New Mexico

MLG pardons 19 criminals convicted of drug possession, burglary, larceny, and other charges

On Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pardoned 19 criminals convicted of forgery, drug possession, burglary, larceny, issuing a worthless check, and conspiracy, among other crimes. The pardons are the first since the Susana Martinez Administration, where pardons last occurred in 2012.

In a statement, Lujan Grisham wrote, “The power of executive clemency is an exercise in compassion.” She continued, “Each of us, in our own way, in our own lives, has the obligation to find forgiveness in our hearts for those individuals who have paid their debts, who have expressed genuine contrition and made sincere and forthright amends for their offenses. The governor’s power of executive clemency is an avenue for that exercise available to me, and I am humbled by the opportunity to deliver it. My administration will continue to evaluate all applicants in a responsible, methodical, and even-handed manner.”

The Governor’s noted in the release that “the governor’s pardon restores certain fundamental rights, such as the right to vote, the right to hold public office and other positions of public trust, and the right to bear arms.” 

On Twitter, Lujan Grisham wrote, “Today I granted pardons to 19 individuals, all of whom have shown themselves to be reformed and contributing members of society.” However, she did not specify the criteria she based their “reformation” on.

The governor’s pardoning power extends to all offenses committed under state law other than the offenses of impeachment and treason. However, the governor does not have authority to pardon convictions for violations of municipal ordinances or convictions from another jurisdiction, such as convictions from other states and convictions under federal law.

The move does not appear to be coincidental, amid nationwide protests and mounting pressure by leftist groups to defund police departments and release criminals in the name of “social justice.” 

In a desperate move, ProgressNow NM calls its founder a ‘racist’

On Wednesday, it was revealed in a bombshell report that ProgressNow NM’s founder and current Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis has a past that includes the shooting of a black man while working for the Washington, D.C. Police Department, among other more recent actions. In a desperate move to distance itself from its founder, ProgressNow NM is now calling Davis a “racist.”

In the report, it cites a recent comment by Davis saying, “For far too long we’ve seen people of color targeted by police and underserved by those in power. Seeing the brutalization and death of individuals at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve is a disgrace to our nation and I’m glad to see so many people stand up, say ‘Black Lives Matter.’… As [a] former police officer myself, I acknowledge that … I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”

The report details Davis’ 2006 shooting of a black man:

“While on patrol, the officers observed a red … Nissan … occupied by two black males. The passenger in the vehicle was observed without his seatbelt on, and the vehicle also failed to use a turn signal while making a left turn. … [A]t that time, [officers] conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. … Davis approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and observed the driver with a semi-automatic pistol in his hand attempting to conceal the handgun in the middle of the console area of the vehicle. … Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued. … The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle. … Officer Davis, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon into the vehicle. … Officers continued to canvass the area and … located the defendant … hiding under a stairwell … The defendant was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. …. ”

The report also details how in 2017 Davis said, “[I was a] ‘zero-tolerance cop’ – the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over. … I came from a conservative background. … If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that.”

Now, his past is coming back to bite him as the socialist group “ProgressNow NM,” which he himself founded is now denouncing Davis as a racist and calling for his resignation. In a statement by Progress Now, they blasted Davis’ record as a policeman in Washington, D.C. as well as at UNM, and his recent work on a supposed “racist” and “sexist” mailer against County Commissioner-elect Ariann Barboa. 

“As a self-proclaimed ‘progressive’ Davis is not exempt from accountability. Davis’ sustained pattern of racist actions over a long period of years has led us to call for Davis to step down from his positions of authority, including the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Judicial Selection Committee, Governor Lujan Grisham’s Marijuana Legalization Task Force, and his seat on City Council. Surely, our community does not need someone who routinely targets and criminalizes Black and Brown people to be serving on committees that select judges, decide the future of marijuana legalization in our state, or pass policies and make financial decisions for the City of Albuquerque,” writes ProgressNow NM. 

“This pattern of racist behavior targeting Black and Brown communities should be concerning to everyone.”

The group’s executive director, Alissa Barnes wrote, “You can’t lead a task force for the legalization of marijuana and simultaneously weaponize the substance to criminalize people who use it so that you can gain personal, political power.” 

Davis has a chequered past, including a DWI charge, a failed run for Congress, in which he tastelessly shouted “F*ck the NRA” and showed his ignorance relating to guns in a campaign ad, and a recent power-grab to help ascertain more power by using Coronavirus as a cover, to name a few. Now, both the Left and the Right are uniting in opposition to Davis. 

MLG’s school reopening plan: all students and school personnel required to wear face coverings

According to new guidelines from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Public Education Department (PED), the new K-12 school year will begin in hybrid form with in-person attendance limited to 50% of classroom capacity.

All students and staff will be required to wear face masks or shields. “Face coverings are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield,” says the report. 

The report does not say what penalties schools should carry out for those in violation of the mask rule, or specify whether the schools will provide masks or face shields to students, although it does specify that the schools will provide them, as well as “other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)”  to staff. Bus drivers and bus attendants will be provided masks by the schools.

As well, the guidelines detail that “All staff must be screened on a daily basis, including a temperature check and review of potential symptoms. All sites must work with state and local health officials to have a plan for contact tracing. While not required, this is also recommended for students.” The schools will be required to report statistics to the state 

Regarding food, the guidelines require schools to provide meals to students during in-person instruction and remote learning, which suggests schools will have to resume delivery systems to students learning off-site. 

According to the guidance documents provided by PED, reopening schools at half capacity “will allow the state to collect and analyze data on the impact of a controlled start on the spread of the virus.”

Trump promises prison time for anarchists vandalizing monuments — effective immediately

On Tuesday morning, President Trump sent out a tweet announcing his immediate plans to enforce the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, which protects Federal monuments and statues from vandalism and has hefty prison sentences of up to ten years for defacing or destroying such pieces if public property.

Trump’s tweets read, “I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.… This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!” 

The law will protect monuments across the country, including the Nation’s Capitol, where vandals have been attempting to create an “autonomous zone” similar to the one created in Seattle, WA. But other than the Washington, D.C., historic monuments have been the target of destruction, including the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial in Boston, a statue dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Denver, and various obelisks, including one in the heart of downtown in the nation’s oldest capital city, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Many liberal public leaders are caving to radicals demanding these historic landmarks be removed, or using the tragic death of George Floyd as an “opportunity,” as Santa Fe’s Mayor Alan Webber repeatedly said in an address last Wednesday before he ordered the removal of several statues and monuments. 

However, a grassroots petition in opposition to the hasty removal of landmarks has already reached over 1,800 signers demanding Mayor Webber and the Santa Fe City Council involve the public in any decision to remove historical images across the city.

President Trump’s orders will go into effect immediately and will work retroactively to punish vandals who previously defaced or destroyed historic monuments, meaning the search is now on for the culprits who defaced images across the country.

MLG’s election reform bill passes NM House after initial failure, moves to concurrence

On Saturday, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed SB-4, which was amended to exclude an emergency clause by a voice vote of 44-26 after the unsuccessful attempt at passage of the bill earlier in the day.

The first House floor vote on the measure failed on a vote of 38-32, with Democrat Reps. Eliseo Alcon, Harry Garcia, Miguel Garcia, Susan Herrera, Matthew McQueen, Marian Matthews, Joseph Sanchez, Debra Sariñana, Patricia Roybal-Caballero, Sheryl Stapleton and Brian Egolf voting against the measure.

Upon an immediate move following the failed vote by Rep. Miguel Garcia, the House voted 44-26 to revive the failed bill that he voted against. After a short recess for Democrats and Republicans to meet in their respective caucuses, members returned to the chamber and voted to reconsider the measure.

Republican Rep. Paul Bandy urged the House to vote to refer SB-4 to the House Appropriations Committee, as stated in the rules of the New Mexico House of Representatives. However, the measure died on party-lines after a roll call vote. According to Bandy’s reading of the fiscal impact report (FIR) for SB-4, the bill would cost the taxpayers $3 million, which is why he moved for Appropriations to consider it.

SB-4 passed by a vote of 44-26, with Reps. Alcon, Henry Garcia, Miguel Garcia, Herrerra, Matthews, Roybal Caballero, Sanchez, Sariñana, Stapleton, and Egolf changing their votes to YES. Representative Matthew McQueen and Candie Sweetser were the only two Democrats to vote against the measure.

SB-4, as amended, will now go to concurrence, where the Senate and the House will work to agree on the amended language by the House before the measure is moved forward. The current bill does not include language that would allow county clerks to automatically mail absentee voters ballots, but it does include language permanently allowing “declined to state” voters to change their party affiliation on the day of a primary election, while Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians would not be allowed to.

Don Jr. addresses the Navajo Nation: Native Americans ‘are the original conservationists’

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr. spoke to the people of the Navajo Nation suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and spoke fondly about his visit during the 2016 campaign to the Navajo Nation. The address was aired over the radio on KNDN 960AM.

“We recognize out of all the tribes, the Navajo Nation had been impacted hardest by the COVID-19 disease,” said Don Jr., standing in solidarity with the victims of the disease.

“I still have the incredible turquoise necklace Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage and former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly gave me,” continuing to speak of how he has enjoyed his time visiting the Navajo Dam and hunting in Indian Country.

“As a hunter, I pursued elk and mule deer in your great state,” said Trump. “The Navajos and the Native Americans as a whole are the original conservationists.” He added, “I know I am the son of a New York billionaire, but I don’t spend my time in the cocktail party circuit. I spend it in the great outdoors.”

“No Navajo child should have to leave the Navajo Nation to pursue the American dream,” said Don Jr. He also said 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 person that can bring us back up from under the scourge of this virus, disease, this epidemic, is the guy who did it last time — Donald Trump,” Don Jr. said in conclusion. The son of the 45th President’s address to the Navajo Nation is just one of the ways the campaign looks to reach out to Native people in healing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

After the address, an announcer thanked the President for his efforts on behalf of the Navajo Nation, saying, “130 million in federal stimulus COVID-19 funding.” According to the Navajo Nation Department of Health, there are 6,633 positive COVID-19 cases and 311 deaths.

WATCH: Xochitl Torres Small reveals she’s Mormon in 2007 question to Mitt Romney

Rep. Xochitl Torres Small represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District in Congress, and for much of her tenure, she has revealed little to the people of the District, with carefully selected words crafted to give an answer, yet not say much. A lot of the time, she repeats the phrase “let’s work together” about a broad issue, while not going into specifics, which makes her sound reasonable — while she goes back to Washington, D.C. and votes 94% of the time with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and 90% of the time with socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But a newly discovered video of Torres Small in 2007 reveals another side of Xochitl that many New Mexicans may not know — that she was (or possibly still is) a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), or better known as the Mormon faith. According to Pew Research, Xochitl Torres Small’s religion is listed as Lutheran — not Mormon.

The video shows a 22-year-old Xochitl asking a question to then-Republican presidential candidate Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead of a November 28, 2007 debate hosted by CNN. The format of the GOP primary debate was one of the first times CNN had “user-generated video” driving debate questions. Here is what Torres Small asked Romney: 

“I’m Xochitl Torres and I’m from New Mexico. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or Mormon, I see serving my own community and communities abroad as a main tenet of my faith and a personal value. So far, we’ve only heard Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee talking about AmeriCorps on a regular basis. Mitt Romney: where do you stand on this issue and do you plan to expand AmeriCorps?

It is unclear what attraction Torres Small had to AmeriCorps in 2007, but Torres Small became an “honorary AmeriCorps NCCC member” in September 2019 when she visited Fort Stanton state monument in Lincoln, New Mexico. It is also unclear why Torres Small was asking Republicans about the AmeriCorps issue, instead of Democrats, who also had a large field of primary candidates.

As for Rep. Torres Small’s Mormon faith, she has not been very public about it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not list her among the ten LDS members (including her former boss, Sen. Tom Udall) in a 2019 article, saying there are only ten LDS members currently serving — the fewest number in a decade. Currently, there are eight Republican LDS members and two (now possibly three) Democrat members of Congress.

Toulouse Oliver uses COVID-19 spread to help Guv force through election changes in special session

According to an email sent by New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver to county clerks, she is relying on an expected spread of COVID-19 to push through partisan election changes in the upcoming special session of the Legislature starting on June 18th. 

In the email obtained by the New Mexico House Republicans, Toulouse Oliver writes, “I (and others) have been working closely with the Governor and her staff to ensure that she will place election matters on the call for the special session.”

“I know we all felt hamstrung by the current Election Code during the Primary and, given those limitations (and the likely budgetary implications) heading into the fall when we may have a resurgence of the virus, I think she understands that we as election administrators need more flexibility to manage the election effectively this fall,” continued Toulouse Oliver.

Toulouse Oliver also said the bill she is working with Democrat Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto on to push for election changes, will closely reflect an April letter signed by her and multiple county clerks urging for an all mail-in primary election, with the option for voters to hand-deliver their absentee ballots and the in-person voting options for those with physical disabilities, with COVID-19 as the reason.

According to the latest numbers, COVID-19 has been on a downward decline nationwide, with New Mexico’s cases increasing by over 50%.

The New Mexico House Republicans blasted Toulouse Oliver for utilizing the health pandemic to force through an all mail-in election, writing, “If you thought [New Mexico Democrats] would pass up an opportunity to hyper-politicize our budget instead of focusing solely on solving the economic crisis CREATED by the forced shutdown, YOU’D BE MISTAKEN.”

The New Mexico Supreme Court in a unanimous decision rejected Toulouse Oliver and Ivey-Soto’s partisan petition to have an all mail-in primary election, citing the lack of statutory law to allow such a measure. 

Now, during the Governor’s special session to fix her irresponsible budgeting in the 2020 Legislative Session, she and Ivey-Soto will likely claim changing the Election Code is a budgetary issue, hoping to sneak in all mail-in elections that way, with the hopes of a new COVID-19 resurgence in the Fall. 
Although legislators will be meeting for the special session in Santa Fe, the Capitol will be closed to the public, and no in-person testimony on the critical measures will be allowed. A bipartisan group of legislators is currently petitioning the New Mexico Supreme Court to allow in-person testimony.

Egolf says decision for no in-person comment during special session was ‘unanimous’—it wasn’t

On Wednesday, while responding to a citizen’s questions about the upcoming special session called by Gov. Lujan Grisham, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf was asked about the decision to not have in-person comment, which Egolf claimed in a Zoom call was to slow the spread of COVID-19.

New Mexico resident Todd Hathorn wrote to Egolf, “Closed means no public interaction.  Actions taken by the Speaker belie the words.  This move to close the session requires a suspension of disbelief.”

Egolf responded to Hathorn, writing back, “That is not true.  We explained in yesterday how the public will participate live by video and give comment directly to committees, by video or in writing.  The public does not offer comment on floor debates…never has.  This was a unanimous and bi-partisan decision.” 

But the Speaker’s comment appears to be false, as at least one Republican representative says they never were asked for their input on the matter, and that they disagree with the closed meetings. 

Rep. Greg Nibert (R-Roswell), wrote in an email to the Piñon Post, “The question was never presented to me.  If asked, I would respond that the Capitol is the people’s house and if people want to attend and take the risk, they should be allowed to do so.”

Other members have confirmed they were never asked their opinion including Rep. Martin Zamora (R-Clovis), Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert (R-Corrales), and Sen. Pat Woods (R-Broadview).

According to House Republican Leader Jim Townsend (R-Artesia), the motion to keep the Capitol closed was made during a WebEx virtual meeting, where there was no way for members to comment. He also noted that Republican Whip Rod Montoya also could not comment during the meeting and he texted the Speaker directly, which let him speak on the matter.

New Mexico Senate Republican Whip Stuart Ingle’s staff confirmed that he was not present for that conversation or vote, so no, it was not “unanimous.”

Speaker Egolf’s claim that the decision was both bipartisan and unanimous is false, since not every member of the House was asked their opinion. Piñon Post has reached out to every Republican member of the New Mexico House and the Senate, with none responding in support of closed meetings as of 11:57 P.M. on Thursday.

The closed-door special session will take place on June 18th, with no public allowed in the Capitol. Also, legislators will be paid per-diem before and during the special session if they choose to work from home.

The Republican Party of New Mexico called this decision “an insult and another hard slap in the face to all hard-working New Mexicans,” Chairman and former Congressman Steve Pearce saying, “The funds are tapped out, but they’ll still find a way to squeeze more for themselves and squeeze the public.”

Leftist groups demand Keller, ABQ City Council defund ‘racist and ineffective’ APD

Amid the leftist firestorm from Democrats regarding the death of convicted felon Goerge Floyd while in police custody, Democrats have now begun their newest crusade: defund the police. 

The movement comes after rioters in large cities across the country began violently attacking Law Enforcement with Molotov cocktails, rocks, and other objects while burning down small businesses and looting anything they could get their hands on.

Now, Democrat lawmakers who have goaded on such activity, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and Deb Haaland (D-NM), along with Albuquerque Mayor Keller, are being pressured by fringe Antifa-affiliated groups to “defund the police.”

The call comes after Minneapolis, Minnesota City Counselors look to defund their police department, calling police protection a sign of white “privilege.” Leftists have now attached themselves to this once-movement, which is now fracturing the Democrat party.

Activists are now demanding Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and the Albuquerque City Council get on-board with defunding and disbanding the Albuquerque Police Department, calling it “racist and ineffective.” 

The far-left fringe initiative “Defund 12” demands the City Council “vote no on all increases to police budgets, vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets, vote yes to increase spending on healthcare, education, housing, and community programs that keep us safe.” The “12” in the initiative’s name is intended to signify Law Enforcement.

A template email for leftists to send to their city councilors demands the defunding of APD, while simultaneously “providing more support and funding towards our community efforts and organizations that serve our predominantly Black and Latinx communities.” 

“Black and Latinx communities are living in persistent fear of being killed by state authorities like police, immigration agents or even white vigilantes who are emboldened by state actors,” it continues, writing off APD as “racist and ineffective,” and causing “terror” to minority communities.

“Show up for Racial Justice,” another fringe group, claimed calling people destroying cities and targeting cops “looters” or “rioters” is “white supremacy.” The group wrote on Twitter, “White people, talking about protests as “violent” or “riots” or “looting” is white supremacy. Here’s how to call each other in. #EndWhiteSilence.”

Albuquerque’s U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland attended the Houston funeral services of George Floyd, where racist “reverend” Al Sharpton gave the eulogy, which bashed President Trump, claiming he used a church as a “prop.” 

Haaland praised Sharpton’s eulogy and said she’s “in this fight for the long haul,” appearing to stand with those calling for the defunding of police departments across the country. She previously endorsed an initiative from far-left Albuquerque City Councilors Pat Davis and Lan Sena to “demilitarize” police by banning APD from applying or accepting Military giveaways. Mayor Tim Keller joined Haaland in endorsing the leftist measure.

The far-left majority on the Albuquerque City Council may mean the council could push forward a call to disband the APD if enough public opinion shifts in favor of such a measure, although some leftists, such as Democrat presumptive nominee for president have slightly pushed back against complete defunding of police departments.

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