News

Dems continue to gamble state funds on unreliable, expensive EVs

Traversing New Mexico’s remote landscapes could soon spawn electric vehicle (EV) charging stations emerging in the least expected rural areas. This initiative, sparked by the state Transportation Department in 2022, aims to cover the state with charging infrastructure, from bustling cities to the quietest corners, in anticipation of an EV mandate from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s attempt to ram EVs down New Mexicans’ throats. 

The endeavor seeks to mitigate one of the primary hesitations potential EV buyers have: the fear of running out of charge far from a power source, coupled with the undeniable fact that EVs generally command a significantly higher purchase price than their gasoline counterparts.

The state’s extreme plan, fueled by a mix of state and federal funds, targets the establishment of a comprehensive network of charging stations by 2026, aligning with a new state mandate pushing for an increase in EV deliveries to New Mexico. Jerry Valdez, a special projects manager with the state Transportation Department, emphasizes the necessity of developing this infrastructure to foster EV adoption, suggesting that “a big question is what comes first: the cars or the infrastructure” and highlighting the intent to “increase the market penetration of zero-emissions vehicles.”

Despite the good intentions, the rollout of charging stations, particularly in rural locales, has not been without its critics. The Advanced Clean Cars and Trucks rule, which mandates a significant uptick in EV sales, has been met with skepticism from car dealers concerned about the lack of charging facilities. This rule demands that by 2026, 43% of new cars and light-duty trucks delivered to the state be electric, escalating to 82% by 2032, with similar targets set for heavier-duty commercial vehicles.

The state’s response has been to invest heavily in charging infrastructure, with plans for 86 stations across 40 locations, leveraging $10 million from the American Rescue Plan. Yet, despite these efforts, the presence of charging stations in remote areas like Tierra Amarilla raises questions about their practicality and utilization, given their sparse populations and the current low adoption rate of EVs in the state.

Critics argue that the push for EVs and the associated infrastructure is a costly endeavor that may not yield the desired results. Larry Behrens from Power the Future voices a common sentiment, questioning the wisdom of investing taxpayer dollars in a technology that, according to him, lacks consumer demand in New Mexico. 

He points out that EVs constitute less than one percent of the state’s vehicle ownership, suggesting a lack of enthusiasm for the transition to electric mobility. Furthermore, a poll by his group indicates a majority opposition to the governor’s EV policies, casting doubt on the effectiveness of building charging stations as a means to stimulate EV adoption.

On the other hand, advocates for EVs argue that the demand for electric vehicles outstrips supply and that the state’s efforts are aimed at addressing this imbalance. They contend that the establishment of a reliable charging network is essential for encouraging more EV sales and facilitating the transition to cleaner transportation.

More eco-left legislation continues to permeate throughout the Roundhouse during the 2024 Legislative Session, which will raise gas prices for everyday New Mexicans and businesses, thereby killing New Mexico’s economy.

Two anti-gun bills to be heard in committee Monday

In the latest onslaught by Democrats against gun rights, a series of public hearings on proposed gun control legislation is set to take place, drawing attention from both proponents and opponents of the measures. The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to convene on Monday, January 29, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 309 to deliberate on four controversial bills that some critics are labeling as among the most stringent gun control initiatives in the United States.

The proposed legislation includes House Bill 27, introduced by Rep. Joy Garratt (D-Albuquerque), which seeks to broaden the scope of the existing Red Flag Law. This bill would permit law enforcement officials to request red flag orders without needing concrete information from informants about a person’s potential threat of causing imminent harm. It also proposes expanding the list of individuals who can report such concerns, mandates the immediate forfeiture of firearms upon the issuance of a red flag order, and allows for search warrants to confiscate guns from those subject to such orders.

Another proposal, House Bill 129 by Rep. Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe), introduces a 14-business day waiting period for all firearm purchases, potentially establishing the longest waiting period for firearm acquisition in the nation.

State Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo) have urged constituents and gun rights advocates to either attend the hearing in person or participate virtually to express their opposition to these bills. Additionally, House Bill 114 by Rep. Christine Chandler is anticipated to be considered by the full New Mexico House of Representatives soon. This bill would allow legal actions against firearms industry members for alleged violations of the proposed Firearms Industry Accountability Act, significantly increasing their liability for advertising and business practices.

As these legislative efforts gain momentum, they ignite a robust debate on gun control and Second Amendment rights within New Mexico, reflecting a broader national conversation on the balance between public safety and individual freedoms.

Virtual Participation Information:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82777125960

Or One tap mobile : +12532050468,,82777125960# US c

Webinar ID: 827 7712 5960

Legislators bring back Convention of States resolution

In the New Mexico House of Representatives, House Joint Resolution 12 has been put forward by Reps. Randall Pettigrew (R-Lovington), John Block (R-Alamogordo), and Jimmy Mason (R-Artesia). This resolution aims to convene a states’ convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, a measure that seeks to address and potentially recalibrate the balance of federal authority.

The primary objectives outlined in the resolution include imposing fiscal restraints on federal spending, curbing the scope of federal power, and instituting term limits for Congress members and other federal officials. With the endorsement of this resolution, New Mexico is poised to join a growing list of states advocating for a constitutional convention, marking it as the 20th state in pursuit of the 34-state threshold required to initiate the process.

The convention, as envisaged, would serve as a platform for all states to deliberate on proposed amendments, which would then need the ratification of at least three-quarters, or 38, of the states to be adopted into the Constitution.

The resolution’s sponsors have voiced concerns over what they perceive as the federal government’s expansive reach and fiscal irresponsibility, which they argue adversely affects New Mexico’s families, businesses, and local governance. They emphasize the constitutional provision that allows states to convene under Article V to address issues that the federal legislature has neglected, particularly highlighting the necessity for federal budgetary discipline akin to New Mexico’s constitutional requirement for a balanced state budget.

Myles Culbertson, the State Director for the Convention of States in New Mexico, highlighted the urgency of the situation by pointing to the national debt, which has soared beyond $34 trillion, according to the U.S. Debt Clock. He warned of the dire economic implications for the American populace if the debt continues to grow unchecked, potentially reaching double the size of the nation’s Gross National Product by 2030. Culbertson stressed that the state legislatures possess a potent remedy to this burgeoning crisis, underscoring the need to act swiftly.

For more detailed information on the resolution and the broader movement it represents, interested parties are directed to the Convention of States website.

This legislative initiative marks a critical juncture in the ongoing debate over federalism and the distribution of power between state and federal governments, reflecting a concerted effort by state legislators to assert their constitutional prerogatives in shaping the nation’s governance framework.

NM ‘Grassroots Convention’ happening Saturday in Ruidoso

In New Mexico, a wave of regulatory measures and executive orders has ignited controversy among local business owners and residents. Various industries, from real estate to food and beverage, and notably the trucking sector, report being hamstrung by regulations they describe as overly stringent and out of touch with on-the-ground realities. The sentiment echoes a broader national discourse, encapsulated by the hashtag #LetUsWork, which emerged as businesses were forced to shutter in compliance with mandates, leaving many to fend for the livelihoods of their employees.

Instances of punitive measures for defiance of such mandates have surfaced across New Mexico. Notably, a pawn shop in Cibola County was slapped with a $50,000 fine for remaining open, and the Mayor of Grants faced penalties for organizing an Independence Day Parade. More drastic measures were reported in Gallup, where barricades were erected, compelling locals to have essentials like water and food delivered to checkpoints. In another case, Legacy Church incurred fines for keeping its doors open, and residents were discouraged from hosting birthday parties, spurred by a controversial hotline initiative.

In response to what they view as an overreach of government authority, 1Name 1Banner, a non-partisan group led by Ben R. Luna of LEXIT, the Latino Exit from the Democrat Party, has stepped in to amplify the voices of those affected. Although Luna clarifies his non-affiliation with the Democratic Party, his efforts have led many away from it, citing forthcoming documentaries that highlight the struggles of local communities, including an Isleta Pueblo alfalfa farmer grappling with infrastructure decay.

The group’s efforts pivot toward raising awareness about what they perceive as the governor’s imposition of “radical communistic policies.” They argue that the governor’s mandates, including those on electric vehicles (EVs) and attempts to suspend constitutional rights like the 2nd Amendment, represent a significant overstep. To counteract these policies, 1Name 1Banner has produced Call-to-Action (CTA) videos and documentaries, including interviews with industry representatives like Johnny Johnson of the New Mexico Trucking Association, who provides a practical perspective on the EV mandate.

These initiatives culminated in the New Mexico Grassroots Convention, aimed at galvanizing local communities against the tide of mandates and policies they find objectionable. The convention promises to be a hub for information exchange, with contributions from various sectors and industry representatives, underscoring a collective resolve to navigate the legislative landscape of 2024 and beyond.

On Saturday, January 27, 1Name 1Banner will hold the New Mexico Grassroots Convention in Ruidoso at the Ruidoso Convention Center, and tickets can be found here. Johnny Johnson will be speaking on a panel with Paul Gessing, James Lindsay, and others about this forced policy and their agenda.

Three anti-gun bills advance in NM House, anti-business bill stalls in Senate

In the New Mexico Senate Thursday, a radical bill to establish a paid family and medical leave program faced a delay as Republican members of the Senate Tax, Business, and Transportation Committee did not attend the meeting, depriving the committee of its quorum. Despite their absence, Democratic members, forming a subcommittee, decided to proceed with discussions on Senate Bill 3, claiming to vote on the matter the following week, irrespective of the Republican members’ attendance — which would go against the rules if no quorum is present again. The chairman, Democrat Sen. Benny Shendo, was absent from the meeting.

The bill’s proponent, Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, accused Republicans of not wanting to collaborate with them.

In another legislative development, the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee passed three anti-gun bills, but not without thorough debate from Reps. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and John Block (R-Alamogordo). 

Earlier in the day, far-left anti-gun Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, alongside other supporters, argued that these measures are essential steps toward addressing the pervasive issue of “gun violence,” citing a “negative gun culture,” while laughably claiming banning guns was a “constitutional responsibility,” despite previously saying her oath and the Constitution were not absolute while signing a previous unconstitutional executive order to illegally snatch guns.

The bills that passed include:

H.B. 137 banning all semi-auto and all “high capacity” firearms and forcing those who do own them to register with the government.

H.B. 127 taking guns away from law-abiding 18-20 year-olds.

H.B. 129 mandating a 14-day waiting period for all firearms purchases.

Opponents of the bills, including representatives from the New Mexico Firearms Industry Association and the National Rifle Association, argued that such legislation infringes on constitutional rights and fails to target the root causes of gun violence, primarily illegal gun access. The debate underscored the deep divide between those advocating for stricter regulations as a means to prevent violence and those defending gun ownership rights as enshrined in the Constitution and reaffirmed in the recent U.S. Supreme Court case New York Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen.

The three anti-gun bills now head to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. 

Job-killing, anti-business bill passes first NM House commitee

The recent advancement of New Mexico’s state-run paid family and medical leave bill through a committee has sparked a contentious debate, reflecting a divide along party lines. Despite its passage in the House Health and Human Services Committee, the bill, which has been repeatedly introduced since 2019, continues to encounter significant resistance. Critics argue that the bill is detrimental to small businesses, overly broad, and easy to exploit.

The proposed program, overseen by the Department of Workforce Solutions, requires a substantial initial investment of $36 million. It aims to be self-sustained through contributions from qualifying employers and employees. The initiative offers up to 12 weeks of paid leave under various circumstances, such as parental leave, serious medical conditions, or caring for relatives or close nonrelatives. 

The 2024 iteration of the bill introduces several amendments, including extending benefits to relatives of military members and capping employee contributions, which would only further burden the businesses.

However, voices of opposition, many from small businesses and healthcare providers, express concerns about the bill’s potential financial burden. Patsy Romero, president and CEO of Santa Maria El Mirador, highlights the challenges faced by Medicaid-dependent organizations, underscoring the difficulty in absorbing additional costs.

Chandler acknowledged the need to review Medicaid reimbursement rates but insisted that this should not hinder the bill’s progress.

Employers also raise practical issues, such as difficulties in hiring temporary staff during employees’ leave periods. Amy Dixon, from the Desert States Physical Therapy Network, points out the recruitment challenges in specific sectors.

Critics also questioned the bill’s broad definition of eligible beneficiaries, fearing it could lead to misuse. In contrast, co-sponsor Rep. Linda Serrato defends the inclusive language, emphasizing its relevance to supposed “diverse” family structures and the requirement for medical verification.

As the bill moves to the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, where it previously stalled.

Dems stifle debate, ram two far-left anti-gun bills through committee

During a recent committee hearing in the New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee, legislators engaged in heated debates over two anti-gun bills focusing on snatching citizens’ and gun manufacturers/sellers’ rights.

House Bill 27, one of the bills in question, seeks to modify the state’s Extreme Risk Firearm Protection Order by including any healthcare professionals among those who can request law enforcement to file a petition for the order — further infringing on New Mexicans’ rights.

In contrast, House Bill 114, also known as the Firearm Industry Accountability Act, proposes civil penalties for gun manufacturers for actions like false advertising and failing to secure firearms in their shops. This bill would allow the state Department of Justice, district attorneys, and private citizens to file civil actions against firearms dealers who violate the law, with civil penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation.

The committee chair, Democrat Rep. Joanne J. Ferrary of Las Cruces, stifled debate on the bill. Ferrary’s attempt to call a vote was met with resistance from Republican Rep. John Block of Alamogordo, leading to a terse exchange where Block accused Ferrary of being “out of order,” to which she attempted to gavel him down. He responded by citing the rules she violated by stifling the debate, reiterating, “OK, but you’re out of order.”

Block and Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park), the lone Republicans on the committee, continued to challenge the bills during the hearings, particularly questioning the enforceability of HB 114, asking how one could prove a gun dealer “knowingly” lost a gun or had it stolen. 

Both bills ultimately moved forward on a party-line vote, with the four Democrats supporting and the two Republicans opposing. These bills are part of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s 21-measure public safety initiative, with eight specific gun safety initiatives she wants lawmakers to approve.

Despite these advancements, several gun-rights advocates argued against the bills, expressing valid arguments that the measures would infringe upon their right to own guns and leave law-abiding citizens vulnerable. 

The debates and committee decisions on HB 27 and HB 114 indicate a deep divide on gun control measures, with Democrats ramming bills through despite Republican opposition and concerns over stifling debate. Both anti-gun bills now head to the House Judiciary Committee.

Lujan Grisham walloped in court again over unconstitutional gun grabs

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico’s Judge Kea W. Griggs denied an emergency motion filed by defendants, including far-left, gun-grabbing New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, to stay a preliminary injunction. This injunction had previously halted a public health order issued by the New Mexico Department of Health, which temporarily banned firearms in public parks in Bernalillo County and Albuquerque.

The court’s decision is a significant setback for Gov. Lujan Grisham’s administration, which had sought to implement these firearm restrictions as part of a broader public health emergency declaration due to gun violence. Critics argue that this move by the governor and her administration is an overreach of executive power, questioning the effectiveness and legality of such firearm restrictions.

The court’s order underscores a failure on the part of the governor’s team to provide sufficient historical evidence justifying the firearms ban in public parks. The ruling cites the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen, which establishes a standard for evaluating Second Amendment cases based on historical tradition. The court found that the defendants, including the governor’s office, did not meet the burden of showing a historical tradition of banning firearms in public parks.

The Court wrote that the “[d]efendants’ arguments are contradictory. They cite … three shootings [that] occurred in Albuquerque parks before the public health order’s ban on firearms in Albuquerque parks, as proof that a ban is necessary. However, those shootings occurred during what Defendants allege was a separate firearm ban imposed by the City of Albuquerque.”

It further added that the defendants “assert or imply that by referencing the months of September and October in his declaration, Plaintiff was asserting he only attends parks in September and October, and no other time. The Court disagrees.”

This decision raises serious questions about the governor’s approach to public safety and constitutional rights. The insistence on pursuing a public health order that restricts Second Amendment rights without adequate historical justification reveals a grievous disconnect with legal precedents and historical standards.

The rejection of the governor’s motion also reflects on the broader issue of balancing public safety with constitutional rights. While the intention to address gun violence is commendable, the method of implementing such policies must align with constitutional standards and historical precedence. 

Furthermore, the ruling also vacated the temporary stay of the preliminary injunction pending briefing on this motion, thereby allowing the earlier court decision to enjoin the firearms ban in public parks to stand. This outcome is a clear indication that executive actions, particularly those impacting constitutional rights, must be carefully scrutinized and justified within the established legal framework.

Legislative update: Anti-gun, eco-left, union bills to be heard in committees

Starting Monday, radical leftist bills are being heard in legislative committees, including proposals to take Second Amendment rights away from law-abiding citizens, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” bills, and more.

On Saturday, the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted 7-4 along party lines to pass a “clean fuels standard” (H.B. 41) that will raise gas prices by 50 cents or more per gallon. 

On Monday at 8:30 a.m., the House Health and Human Services Committee (HHHSC) will consider H.B. 35 from Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D-Albuquerque) to create an “office of diversity, equity, and inclusion” at the University of New Mexico, which would cost the taxpayers $1.2 million annually.

The Zoom details for the HCPAC meeting are below:

On Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (HCPAC) will consider H.B. 27 by Rep. Joy Garratt (D-Albuquerque) to expand the state’s “red flag” law, to further encroach on New Mexicans’ constitutional rights.

HCPAC will also hear Tuesday H.B. 114 by Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos) to target the firearm industry by opening manufacturers, FFLs, and even payment processors up to swaths of frivolous lawsuits to attempt to stop their commerce in the state. 

The Zoom details for the HCPAC meeting are below:

On Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the House Labor, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee (LVMAC) will consider H.B. 119, a union bill by Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil (D-Albuquerque), that aims to inject the state between collective bargaining agreements and implement more mandates upon the rail industry. 

The Zoom details for the LVMAC meeting are below:

On Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., the Senate Conservation Committee will consider a bill, S.B. 2, from Sen. Bill Tallman (D-Albuquerque) to further harm the oil and gas industry by increasing the royalty rates for oil and gas tracts of land through the New Mexico State Land Office.

DeSantis drops out of 2024 presidential race, makes an endorsement

In a significant turn of events in the Republican presidential race, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his withdrawal from the contest, throwing his support behind 45th President Donald Trump. This decision, made public in a video statement on Sunday, came just before the New Hampshire primary.

Governor DeSantis, acknowledging his second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, where he led former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley but trailed significantly behind Trump, expressed in the video that continued campaigning seemed futile without a clear route to victory. “If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome — more campaign stops, more interviews — I would do it,” DeSantis stated. “But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.”

Following this announcement, DeSantis formally endorsed Donald Trump. He cited a belief that many Republican voters are inclined to give Trump another term, despite their differences, particularly regarding the coronavirus pandemic and Dr. Anthony Fauci. DeSantis emphasized, “Trump is superior to the current incumbent, Joe Biden. That is clear.” He also criticized Nikki Haley, suggesting she represents an outdated version of the Republican Party that he contends places American interests last.

This move by DeSantis has been met with approval from prominent Republicans, including Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who had previously urged both DeSantis and Haley to concede, allowing the party to unite behind Trump. Blackburn, speaking on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, praised DeSantis’s decision as a step towards party unity.

With DeSantis exiting the race, Nikki Haley remains the only serious contender against Trump. The upcoming New Hampshire GOP primary is seen as critical for Haley, who must secure a win to sustain her campaign. Her decision to skip the Nevada caucuses only adds to the significance of the New Hampshire results. Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, a key supporter of Haley, has been managing expectations by suggesting that even a second-place finish in the state would be a positive outcome for her. However, with DeSantis’s departure and Trump’s expected strong showing, Haley’s chances of halting Trump’s momentum appear increasingly slim.

Scroll to Top