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Court proceedings begin in NM’s legal fight over governor’s emergency powers

On Monday, the New Mexico Supreme Court was the stage for a major legal showdown, as it heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by the Republican Party of New Mexico (RPNM), joined by GOP state legislators, the National Rifle Association (NRA), former law enforcement officers, and private citizens. 

The lawsuit targets far-left anti-gun Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Secretary of the Department of Health Patrick M. Allen, accusing them of using public health orders to infringe upon New Mexicans’ Second Amendment rights via executive order.

Attorney Jessica Hernandez, representing the plaintiffs, challenged the governor’s emergency orders. She argued that these orders overstepped the bounds of emergency statutes, representing an invalid exercise of emergency power. Hernandez emphasized the concern of a single individual bypassing the legislature, having the authority to declare an emergency based on subjective and unspecified criteria, thereby making significant public policy and funding decisions.

Hernandez also pointed out that the public health order from the NM Health Secretary does not constitute an imminent threat. She argued that relying on data spanning over a decade does not establish an emergency but rather a chronic issue.

During the hearing, Justice Briana H. Zamora inquired about the limits of the governor’s power to declare public health emergencies. Holly Agajanian, the governor’s chief general counsel, admitted uncertainty, stating, “I don’t know.” This admission underscores the fear that such emergency powers could lead to future rights violations.

Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon reflected on the plaintiffs’ viewpoint, suggesting the potential for almost anything to be labeled a public health emergency from the governor’s perspective, although she failed to let Hernandez answer questions without consistently interrupting.

The justices posed several hypothetical scenarios, including one where the governor might declare an emergency to suspend driving rights due to DUIs, drawing parallels to the initial emergency order that suspended open and concealed carry of firearms. Agajanian differentiated, noting that the amended order no longer bans concealed and open carry.

The current public health order prohibits firearms in parks and playgrounds. However, Justice Michael E. Vigil observed that the emergency declarations lacked statistical evidence of gun violence issues in these areas.

Justice Zamora noted that many programs within the public health order could have been implemented without an emergency declaration, but the declaration facilitated funding. She expressed concerns about potential overreach through emergency orders, questioning the implications of granting unilateral power over fund allocation.

The lawsuit and the court’s eventual decision are poised to have significant implications for the balance of power in New Mexico and the interpretation of emergency powers in relation to constitutional rights.

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Woke diversity hire Haaland strikes again

The National Park Service, overseen by Joe Biden’s Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, a former member of Congress from New Mexico, and National Park Service Director Charles Sams III, has announced plans to remove the statue of William Penn from a park in Philadelphia. This park, established in 1982 to mark the 300th anniversary of Penn’s founding of Pennsylvania, stands on the site of his original home.

The park, near the Delaware River at Sansom and Second Streets, will undergo rehabilitation, including an expanded interpretation of Native American history in Philadelphia. This plan involves consultations with representatives from various indigenous nations.

The statue of Penn and a model of his original home are set to be removed as part of these changes. The Park Service indicates a future exhibit might mention Penn’s role in founding Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, but this is currently unfunded, per the Post Millennial.

The Strawbridge & Clothier “Seal of Confidence”, which flanks the entrance to the 1897 Renaissance Revival building designed by Addison Hutton on Market Street between N. 8th and 9th Streets in Center City, Philadelphia, just to the west of the 1931 Strawbridge & Clothier flagship building. The seal depicts William Penn and a Lenape Indian and their “never written, never broken” treaty, which enabled Penn to establish the colony of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia on land which belonged to the tribe. The seal stood for Strawbridge & Clotier’s Quaker-based tradition of fairness and honesty, which included a money-back guarantee on all merchandise. The seal was in use from 1911 until the company folded. (Source: “Buildings Then and Now: ‘Think Strawbridge & Clothier first'”).

The Park Service manages significant historical sites in Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and other important landmarks. The Biden administration has emphasized equity in its policies, a principle echoed in these changes.

The redesign of the park will be led by Venturi & Scott Brown Associates, the same firm that designed the original park. The park was initially named after Penn’s ship, Welcome, and celebrated his life and the establishment of Pennsylvania, known for its principles of religious and civil freedoms.

Penn, a Quaker and advocate for religious freedom, also played a role in the early abolitionist movement. However, his legacy has been scrutinized, particularly following the George Floyd protests, due to his history as a slave owner. This scrutiny aligns with a broader trend of re-evaluating historical figures’ legacies in public spaces.

In 2021, a bill proposed in the US House sought to remove statues of individuals who served the Confederate States of America from the Capitol, reflecting ongoing debates over how to represent historical figures in public spaces.

The public can provide feedback on this proposal through the National Park Service’s planning website found here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ 

NM’s conspiracy theorist Dems renew annual performative January 6 theater

On Saturday — the third anniversary of the January 6 incursion of the U.S. Capitol — New Mexico’s Democrat conspiracy theorists outdid themselves with manufactured outrage after the event, which resulted in the death of Ashli Babbitt, whom a Capitol Police Officer brutally murdered.

Democrat Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-CD-3) inaccurately claimed an “armed mob” stormed the Capitol, which was not true, as a vast majority of protesters that day were not armed whatsoever.

“On this day three years ago — just my fourth day in Congress — an armed mob of Donald Trump’s supporters desecrated our beloved Capitol Building in a deadly attack on Congress and American democracy itself,” Leger Fernandez wrote, adding, “Trump will undoubtedly try to attack our democracy again.”

Far-left Democrat Rep. Gabe Vasquez (NM-CD-2) wrote in an email, “John, today marks the 3-year anniversary of a dark day in American history. On January 6, 2021, extremists launched an egregious attack on Capitol Hill and our democracy.” 

Extreme far-leftist Melanie Stansbury, representative for New Mexico’s First District, wrote on X, “Three years ago we watched Trump spark an insurrection. We saw our capital attacked by extremists and we saw our very Democracy shaken. Today is a reminder that our voice and our vote matter and in 2024 we must defeat Trump.”

Socialist Sen. Martin Heinrich appeared to say January 6 was worse than horrific terrorist attacks, such as September 11, 2001, writing, “Three years ago, I witnessed the most foundationally shaking moment of my adult life. It is a sobering reminder that even our great democracy is vulnerable to those willing to hold on to power at all costs. That day, democracy prevailed. We must work to make sure it always does.” 

“Our Democracy isn’t given. We have to work to protect it. Three years ago this was proven. We all have the sacred responsibility of honoring the outcome of our elections. Those who do not must be held accountable,” wrote Sen. Ben Ray Luján.

The New Mexico Democrat Party added, “Even three years after the January 6th, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, NM Republicans are still beholden to insurrectionist MAGA ideology. Despite being largely rejected by the voters ever since the insurrection, New Mexico Republicans and their prominent figureheads refuse to respect our democracy.”

The Party continued, “New Mexican voters spoke loud and clear in the 2022 election and rejected Trump’s radical brand of extremism. But the New Mexico Republican Party continues to put Trump’s MAGA agenda ahead of the needs of everyday New Mexicans.” 

Unconstitutional Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote, “As we celebrate the 112th anniversary of statehood, we are also reminded of the duty we all have in upholding democracy. The acts of insurrection on Jan. 6 have no place in the United States. As governor, I commit to safeguarding democracy today and for generations to come,” despite unilaterally taking away New Mexicans’ gun rights via executive order — the opposite of “democracy.” 

Note: Not a single individual has been convicted for the charge of “insurrection,” while Democrats attempt to pursue “insurrection” charges to forcibly thwart President Trump from the ballot in 2024. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear the case on the matter. 

Member of NM House GOP leadership tapped for open state Senate seat

In a recent development within New Mexico’s political landscape, Greg Nibert, a Republican and a member of the State House since 2017 and the House Minority Whip since 2023, has been appointed to the State Senate.

Sen. Greg Nibert’s official photograph.

This appointment, announced on January 5, comes from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and fills the vacancy in Senate District 27. This seat was left open following the retirement of Republican Senator Stuart Ingle in October.

Senate District 27, which Nibert will now represent, is situated around the Roswell area. This move to the Senate marks a significant shift in Nibert’s political career, offering him a broader platform and increased responsibilities within the state’s legislative framework.

As Nibert transitions to the Senate for the 2024 legislative session, his departure from the House of Representatives triggers a need for a replacement. The process to fill his now-vacant House seat is set to commence, overseen by the Chaves County Commission alone, as his former House district only covers one county. 

The upcoming legislative session will likely be an important period for Nibert as he adjusts to his new role and tackles the challenges and opportunities that come with being a state senator. 

As the process of finding Nibert’s successor in the House begins, attention will also be paid to how this change affects the balance and dynamics within the New Mexico legislature. However, the Chaves County Commission must work fast to name Nibert’s successor, as the 2024 Legislative Session begins on January 16.

It is immediately unclear who the potential candidates are to replace Nibert in the minority whip position following his promotion to the Senate.

MLG looks to squander away NM’s revenue on growing gov’t in budget ask

On Thursday, far-left Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham unveiled her FY25 executive budget recommendation, featuring a massive 9.9% increase in recurring spending, totaling $10.5 billion, calling out-of-control spending “historic – but prudent.”

The executive budget recommendation aims to spend away New Mexico’s record revenue, mainly from oil and gas production, while maintaining reserves at 34.2%. Many argue that such a substantial increase in spending may jeopardize the promised reserve levels, prompting questions about the state’s financial stability.

In the realm of water and natural resources, the budget proposes a $500 million capital appropriation for the Strategic Water Supply from severance tax bonds, a $250 million general fund transfer to the Land of Enchantment Conservation Fund, and $20 million for low-interest loans to communities for carbon emission reduction projects.

For housing and homelessness, the proposal includes $250 million for the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund, $250 million to the NM Finance Authority Opportunity Enterprise Revolving Fund for affordable housing, and $40 million for homelessness initiatives statewide.

Education funding sees allocations of $33 million for expanding universal socialist early pre-kindergarten, a $101.2 million increase to the State Equalization Guarantee Distribution, $58.1 million for structured literacy (including $30 million for a new Structured Literacy Institute), $43.5 million for school meals, and a three percent pay increase ($96 million) for all educators.

In the healthcare sector, the proposal includes $2.15 billion in recurring general funds for the Health Care Authority, $100 million for the Rural Healthcare Delivery Fund, $87.9 million for Medicaid provider rate increases, and $24.7 million to create a new Family Services division — more bureaucracy. 

Public safety allocations comprise $35 million for corrections and law enforcement recruitment statewide, $5 million for the Governor’s Commission on Organized Crime, and $35 million for the Firefighter and EMT Recruitment Fund.

Economic Development & Infrastructure funding includes $100 million to launch the New Mexico Match Fund for federal funding leverage, $25 million for the Local Economic Development Act Program (LEDA), $9.7 million for the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP), $5 million for the New Mexico Media Academy, and $1.5 million special funding for the Economic Development Department’s international market reach.

The executive budget also includes a 3% compensation increase for state employees, a further bolstering of the state instead of cuts of unnecessary boards, agencies, divisions, and departments. 

Power The Future’s Larry Behrens commented following the announcement, “With a massive amount of new money delivered from the state’s oil and natural gas workers, Governor Lujan Grisham has another opportunity to give some of that money to families through rebates. New Mexicans are paying 17 percent more for everything over the last three years and deserve to share in the state’s oil and gas revenue windfall. Unfortunately, Governor Lujan Grisham’s budget priority is to take the money and grow more bureaucracy in Santa Fe.”

Richardson implicated in Epstein’s depraved sex assault court docs.

Nearly 200 previously redacted names from court documents in the lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, former accomplice of Jeffrey Epstein, have been disclosed by a federal judge in New York. U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ordered the release in December, allowing two weeks for potential appeals by the Jane and John Does involved.

The revealed names, present in 40 unredacted documents, include notable figures like former President Bill Clinton, Clinton’s estranged aide Doug Band, Prince Andrew, late former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and the deceased French modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, who awaited trial like Epstein. Epstein, with connections to high-profile individuals ranging from U.S. presidents to foreign leaders, Hollywood stars, academics, and figures in the modeling and fashion industries, had some names known through other means but were previously withheld from public view during the lawsuit. Richardson recently passed away.

Many of the disclosed names have not faced accusations of wrongdoing, such as Clinton, who opted not to request continued sealing of his name. Clinton’s spokesperson refuted claims in the documents suggesting a “close personal relationship” between Clinton and Epstein.

Roger H. Goun | Wiki Commons

Newly unsealed names also include billionaire Glenn Dubin and his former private chef Rinaldo Rizzo. Earlier documents disclosed Rizzo’s account of Epstein and Maxwell visiting Dubin’s residence with a disoriented 15-year-old girl. Other mentions involve Tony Figueroa, Limited Brands founder Les Wexner, and Epstein accusers Johanna Sjoberg and Annie Farmer.

A noteworthy addition to the list is David Copperfield, accused of sexually assaulting a teen model, described as a friend of Epstein in the documents. Sjoberg, in her deposition, alleged Epstein mentioned Trump and claimed he’d contact the businessman when his helicopter had rerouted to Atlantic City. Sjoberg clarified she never provided massages to Donald Trump, director George Lucas, or computer scientist Marvin Minsky.

Some names were withheld for reasons such as protecting Epstein’s underage victims or due to false identification. Dubin and his wife, Eva Andersson Dubin, previously dated Epstein but denied knowledge of his actions.

The unredacted names originated from documents in a lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, an Epstein accuser who settled out of court in 2017. In a separate criminal case, Maxwell received a 20-year sentence for sex trafficking Epstein’s victims.

The release coincides with Congressional efforts to unveil names of Epstein’s clients and private jet passengers. Tennessee Republicans Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Tim Burchett accused Democrats of hindering document release. Giuffre praised their efforts, expressing anticipation over the unnamed associates facing scrutiny.

As the information becomes public, the fight for transparency and accountability continues, and individuals suspecting trafficking are encouraged to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888.

Trump adds NM to states on his ‘aggressive’ electoral map expansion

45th President Donald Trump expressed his intention to “aggressively” compete in states like New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Minnesota, and New Mexico, aiming to conduct rallies and speeches as part of his campaign strategy, according to a new report from Breitbart News.

“One of the other things I’m going to do — and I may be foolish in doing it — is I’m going to make a heavy play for New York, heavy play for New Jersey, heavy play for Virginia, heavy play for New Mexico, and a heavy play for a state that hasn’t been won in years, Minnesota,” Trump said in a lengthy interview with the outlet.

Trump referred to this approach as a “heavy play” for these states, acknowledging that he might not invest as much effort as in traditional battleground states. He mentioned the possibility of holding a rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City, highlighting its significance as the “belly of the beast” in a Democratic stronghold.

“The last time a Republican won any of those five states was in 2004 when incumbent GOP president George W. Bush won New Mexico in his reelection bid after having lost New Mexico back in 2000,” Breitbart noted of the states on Trump’s radar.

The Breitbart interview delved into Trump’s connections to New York, where he built his real estate empire, and New Jersey, where he spent summers post-presidency. Trump mentioned the migration crisis and other issues as factors that might make these states more competitive for the GOP.

Trump also criticized New York City’s current state, emphasizing the changes since he left eight years ago. He expressed concerns about issues such as migrants living on Madison Avenue, challenges accessing hospitals and schools, rising crime rates, and a housing crisis.

Despite recognizing the long odds, Trump committed to devoting resources and energy to winning states like New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, Virginia, and New Mexico. The article draws parallels to Trump’s successful strategy in the Rust Belt states during the 2016 election.

The analysis extends to the potential competitiveness of these states, citing polls and signs that indicate Trump might have a chance. Notably, a Siena College poll in late 2023 showed Trump within single digits behind Biden in New York. The article also touches on the possibility of third-party candidates influencing the election outcome.

In conclusion, the article provides insights into Trump’s ambitious plan to expand the battleground map, focusing on New Mexico and other traditionally Democratic states, and explores the potential challenges and opportunities in this strategic approach.

The ACLU once again turns on Gov. Lujan Grisham

In a recent op-ed, Kristin Greer Love, the Senior Civil Liberties Attorney for the ACLU of New Mexico, criticizes Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for an executive order that adopts the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s “working definition of antisemitism.” 

Love claims that this order, Executive Order 2022-118, poses a threat to constitutional rights, particularly free speech, as it could be used to suppress criticism of Israel’s policies and support for Palestinian rights. It is unclear, however, why the group is only speaking out about the 2022 order now.

The op-ed highlights students in New Mexico expressing their support for Palestine through various actions, including protests and calls to end state subsidies for a leading weapons manufacturer supplying Israel. Love says these actions are protected under both the New Mexico and U.S. constitutions.

Executive Order 2022-118 has drawn criticism for adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition, which, according to Love’s interpretation, conflates criticisms of Israel’s government and support for Palestinian rights with antisemitism.

The ACLU of New Mexico has urged the governor to rescind the executive order. Love emphasizes the flawed nature of the definition, arguing that it inhibits legitimate criticism of Israel without being antisemitic, although attacks on the Jewish people of Israel is, indeed, inherently antisemitic.

The op-ed points to an incident in September where a pro-Israel group attempted to use the executive order to suppress speech at the University of New Mexico. The group claimed that hosting Palestinian poet Mohammed El-Kurd would violate the order, leading to concerns that the executive order could be used to chill speech in the state.

The ACLU of New Mexico advocates for the immediate rescission of Executive Order 2022-118, asserting that restrictions on peaceful speech, protest, and expression have no place in a democratic society. The op-ed urges Governor Lujan Grisham to reconsider the potential impact of the order on civil liberties, particularly on college campuses.

The ACLU has, however, been mum on antisemitic attacks on New Mexico students, including one incident in 2021 where a University of New Mexico student was violently attacked for speaking Hebrew.

Previously, the group attacked Lujan Grisham in September due to her unconstitutional anti-gun orders.

Governor hints at agenda items she intends to add for 2024 session

New Mexico’s 2024 legislative session, running from Jan. 16 to Feb. 15, is poised to address critical issues, particularly gun violence. In a recent update on the Public Health Order, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham acknowledged the urgency of tackling the escalating problem of “gun violence.” 

She emphasized, “Gun violence is out of control. Public safety and crime are out of control.” The governor outlined plans for the upcoming 30-day session, focusing on public safety, police retention and recruitment, and potential enhancements to existing laws.

Governor Lujan Grisham expressed satisfaction with the effectiveness of the anti-gun forcible locking up of firearms law passed in 2023 but said there is a need for even more anti-gun laws, per KOAT 7. She emphasized a multifaceted approach, including educational initiatives for parents and families, expanding successful programs like the Violence Intervention Program at schools, and launching targeted campaigns to reach students directly. The governor affirmed her commitment to strengthening laws if needed, citing the “red flag” law as a potential area for improvement.

During a press conference in December, Governor Lujan Grisham also announced plans to include an “assault weapons” ban on the legislative agenda. NMSU’s Assistant Professor of Government, Dr. Cory Sukala, acknowledged the challenges of addressing gun-related legislation in a month-long session, especially with budgetary considerations taking precedence. Dr. Sukala highlighted the governor’s ability to influence legislative priorities but noted that they aren’t legally binding directives.

Given the limited time during regular sessions, Dr. Sukala suggested the possibility of a special session dedicated solely to addressing public safety and violence-related concerns. That would likely take place due to the lack of support in the current Legislature to ram through anti-gun bills, even from Democrats. That’s why the governor would have to force the issue in a special session if she is to see any such anti-gun “assault” bill pass. 

Sukala emphasized that such a move would underscore the governor’s obsession with snatching guns by any means necessary. As New Mexico gears up for its legislative session, the debate around gun control legislation and public safety measures is set to take center stage.

Democrat ex-NM House speaker mocks proposal to ban gruesome sex crime

In a strange turn of events, far-left former New Mexico House of Representatives Speaker Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) mocked an endeavor by state Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) to make necrophilia (rape of corpses) illegal in the state — New Mexico being one of only three states that don’t have legislation making the macabre practice illegal.

“Somebody in law enforcement brought up a case where someone was raped after they were murdered, and they could not charge [the suspect] with rape because it’s not illegal in New Mexico, and it honestly made me sick to my stomach,” Lord told the Santa Fe New Mexican announcing her initiative. 

The outlet further reported, “Lord said her bill would leave no question necrophilia is prohibited by law. It would create three new crimes: criminal sexual penetration of a dead human body, a second-degree felony; criminal sexual contact with a dead human body, a third-degree felony; and criminal desecration of a dead human body, a fourth-degree felony.”

But Egolf mocked the proposal, writing in jest, “My New Year’s wish is coming true early!! This is REALLY going to improve lives all over New Mexico; The @NewMexicoGOP continues to show us that they have their finger on the pulse of New Mexico.”

Lord responded to Egolf, “Do you realize that women have been murdered and then raped afterward in New Mexico?  But I guess you’re good with that.  I’m not really that surprised coming from you, Brian.”

State Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo), the founder and editor of the Piñon Post, chimed in, “Oh, look! Another apparent supporter of corpse rape. At least they’re self-identifying these days so we know who the sickos are.”

Another wrote, “Just proof that Dems like to f— their constituents even when they’re dead!” 

New Mexico has been behind the curve on many laws banning disgusting sexual offenses. Just this past session, the state made bestiality illegal in the state. 

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