New Mexico

Unconstitutional Gov. Lujan Grisham renews assault on Second Amendment

In a move that has again sparked a flame to the Constitution, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has decided to renew executive orders declaring so-called “gun violence” a public health emergency, which restricted guns for New Mexicans. The extension, set to last until December 1, 2023, is being met with fury over its blatant unconstitutionality.

Governor Lujan Grisham again doubled down on the unconstitutional measure, saying, “This executive order sends a clear message that the safety and well-being of residents are our top priorities. We stand united in our resolve to combat gun violence and protect our communities.” However, it remains to be seen whether the renewal of this emergency declaration is effective at all.

The governor initially declared a state of public emergency on September 7, 2023, and her administration promptly launched initiatives to address the crisis. During a press conference to announce the measure, which banned gun possession for all residents in Albuquerque Bernalillo County, the governor claimed that “no right,” including her oath is absolute. 

Her unconstitutional action led state Reps. John Block (R-Alamogordo) and Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) to launch an impeachment process against Lujan Grisham, which requires large numbers of legislators to sign a certification form calling for an extraordinary impeachment session. So far, 33 legislators have signed the petition.

Patrick Allen, Lujan Grisham’s secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health, defended the renewal by emphasizing the gravity of “gun violence” as a public health concern.

The order also mandates that the New Mexico State Police will be hosting gun buyback events in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Española. These measures have proven ineffective in reducing crime. Those deciding to disarm themselves will receive Visa and/or American Express gift cards in exchange for their firearms.

NM-born player helps propel Texas Rangers to first-ever World Series title

Nathan Eovaldi displayed remarkable resilience as he pitched six innings, while New Mexico-born and bred Mitch Garver broke a scoreless deadlock with an RBI single in the seventh. Garver was born and raised in Albuquerque, attending La Cueva High School and later the University of New Mexico before being drafted by the MLB in 2013.

These moments led the Texas Rangers to clinch their first-ever World Series championship in their 63-season franchise history. The Rangers triumphed over the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-0 victory in Game 5, which unfolded in Phoenix

In the pivotal Game 5, Marcus Semien made his mark by homering in a four-run ninth inning, solidifying the Rangers’ dominance in the Fall Classic. This victory marked the end of an incredible postseason journey for the Rangers, who boasted a perfect 11-0 record on the road during this remarkable run.

Bruce Bochy, in his inaugural season as the manager of the Texas Rangers, secured his fourth World Series title. Bochy’s managerial career began 13 years earlier, in 2010, when he guided the San Francisco Giants to victory against the Rangers. He then repeated this feat in 2012 and 2014.

“I was sitting in a recliner there in Nashville, just enjoying myself,” shared the 68-year-old Bochy, who came out of retirement to lead the Rangers.

Terrance Barksdale, Pexels.

In contrast to the explosive start in Game 4, the Rangers and Diamondbacks engaged in a nail-biting pitchers’ duel in Game 5. Zac Gallen, the Diamondbacks’ ace, maintained a no-hitter through six innings before Corey Seager’s opposite-field single ended the suspense. Evan Carter, a 21-year-old Rangers rookie, followed it up with a crucial double. Mitch Garver then delivered the first run of the game, driving in Seager with a sharply hit grounder, bringing the score to 1-0.

Garver, who had struggled at the plate in the World Series, was one for 17 before his pivotal hit.

With the Rangers clinging to their 1-0 lead, Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe ignited a ninth-inning rally with consecutive singles off Paul Sewald. Jonah Heim’s single drove in Jung and Lowe capitalizing on an error in center field, extending the Rangers’ lead. In a thrilling conclusion, Marcus Semien’s two-run homer brought the final score to 5-0, marking the 13th time in the postseason that Texas had scored at least three runs in an inning.

Mitch Garver of the Minnesota Twins swings at a pitch during a 2019 game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Ian D’Andrea on Flickr.

“Everything I’ve ever worked for is for this moment,” Semien exclaimed. “Gallen was unbelievable tonight, but we came through. Once Corey got the first hit, everybody kind of woke up. The pitching was unbelievable.”

Throughout the game, Nathan Eovaldi showcased his exceptional pitching prowess, consistently extricating himself from challenging situations. The game concluded under the reliable arms of Aroldis Chapman and Josh Sborz.

“I kind of joked around: I don’t know how many rabbits I have in my hat,” Eovaldi quipped. He improved his postseason record to 5-0, maintaining an impressive 2.95 ERA. “I didn’t really do a great job tonight in attacking the zone. But our defense, incredible again.”

This victory was a historic one for the Texas Rangers, who had experienced heartbreak and near-misses in their long history. The franchise originated in 1961 as the expansion Washington Senators and relocated to Texas in 1972. The Rangers had come excruciatingly close to a World Series championship in 2011 but ultimately fell short to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Despite the numerous obstacles they faced throughout the season, including injuries to key players, the Rangers managed to pull off a remarkable turnaround under the leadership of general manager Chris Young. Their journey involved a trip to four cities and a hard-fought victory against the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series, ultimately leading them to their first World Series in over a decade.

“We’ve just got a group of winners,” Nathaniel Lowe reflected. “When the bus driver’s driving slow, we tell him, ‘Hey man, you know you’re driving a group of winners,’ so we believed it through and through. Maybe we struggled at home, but we got it done on the road, and we’ve got a special group.”

In contrast, the Diamondbacks, who had a remarkable postseason run, faltered in their quest for a championship. The resilient Rangers faced one of the best pitchers in the league, Zac Gallen, who delivered a remarkable performance throughout the season but had struggled in the playoffs. However, on this night, he showcased his best form.

Eovaldi, on the other hand, matched Gallen’s impressive performance despite some challenging moments. The Diamondbacks had several opportunities to score in the first five innings but were unable to capitalize, going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Vasquez has tantrum over TX border barrier, demands Gov. Abbott tear it down

Far-left Democrat U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, a supporter of open borders and vehement critic of a border barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, is calling for the removal of the razor wire fence that the Texas National Guard has installed on the banks of the Rio Grande along the border with New Mexico. 

The fence is part of an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from entering Texas, which has its own barriers protecting it from Mexico. The move is meant to stop criminal aliens from entering the U.S. illegally through Mexico and jumping into Texas illegally. In a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Vasquez criticized the construction of the fence and labeled it an “unconstitutional barrier” between the two states.

Vasquez argued that the fence violates the U.S. Constitution, specifically the right to travel within the United States, which the Fourteenth Amendment protects. He contended that this amendment allows American citizens to travel freely between states and that the fence restricts this freedom.

He criticized the lack of consultation with New Mexico officials and the International Boundary and Water Commission, which is responsible for applying boundary and water treaties between the United States and Mexico.

While the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is monitoring the situation and is prepared to take action if necessary, it noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the federal government has exclusive authority over immigration enforcement.

The Texas Military Department stated that the Texas National Guard has fortified the border between Texas and New Mexico with 18 miles of concertina wire to prevent migrants from entering New Mexico illegally. This move has sparked opposing views from New Mexico’s Democratic and Republican parties.

The New Mexico Democratic Party and the Texas Democratic Party Chair Jessica Velasquez called for the immediate removal of the razor wire fence, citing environmental damage, community division, and harm to vulnerable illegal aliens. 

In contrast, the New Mexico Republican Party Chairman and former Congressman Steve Pearce criticized Democrats for wanting to remove any barrier along the southern border, especially when threats like fentanyl, cartels, human traffickers, and individuals on terror watchlists cross the open border daily.

Vasquez and Abbott have divergent views on how to address immigration on the southern border, with Vasquez accusing Abbott of approaching the issue in a “very political way” and taking measures that harm the region’s unity.

Back in 2018, Vasquez described the border crisis as a “non-existent threat” and criticized then-President Donald Trump’s border security efforts as “ill-informed” and “in bad taste.”

In 2020, he went further, calling for the elimination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), claiming that the agency had “no regard for humanity.” 

Throughout 2021, Vasquez repeatedly voiced his intention to dismantle Trump’s border wall, going so far as to state, “Tear what’s left of it down” and “Let’s tear it down.” 

He went on to label the border wall as the product of a “crooked, racist administration” and commended Joe Biden for halting its construction, characterizing it as a “racist, environmentally destructive, massive waste of money” and a “glorification of xenophobia.

After longest-serving state senator resigns, GOP rep. seeks to fill seat

House Minority Whip Greg Nibert, a Republican from Roswell, has expressed his intent to be considered for the vacant Senate seat in a southeast New Mexico district. In a press release, Nibert announced his plan to seek nomination from the county commissions in Chaves, Curry, De Baca, Lea, and Roosevelt to complete the unexpired term of former Sen. Stuart Ingle, who served nearly 40 years in the Legislature.

Nibert has been a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives since 2017, advocating for the oil and gas and agricultural industries, which are prominent in Senate District 27. He believes his experience in the Senate will provide a strong voice for the constituents in eastern New Mexico.

Notably, Larry Marker, a small oil producer and conservative activist, had already declared his candidacy in the Republican primary for Senate District 27. On Monday, Marker confirmed that he would also submit his name to the county commissions for consideration.

According to state law, candidates seeking the seat must present their names to all county commissions in the district, which will then vote to advance one nominee to the governor for selection.

In his announcement, Nibert disclosed that all his colleagues in the House who live in or near Senate District 27, including Representatives Andrea Reeb, Martin Zamora, and Larry Scott, have endorsed his bid for the Senate.

The revamped Senate District 27, following recent redistricting, now includes more of Chaves County, overlapping with Nibert’s current House District 59.

Nibert’s candidacy has been anticipated, as he had previously expressed interest in running for the Senate seat if Ingle decided not to seek reelection. Nibert is an attorney who has been with the oil and gas department of the Hinkle Shanor Law Firm in Roswell since 1983.

He has held various positions, including executive director of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, member of the Roswell Independent School Board of Education, and chair of the Republican Party of Chaves County. In 2016, he was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives, representing District 59. He was elected House Minority Whip in January.

In recent years, Nibert has been vocal in his opposition to the emergency public health orders issued by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ingle’s resignation is part of a trend in southeast New Mexico, where longtime lawmakers have either resigned or chosen not to seek reelection, leading to shifts in representation in the region.

NM’s film tax credits scrutinized by powerful Democrat committee chair

State Sen. George Muñoz, a Democrat from Gallup and the chairman of the powerful Legislative Finance Committee has raised concerns about New Mexico’s film production incentive program. This initiative has been a subject of scrutiny as questions persist regarding its cost-effectiveness.

Sen. Muñoz has previously questioned the workings of the incentive program, as have other skeptics who wonder if the economic impact of New Mexico’s thriving film industry is truly as substantial as it seems.

In a letter to the New Mexico Film Office, Sen. Muñoz has requested a detailed report on how the film tax credit is calculated, eligibility requirements, and any updates or changes to the criteria. His concern primarily revolves around the unique structure of the program, where dividends are paid out after production companies submit receipts for their costs, unlike traditional tax credit initiatives.

Moreover, Sen. Muñoz has sought an opinion from Attorney General Raúl Torrez on whether the incentive program violates the state’s anti-donation clause, which prohibits government agencies from making donations to private enterprises. If the attorney general’s office determines a violation, it may necessitate a revision of the program.

The film incentive program has long been scrutinized, with a recent Legislative Finance Committee study revealing that it accounts for a significant portion of all state economic development incentives but provides less than 1% of the film industry’s share of private employment. The study questions the cost-effectiveness of the program, citing that it costs the state over $100 million in payouts in fiscal year 2023 but does not attract substantial private investments.

The film industry’s employment figures are also under scrutiny, with the program generating approximately 8,000 jobs per year at a cost of around $22,800 per job created, higher than other job-creation programs.

While New Mexico has become a popular destination for filmmakers due to the incentive program, which offers significant rebates on qualified expenses, the recent questions raised by Sen. Muñoz and the legislative committee study have rekindled doubts about the program’s economic payoff.

Despite these concerns, the program continues to enjoy political support, making it unlikely to change or disappear in the near future. It benefits from strong revenues generated by the oil and gas industry, which contribute to the state’s coffers. If these revenues were to decline significantly, lawmakers might reconsider the program’s incentives and evaluate their value to the state’s economy.

NM’s congressional reps. demand Israel ‘pause’ defending itself against Hamas

New Mexico’s fully Democrat U.S. House delegation demanded the nation of Israel, which has been ravaged for weeks by Hamas terrorists, “pause” their defensive moves against the unprovoked massacre by the terrorist organization.

Hamas, which rules the failed state of Gaza, is responsible for thousands of deaths in Israel, along with rape, torture, and kidnapping of innocents.

I call for a humanitarian pause in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. A pause would allow desperately needed aid to reach Palestinian civilians in Gaza, provide time to negotiate the release of hostages who Hamas kidnapped, and help civilians reach safety,” wrote Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez of the Third District.

She added, “As the U.S. supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’s terrorist attacks, Israel must protect against the innocent loss of life. Hamas and its allies must also stop their attacks on Israelis. Civilians should not pay the price for Hamas’s terror.”

Rep. Gabe Vasquez of the Second District chimed in, “Two wrongs don’t make a right. The U.S. must not be complicit in the deliberate death and harm to civilians in Gaza,” saying, “That’s why I’m calling on the Administration to work with Israel and its partner nations to pause this conflict and ensure that food, water, fuel and medicine are available to civilians in Gaza and that they are kept out of harm’s way, as we work to release the hostages taken by Hamas.”

“We need a humanitarian pause in Israel and Gaza. Every conflict has consequences for innocent lives caught in the crossfire, violence that shatters families and destroys the futures of the innocent. We must respect the rights of our allies and the innocent,” added Rep. Melanie Stansbury of the First District, sharing a lengthy statement, saying the pause is necessary to enshrine the “inherent dignity of Israeli and Palestinian lives.” 

Stansbury added, “Just as we support our allies in their inherent rights, we cannot turn a blind eye to extremism that undermines peace, security, and democracy, either through violence or through policy. I stand resolute in my support for a two state solution and for a lasting peace across the region.”

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich joined New Mexico’s U.S. House Democrats, writing in a statement, “I join my colleagues in Congress and the Biden Administration in calling for a humanitarian pause in conflict so that lifesaving aid can quickly reach civilians in Gaza. As a nation, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the innocent and most vulnerable.”

Responses from New Mexicans cmae critical of the move that will no doubt benefit Hamas terrorists, with one person writing to Leger Fernandez, “No, sorry.  A bit late to think about food and water.  Hamas dug up water lines to create missiles.  Let me ask, was there a humanitarian pause during the Hamas attack?  No?  Then why should the attackers get a reprieve.”

A Democrat constituent of Vasquez wrote in response to his statement, “I strongly disagree with you regarding this. Fuel and other supplies that might be allowed into Gaza would [be] used by Hamas.”

To Sen. Heinrich’s post, a commenter wrote, “There was a humanitarian pause. Hamas crossed the border, killed and captured many. Now there’s a war. How wonderful for Hamas that they have supporters like you.” 

Amid Lujan Grisham’s FFL inspection mandate, RLD chief retires

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department (RLD) has been slow to inspect licensed firearms dealers in compliance with Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s anti-gun public health order. The Department has visited only seven percent of them since September 8 out of a total of 750 federally licensed firearms retailers in the state, according to reports.

The public health order, part of Lujan Grisham’s attacks on the Second Amendment, mandates the RLD to conduct monthly inspections to ensure compliance with sales and storage laws. However, the agency, responsible for certifying and regulating over 500,000 individuals and businesses across the state, has not previously performed inspections of firearms dealers.

The inspections, referred to as “spot inspections,” have not yet led to any reports to law enforcement authorities. RLD staff members conduct observations related to state laws, including the storage of firearms and compliance with requirements for the legal transfer of firearms.

Amid these new mandates from the governor to RLD, the Department’s superintendent, Linda Trujillo, is suddenly leaving. 

“After 25+ years of public service, I’m embarking on a new journey: retirement,” Trujillo said in a statement. She started in the position in 2020 and oversaw the state’s hurried legalization of recreational marijuana.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearm industry trade association, has threatened legal action against these inspections. They argue that federally licensed firearm retailers in New Mexico are heavily regulated by the ATF and subject to federal laws, making state inspections unnecessary. According to the foundation’s general counsel, New Mexico lacks statutes or regulations governing the sales and business practices of such retailers.

The foundation claims the RLD lacks legal authority to enforce federal regulations and suggests that the inspections may violate the rights of New Mexico members, warning of potential litigation to protect these rights.

The RLD maintains that its inspections are conducted under the authority of an executive order from the governor declaring a state of public emergency due to gun violence and the public health order issued by the Department of Health.

Despite the public health order already triggering a series of lawsuits, mainly related to restrictions on carrying firearms in public places, this new dispute centers on the inspection of firearms dealers, with the National Shooting Sports Foundation challenging the state’s authority to conduct such inspections and raising concerns about legal rights and regulatory authority.

Deputy Superintendent Clay Bailey will assume the role of Acting Superintendent in the interim after Trujillo’s exit. 

Lujan Grisham launchez PAC to help Gabe Vasquez, others in 2024

Three prominent leftist former members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) have announced the launch of a new super PAC with a mission to help elect Democrat Hispanics and Latinos to Congress.

Led by leftist New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), along with former Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Filemon Vela (D-Texas), this new initiative is called Bold America. Their primary objectives include increasing Hispanic representation in Congress, meaning they will be helping bolster the campaigns of people like far-left U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, who faces an uphill battle in his hopes of reelection.

Michelle Lujan Grisham said, “When one of us breaks through, we do not close the door behind us, we pave the way for countless others to follow.”

The name “Bold America” is a clear nod to the CHC’s campaign arm, Bold PAC, indicating their intent to build upon it. The CHC has experienced substantial growth in the past decade, particularly following the 2016 election. 

According to the Congressional Research Service, there are presently 62 Hispanic members in Congress, spanning both Democrats and Republicans, constituting approximately 11 percent of the total congressional membership, encompassing representatives, senators, and nonvoting delegates. 

This growth within the CHC has occasionally led to tensions with the Democrat Party, but it has also given rise to a network of experienced campaign operatives within the CHC sphere. Amy Strathdee, a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) operative, and Dominic Gabello, who served as Governor Lujan Grisham’s chief of staff, have been appointed as strategic advisors to Bold America. Additionally, the group will be joined by former Joe Biden White House adviser Adrian Saenz, along with DCCC veterans Lucinda Guinn and Dan Sena.

Bold America’s initial mandate is to place a significant emphasis on boosting Latino voter turnout and safeguarding the positions of CHC incumbents, meaning Democrats like Vasquez. Vasquez is trailing former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell in recent polls.

“Gabe Vasquez has every reason to be nervous about his chances in 2024. Voters have seen all they need to see to know that Vasquez is an anti-American energy advocate, border crisis denier and defund the police crusader who is out-of-step with New Mexico values.,” said National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman Delanie Bomar.

NM Dems freak out after Mike Johnson wins U.S. House speaker’s gavel

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to appoint Congressman Mike Johnson of Louisiana, a Republican, to the speakership. 

Johnson garnered 220 votes to Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ 209 votes. 

Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM-CD2) wrote melodramatically on X, “Rep. Mike Johnson is an extremist, election denier who wants to gut Social Security & Medicare and eliminate reproductive rights nationwide. I won’t support an extremist like Johnson running our government.”

In an email his campaign sent out shortly after the vote titled “RED ALERT,” Vasquez’s team wrote, “This is BAD… worse-than-Kevin-McCarthy bad.” The email continued, “A far-right extremist like Mike Johnson holding the Speakership could all but clear a path for Gabe’s opponent to win this race.”

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-CD1) called Johnson a “MAGA Republican” with the hashtag “#NotOurSpeaker.”

She claimed in another X post, “The House GOP just elected Rep Mike Johnson as Speaker. Rep. Johnson is a Trump extremist with a track record of anti-LGBTQ+, anti-abortion, anti-Medicare & Social Security activism and support for Trumps (sic) election fraud and decertification of the vote.”

The Democrat Party of New Mexico retweeted a message via X from the national Democrat Party freaking out that Johnson stood up for election integrity.

“Reminder: Mike Johnson, House Republicans’ new pick for speaker, helped lead the efforts to overturn the 2020 election results,” the Democrats wrote.

“Although the House can finally get back to work, there’s no doubt under an extremist like Mike Johnson, House Republicans will try to thwart any meaningful legislation and progress, making it all the more critical that Democrats take back the House and restore its purpose to serve the American people,” the New Mexico Democrats wrote in a subsequent fundraising email. 

Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, from New Mexico’s Third Congressional District, a Democrat, has not immediately commented on Johnson winning the vote for speaker. 

Gabe Vasquez walks the tightrope on border security

Amidst the ongoing border crisis and dwindling approval ratings for Joe Biden’s immigration policies, U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, whose district encompasses all of New Mexico’s southern border, has taken a 180-degree flip in his approach to border security. This shift is raising eyebrows among political observers and opponents who point to his earlier border rhetoric as inflammatory and extreme.

Vasquez is now advocating for an increase in the number of border agents, emphasizing the need for cross-border collaboration, and participating in roundtable discussions. This marked change in his stance on border security stands in stark contrast to his previous positions.

Biden’s approval rating on the immigration crisis is a meager 26 percent. After vehemently claiming he would never build any more border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, as his predecessor did, he is now ordering the construction of 20 miles of barrier in Texas — a complete flip-flop on the policy.

Back in 2018, Vasquez described the border crisis as a “non-existent threat” and criticized then-President Donald Trump’s border security efforts as “ill-informed” and “in bad taste.”

In 2020, he went further, calling for the elimination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), claiming that the agency had “no regard for humanity.” 

Throughout 2021, Vasquez repeatedly voiced his intention to dismantle Trump’s border wall, going so far as to state, “Tear what’s left of it down” and “Let’s tear it down.” 

He went on to label the border wall as the product of a “crooked, racist administration” and commended Joe Biden for halting its construction, characterizing it as a “racist, environmentally destructive, massive waste of money” and a “glorification of xenophobia.”

This shifting stance has raised concerns among those who view it as part of a pattern of behavior. Vasquez previously faced criticism for deleting progressive tweets to create a more moderate image in 2021.

These shifts have led to questions about the sincerity of Vasquez’s positions and his credibility among voters. Critics argue that his tendency to change his rhetoric based on political expediency raises doubts about his commitment to the people of New Mexico.

In response to these allegations, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokeswoman, Delanie Bomar, emphasized, “Gabe Vasquez is an extremist who adjusts his rhetoric for whatever is politically beneficial for him in the moment. Voters cannot trust Gabe Vasquez to put New Mexico first.”

The first-term Democrat faces fierce opposition from GOP former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, who is polling ahead of the incumbent.

Vasquez’s evolving stance on border security and his fluctuating political rhetoric reflect the broader debate surrounding border policies and immigration issues in the United States. As the border crisis continues to be a focal point in national discussions, Vasquez’s lack of a clear stance on the border leaves voters in the Second Congressional District guessing. 

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