New Mexico

MLG finally orders Stapleton’s name to be stripped from Expo NM building

The African American Performing Arts Center at Expo New Mexico will soon see the name of Sheryl Williams Stapleton, a former official with Albuquerque Public Schools and an ex-state legislator, taken down from its facade. 

This decision comes in light of Williams Stapleton facing serious allegations at both the federal and local levels for misappropriating public funds. The name removal ceremony is scheduled for next Friday.

Earlier in the week, Williams Stapleton was hit with federal charges, including bribery, money laundering, and defrauding the U.S. government. These charges were brought forth in connection with accusations that she, in collaboration with Joseph Johnson, misused millions in federal funding for personal gain. Additionally, she was indicted on charges of racketeering and money laundering among others related to the misuse of state funds two years prior.

In response to these allegations, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a statement, writing, “After careful consideration, I have decided that the serious charges levied against former Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton in a 35-count federal indictment this week warrant removal of her name from the African American Performing Arts Center at Expo New Mexico. If she is exonerated of these alleged financial crimes in a court of law, the New Mexico Legislature can consider returning her name to the facility.”

This stance marks a shift from the Governor’s previous position in 2021, following the state charges against Williams Stapleton. 

At that time, Governor Lujan Grisham had expressed a more cautious approach, indicating that her office would refrain from “premature actions” given the principle that “Stapleton is innocent until proven guilty.”

Convicted pedophile among gang members arrested at U.S.-Mexico border

The U.S. Border Patrol recently apprehended individuals with gang affiliations, including one convicted of child rape, along the southern border with Mexico.

In a notable enforcement action in southern New Mexico, Border Patrol agents detained two Mexican nationals who had entered the United States unlawfully. Anthony Good, the Border Patrol Chief for the El Paso Sector, highlighted on the social media platform X that these individuals were identified as members of the “Paisa” gang.

Among the detained, one individual had a prior conviction for the aggravated rape of a child in Kansas, raising significant concerns about the backgrounds of those attempting to cross the border. The tattoos of the apprehended men, including “Mi Vida Loca” and “Mexican,” along with a clown image, were distinctive markers of their gang affiliation.

These arrests were part of a broader effort by Santa Teresa and Las Cruces Border Patrol agents to combat illegal immigration and associated criminal activities. Chief Good confirmed that both men would face charges related to their illegal entry and would subsequently be expelled from the country.

In addition to these arrests, Good also disclosed the uncovering of a human smuggling operation and the identification of a stash house in Las Cruces, New Mexico. These operations led to the discovery of 14 migrants concealed within a tractor-trailer and a residential property, showcasing the varied methods employed by smugglers to transport individuals across the border.

This fiscal year has seen the El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents intercepting 1,464 migrants in connection with 7 tractor-trailer incidents and 132 stash house operations, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in managing border security and human trafficking concerns.

Feds finally indict alleged queen of corruption Sheryl Williams Stapleton

Federal authorities unveiled the indictment of Democrat former New Mexico State Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton on Wednesday, alleging she diverted millions of dollars from Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) to her personal bank account. The ex-lawmaker faces a litany of charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, bribery, mail fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The indictment offers an exhaustive account of the alleged misappropriation of funds, describing Williams Stapleton’s actions as “deceitful and dishonest.”

The investigation into Williams Stapleton’s activities began in July 2021, culminating in searches of her residence and other premises by agents from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. The inquiry centered on allegations of financial misconduct related to an APS program.

According to the 23-page indictment, Williams Stapleton directed a significant portion of APS’s non-personal grant Career and Technical Education (CTE) funding to a program called Robotics Management Learning Systems (Robotics), owned by her personal acquaintance Joseph Johnson. This program, which held the license for the CyberQuest software, received over $3 million from APS between July 2013 and June 2020, primarily sourced from federal grant money.

The indictment further details how Johnson provided Williams Stapleton with blank checks from the Robotics business account, which she then used for her personal benefit, totaling $1,152,506. Some of these funds were directed to companies and a nonprofit associated with Williams Stapleton.

Additionally, the indictment alleges that Williams Stapleton co-sponsored a bill in 2019 that established a new CTE fund, effectively funneling more money to Johnson’s Robotics company. It accuses her and Johnson of orchestrating a scheme to defraud New Mexico citizens, APS, and the United States Department of Education, leveraging her position for personal enrichment.

Williams Stapleton is scheduled to appear in federal court on April 9, while also facing 28 state charges, including money laundering and racketeering. She resigned from the Legislature in July 2021 and was subsequently terminated by the school district. Representing District 19 in Bernalillo County from 1995 to 2021, Williams Stapleton held various committee positions, including serving on the Education Committee and acting as the majority floor leader from 2017 to 2021.

Influence-peddling ‘Karen’ gets MLG to quash popular community park: Report

In northeast Albuquerque, a community’s aspiration for a playground faced unexpected hurdles this year, entangled in political maneuvers at the highest echelons of the state.

Netherwood Park, nestled between Indian School and I-40, became the focal point of a heated debate initiated by families in the area over the proposed addition of a playground. Galen Loughrey, a supportive neighbor, highlighted the potential benefits of such a facility, emphasizing its role in fostering social cohesion and providing opportunities for children to interact.

However, dissenting voices, led by Democrat failed gubernatorial candidate and ex-Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and other neighbors near the park challenged the idea of introducing a playground. 

Denish argued for preserving the park’s open space, asserting that children’s creativity thrives without structured play areas. Concerns were also raised about the potential for undesirable elements gathering at the park.

To gauge community sentiment, families conducted door-to-door surveys, revealing significant support for the playground. 

“To gauge support, some of the families went door-to-door. Residents against the playground sent emails to the city. KRQE asked how many they received: 61 for and 22 against. Two-thirds of families were eager for a playground at Netherwood Park,” reported KRQE 13

State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino sought $200,000 in capital outlay funding to materialize the project amid a slew of approved allocations for various initiatives across the state.

Unexpectedly, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham vetoed the funding for Netherwood Park, citing a lack of neighborhood consensus. It later emerged that Denish, a close confidante of the governor, had lobbied for the veto. Ortiz y Pino expressed disappointment, questioning the governor’s decision-making process and highlighting the lost opportunity for community development.

The outlet further reported, “Denish said she called the governor and asked her to veto any funding for Netherwood Park. Neighbors accuse Denish of treating the park as her backyard. ‘I don’t apologize for having a lifetime of public service where I’ve known these people. I’ve worked hard for New Mexico and being able to call them and having a conversation about something that’s important to me,’ said Denish.”

Moreover, neighbors raised concerns about unequal access to city and state officials, pointing out instances where Denish appeared to wield undue influence. Despite efforts to redirect the funds to other parks, the underlying issues of political influence and community representation remained unresolved.

“The loudest voice, or the voice who seems to have the most direct line of communication, is getting the response, and it’s not representative of the community as a whole,” said neighbor Nadya Loughrey.

In response to inquiries, Governor Lujan Grisham declined to provide further insight into her decision, leaving lingering questions about the fate of Netherwood Park’s playground and the broader implications for grassroots initiatives.

MIT think tank claims NM’s elections are top-notch

According to the far-left Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s “MIT Election Lab,” New Mexico is ranked first on its “Elections Performance Index.” MIT is a predominantly leftist institution, according to a survey by the school.

The state got an 88 percent, with multiple factors determining the score. Interestingly, the state’s participation in the far-left George Soros-funded Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

According to Influence Watch, “ERIC was established by Pew Charitable Trusts, a left-of-center nonprofit advocacy and grantmaking organization, in 2012. 990 tax data shows that one year prior in 2011, grantmaking organization Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS), funded by philanthropist George Soros, provided two grants to Pew Charitable Trusts totaling $725,000, ‘to support the Pew Center on the States’ voter registration modernization initiative’ and ‘expand [its] scope and scale.’”

Because New Mexico joined ERIC, its score on the MIT index went up. New Mexico is ranked 40th in its voter registration rate, with 80.35 percent registered.

Other factors include data completeness, information lookup tool availability, absentee ballot problems, and the number of registrations rejected.

In terms of absentee ballot problems, which the Election Lab notes, “[m]easures the degree to which citizens are deterred from voting because of problems with registration or absentee ballots,” New Mexico ranked 14th, with 1.46 percent.

For registrations rejected, New Mexico ranked 15th at 0.9 percent. 

As for absentee voting, the state ranked 28th for absentee ballots not returned at 10.96 percent, while a mere 0.1 percent of absentee ballots were rejected, ranking 11th in the nation. Only 0.2 percent of provisional ballots were rejected in New Mexico of the 0.8 percent cast. 

The state’s average voting wait time was 3.8 minutes, which is 21st among states. And at 46.65 percent, New Mexico scores worse than the national average for voter turnout.  

Following the news, far-left Democrat Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said in a news release, “I’m proud to have helped modernize New Mexico’s elections by finding a critical balance between voter access and election security.”

“I’m so proud of this important distinction for our state. In New Mexico, we are committed to free and fair elections and protecting democracy. I urge all eligible New Mexicans to exercise their right to #vote this election year,” chimed in far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

‘Catholic’ St. Michael’s High School lets males use girls’ locker rooms, bathrooms

According to a letter from Santa Fe’s St. Michael’s High School’s principal, Martin Sandoval, men and boys will continue to be allowed to use girls’ locker rooms and bathrooms.

The supposedly Catholic high school’s principal wrote, “The thorough review and consideration around the school’s approach to our LGBTQ+ students have led administrators to be at peace with practices currently in place.” 

“Current practices include, for students that identify as a gender different from their gender assigned at birth or otherwise listed on their birth certificate, to work with parents and school counselors to educate staff on their gender identity. The counselors, in turn, work to address any concerns or specific student needs. Once it is established which gender the student identifies with, they are allowed to use the corresponding restroom and locker facilities. This process addresses concerns about random misuse of restroom facilities. SMHS also offers a private, single use space for any student to use if they desire more,” he continued.

The revelation comes after a 12-year-old girl was reportedly raped by a transgender biological male in Rio Rancho, as heavily reported last year. 

“Parents are very concerned about this policy, yet the school is moving forward on implementing it anyway. This violates’ girls rights to privacy and security,” activist Sarah Smith wrote in a post regarding the policy:

The Rio Grande Foundation’s Paul Gessing added, “Very sad to see this happening at a purportedly Catholic school in our state.”

Pro-life activist Elisa Martinez wrote, ‘Figures. Anti-Catholic, abortion up to birth loving  “Catholic” [Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s] alma mater, St Mike’s high school allows boys & GROWN MEN violate girls’ privacy! As a practicing Catholic, this is appalling & 

[Saint Michael’s High School] must be held to account for violating Catholic teaching.”

St. Michael’s High School has been around since 1859 at the behest of renowned Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the first archbishop of Santa Fe. Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester has yet to comment on St. Mike’s pro-transgender policy that is putting girls in harm’s way. 

ABQ homeowner proves why the Second Amendment shall not be infringed

In Albuquerque, a recent incident has underscored the Second Amendment’s critical importance and citizens’ right to protect their homes and families. The Albuquerque Police Department (APD) apprehended 32-year-old Joseph Rivera following a dramatic sequence of events that ended with Rivera being shot by a homeowner during an attempted burglary.

The situation began when APD officers located Rivera driving a stolen vehicle in the Valley Area Command. In an attempt to stop him, officers deployed stop sticks, deflating the vehicle’s tires. However, Rivera persisted, driving on the rims until the vehicle ultimately crashed near the intersection of Candelaria Rd. and Rio Grande Blvd.

After the crash, Rivera abandoned the disabled vehicle and fled on foot. In a desperate bid to evade capture, he broke into a nearby residence. The homeowner, confronted by the intruder, was thrust into a nightmarish scenario. Rivera, undeterred by the sanctity of the home he had violated, demanded the homeowner’s car keys.

In a moment of quick thinking, the homeowner managed to lock Rivera out after he momentarily left the premises. However, Rivera, undaunted, forced his way back into the home, further demanding keys. Faced with an increasingly perilous situation, the homeowner retreated to her bedroom and armed herself with a firearm.

When Rivera refused to heed the homeowner’s warnings to leave, she was left with no choice but to defend herself. She shot Rivera and then, displaying remarkable composure, administered first aid until law enforcement arrived.

This incident not only highlights the homeowner’s bravery and quick thinking but also serves as a potent reminder of the fundamental principles behind the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms is not just a constitutional provision but a critical element of personal security and self-defense, particularly in situations where the immediate protection of life and property is paramount.

This case is proof positive that the Democrats’ attempted gun grabs are attempts at keeping citizens like this woman from protecting themselves — especially in the dangerous city of Albuquerque. If citizens are disarmed and left vulnerable amid this violent crime wave, criminals would be even more emboldened.

Rivera is currently recovering in a local hospital and will face charges, including burglary and attempting to commit a felony, upon his release. 

From this time last year, NM’s unemployment rate is up

In recent developments, the unemployment rate in New Mexico has experienced an unsettling rise, now standing at 3.9% in February, marking an increase from the 3.6% recorded a year ago. This upward trend in unemployment contrasts with a slight decrease from January’s 4.0% rate, yet the year-over-year increase raises concerns. 

This shift underscores a troubling aspect of the broader economic landscape, which can be attributed to the ineffective economic strategies under the current administration led by Joe Biden and those of far-left Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

The overall employment scenario in New Mexico, particularly in nonagricultural sectors, saw a growth of 13,700 jobs, a 1.6% increase from February 2023 to February 2024. 

This growth was primarily observed in the private sector, which added 6,300 jobs, reflecting a 0.9% rise. The public sector saw a more significant increase, adding 7,400 jobs, which translates to a 4.0% growth rate. Coincidentally, the private sector is also where Democrats are hamstringing, passing an increase to the corporate tax rate during the 2024 Legislative Session.

Focusing on the private sector, service-providing industries witnessed a modest growth of 0.6%, adding 3,500 jobs, while goods-producing sectors saw a stronger 2.7% increase, adding 2,800 jobs. 

Within these sectors, construction, and mining led the way with a 3.1% increase, contributing 2,300 new jobs, largely buoyed by the construction industry, which alone accounted for 1,900 new positions, marking a 3.8% growth.

Despite these job gains, the increment in unemployment hints at underlying challenges. The rise from the previous year’s rate suggests that the job growth may not be keeping pace with the expanding workforce or addressing the state’s full scope of employment needs. 

This scenario has led to focus on the federal economic policies under Biden, with many noting that these policies are failing to foster a robust job market in New Mexico and potentially other states, leading to increased unemployment and economic uncertainty.

Thousands of Texans are flocking to New Mexico for this specific reason

Data from the 2022 U.S. Census highlight that the allure of New Mexico is drawing a significant number of Texans, according to Business Insider. The statistics reveal an impressive migration trend, with nearly 17,000 individuals relocating from Texas to New Mexico in the span of just one year, from 2021 to 2022. This movement marks Texas as the leading contributor to New Mexico’s population influx.

Among the new residents are Don and Patti Crook, who decided to leave Texas behind, driven in part by the burden of substantial property taxes. “People are getting priced out of their homes due to super high property taxes,” Don Crook expressed in a discussion with the Albuquerque Journal.

The financial strain of these taxes is not negligible, with Texas being ranked as having the seventh highest average property tax rate in the country at 1.63%, a figure reported by ABC13, an ABC News affiliate in Houston. In contrast, New Mexico offers a more appealing rate at 0.74%.

RDNE Stock project, Pexels.

Despite the absence of a state income tax and relatively moderate home prices in Texas, the high property taxes are a significant factor in many people’s decision to move. Greg Brown, a former Texas resident of 35 years, shared his sentiment with the Journal, stating, “New Mexico just has more of that family feel to it. New Mexico is the Texas that I grew up with.” This comment underscores the cultural and community aspects that also influence the migration trend.

Interestingly, despite the notable exodus to New Mexico, Texas continues to attract a substantial number of new residents, maintaining its position as the leader in population growth within the United States. As reported by Business Insider, this trend is particularly evident among unmarried millennials who opt for renting, a demographic for whom property taxes may not be an immediate concern.

The movement of Texans to New Mexico is multifaceted, influenced by economic factors such as property taxes and the search for a community that resonates more closely with individual values and lifestyles. This migration pattern reflects broader trends in domestic mobility, where economic considerations are balanced against personal and community values.

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