Opinion

We need candidates to run for the Legislature — Here’s how!

New Mexico is at a crisis point where the most extreme far-left proposals are being rammed through the legislature, as we saw some this session to hike gas prices, force us to wait a full week to make a simple gun purchase, and so many others. 

Republicans fought hard for your rights this legislative session, as we did last year, but we need more of us to run — and win — to stop the bleeding caused by the other side.

Make sure you are prepared to fight to win in the race you are entering, and it is recommended you talk to leaders in your area to make sure you are the only candidate in the primary so you can win in November against the Democrats. If there is someone else in the primary, make sure you have discussions to make sure you are ready to do what it takes to win both the primary and general elections.

Also, make sure you know what you are signing up for. You will need the flexibility to take off of work each January-March in even years and January-February in odd years. You will attend interim meetings across the state after the legislative session, so be prepared to take off work for those also. Legislators do not make a salary (exclusive of set per diem rates for your hotels, meals, and gas), so take all of these factors into account before you run for office.

So, here is a how-to guide for becoming a candidate for getting on the ballot to run for the Legislature!

What you will need to get started: 

Pick a Treasurer

To begin your campaign, you will need a campaign treasurer. Find someone you know and trust to help you with this. 

Open a CFIS Account

You will need to open a CFIS (Campaign Finance Reporting Information System) account through the Secretary of State’s (SOS) website for your campaign by clicking this link here or by visiting https://login.cfis.sos.state.nm.us/ 

This will be used for reporting campaign contributions. 

The first primary report is due on April 8, 2024, for the reporting period spanning October 3, 2023, to April 1, 2024. All other campaign reporting dates can be found linked here or by visiting https://www.sos.nm.gov/candidate-and-campaigns/how-to-become-a-candidate/campaign-finance-reporting-schedule/ 

Save your Candidate Campaign Committee Registration Form. Print it out. This will be needed later.

Also, while in CFIS, fill out your Financial Disclosure Statement. This will be needed on filing day, so print this out also. 

Get an EIN Number

Your campaign will need an EIN number through the IRS to conduct its activities. Here is a link to the IRS website to apply for that: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online 

Make sure to save your EIN number and, ideally, make a copy of the “success” page affixed with the number for your records. You will need this EIN document in the future. 

Open a Bank Account

Now that you have successfully opened a bank account and a CFIS account, you can now open a bank account. Make sure to bring the official printed documents from the SOS and the IRS to do this. You will need a campaign treasurer to come with you to open the account, or the bank may need them to sign forms remotely if they cannot physically come with you to the bank. I recommend they be there in person.

Once you have your bank information, you will need to enter this into CFIS. 

Gather Signatures 

Now that you have all these steps done, you must register and get your petition signature site up and running. You can do that on the SOS site by clicking here or by going to this link: https://www.electronicpetitions.elections.sos.nm.gov/ 

To get paper signature forms ready, you will need to find the form here (https://www.sos.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/2024-Primary-Statewide-Nominating-Petition_English.pdf) on the SOS website and ensure it is filled in correctly for your campaign with the exact name on your voter registration, the correct home address, the proper county, and the proper office (such as State Representative District __ or State Senate District __). Walk around your neighborhood or disseminate these forms to friends to gather signatures. Note: the form is also available in Spanish here: https://www.sos.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/2024-Primary-Statewide-Nominating-Petition_SPANISH.pdf 

Each district has a different number of signatures required for your race. The required number of signatures you will need to gather is found on pages 31-33 of the SOS candidate guide linked here or found here: https://www.sos.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/2024-Primary-Candidate-Guide.V2-1.pdf 

File for Office

You will file for office at the county clerk’s office in the county where you live. For example, if your residence is in Albuquerque, you will file at the Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office. If your residence is in Rio Rancho, you will file at the Sandoval County Clerk’s Office regardless of how many counties are in your district. 

IMPORTANT: Filing Day is 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on March 12, 2024, and on March 12, 2024 only! It is vital to have all your signatures collected by then and ready to go. Print your online signatures via the tools on the petition portal site and bring in the petitions you have gathered by hand as well. Ensure they add up to ideally 150% of the number required to account for any errors that may exist in the hand-gathered signatures. 

DO NOT BE LATE TO FILING DAY. Getting to the Clerk’s Office as early as possible (9:00 a.m. sharp) is recommended.

Things to Bring to Filing Day

Miscellaneous:

Now that you have completed all of these steps and have all the proper information filed with the county clerk, you should receive a letter from the clerk telling you your filing was successful.

For any questions or concerns about what you need to file or if you have any issues finding any of this information, call the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office at 505-827-3600 (Option 2). 

Dates to know: 

  • March 12, 2024 — Filing Day
  • June 4, 2024 — Primary Election Day
  • April 8, 2024 — First Primary Report Due
  • Early Voting Dates will be found on the local county clerk’s office website. 

I hope this short guide helped you know what you need to begin your run for the Legislature in 2024. Thank you for stepping up to serve New Mexico! 

NOTE: This article is by no means meant to be an all-inclusive guide for getting access to the ballot in 2024. Any and all questions about the process should be directed to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office or your local county clerk. 

John Block serves as state representative for New Mexico House District 51, first elected in 2022. He is also the founder and editor of the Piñon Post. 

All of the worst bills passed during the 30-day legislative session

The 30-day legislative session was a success on many fronts for liberty-minded New Mexicans, with proposals to enact a “Green Amendment,” mandatory paid family and medical leave, and bans on most firearms, among other far-left initiatives not making it across the finish line.

However, some bad legislation seeped through. Here are all the worst bills that got passed during the 2024 Legislative Session. Click the “NEXT” button below to see the list of items:

NM’s ‘climate’ initiatives: addressing ‘JEDI’ in water infrastructure

New Mexico’s recent climate and energy initiatives, including H.B. 9 and the “Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion” (JEDI) program, have drawn attention for their focus on clean energy and decarbonization. While these initiatives may have their merits, concerns have been raised regarding the exclusion of certain organizations and departments from the decision-making process. Additionally, the pressing issue of aging water infrastructure in New Mexico and the wider United States seems to have taken a backseat. This piece delves into these concerns and sheds light on the need for a more inclusive and comprehensive approach to address critical issues. 

Exclusion of New Mexico Organizations and Departments: 

During a committee meeting, it was revealed that many constituents felt excluded from the decision-making process of the JEDI program. This raised questions about the program’s adherence to its own Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies. The dissatisfaction expressed by these constituents highlights the importance of involving all stakeholders and ensuring transparency in the development and implementation of such programs. To build trust and create an inclusive environment, it is crucial for the JEDI program to actively engage with a diverse range of organizations and departments. 

Neglecting Aging Water Infrastructures: 

While the focus on clean energy and decarbonization is top of mind for some legislators, it is equally important not to overlook the pressing issue of aging water infrastructure in New Mexico and across the United States. Failing water infrastructures pose significant risks to public health, environmental sustainability, and economic development. The transfer of energy should not overshadow the urgent need to address these infrastructure challenges. A comprehensive approach that considers both energy and water sectors is necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of New Mexico’s infrastructure. 

Moving Toward a More Inclusive and Comprehensive Approach: 

To address the concerns of exclusion and the oversight of critical issues, it is imperative for New Mexico’s climate initiatives to adopt a more inclusive and comprehensive approach. This involves actively involving all stakeholders, including organizations, departments, and community members, in the decision-making process. Transparency, open dialogue, and collaboration are essential to ensure that diverse perspectives are considered and that the initiatives align with the needs and priorities of the community. 

Furthermore, it is crucial to prioritize the revitalization of aging water infrastructure alongside clean energy efforts. Investing in water infrastructure upgrades and modernization will not only address immediate challenges but also contribute to long-term sustainability and resilience. 

New Mexico’s climate initiatives hold promise for a sustainable future, but they must address concerns of exclusion and the oversight of critical issues. By actively involving all stakeholders and prioritizing the revitalization of aging water infrastructures, the state can create a more inclusive, resilient, and equitable path toward a sustainable future. It is through collaboration and comprehensive planning that New Mexico can truly make a positive impact on both the environment and the well-being of its citizens.

For more information, please click this link and be sure to read the summary of the committee report. Video is provided so that you can review and see for yourself that the JEDI force is not following its own policy and procedures that it makes all other businesses and industries practice. Come stand with us against tyranny.

Paul Spencer is an entrepreneur and community leader from Grants, New Mexico. As the president of the local community public water system, Paul is dedicated to improving access to clean and affordable water for his community. He is the chairman of the Cibola County Republican Party, where he works to build back the political will of the people and promote prosperity in the region.

Opinions expressed by Piñon Post contributors do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at news@pinonpost.com.

Every villain wants the same thing: control

Our family just enjoyed a weekend in Disneyland. We love the Happiest Place on Earth and the opportunity to be lighthearted, spend time together, and play with our granddaughters. On this particular trip, I found myself thinking about how fairy tale storytelling compares to real life.

Does art imitate life, or does life follow art?

One thing that kept coming to my mind is that the villain in every Disney story is seeking to, in some way, control others. The Evil Queen from Snow White wants to take the lives of those who simply want to enjoy the beauty of love, freedom, and happiness. The Wicked Sorcerer wants to enslave or kill those who are simply living their lives. Some of the villains are male, some are female, and others are dragons or even snakes.

Regardless of their form, the one thing they have in common is their desire to control and take something from someone, doing them no harm. I couldn’t help but reflect on how I’ve felt this way at times as a Responsibly Armed Citizen who simply wants to protect and defend what I love.

The people who want to chip away at our freedom to keep and bear arms seek what feels like a similar type of control over your life and mine. Oftentimes, it comes with a “pretty face” or dressed up in some fashion that makes it challenging to disagree. They call it “smart gun laws” or “common sense gun control” and tell you it is “for the children.”  

In the world of Disney and fairytales, the antagonists and adversaries often cast their spells using cleverly worded phrases and rhetoric to trick well-meaning people into mindlessly nodding their heads in agreement. In the same way, those who attempt to restrict gun ownership are like modern-day pied pipers. They siren call their way into the words that spew from the mouths of our favorite Hollywood actors and feisty young politicians. And those of us who haven’t fallen under the spell are oftentimes painted with the brush of being small-minded social outcasts who love our guns more than our children.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, over 2.5 million times each year, lives are saved by people who are responsibly armed. I own and carry firearms for the express purpose of protecting my life and the lives of those I love. In this battle of wits and wills, what are we, the keepers of the truth, to do so that we, too, don’t willingly tie on our own puppet strings and become one of the Rights Restrictors’ bobble-headed marionettes? How do we save our children and our children’s children from drinking the poison of distorted history and protect this generation and the next from climbing down the steep staircase to the dungeon of gun-control lies

To break the spell, simply keep asking (and answering) one little word. “Why?” Why do we have a Constitution? Why did our Founding Fathers include a Bill of Rights? Why do the 27 Words of the Second Amendment include the clause “shall not be infringed”? Why did the very first gun control laws come about? And why are the loudest voices that are trying to restrict your rights to self-protection coming from the very people who have armed security protecting them and their children 24 hours a day? Why, if guns are bad, do these people rely on guns to protect them? Just keep asking why, and you will soon see the smoke and mirrors, half-truths, emotional manipulation, and outright lies begin to vaporize as the phantoms they really are. 

You and I simply want to live the American hope of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We want to build our little cottage, snip off the puppet strings, and live out the promise of a future filled with freedom. It is important to keep our eyes on the North Star of truth so that we, too, do not fall prey to the spells of those who want us to fall into the deep sleep of apathy and who seek to enslave us under their heavy boot of tyranny. We must know the truth and constantly plant the seeds of truth. We must every day take up our shield of wisdom and teach the next generation how to use the sword of truth because the villains are many, the villains are loud, and because every villain wants the same thing: control.

Second Amendment activist Cheryl Todd is a visiting fellow emeritus at the Independent Women’s Forum. Read more about her here.

Vulnerable Vasquez calls in far-left Gov. MLG for last-ditch 2023 fundraising plea

On Saturday, far-left U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, who faces tough reelection odds next November, called in far-left Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to help him rake in last-minute cash ahead of the New Year by appealing to the fringe progressive base.

“Right-wing extremism and petty politics are on the rise, yet Gabe is committed to working across the aisle to vote for common-sense legislation that moves our state/country forward,” wrote Lujan Grisham in a fundraising email, despite Vasquez siding with the far-left on basically everything, including instituting a new land grab in Deming and refusing to vote to help reduce inflation under the Joe Biden regime.

She continued, “Fighting for this amazing state means fighting for progress,” adding, “While his far-right opponent is reliant on extremists like Donald Trump, Mike Johnson, and Kevin McCarthy, we know your support will take him past the finish line and into another term of building progress for New Mexico and America.”

It is unclear why the governor is name-dropping McCarthy, who just quit Congress, but it appears to be a way to fluff up the fringe progressive base in the attempt to drum up cash ahead of 2024. Former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell is running again with the support of all the U.S. House GOP leadership.

Lujan Grisham is woefully unpopular, topping the rankings as one of the least popular governors in America. Those numbers surely worsened when she unilaterally attempted to snatch Bernalillo County and Albuquerque residents’ gun rights via executive order, which a Democrat-appointed judge slapped down.

Now, Vasquez heavily relying on the far-left governor to help him rake in some last-ditch donations appears to be a move toward the unconstitutional governor and her extreme positions on anything from abortion to energy policy.

Lujan Grisham’s 7-member panel votes to limit gas cars in close vote

At the Rio Grande Foundation, we have written extensively about Gov. Lujan Grisham’s disdain for “democracy,” let alone a representative republic, but last night’s (Thursday, November 16) vote by her un-elected EIB takes the cake.

Unsurprisingly, despite overwhelming numbers of New Mexicans in opposition, the SEVEN member Board voted on a mere 3-2 basis (in support) to mandate a drastic increase in the number of EVs sold in New Mexico.  You can find the list of all seven members here while the vote was as follows: Bitzer and Trujillo voted NO, and Ely, Garcia, and Suina all voted YES. Two of the Board’s seven members DID NOT VOTE: Honker and Cates.

In other words, MLG couldn’t even get an outright majority of her un-elected board to support her policy to force cars that New Mexicans don’t want on them. That sets aside inherent biases and conflicts of the members, like Sandra Ely being a paid employee of the Environment Department AND being married to prominent, recently retired environmental attorney Steven Michael.

There are numerous reasons to litigate. We’re confident that lawsuits will arise from this “kangaroo court” in which massive policy changes are initiated by a board acting without as much as a majority of its own membership.

Paul Gessing is the president of the leading free market economic policy think tank and taxpayer watchdog group, the Rio Grande Foundation. This article originally appeared in Errors of Enchantment.

MLG embarrassed liberal politicians and media across the nation

New Mexicans woke up to “Governor announces statewide enforcement plan for violence, fentanyl reduction – Plan includes 30-day suspension of concealed, open carry in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.” 

Santa Fe Democrats didn’t believe suspending concealed and open-carry weapons would end violence in Albuquerque. As Bill Clinton’s buddy Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you thought you could not do before.”  Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s opportunity was to strip New Mexicans of their Second Amendment Rights while propelling her to the national stage.

What could go wrong? It worked with the COVID-19 epidemic. No one complained when she stripped us of our Rights while New Mexico became the worst state for infection rates. No one complained when Albuquerque Mayor Keller stripped us of our Second Amendment rights on our public lands while Albuquerque continued to set records for violent crimes. New Mexicans have had enough of being blamed for their failures.  

MLG was propelled to the national stage, just not in the manner she had hoped for. Her blatant effort to exploit the suffering of Albuquerque residents for her political gains was apparent to even New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation (whose dreams of Presidency went poof). MLG’s future went poof. 

MLG acknowledged that her actions were a boost to the NM GOP (also rehabilitated the NRA reputation) fundraising activities when she wrote on X,” I’m still waiting on a thank-you note from the New Mexico GOP,” MLG ended her post on X by “… using it as an opportunity for immediate action to save New Mexican lives.” The Republican Leaders in the NM Senate and House should accept MLG’s invitation to enact bipartisan legislation that will turn New Mexico into the safest state in the Nation. 

My top five legislative actions to make New Mexico one of the safest states in the Nation.

1) Allow New Mexicans to vote on a new Bail Bond Referendum modeled after the Federal Bail Bond system. 

2) Pass a “Darian Jarrott Three Strike & Your Out Law” that ends New Mexico’s enticement of felons from across the country. 

3)  Pass a “Jackson Weller Felon in Possession of a Firearm Law” that keeps felons arrested for firearm possession behind bars until their trial. 

4) Pass a “Peace Offer Recruitment Law” that compensates Peace Officers who move to New Mexico, restoring Peace Officers’ qualified immunity, and social workers are no longer counted as Peace Officers. 

5) It is time we pass NM Representative Rehm’s “Unlawful Firearms while trafficking” Bill. 

MLG and her Santa Fe Democrats have woken the New Mexican People. The Republican Party has an opportunity to demonstrate they care about the hard-working people of New Mexico, not just a fat bank account. 

Too many days have passed since my last article was sent to you and you deserve an explanation. 

This year, I aimed to finish Backpacking the last sixty miles of the John Muir Trail. The JMT earned its reputation as the nation’s most famous trail for its 8-13,000 elevation, 46,000 feet of ascent, 220 miles long, rough terrain, river crossing, and hazardous weather. That is why half the people who start the JMT finish. Because of where I stopped and restarted when I finished the JMT, I ascended 58,000 feet and hiked 238 miles. Not bad for a lovable old dog. 

This year, deep snow kept the trail closed until the end of July. Then, I scrambled to obtain a permit, purchase supplies, repair damaged equipment (my backpack is 45 years old), and finally train (hiking to the top of the Sandia Tram) with a loaded pack. On my last trip up to the top of the Sandia, I was jogging to keep up with the young bucks (Marion reminded me I am a lovable Old Dog). I tripped, fell, and jammed my back, making continued training and typing my articles nearly impossible. I then concentrated on rehabilitation and keeping up with business. 

I finally felt good enough to move forward to try. This past Friday, I left home for Mammoth, Calif., to finish the last leg of the JMT. The night before entering the JMT, I rechecked the weather. The long-term forecast changed; temperatures dropped by 10-15 degrees, wind chill is now a factor, and snow is possible. The window for finishing the JMT this year closed.  

A landscape with mountains and clouds

I will be back next year to finish the John Muir Trail

Host, “To the Point with Mick Rich.” 2018 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate (NM). Founder & CEO, Mick Rich Contractors. Husband, father, grandfather. Read more from Mick Rich at MickRich.substack.com.

Opinions expressed by Piñon Post contributors do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at news@pinonpost.com.

Dem Party desperately wants us to stop talking about impeaching MLG—we won’t

The Democrat Party of New Mexico (DPNM) has characterized Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s illegal order banning guns and subverting her oath as a mere “policy dispute,” attacking myself and state Rep. Stefani Lord for upholding our oaths by holding her accountable.

DPNM told KOB 4, “New Mexico needs real solutions to take on the public safety issues impacting our communities. Calling for an impeachment over a policy dispute isn’t a real solution,” claiming impeachment was “disrespectful to the people of this state.” Did you hear that, fellow peasants? The New Mexico Democrat Party has spoken!

Oh, but wait… There’s more! Lujan Grisham’s office condescended, “It is unsurprising but disappointing that Republicans in the state are choosing to use this time to orchestrate a political stunt instead of coming up with solutions to protect all New Mexicans. With less than 120 days until the start of the session, now is the time to focus on drafting comprehensive legislation to stem the epidemic of gun violence in the state.”

First and foremost, let us acknowledge that public servants, regardless of their political affiliation, take an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the citizens they serve. 

The actions of Governor Lujan Grisham, particularly her executive order restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens to bear arms and her comments that her oath and our rights are not “absolute,” go way beyond the bounds of a policy dispute. It is a matter of profound concern when public officials abuse their oath and deny citizens their constitutional rights. Breaking one’s oath is an impeachable offense.

DPNM’s sad attempt to downplay these actions as a mere policy disagreement is both disingenuous and dismissive of the gravity of the situation. When a governor takes unilateral action to curtail fundamental rights, it is not a matter of partisan politics; it is an affront to the principles of liberty and democracy that should unite us all.

Governor Lujan Grisham and her allies have flagrantly gaslit the public by venomously spewing the lie that Republicans have no ideas to address the issue of violence in our state. This claim is not only false but serves to polarize our political discourse further, further proving the governor’s deceit and lack of fitness for high office. We, Republicans, have consistently put forward ideas and proposals to address crime and ensure our communities’ safety. 

The GOP sponsored bills to keep violent criminals behind bars, increase sentences for felons who illegally get ahold of firearms and use them in crimes, enhance sentences for trafficking, and the list goes on and on. Each of these tangible and results-based solutions died immediately at the hands of the governor’s allies in the legislature.

Let us not forget that Governor Lujan Grisham has had five years to confront the crime issue in our state. To suggest that this is a sudden crisis that requires emergency measures, such as her recent illegal executive order, is disingenuous at best. It raises the question of why she has yet to prioritize this critical issue earlier in her tenure or at all.

Addressing crime and ensuring the safety of our citizens should always be a top priority for any leader. The people of New Mexico deserve nothing less. Rather than resorting to criminal executive orders, we should be engaging in a constructive dialogue, working collaboratively across party lines to find effective solutions that enhance public safety while respecting our constitutional rights.

The actions of Governor Lujan Grisham are not a matter of mere policy disagreement. They represent a serious breach of trust, an abuse of the oath of office, and a denial of the constitutional rights of our citizens. We must recognize the gravity of these actions and impeach the governor for knowingly violating our rights and her oath. 

To take immediate action to help impeach Gov. Lujan Grisham, please visit ImpeachMLG.com

John Block is the founder and editor of the Piñon Post and is the state representative for New Mexico’s 51st House District in Otero County. John has fought for years for New Mexicans’ constitutional rights and is the primary sponsor of New Mexico’s Constitutional Carry legislation.

Protecting our Constitution from tyranny on Constitution Day

As we celebrate Constitution Day, we are reminded of the enduring wisdom enshrined in this venerable document — a wisdom that has guided our nation through its most challenging moments. Our Constitution, born from the crucible of liberty, represents the embodiment of our Founding Fathers’ vision: a government of, by, and for the people, firmly grounded in the protection of individual rights.

Yet, on this Constitution Day, our Constitution finds itself under an unprecedented threat right here in New Mexico, where Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s wildly illegal executive order—even in its now-edited form — has stripped away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. This egregious overreach is not only an affront to our Constitution but also to the oath Governor Lujan Grisham took to uphold it.

Governor Lujan Grisham’s claim that no Constitutional right is “absolute” should send shivers down the spines of all Americans who value their liberties. It is a dangerous assertion that reveals a concerning disregard for the fundamental principles on which our nation was built. Our Founders understood the importance of protecting these rights as bedrock principles, not mere privileges subject to the whims of government officials. Our rights cannot be signed away by the stroke of a pen.

The Second Amendment, like all constitutional rights, is not a suggestion; it is a right expressly guaranteed to the people. It is the safeguard against tyranny and the assurance of our ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones. The lawless governor’s actions undermine the very essence of our Constitution, and it is our duty to defend it.

State Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) and I are tirelessly working to impeach Gov. Lujan Grisham for her unconstitutional actions. Our efforts should be a beacon of hope for anyone who cherishes the Constitution and the rights it protects. We stand at the threshold of a critical moment where the fate of our Constitution hangs in the balance. Only We The People can protect it.

Now is the time for all lovers of liberty, regardless of party affiliation, to rally behind us and our pursuit of justice. The Constitution is not a partisan document; it is the foundation of our nation, and its preservation is our shared responsibility.

On this Constitution Day, let us recommit ourselves to the timeless principles enshrined in our Constitution. Let us remember that our rights are not subject to the whims of any politician. And let us stand united in support of impeachment efforts against Gov. Lujan Grisham, for the defense of our Constitution is a cause that transcends politics—it is the very essence of our American identity.

To help Rep. Lord and me in this fight, please help our efforts by supporting me here and Rep. Lord here. More information on our impeachment efforts will be released this next week.

John Block is the founder and editor of the Piñon Post and is the state representative for New Mexico’s 51st House District in Otero County. John has fought for years for New Mexicans’ constitutional rights and is the primary sponsor of New Mexico’s Constitutional Carry legislation.

Appraising former Gov. Bill Richardson’s legacy

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has died. While we at the Rio Grande Foundation often disagreed with the former governor, we also had our areas of agreement. Here are a few thoughts on him and his legacy.

Compared to today’s Democrats, Richardson was a moderate. He genuinely seemed to desire economic growth for New Mexico and had a plan (which was fairly successful) to grow NM’s economy. He cut NM’s top income tax rate from 8.2% to 4.9% and reduced capital gains taxes.

Sadly, Richardson ALSO fell into the trap of big government boondoggles. His purchase of a supercomputer was one, but his Rail Runner and Spaceport have been very costly. The RailRunner continues to lose ridership while the Spaceport remains unproven even as Virgin Galactic FINALLY has started manned tourism launches. Subsidies for Eclipse Aviation and Schott Solar also failed to create long-term economic success.  Richardson also laid the groundwork for New Mexico’s costly film subsidies, which have helped film while failing to develop New Mexico’s economy despite hundreds of millions in subsidies.

Richardson was pro-2nd Amendment, especially compared to modern Democrats. He was endorsed by the NRA twice. 

In broader terms, Richardson was a consensus-builder who genuinely tried to represent the entire state, whereas current Gov. Lujan Grisham often ignores rural New Mexico in favor of vote-rich urban areas.

Richardson (gently) reproached Gov. Lujan Grisham for her overly zealous failed COVID lockdown strategy. He also (sagely) pushed NM legislators and Lujan Grisham to avoid raising taxes in the most recent legislative session.

Finally, as with so many other New Mexico politicians, ethical questions abound. Richardson was associated with noted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and missed out on a key role in the Obama Administration due to ethical questions. There is likely a great deal to both of these stories that the public is not aware of, but they highlight deep-seated problems with New Mexico’s political culture and Richardson’s own character.

Paul Gessing is the president of the leading free market economic policy think tank and taxpayer watchdog group, the Rio Grande Foundation. This article originally appeared in Errors of Enchantment.

Opinions expressed by Piñon Post contributors do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at news@pinonpost.com.

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