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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.

Stansbury flips out about spent nuclear fuel during congressional hearing

During Thursday’s hearing focused on energy policy, a heated exchange occurred between Democrat Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury of New Mexico and GOP Congressman Pat Fallon of Texas.

The dispute arose when Rep. Stansbury opposed a proposed spent nuclear fuel rod storage facility in New Mexico. The hearing, conducted by the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, saw Stansbury continuing her speech beyond her allotted time, leading to a sharp exchange with Rep. Fallon.

Holtec International, the company behind the multi-billion-dollar economy-boosting facility, has publicly stated that the project will represent a high standard of safety in both structure and environmental impact. However, anti-nuke radicals, including Stansbury, argue that the federal government’s push for the facility contradicts the Biden administration’s pledge to include local communities in decisions regarding the siting of nuclear waste storage sites.

In a tense moment during the hearing, as Stansbury’s time ran out, she highlighted the opposition of local communities to the nuclear waste facility, referencing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) May 2023 decision to grant a permit for the temporary storage of nuclear waste in Lea County, New Mexico. Fallon, attempting to intervene and remind her of the expired time, was met with Stansbury’s insistence on finishing her point.

Fallon’s repeated assertions that Stansbury’s time had ended and that she was out of order were countered by her claim that the NRC’s decision itself was out of order. The exchange culminated with Fallon stating, “You didn’t remove one bit of nuclear waste by being out of order here.”

The proposed facility, if completed, is intended to store spent nuclear fuel from across the U.S. for 40 years, as per the NRC’s permit. While this plan could benefit the American nuclear power sector, it faces opposition from fringe eco-leftists. This development occurs despite the federal government’s commitment to involving local communities in such decisions.

The issue of nuclear waste management remains a significant financial burden for taxpayers, with billions spent due to the absence of a long-term storage strategy. Currently, spent nuclear fuel is temporarily housed in over 70 locations nationwide, awaiting a permanent solution.

Alec Baldwin charged again in fatal ‘Rust’ shooting case

Actor Alec Baldwin faces a renewed charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the tragic incident on the set of the movie “Rust,” where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed. This marks the second time Baldwin has been charged in this case.

The charge stems from an incident in October 2021, during the filming of the Western “Rust” around Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Hutchins was fatally struck by a live round fired from a prop gun. The indictment states, “The above named defendant did cause the death of Halyna Hutchins by an act committed with the total disregard of indifference for the safety of others.”

Baldwin has consistently rejected the allegations, asserting that he did not pull the trigger of the gun that led to Hutchins’ death. The film’s director, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the incident.

Originally, Baldwin faced the same charge in January 2022, brought by the Santa Fe district attorney. He pleaded not guilty, and the initial charges were dismissed in April of that year after it was concluded that further examination of the weapon was required. However, the district attorney had indicated the possibility of refiling the charges.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer responsible for the weapons on the “Rust” set, has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

If convicted, Baldwin could be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison.

KOAT 7 News smacks MLG with fact-check of ‘State of the State’ speech

Far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent State of the State address covered her radical 2024 legislative priorities, including snatching guns from law-abiding citizens and dunking more money into the state’s failing education system. While the governor highlighted several achievements of New Mexico, KOAT 7’s “Target 7” smacked her with a fact-check.

One of the key assertions made by Governor Grisham was about the state’s financial growth. She claimed, “We rank among the top states for financial growth and stability and have grown our permanent fund more than 200 percent.” However, “Target 7 has determined that this statement is mostly false.”

According to U.S. News and World Report’s Best State Ranking, New Mexico is placed 44th in terms of economy, considering factors such as the business environment, labor market, and economic growth. This contradicts the governor’s implication of being among the top states.

UNM economist Reilly White shed further light on this, stating that although New Mexico has made significant advances, it still falls short in several areas. The governor’s office attributed her statement on financial growth to a US Department of Labor report indicating high wage growth in the state last summer.

Regarding New Mexico’s permanent fund, the fund did increase from $23.2 billion in 2018 to $42.9 billion in 2023, marking an 84% rise, not the 200% claimed by the Governor. 

Another claim by Governor Grisham was the improvement in reading scores among students. She said, “Over the last year alone, we saw a 4% statewide increase in reading scores for kids in grades 3 to 8. and an unprecedented 5% increase in reading scores for Native American students.” Target 7 found this statement to be mostly true. New Mexico Public Education Department’s report confirmed a 4% increase in reading proficiency, rising from 34% to 38%. However, the increase for Native American students was 3%, not 5%. The changing testing metrics also likely led to increased numbers. 

Governor Grisham also addressed the issue of child fatalities due to guns, stating, “Right now, the leading cause of death for our children is guns.” But Target 7 wrote, “A little less than a year ago, the New Mexico Department of Health released its child fatality report. It says unintentional injury was the leading cause of death among New Mexico children, accounting for more than 36% of all deaths. The report defines unintentional deaths as motor vehicle crashes; drowning deaths; unintentional overdose or poisoning and fire-related deaths. That would also include unintentional gun deaths – but it doesn’t state how many were caused by firearms. Suicide was the second leading cause.” 

While the governor’s address highlighted her far-left legislative priorities, KOAT 7’s fact-check shows the governor’s issue with the truth. 

Vasquez’s ties to pro-Palestinian extremists revealed

In a recent development that has sparked widespread debate, Democratic politician Gabe Vasquez has been linked to radical pro-Palestine groups, raising questions about his political alliances and beliefs. This connection surfaced following the discovery of Vasquez’s participation in a 2018 rally, where he was photographed speaking in front of a poster bearing the slogan, “From Palestine to Mexico, all walls gotta go.” This phrase has become a controversial rallying cry for various advocacy groups that are critical of immigration policies and Israel’s actions in Palestine. 

The slogan has a history of association with extreme advocacy groups and has been notably used in protests against U.S. immigration policies and in demonstrations against Israel. It made appearances in 2017 during airport protests, at UC Santa Barbara, and was prominently chanted at a 2016 protest outside the AIPAC Policy Conference. The recent resurgence of the slogan, especially in light of the latest Palestine-Israel conflict, has been evident at events such as the disruption of Anthony Blinken’s Capitol Hill hearing, a march in Washington DC, and a Baltimore Harbor Christmas Village event.

The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), known for its strong criticism of Israel, has been credited with popularizing this rallying cry. The USCPR has made several controversial statements, labeling Israel as an apartheid state and accusing it of genocide and occupation.

Other radical and antisemitic groups have also used the slogan. Code Pink, a Left-wing international advocacy group, has utilized similar phrasing in their discussions of the Gaza security fence and the Mexico border wall. United We Dream, a youth-led organization, has echoed the sentiment on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

Amid these revelations, questions arise regarding Vasquez’s stance. Does he align with these radical groups and their advocacy against securing the southern border?

National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman Delanie Bomar commented on the matter, saying, “Whether it’s supporting open borders, defunding law enforcement, or rallying behind antisemitic causes, there’s always a new radical low for Gabe Vasquez. His extremism is out of control, and he’s massively out of step with hardworking, commonsense New Mexicans.”

This controversy emerged just days after Vasquez downplayed the significance of border issues, prompting CNN anchor John Berman to challenge his perspective. In addition, Vasquez’s call for a ceasefire in the Palestine-Israel conflict aligns him with other groups labeled as extreme. His previous statements regarding the southern border crisis and efforts to secure the border have been contentious.

With a recent influx of 302,000 illegal immigrants crossing the southern border in December, which directly affects Vasquez’s district, these connections and his past remarks have become a focal point of concern and discussion.

MLG praises ‘brave’ rioters after thrice being interrupted by racist chants

In Santa Fe on Tuesday, far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered the State of the State address outlining her legislative agenda. This agenda includes a few measures to combat violent crime, enhance public education, expand affordable housing, and tackle “climate change” and drought issues while snatching New Mexicans’ gun rights. The speech coincided with the commencement of a 30-day legislative session focused on allocating a budget surplus for the next fiscal year.

During the address, Governor Lujan Grisham proposed embedding specialists in underperforming schools to boost student support, addressing the state’s educational challenges. She emphasized the need for accountability in the use of funds allocated for public education to improve outcomes.

Protests disrupted the session three times, shouting about climate change and shouting the antisemitic chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” interrupting official proceedings. They were all escorted out, but not without Lujan Grisham applauding them for their “brave” protest while saying, “That takes courage.” 

The governor also mentioned she wants $170 million for energy storage projects, including batteries, geothermal electricity, and hydrogen fuel. This comes amid expectations of a record $13 billion state income for the upcoming fiscal year.

Democrat leaders in the state legislature have proposed a moderate 5.9% increase in general fund spending, prioritizing sustainable government programs and cautioning against overreliance on fluctuating oil and gas revenues, despite legislation passed by the Legislature in the last few years to cripple the oil and gas industry.

Gov. Lujan Grisham, however, is advocating for a more substantial spending increase, with plans including a $500 million housing initiative and a $40 million program to combat homelessness.

The governor also highlighted her anti-gun agenda, including extending background check wait periods, regulating “assault-style rifles,” and raising the minimum age for purchasing semiautomatic rifles and shotguns to 21.

In response to “climate change” concerns, the governor proposed tax incentives for electric vehicle purchases and the development of alternative water sources from the byproducts of oil and gas drilling.

Trump’s amazing Iowa performance triggers Melanie Stansbury

In a striking display of political momentum, 45th President Donald Trump has decisively dominated the Iowa caucuses, outpacing his nearest GOP rival by over 30 points. This commanding lead has not only cemented the Republican primary landscape but has also sent shockwaves across the political spectrum for far-left Democrats, stirring reactions from various quarters, including New Mexico Democrat U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury of the First District.

Stansbury, known for her extreme progressive viewpoint, expressed significant concern following Trump’s overwhelming victory in Iowa. Her reaction mirrors the broader apprehension among progressives, who view Trump’s resurgence as a challenge to their policy goals and a potential shift in the national political dialogue.

“Donald Trump is the biggest threat to our democracy. We must beat him in November,” wrote Stansbury, proceeding to beg for campaign donations following the massive victory by the 45th President.

Trump’s triumph in Iowa is more than a mere numerical victory; it’s a potent symbol of his enduring influence within the Republican Party and his ability to mobilize a substantial voter base. His more than 30-point lead over competitors like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is a testament to his continued appeal among GOP voters, despite the controversies and debates surrounding his presidency and subsequent political activities.

For progressives like Stansbury, Trump’s performance in Iowa is a call to action. It highlights the need for unity and strategic planning within the Democratic Party to counter the Trump-led Republican momentum. The far-left factions, in particular, see this as an imperative moment to reassess their positions and strategies in anticipation of a potential Trump candidacy in the 2024 presidential race.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who claimed to be one of the two “America First” candidates in the race, called it quits shortly after Trump’s victory.

ABQ nightmare — young child’s death reveals horrifying abuse

​​The state of New Mexico, and particularly its city of Albuquerque, has recently been grappling with a disturbing increase in violent crimes, a situation highlighted by a harrowing incident involving the abuse and subsequent death of a three-year-old girl. This tragic case not only underscores the growing concern over crime in the region but also brings to light the complex web of issues, including domestic violence and child abuse, that law enforcement agencies must navigate.

In a recent distressing event, the Albuquerque Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU) was compelled to take action following the death of a young girl. The investigation led to the arrest of four adults, including the mother of the deceased child. The suspects, who had recently migrated from Massachusetts to New Mexico, were found to have a history of violence in other states. This incident points to a larger pattern of violence migrating across state lines, contributing to the safety concerns in New Mexico.

Kerri Anne Santos, a 33-year-old mother, presented a chilling narrative when she arrived at the University of New Mexico Hospital with her three children, one of whom was already deceased. Santos claimed that after leaving Massachusetts and traveling through New Mexico, she noticed her daughter was unwell. According to her account, the child sustained injuries after falling from a toilet at a gas station. However, the hospital staff quickly recognized signs of foul play and alerted the authorities.

Upon examination, the child was found to have multiple bruises and ligature marks indicative of abuse. This prompted a thorough investigation by the APD’s Crimes Against Children detectives. The involvement of law enforcement in Massachusetts revealed a troubling history of domestic violence and concerns about Santos using drugs in the presence of her children.

Further investigation unraveled a more sinister scenario. Two other adults, Christina Hopkins Pena-Cantor and her son, Austin Bing, along with James Welch, were implicated in the case. It was discovered that these individuals, together with Santos and her children, had been staying at Welch’s residence in Albuquerque. Alarming details emerged, including allegations of the children being sexually molested and the deceased child being bound with shoelaces.

This case is not isolated in its severity or nature in New Mexico. The state has witnessed a series of violent crimes, contributing to a growing sense of unease among its residents. From domestic disputes escalating into fatalities to incidents of child abuse culminating in tragedy, the pattern of violence in New Mexico paints a grim picture.

The collaborative efforts of various agencies, including CYFD, the Office of the Medical Investigator, University of New Mexico social workers, All Faiths Safehouse, the District Attorney’s Office, and the FBI, were instrumental in responding to this case. Their involvement highlights the multifaceted approach needed to address such complex and deeply rooted social issues.

The arrest warrants issued for Santos, Pena-Cantor, Bing, and Welch signify a step toward justice for the young victim. However, this incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle against crime in New Mexico and the need for concerted efforts to safeguard the most vulnerable members of society.

Lujan Grisham’s anti-gun attempts again make national news

New Mexico’s far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is intent on yanking guns from law-abiding citizens, is again making national headlines for her screeds against guns.

“The constitutionality questions are beginning to be very complicated in the arena of gun violence,” Lujan Grisham said at a press conference Friday, which was reported on the front page of Fox News on Saturday. The far-left governor added, “We are going to continue this effort, following what is going on around the country.”

“There will be others who will follow in our footsteps, creating their own public safety corridors, which in effect also make New Mexicans safer,” she said of her rabidly anti-Second Amendment proposals.

According to the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association, the governor wants to bring forward the following during the upcoming 30-day session.

  • A semi-automatic rife ban modeled after the failed federal proposal from Senator Heinrich
  • Banning the carrying of firearms in parks, playgrounds, and near polling places
  • Raising the age limit to purchase firearms to 21
  • A 14-day waiting period when purchasing a gun
  • Expanding New Mexico’s “red-flag” gun confiscation law (HB27)
  • Making it easier to sue gun manufacturers and retailers

On the other side, Republicans are launching pro-Second Amendment proposals, including Rep. Stefani Lord’s bill to create tax incentives for buying firearm safes, Rep. Block’s proposals to institute constitutional carry and reduce gross receipts taxes on guns and ammunition, as well as other proposals to incentivize gun safe ownership.

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