New Mexico

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.

Ben Ray Luján uses Rio Grande Foundation’s video without permission — Google takes it down

On Labor Day, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, who is running for U.S. Senate against Republican challenger Mark Ronchetti, a former television meteorologist, shared a video of Ronchetti speaking of his support for the “Right to Work” policy, allowing people who have union jobs to choose whether or nor to take part in the union.

Luján wrote, “Labor Day should be a time to reflect on how to improve working conditions and keep workers safe. Instead — as newly available footage makes clear — @MarkRonchettiNM is throwing his support behind ‘right-to-work’ policies that lower wages and leave New Mexicans vulnerable.”

He then linked to a video of Ronchetti expressing his support for Right to Work. The footage came from a forum held during the Republican primary that was hosted by the non-profit group, the Rio Grande Foundation. 

The Rio Grande Foundation did not give Luján permission to use the group’s video, and so they petitioned Google to have it removed from the platform for violating their copyright. 

The Rio Grande Foundation’s Patrick Brenner told the Piñon Post, “We believe the facts speak for themselves. The Rio Grande Foundation reiterates our nonpartisan stance. We kindly ask that Ben Ray Luján properly credit the work of the Foundation in the future.” 

Luján has not yet commented back about his copyright infringement.

Millionaire NM House Speaker Egolf owes $10k in back taxes while taking $350k in CARES Act funds

On Thursday, the Republican Party of New Mexico sent out a press release showing a tax lien document revealing that Santa Fe state representative and Democrat Speaker of the House Brian Egolf owes over $10,000 in federal back taxes. 

Even worse, Egolf applied for and accepted up to $350,000 in federal stimulus funding in April from President Trump’s CARES Act while owing thousands of dollars to taxpayers. The CARES Act funds were meant to help suffering businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce wrote, “With Democrats in charge, Santa Fe liberals like Brian Egolf have raised taxes on hard-working New Mexicans by hundreds of millions of dollars,” 

“But the top New Mexico House Democrat won’t pay his own taxes, going back to even before he was elected speaker. Speaker Egolf should step down and pay back what he owes the taxpayers in full.”

“Speaker Egolf has led Democrats in jamming through the largest tax increase in state history not once, but twice—all while he owed thousands of dollars in federal taxes,” Raye Byford, Republican candidate for House District 47, said. “New Mexico deserves better than a hypocritical Santa Fe politician who says one thing and does another. I join Chairman Pearce in calling for Speaker Egolf to step down and make good on his debt to the taxpayers.”

Speaker Egolf, a Santa Fe lawyer, whose house is worth over $1 million, and his net worth is estimated in the millions.

According to the Republican party of New Mexico release, “Since becoming speaker in 2017, Egolf has led House Democrats in ramming massive tax increases through the legislature—including two which were the largest in state history at the time they were passed. In his first year as speaker, Egolf led New Mexico House Democrats in passing the largest tax increase in state history out of the House at $350 million. In 2019, Egolf and House Democrats doubled down and once again passed the largest tax increase in state history that was eventually signed into law—this time $580 million.” 

ABQ City Council rejects measure asking Legislature to strip away gun rights

On Wednesday, the Albuquerque City Council came to a decision not to pass an anti-gun resolution that would have sent a proposal to the legislature requesting they strip the “firearms pre-emption clause” from Article II, Section 6 of the state constitution. The measure would ask for the revision to the article of the Constitution to be put on the ballot for voters’ approval.

The anti-gun measure, which would have potentially allowed cities like Albuquerque to pass whatever restrictions on guns they would like, would offer citizens no protection, and subject them to extreme restrictions on their constitutively protected right to own a firearm. 

According to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, “Only five states — CT, HI, MA, NJ & NY, all bastions of gun control — have no preemption law or constitutional protection.  Preemption ensures uniformity in state gun laws wherever you live, work or travel so that law-abiding citizens don’t unknowingly run afoul of confusing and conflicting local restrictions.”

The measure failed on a vote of 4 to 5, with Council Members Klarissa J. Peña, Brook Bassan, Cynthia Borrego, Trudy Jones, and Don Harris all opposing the measure. The resolution’s sponsors, Diane G. Gibson and Isaac Benton, as well as Pat Davis and Lan Sena, supported the failed measure.

Scroll to Top