New Mexico

Lujan Grisham cries ‘Trump recession’ while NM has 34.5% higher unemployment rate than nation

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published the August unemployment numbers. While the country’s rate has fallen significantly from 10.2% in July to 8.4% in August, New Mexico continues to remain stagnant at 11.3%, which is 25% higher than the national rate, and the sixth-highest in the nation.

While other states’ economies are opening back up, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham still is keeping a tight lockdown, with extremely gradual reopenings, such as at Thursday’s presser where she announced “limited” youth sports to start, ice hockey rinks to open, and pumpkin patches to resume. 

However, the Governor’s lockdown has forced thousands of businesses to close and New Mexico working families to suffer while she has spent away the Federal stimulus funds granted to the state for COVID-19 relief. Last week, she asked Congress for yet another bailout, which was met with fury from local business owners due to her irresponsible budgeting.  

Larry Behrens from Power the future said of the 11.3% New Mexico unemployment rate, “It’s no coincidence that at the same time New Mexico’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the country our energy workers are struggling. Radical environmentalists and their allies in Santa Fe may celebrate when an energy worker loses their job, but behind our abysmal unemployment rate are real families who are hurting.”

On Wednesday, Lujan Grisham attempted to brush off her state’s failed economy under her leadership by blaming what she called the “Trump recession” hurting Hispanic and Latino communities in a tweet. She claimed Trump’s “failed pandemic response” led to suffering in these communities, despite the President taking early action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden (who Lujan Grisham endorsed) blasted Trump as “xenophobic” for restricting travel from China, where the virus originated. 

Now, while the country is getting back on track to economic progress, Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico lacks behind as the 45th in unemployment, despite her claiming “We’re doing about the same economically as Arizona” in her Thursday press conference. Arizona, led by Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, has a much lower unemployment rate than New Mexico. All of New Mexico’s neighboring states have lower unemployment rates, with Arizona at 5.9%, Colorado at 6.7%, Texas at 6.8%, and Utah at 4.1%.

Later on Friday, Lujan Grisham sent out an email to supporters bashing President Trump’s leadership during COVID-19, writing “President Trump has single-handedly botched the coronavirus response, refused to take action while knowing how deadly and dangerous COVID-19 would be – and proclaimed he ‘take[s] no responsibility’ and that ‘nothing more could have been done.’”

MLG’s Health Department singles out NM GOP for non-compliance with her public health order

On Wednesday, the Republican Party of New Mexico posted a letter received from New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan  Grisham’s Department of Health claiming that the Party was not adhering to the Governor’s public health guidelines, not pointing to a particular instance of compliance, just speaking in generalities. 

The letter, which was sent by General Counsel and Acting Deputy Secretary Billy J. Jimenez reads, “It has come to our attention these requirements have not been adhered to by parties and candidates. Non-compliance with the operative Public Health Order and related directives will result in enforcement actions including fines or citations.” 

The Republican Party blasted the letter, citing leftist demonstrations, including one in front of the Trump Victory Campaign Office, where the Party claims participants were not social distancing or wearing maks. 

The Republican Party’s statement is below:

Below is a letter sent to the Republican Party of New Mexico from the Lujan Grisham Administration that is both wrong and insulting. While RPNM believes peoples’ health and safety are paramount, to warn RPNM about compliance with the Public Health Order is a clear violation of equal treatment under the law. There have been a number of demonstrations and mass gatherings—most recently a BLM event outside a Trump Victory Campaign Office in Rio Rancho this past weekend that clearly show people not wearing masks or social distancing. 

Mass gatherings in Albuquerque that led to destruction of public and private property have been tolerated where people aren’t complying, and the Governor, herself, broke her own Order by wrongfully and deliberately shopping for jewelry when it wasn’t allowed. To single out RPNM is wrong by the Lujan Grisham Administration. Again, the Governor picks and chooses selected groups—with obvious political implications—that continue to violate the Constitution’s principle of equal protection.

The Governor has used her official authority in multiple cases to “pick and choose” enforcement of her public health orders, including the Lea County Sherriff’s Office, multiple restaurants across the state, the people of Española, and others. 

Despite the Governor’s previous “apology” to Españolans for singling them out for supposed non-complicance, her press secretary Nora Sackett blasted the city’s mayor as “self-righteous,” effectively wiping out any believability in the Governor’s apology.

Crow Tribal Chairman endorses President Trump, following Navajo Nation VP’s endorsement

On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence met members of Montana’s Crow Tribe and U.S. Senator Steve Daines to officially accept the endorsement by Tribal Chairman Alvin Not Afraid, Jr. 

“Today I stand before you to endorse, as well as support, President Trump, Vice President Pence,” said Not Afraid, Jr. 

According to Indian Country Today:

“The Crow, since the early 1800s have always been an ally to the government,” Not Afraid, Jr. said. “From the Battle of Little Bighorn, World War II, Vietnam, and I, myself in the Marine Corp just after Desert Storm.”

He added the Trump administration has helped the Crow Tribe in amending the Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance which allowed them to permit their own mineral resources.

The chairman also said he’s worked with the other candidates in various capacities including through Congressional hearings he’s testified at.

On the Crow Tribe website, it features a quotation from Not Afraid, Jr., saying, “More than anything, we desire to improve the Crow quality of life. We strive to create a future that provides an abundance of good-paying jobs while providing hope and prosperity for generations of Crow citizens. Through unity, the Apsáalooke people shall prosper.” 

The endorsement of Trump and other Republican candidates marks a shift for Indigenous people who support the America First policies of the Trump/Pence administration.

Last month during the Republican National Convention, Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer endorsed President Trump in a video standing in front of the historic Shiprock in northeast New Mexico.

Later, Lizer wrote on Twitter, “Ahé’hee, Thank you Mr. President @realDonaldTrump for sharing my #RNC2020 video on your Twitter account. As mentioned, we welcome you to our Navajoland, as we look forward to hosting you, to discuss economic development on opportunity zones near the Navajo Nation.” 

Across the Navajo Nation, billboards sponsored by TurningPoint USA have been raised to build awareness for Indigenous people supporting President Trump.

In June, during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump’s son, Don Jr. addressed the Navajo Nation across the radiowaves.

“No Navajo child should have to leave the Navajo Nation to pursue the American dream,” said Don Jr. He also mentioned that the Trump Victory team and his team will have “staff on the grown throughout the campaign,” something many Republican candidates have not done in the Navajo Nation.

The tides appear to be turning in the Navajo Nation and other Tribal nations across the United States, where Indigenous people seem to be walking away from the Democrat Party. 

Xochitl touts attending Trump’s Middle East peace deal signing ceremony in ploy to court Trump voters

On Tuesday, President Trump oversaw the signing of two historic peace deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Also attending the event, albeit in far-away seats, were Democrat members of the House of Representatives, including Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico’s Second Congressional District. 

Torres Small voted on two counts in December to impeach President Trump and she votes against the President’s interests 91.5% of the time, voting just 8.5% of the time with the President. 

After the ceremony, Torres Small posted on social media and through a press release entitled “Torres Small Joins Trump at White House for Signing Ceremony of Middle East Normalization Agreements” after her attendance. 

“It was an honor to witness the signing of the Abraham Accords this afternoon, and I commend President Trump for spearheading this effort. These historic agreements between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain represent a major shift in the Middle East and will hopefully open the door to many peaceful partnerships across the region. I look forward to finding other ways to work towards a more prosperous future for the United States and our allies,” wrote Torres Small.

The anti-Trump congresswoman has made many ploys late in the game to court Trump voters, which didn’t seem to be sticking. 

After MLG ‘apologizes’ for demeaning Españolans, her press secretary hits mayor as ‘self-righteous’

A little over two weeks since Gov. Michelle Luján Grisham issued an “apology” to the citizens of Española for scolding them over their mask-wearing habits, now her press secretary, Nora Sackett, is getting her back in the line of fire.

Grisham’s criticism of Española, as Piñon Post first reported on, went as follows:

“Last week, I traveled to Northern New Mexico, and in traveling to Northern New Mexico, I went through Española. I saw a lot of activity in Española and traveling through Main Street going North. I didn’t see a single mask, not one. Not in a parking lot, not in a grocery store that we passed, not at a convenience store, not at a gas station, not by someone in a car, not hanging on a rearview mirror, not on a wrist, not as people were walking, nowhere! Not one. The only masks I saw were in the car I was in, and we have to do better than that because if we don’t, we cannot successfully introduce risk.”

The Governor’s apology, which some have noted as back-handed, read, “My comments were taken as a lack of respect for Española and the work the community has done to fight this virus. I apologize for making that impression. That was not my intent, and I take responsibility for the way my words were conveyed and heard.”

“It is true that I did not see any masks that day on my way through town north and south, but that doesn’t mean I should have made the point that I did in the way I did it. If my intent was to highlight where we can improve and what we can do better, and it was, then I could have communicated that in a different way, and I should have,” she continued.

But on Monday, Gov. Lujan Grisham’s press secretary Nora Sackett took to Twitter to blast the Española mayor and him not wearing a mask while taking a photo at an event. She wrote, “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?” 

The condescending comment toward Española Mayor Javier Sanchez, who called out the Governor, which prompted her apology, may reflect the true feelings the Lujan Grisham administration has for Española’s mayor and thus the people of Española.

Even people claiming to be the Governor’s staunchest defenders took offense to Sackett’s comment, one writing, “I’m behind our gov 100% but you totally come off as aggressive and unnecessarily antagonistic. Read the room. Stick with policy.” 

It is unclear if the Governor’s office will issue yet another apology for the clear disrespect for Española mayor, but the comments do appear to reflect the opposite of what the previous “apology” was supposed to mend.

Could a ‘predatory’ bill like CA’s SB-145 reducing penalties for sodomizing minors ever come to NM?

On Friday, California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom, an acquaintance of New Mexico’s Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, signed a bill, S.B. 145 lowering penalties for offenders having oral or anal sex with a minor, giving California’s judges to have a say

According to The Hill, “The law previously in place in the state allowed judges to decide whether a man should be placed on California’s sex offender registry if he had voluntary vaginal intercourse with someone 14 to 17 years old and was no more than 10 years older than the person. The bill expands that same discretion in regard to voluntary oral or anal sex. 

The measure won’t apply when a minor is under 14, when the age gap is larger than 10 years or when either party says the sex wasn’t consensual, the AP noted.” 

However, the bill’s official Senate analysis is more clear: 

Exempts a person convicted of non-forcible sodomy with a minor, oral copulation with a minor, or sexual penetration with a minor, as specified, from having to automatically register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registry Act if the person was not more than 10 years older than the minor at the time of the offense, and the conviction is the only one requiring the person to register. 2) Specifies that a person convicted of one of those specified offenses may still be ordered to register in the discretion of the court, if the court finds at the time of conviction or sentencing that the person committed the offense as a result of sexual compulsion or for purposes of sexual gratification

The bill’s analysis also notes an argument going against the bill would be as follows: 

“SB 145 exempts persons convicted of non-forcible voluntary sodomy with a minor, oral copulation with a minor or sexual penetration with a minor from having to automatically register as a sex offender if the person wasn’t more than 10 years older than the minor at the time of the offense. According to the Child Advocacy Center, 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. Additionally, approximately 20% of victims of sexual abuse are under the age of eight. This is absolutely unacceptable; as Californians, and law enforcement partners who are on the front lines called to sexual assault and domestic violence cases, laws like SB 145 will only enable pedophiles to prey on children closer to their age.”

California Democrat Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales said, “I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registrable offense. We should never give up on this idea that children should be in no way subject to a predator.” 

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R) also tweeted after Newsom signed the bill into law, “As a parent I’m appalled that last night our governor signed a law maintaining a 24-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old and it not be considered predatory.”

“An adult who commits ANY sex act on a minor 10 years younger must be registered a sex offender,” he added. “Law must be changed.”

So, the question remains for people in other states, including New Mexico: could such a bill, which loosens criminal penalties for pedophiles, be passed in my state? 

According to NOLO, the laws governing statutory rape in New Mexico are as follows:

In New Mexico, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone younger than 16), even if the sex is consensual. Those who break the law have committed statutory rape, even if the child agrees to or initiates the activity….

First degree criminal sexual penetration includes oral, anal, or genital sexual intercourse or penetration (however slight, with an object or body part) with a minor who is younger than 13 years old. The offense is a first degree felony, punishable by up to 18 years in prison, a fine of $15,000, or both. (N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-9-11, 31-18-15 (2018).)

Fourth degree criminal sexual penetration includes sexual penetration with a child who is 13, 14, or 15, when the defendant is at least 18 years old and at least four years older than the victim. The crime is a fourth degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison, a fine of as much as $5,000, or both. (N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-9-11, 31-18-15 (2018).)

Criminal sexual contact with a minor includes sexual touching between a minor who is younger than 13 and a defendant of any age. Criminal sexual contact with a minor is either a second or third degree felony, depending on the type of touching involved. Penalties for second degree criminal sexual contact include at least three years (and up to 15 years) in prison, a fine of up to $12,500, or both. Third degree criminal sexual contact is punishable by up to six years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. (N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 30-9-13, 31-18-15 (2018).)

Although New Mexico’s laws currently appear to protect children, the late notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who owned “Zorro Ranch” in Santa Fe County, never was on the state’s sex offender registry despite a guilty plea in Florida a decade ago. Despite one Democrat Rep. calling for action to ensure there are no loopholes for sex offenders in the future, no measure has passed yet. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham nor any Democrat elected leader has publicly commented on California’s new bill.

The increasing leftward shift in New Mexico, especially with this past primary election, where moderate Democrat members of the House and Senate were ousted by more “progressive” opponents, this could mean more policies like those of California’s Newsom could come to the state if Democrats win in November.

Although no members have spoken of proposing such extreme measures as California’s S.B. 145, a strong conservative majority of pro-family representatives in either chamber of the New Mexico Legislature can stand as a bulwark against any measure putting the state’s children at risk. 

Sizeable pro-Trump crowd counter-protests tiny Rio Rancho BLM demonstration

On Saturday, patriots gathered in solidarity to support President Donald Trump at a counter-protest to a left-wing event in Rio Rancho held by a group called the “Black New Mexico Movement.” The leftist event, starting at 6:00 p.m. MDT, was supposedly meant to protest “systemic racism” and “police brutality.” Counter-protesters lined up at 4400 Southern Blvd. SE to patriotically demonstrate. 

The fringe event featured a handful of people holding “Black Lives Matter” flags, signs, and other signage. According to reports from the event, one speaker made their remarks while a “F**k Donald Trump” rap song played in the background. 

Despite the counter-protest to the leftist event being canceled, it still garnered more support than the Black New Mexico Movement demonstration, with people coming from all around to back up the President.  

Even the far-left student blog run through the University of New Mexico, the “Daily Lobo” noticed the sizeable crowd out in support of the 45th President, writing, “There are a significant number of counter-protesters here.”

KOB 4’s Patrick Hayes was covering the event for his network and shared a video of the American Flag-holding, patriotic counter-protest playing the National Anthem. During a standoff between the far-left Black Lives Matter group and the patriotic, American Flag-carrying group, one patriot scolded the leftist mob. He said, “get in your Soros paid for car” and leave, referring to the billionaire hedge-fund manager who has financed most left-wing groups in the country through his various foundations and dark money groups. 

The patriots also chanted “USA,” and later, the pro-Trump group, “Cowboys for Trump” rode in on horseback as the counter-protesters cheered. Soon after, Rio Rancho Police showed up to calm the mood. According to one report, the Black Lives Matter protesters with the Black New Mexico Movement asked the Rio Rancho Police for an escort off the site, ironic, due to the Black Lives Matter movement supporting the defunding of the police.

The pro-Trump counter-protesters thanked and shook the hands of the Rio Rancho Police Department officers as they walked by and as the event slowly began to disband.

Earlier Saturday, another patriotic event, also having Cowboys for Trump’s presence, organized hundreds of people in Española, which was described by participants as a massive success.

‘Back the Blue’ freedom ride scheduled for Saturday in Española

On Saturday, there will be a “Back the Blue” freedom ride to support Law Enforcement co-hosted by April Salazar and Audrey Trujillo.

The ride is listed as a “family-friendly community event,” which will “be honoring our men and women in blue, first responders, and our armed forces. We are Americans and we will be standing for our Constitutional rights.” 

The ride begins at 11:30 A.M. MDT, then a peaceful protest will follow featuring “prominent law enforcement speakers, music, networking, voter registration, and more.” 

Thousands of people from all across the state have been invited, and the patriotic, pro-Law Enforcement event is expected to garner a large audience both for the ride and for the event itself. 

The event details, according to the Facebook invite are below: 

11:00 am Riders (bikes, vehicles, horses) will gather at 923 North Riverside Dr NM 87532 (property adjacent to Pizza 9)

Freedom Ride/caravan will start at 11:30am

The Ride will end at 923 North Riverside Dr NM 87532 (starting location) where we will have a peaceful protest.

Bring your cars, trucks, bikes, horses and ride with us as we make a bold statement. Bring your signs, banners, and flags to show support and stand for your issues/grievances. Wear a blue or patriotic shirt if you can. Then join us after as we honor our law enforcement, first responders and then get to hear from a variety of great speakers.

The link to the Facebook event for more information can be found here. 

Piñon Post editor sends letter to Congress urging them to deny MLG’s request for federal bailout

On Friday, Piñon Post editor and owner John Block sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services to urge them not to consider Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s September 10, 2020 testimony requesting a government bailout. 

During the Governor’s testimony, she requested funds due to the low oil prices and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite her unilaterally closing down the state and punishing small business owners and local governments who defied her orders. 

Block’s letter focuses on the Governor’s inappropriate use of government funds without the state Legislature’s permission, and about the careless spending by the Administration on “whimsical” and “far-out” social programs that are eating away at hundreds of millions of dollars in the state’s once-full coffers. 

“Lujan Grisham claims, ‘We all know, and I know that tightening our belts in the coming months, and years, is critical. And in some places like New Mexico, we already have.’ But her all-out assault on the oil and gas industry, which contributes 39% of our budget, by signing the radical anti-oil ‘Energy Transition Act,’ is already causing oil and gas producers to flee our natural resource-rich state — something that began far before oil prices dipped and COVID-19. Her wasteful spending on unnecessary and unwanted social programs is not ‘tightening our belt,’ especially when in a crisis. She refuses to pinch pennies to fulfill her expensive campaign promises instead and save face with the voters.” writes Block.

Block continues:

As a native New Mexican, I see the state I know and love hurting due to the fiscal irresponsibility of Gov. Lujan Grisham. While other states are back open, the Governor has repeatedly weaponized her office to play politics with this deadly pandemic, militarize her Attorney General as her attack dog to go after local leaders, and use her platform to belittle our citizens with personal attacks.

Once a great example of growth and prosperity, our state has been flushed away by years of failed leadership and heavy federal reliance, with not much to show for it. Our state is number 50th for child well-being, 49th for Crime and Corrections, 48th for Opportunity, 47th for Fiscal Stability, etc. 

New Mexico is the third most federally dependent state. Despite the massive influx of government funds, the state’s leaders, led by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, Rep. Deb Haaland, Sen. Tom Udall, Sen. Martin Heinrich, and others have squandered the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. 

And so I humbly request that you dismiss the New Mexico Governor’s September 10th testimony and do not further fund the supposed public servant who continues only to serve her special interests and political connections while ignoring the small businesses and working families of the Great State of New Mexico. 

The full letter can be found below:

Block urges all other New Mexico citizens and small business owners to send correspondences to the Committee by email or by mail to the addresses below:

U.S. House Committee on Financial Services Democrats:

The Honorable Chairwoman Maxine Waters
2129 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515  

FSCDems@mail.house.gov

Phone: (202) 225-4247
Fax: (202) 225-6952

Ranking Member Patrick McHenry
Financial Services Committee | Republicans
4340 O’Neill House Office Building
Washington, DC 20024    

fsr.voicemail@mail.house.gov
202-225-7502

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s September 10, 2020 testimony can be found below:

President Donald Trump endorses Yvette Herrell for Congress in CD-2

On Thursday afternoon, President Donald J. Trump endorsed former state Rep. Yvette Herrell, nominee for Congress in New Mexico’s Second District.

“Yvette Herrell (@Yvette4Congress) is a proven fighter for New Mexico! She strongly supports our Brave Law Enforcement, Life and the Second Amendment. Strong on the Border and Trade, Yvette has my Complete and Total Endorsement! #NM02,” wrote the President. 

Herrell retweeted the post and wrote, “Thank you @POTUS @realDonaldTrump! It’s an honor to have your endorsement, and I look forward to partnering with you in Congress to continue the Great American Comeback! #nmpol #NM02

The Republican Party of New Mexico wrote, “Xochitl Torres Small has consistently voted against President Trump despite running as a self-described “moderate.” We must elect @Yvette4congress and restore conservative values to Congress and New Mexico.” 

Herrell faces incumbent Democrat Rep. Xochitl Torres Small in the November 3 General Election. President Trump won the District by 10 points in 2016 and Torres Small voted with the Democrats in her party to impeach Trump on two counts in December of 2019. Torres Small also votes with Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time, according to ProPublica.

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