since it seems to be that time again – the governor of New Mexico’s last name is Lujan Grisham. Governor Lujan Grisham. National media I beg of you to just like google this first before you get it wrong plz it’s not hard.” 

Voter fraud is being uncovered across the United States, finding massive fraud in the 2020 election favoring Joe Biden. According to recent reports from Trump Campaign officials, New Mexico is also being looked at for potential election violations, which are expected to come out within the next couple of weeks. 

Days after Thanksgiving, there are still massive lines outside of stores due to Gov. MLG’s lockdown

Despite some on the left claiming long lines triggered by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s capacity limits for stores as just a fluke because of Thanksgiving, after the holiday, hours-long lines still remain across the state outside of these stores.

As you can see below, these lines are still forming at stores all across the state, and many wrapping around the buildings. 

November 28, 2020: Lowes at 407 Lowdermilk St, Española, New Mexico

November 28, 2020: Smith’s on 600 E 20th St, Farmington, New Mexico

November 28, 2020: Walmart on 1400 W Main St, Farmington, New Mexico

2:11 p.m. on November 28, 2020: Target on 3550 Zafarano Dr, Santa Fe, New Mexico

November 29, 2020: Walmart on 901 Unser Blvd SE, Rio Rancho, New Mexico

3:38 p.m. on November 29, 2020: Walmart on 3251 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, New Mexico

November 29, 2020: El Super on 4201 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

November 29, 2020: Walmart at 4500 N Main St Ste A, Roswell, New Mexico

November 30, 2020: Home Depot at 10200 Coors Bypass NW NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

November 30, 2020: Albertsons on 3542 Zafarano Dr, Santa Fe, New Mexico

11:00 a.m. on November 30, 2020: 1400 W Main St, Farmington, New Mexico

November 30, 2020: Target on 4900 E Main St, Farmington, New Mexico

November 30, 2020: Smiths on 8301 Golf Course Rd NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 

November 30, 2020: 460 Nm Hwy #528, Bernalillo, New Mexico

November 30, 2020: 4500 E Main St, Farmington, New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office originally said to the press, “The state is not forcing anyone to stand in a crowded line, as you suggest,” saying long lines at stores were just “Republican talking points” that were “politically motivated. Now, Gov. Lujan Grisham’s communications director, Tripp Stelnicki admits there are long lines, but says they are just a “minor inconvenience.”

Many people standing in-line are elderly individuals retrieving prescriptions, and people buying basic needs, such as food and toilet paper. The Governor’s lockdown has even prompted mainstream media to furrow their brows, such as Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, who chided Lujan Grisham for her treatment of New Mexicans on her Monday show.

Ben Ray Luján begging Biden to nominate Gov. MLG for HHS secretary in his fictitious cabinet

On Sunday, it was reported that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is in contention for former vice president Joe Biden’s fictitious cabinet, despite him not winning the election and massive voter fraud swinging battleground states, including New Mexico, in his favor, which the Trump Campaign is exposing. 

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who may or may not be Gov. Lujan Grisham’s cousin, sent a letter imploring Biden to tap the New Mexico governor for the spot of Health and Human Services Secretary, despite her failed leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the letter, the all-Democrat signers beg Biden to “ensure that your Cabinet reflects the diversity of our nation,” despite most of his picks not reflecting anything more than career D.C. bureaucrats, far-left politicians, and academia of Ivy League universities. 

They continue, “As you continue to finalize your nominees, we write to restate our strong support for the first Democratic Hispanic woman elected state governor in U.S. history, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.” 

“Governor Lujan Grisham is an extraordinary leader. She has the vision and drive to see through large projects and effectively lead large organizations; and brings the necessary skills to serve our country as Secretary of Health and Human Services,” the letter continues. 

However, the Governor’s “leadership” during COVID-19 alone, not to mention her previous stint in Gov. Bill Richardson’s cabinet as secretary of health, has lead to the worst unemployment recovery in the nation, COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, New Mexicans standing in hours-long lines to retrieve basic items like bread and toilet paper, not to mention the suicide rate in New Mexico at one point this year hitting the highest in the nation.

The move by the Congressional Balck Caucus Democrats appears to have been pushed into motion by Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who Gov. Lujan Grisham worked hard to put into the U.S. Senate. 

In one instance, the Governor sent an email to supporters claiming President Donald Trump “barged into New Mexico” for a 2019 rally and saying if Luján, it can stave off Republicans from a plot to “rob the soul of our state for their political gain.” 

The Governor’s heated rhetoric on behalf of her alleged cousin appears to have paid off, as he is already doing favors to attempt to further her political career by sending her back to Washington, where she previously served as a U.S. Representative from the 1st District. 

Gov. MLG’s comms. director belittles local TV news reporter for asking basic questions

On Friday, Gov. Lujan Grisham’s office released their new county-by-county “Red to Green” COVID-19 plan, which has been noted is a major flip-flop in policy on her part. Her staff, which has already adopted a general tone of hostility toward all New Mexicans, is now blatantly condescending local news stations, including the liberal KOB 4.

KOB 4 News sent questions to the Governor’s office asking about the new strategy since they were not allowed to ask questions during the announcement Zoom meeting, as reporters usually are allowed to do. (Not the Piñon Post, however, since we have not been granted such access despite multiple correspondences). 

KOB Reporter Grace Reader asked simple questions to Gov. Lujan Grisham’s communications director Tripp Stelnicki, was met with pompous and condescending responses. Some responses questioned the reporter’s intelligence, some blasted county officials, and some answers so short that they didn’t adequately provide responses.

Reader asked Stelnicki, “Will county leaders be notified when they’re good to move to the next color via the state? Or do they need to be checking the DOH webpage every other Wednesday?” 

Stelnicki responded with: 

The map updates every other Wednesday. If county officials care about the spread of COVID in their communities, they are already checking this map regularly to identify the risks to their constituents so they can protect their communities they represent. County leaders are well-compensated and qualified professionals who are more than capable of reading the public health order and communicating within their own communities.

In another question, Reader asked, “For business owners who are going to be monitoring these developments closely to see what they can and can’t be doing, where do they need to be looking? Does the state have any concern that this county-by-county approach will confuse businesses and patrons about what they’re allowed to be doing?” 

Stelnicki returned with a more long-winded response full of snark, but this time taking a jab at the reporter, appearing to question her ability to read attachments from the Governor’s news release: 

Did you read the attachment to the news release yesterday and find it confusing? Please let us know if we can help you understand it. Three colors is not confusing. Checking a website— or asking your county to check a website—once every two weeks is not difficult. Many other states operate precisely this way. Many communities and legislators, particularly Republican legislators, have been demanding exactly this county-by-county framework for months, please make the time to ask them whether they are glad to see it now and hold them accountable to their prior statements on the matter. These questions assume that this method of enacting and publicizing the restrictions is somehow comprehensively different than what has been the case for the last 9 months. It is not. Businesses and anyone else who wants to monitor these developments can look to the exact same places they’ve been looking. The levels will be clearly demarcated on the state’s websites. We are creating web widgets they can use on their own websites. 

Reader then asked, “We noticed that for the first time, close quarters businesses are being asked to open at 25 percent capacity or 10 people, whichever is smaller. Can you tell us what forced the 10 people cap to be added to the capacity requirement? Additionally, did you all consider lifting the 75 person requirement on essential retail businesses (I know a lot of people have been upset about the lines at large box stores)?” 

As usual, Stelnicki responded by claiming the hours-long lines New Mexicans have been standing in to get basic goods and food are a “minor inconvenience.” 

His response in-full: 

A line is a minor inconvenience, for which the state is sympathetic. The state is also sympathetic to the overworked nurses and doctors in the state’s hospitals and the thousands of families who are suffering and grieving right now The state will continue to prioritize saving lives and protecting New Mexicans while providing for as much safe economic day-to-day activity as possible.

The Piñon Post reported on the long lines last week after the Governor’s office told KOB 4 that the lines were just “Republican talking points.” The office also claimed, “The state is not forcing anyone to stand in a crowded line, as you suggest.” Coincidentally, Stelnicki now appears to be punishing the television station (a station that has bent over backward to placate the Lujan Grisham Administration at every turn: see below) with his latest tantrum, throwing not only the reporter under the bus, but also county officials, New Mexicans, and Republicans in general for pointing out the Governor’s massive flip-flop on policy. 

.@GovMLG’s allies in the mainstream media are working overtime to deliver the Governor’s scare tactics to the people of New Mexico. Objective journalism? Not.

The entire Q&A from KOB 4 can be found here on their report. 

New Mexicans responded to the Governor’s office’s latest snark-fest on Twitter. 

State Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Truth or Consequences), wrote, “Just wow! Her SILENCE towards his condescending tone IS AGREEMENT. Apparently we are not ‘all in this together’”

Matt García Síerra wrote, “Hey NM media, kudos for keeping @GovMLG staffers honest. Their petty responses indicate you’re making them do their jobs. You know, the jobs they’re still cashing in on, while New Mexicans are unemployed.” 

It should be noted that Stelnicki and his counterparts in the Governor’s office have full funding and do not face budget cutbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On average, the Governor’s staffers make around $100,000 each annually. 

Grace Reader herself even took to Twitter, sharing the Q&A article and writing, “As a reporter, it’s my job to ask questions, especially when your livelihood and health is at stake. Today we asked about the next phase of the public health order, here’s how the state responded to those questions” 

The condescending responses by Stelnicki are just the latest from him toward anyone daring to offer substantive questions or points he disagrees with. In April, Stelnicki wrote on Twitter that Republicans are a “death cult.” The Governor’s office did not apologize or respond. However, Stelnicki went silent for months, with Lujan Grisham’s press secretary Nora Sackett speaking publicly for the office in the interim.

Sackett is also known for being hostile to the press, such as in September when Española Mayor Javier Sanchez rebuked the Governor for chiding Españolans on mask-wearing despite only observing the alleged non-compliance from the back seat of her chauffeured car.

Sackett said, “Every media outlet that covered the mayor of Española’s self-righteous op ed will now also cover his flagrant hypocrisy and violation of the public health order, right?”

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, Sackett claimed, “New Mexico Republicans want you and your loved ones to get COVID-19 and potentially die” because the Party called out the Governor’s unreasonable 5-person household limit for gatherings. 

It should also be noted that every time the Piñon Post has reached out to Nora Sackett or Tripp Stelnicki for comment, we have never heard a word back, and instead have had to use the Information of Public Records Act (IPRA) any time we have had a question regarding the Lujan Grisham Administration. On average, this process takes two weeks to produce information, and it is mostly not adequate due to redactions.

Scroll to Top