Opinion

Is Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham a sexual predator?

A sexual harassment allegation is something that can seriously damage one’s career, especially if that individual is serving in an office of public trust, such as the governor of a state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) has been embattled in scandal over alleged sexual misconduct with multiple women on the campaign trail and in his office. Top New York Democrats are calling for his resignation and impeachment.

But in his case, there is no paper trail tying mountains of cash to hush-money payments to accusers to keep them quiet. But that story is much different in New Mexico.

Democrat ex-governor Bill Richardson allegedly made $250,000 in hush-money payments from his campaign to a woman who had threatened to file a sexual harassment suit against him from a bank account in Mexico, according to the New York Times

Richardson was also accused of being involved with pedophilic sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, who trafficked underage girls. According to reports, “a woman claims Jeffrey Epstein directed her to have sex with powerful men, including former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.” 

It is unclear if extremely large hush-money payments of taxpayer funds involved sexual harassment accusations during the Republican Susana Martinez Administration, which amounted to over $1.7 million. But they sure happened. According to KRQE, “Sources say the Risk Management Division paid a group of disgruntled public employees huge sums of money in order to keep alleged compromising information about then Governor Susana Martinez under wraps.” 

Now, Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has admitted to sending $62,500 in hush money payments from her campaign to her former aide, James Hallinan, after he accused her of pouring water over his crotch and then groping him in 2018. As CNN reports, Lujan Grisham claimed just last month to believe Cuomo’s accusers and all sexual harassment accusers in an interview with the Washington Post. She said, “We need to take seriously all these allegations and I’m frankly in that group of elected leaders that you believe the individual. You give real credit and credibility there. If you don’t, we’re re-victimizing brave men and women who come forward.”

It may seem to some that Lujan Grisham is just following in the footsteps of her corrupt predecessors who made large payments to their alleged accusers, some with taxpayer funds and some with campaign cash to keep the scandals out of the press. 

But this is by no means the first time Lujan Grisham has been accused of similar behavior. According to a video made by a man named Eddie Dehart, Lujan Grisham allegedly grabbed his genitals during a birthday party in 2005. 

According to Dehart, attendees of the party were playing pool when Lujan Grisham was alleged to have groped him in front of his then-girlfriend, saying, “you have a man here” after touching his genitals through his clothes.

With other politicians who have been embattled with sexual harassment scandals leaving office in disgrace, such as former Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) who paid off one victim $27,000 to keep quiet, or current Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) who has announced he will not seek re-election, a sexual harassment scandal can destroy a politician’s career if the accusations have merit.

Despite Lujan Grisham’s claims that the groping never happened, payments of tens of thousands of dollars to an accuser are not necessarily something that makes one look innocent, especially as the 2022 elections are right around the corner and Lujan Grisham must battle for her political life. 

Lujan Grisham was previously considered for a cabinet position in the Joe Biden administration but did not receive a post, which may have had something to do with these hush payments to Hallinan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was also considered but also did not receive a post in the administration.

Many have concluded that the alleged behavior of people like Cuomo and others puts them in the “sexual predator” category. A sexual predator “is a person seen as obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically ‘predatory’ or abusive manner.” 

Allegedly groping multiple victims’ crotches on possibly multiple occasions throughout the years may certainly be a sign that even more nefarious sexual activity may have happened in the past by Lujan Grisham. Does such activity make Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham a sexual predator? It depends on what further details may come out regarding other possible instances of sexual deviance. 

Well-meaning liberals are willing to let people die to keep the victim mentality alive

In my life, I have known quite a few liberals. Most of them have seemed to be reasonably nice, caring, well-meaning people. The ones that I have met came from varying backgrounds – poor, moneyed, and everything in between. They seemed to listen to a lot of hard-luck stories and sympathize with the people who tell them. In fact, one thing that many of these kind, well-meaning liberals seemed to have in common is the sense that anyone who has had anything bad happen to them was somehow “victimized” and shared no blame in their unfortunate circumstances. Such unfortunate circumstances; being subjected to “police brutality,” spending time in jail, no job, not making enough money, supposedly being taken advantage of by an evil corporation, evoke a strong emotional response in such people—DO SOMETHING. 

They seem to miss the point that the person without a job hasn’t tried to look for one, the victim of “police brutality” attacked a cop during a traffic stop, that the person in jail robbed a grocery store, and that the person being “taken advantage of” by an “evil corporation” may actually be compensated more in money and benefits than what their own skillset would typically call for. When confronted with such facts, the response of the well-meaning liberal is to shout down anything that would break the self-serving sympathy that they have towards the supposed “victim”; the person whose day they want to heroically save.

In my experience, the solutions that many of these liberals provide are worse than the problem. One person that I knew felt that the solution to a person without a car was to “share” their vehicle with them. That guy is still waiting for his car to be returned, and it has been about twenty years. Another pushed a former employer to convert a closet used for nursing female employees into a bathroom for the transgendered (which upset the well-meaning person who pushed for the copier room to be turned into a closet for nursing female employees). 

These examples are just those enacted by individuals that I have met. Well-meaning liberals who are actually elected to government office come up with even worse solutions to what they perceive to be the most pressing issues of the day: Evil corporation? Form a union and inadvertently chase a good employer away from an otherwise impoverished town. Not making enough money? Universal basic income is the answer. No job? The government will come up with a job that’s “shovel ready.” Incarcerated? Prison reform. Police brutality? Remove qualified immunity.

The liberals who I have known in my life have seemed to have an immense, solemn devotion to a sense of “community.” To your author, a “community” is a group of individuals living within the same geographical area that do their best to respect each other’s space, rights and have a cup of coffee together from time to time. 

In my conversations with some of the liberals who I have met in my lifetime, a “community” is an entity that just … is. The “community” has a garden, shares everything, never says anything that could possibly be considered offensive to even a skunk, and is just generally nice, accepting, and inclusive* to anyone and everything. The individual is immaterial to the community and a sense of individuality is a potential threat. 

While harmless at artist colonies, Trader Joe’s, Subaru dealerships, and California, nothing is more dangerous than a well-meaning liberal wielding a gavel. This has never been more apparent than in the recent legislative activity popping up in state legislatures across our Republic in the aftermath of multiple instances of alleged “police brutality” and the resulting “peaceful” protests. New Mexico’s Dear Leader (Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham) just signed New Mexico H.B. 4 into law. In a nutshell, this law strips law enforcement and “other” government officials* of qualified

immunity at the state level. This means that individuals who feel “victimized” by the actions of a law enforcement or public safety officer can sue the offending agency for cash and prizes. While the bill purports to not assign personal liability to the law enforcement or public safety officer (like a similar bill signed into law in Colorado), the taxpayers are still on the hook for the payment of claims, and small, rural government agencies could face economic ruin in the near future.

Living part-time in the small mountain community of Timberon, the idea of the Timberon VFD going bankrupt or not being able to attract volunteers is a grave concern. It’s like this: Imagine we have a terrible forest fire in a couple of years. In fighting the fire, the VFD has to make FAST decisions as to what properties may be saved from the fire and which properties the VFD simply cannot afford to lend resources to while considering their overall strategy in fighting the fire. 

While the fire may be put out, some residents aren’t going to be happy that the VFD didn’t save their homes. New Mexico H.B. 4 allows for such aggrieved property owners to sue the VFD to redress their state of victimhood.

Another thing that “well-meaning” liberals have in common: They don’t like to participate in an honest discussion about the potential drawbacks to their “solutions.” The media is complicit in this as it seems to gloss over the impact that H.B. 4 will have on state and local agencies that do not have law enforcement duties. This is dishonest, and frankly, dangerous.

People have the right to know—completely and transparently—the impact that a law such as H.B. 4 may have. Preferably before a rural VFD or EMS agency is forced to close its doors due to a litigious resident and is unable to answer a call for a rural resident suffering a heart attack or to fight a forest fire.

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.

Mayhill VFD and EMS: ‘NM Civil Rights Act’ is the final straw for NM’s volunteer fire and EMS depts.

What if you called 911 and no one answered? That will start to happen very soon in rural New Mexico.

Volunteer fire and EMS (Emergency Services) departments are the one place where political parties, religious differences, and racial and age biases all disappear. We are family, and we need and depend on each other for the good of our communities. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed H.B. 4, the “Civil Rights Act” into law this week. It has the potential to shut us down and close our doors. Qualified immunity is not just a bad cop issue; it is a huge issue in so many other areas. In the fire service, fire officers make huge decisions almost daily that affect human life, safety, and due process based on the deprivation of life and property, secured rights in the New Mexico Bill of Rights. 

Our training helps, but the rapid, explosive, and unpredictable nature of fire and having only the information available at that time make these decisions difficult. On wildfires, firefighters often have to write off homes and other structures for the greater good at that time. Some homes are defendable, and some are not. Sometimes we may make the right decision and know it is the responsible thing to do, yet you may not feel that way if it is your home. Qualified immunity prevents frivolous, groundless, and costly lawsuits against public servants. If a public officer has truly committed a criminal act today, they still face prosecution, and the qualified immunity defense cannot be used. 

New Mexico’s fire service is 88.6% volunteer. We get sued because we did not save their home, we were not there fast enough, we allegedly made the “wrong” decision (under the constitutional right of “safety”), we did not let that repeat convicted felon become a member, someone posted something online, etc. 14% of all firefighter lawsuits fall under civil rights violations, most are alleged denial of due process based on the deprivation of life or property.  

We have used the qualified immunity defense on numerous occasions. Without qualified immunity, we can see a huge exodus of our volunteer firefighters, especially our invaluable, most knowledgeable fire officers. Some say that under H.B. 4, a person can only sue the entity that a person works for and not the individual. However, suppose a judge or jury without adequate knowledge deems that a firefighter did not make the right decision despite their training, despite the explosiveness of the situation, and in spite of their very best intentions to consider life and structure safety. In that case, that firefighter will face civil suits as well. 

We have consulted five attorneys regarding the result of losing qualified immunity for our volunteer firefighters. Two attorneys told us that the entity we represent could come back on the individual to recoup their losses. Who would risk all they have and all they have volunteered to be sued by someone who thinks they have been wronged and denied their rights or privileges? Even if a volunteer firefighter or fire department is found not negligent or not guilty, we will have to spend hours upon hours in depositions, in a court judged by our peers, and in the production of evidence. 

Dealing with these extremely stressful lawsuits will take more time away from our paid employment and our family, even though we are volunteering night and day already. Some of our most valuable volunteer fire personnel spend 20-60 hours a week serving Mayhill VFD/EMS. Volunteer fire departments have the same responsibilities as paid departments along with our calls: NFIRS reports, NMEMSTARS reports, ISO evaluations, training, meetings, station maintenance (MVFD has four stations), vehicle maintenance, recruit training, policy creation, personnel files, inventory, budgets, purchase requisitions, and bids, etc. 

Volunteer departments have a further task: that of recruiting personnel. It is a constant issue. We always need more. Lawsuits wear on personnel. Their effects are lingering. Everyone will be hesitant to respond to critical calls, wondering if this is a situation that might lead to a lawsuit. We will have a very difficult time finding anyone willing to become an officer and a harder time recruiting new personnel.

The same goes for our volunteer EMTs.  59.1% of all of the EMTs in New Mexico are volunteers. We are sued on occasion and are saved from sue-happy citizens by qualified immunity. We have alleged HIPAA violations. We have triage situations and have to make the best decisions we can as to who we can save and who we cannot. We also legally have to stay with a patient until we can hand them off to someone of equal or higher medical qualifications. Often, it makes us look uncaring when we are only doing our job. Believe us, we care. 

Often, we are asked to “stage” before going into a scene because of the danger involved. This leads to a delay in medical attention and opens EMTs to lawsuits. Again, without qualified immunity, we think there will be a mass exodus of these volunteer EMTs who will fear and most likely face civil suits if QI is lost. None of us can afford the legal fees of a civil suit, even if we are found not guilty. None of us can afford to repay the entity we serve if they come after us personally for all or part of the damages they had to pay, as one attorney advised could happen.

We talked amongst ourselves at our general Zoom meeting last week. Most indicated they would definitely consider leaving the fire and EMS service if H.B. 4 became law. Well, it did. Currently, Mayhill VFD/EMS is one of the largest fire departments (45 members) and EMS departments (12 EMTs) in the Sacramento Mountains. While most volunteer EMTs have quit during the pandemic, Mayhill EMS responds to our district and 5 others. What a shame to tear apart a strong, vital service to rural New Mexico due to H.B. 4. New Mexico, in general, will be much less safe and even more underserved since H.B. 4 is now law. 

In order to retain our firefighters and EMTs, Mayhill VFD is currently looking into purchasing individual liability insurance that covers our firefighters and EMTs in numerous areas, including civil rights lawsuits and civil suits. We asked the New Mexico Interim Fire Marshall (the one who never came to the table for the fire departments of New Mexico). The Marshall responded, “not in my job description or job duties,” as we sat stunned. If we would even be allowed to use state fire funds for this, and he is looking into it and has not gotten us an answer, even after three weeks. 

This much we know: it will be extremely expensive. Without qualified immunity, we are getting quotes between $1000 to $5000 an individual per year. Look at Mayhill VFD’s numbers. To protect our volunteers, even if we only insured our officers and most active firefighters, it will cost from $25,000 to $125,000 a year. We will then have to purchase separate insurance for our EMTs at the same rate, costing Mayhill VFD another $12,000 to $60,000 a year. To put this into perspective, Mayhill VFD serves a fire district of 150 sq. miles. 

We have four aging stations (built 1971-1982) in need of constant maintenance. We have a fleet of three wildland trucks (cost of $130,000 to $200,000 each), four structure trucks (cost of $200,000 to $400,000 each), one medical rescue (cost to Otero County of more than $100,000), four command/troop carrier vehicles (cost of $1500-$3,000 each; bought used from GSA), all needing constant costly repair and maintenance. 

Mayhill EMS receives between $5,000-$6,000 a year from the New Mexico EMS Bureau to run our EMS services. The insurance on our 12-lead monitor and keeping our medical unit stocked takes more than this amount yearly. To replace our gurney in today’s market would cost $33,000. Our heart monitor is almost the same amount. To supply our EMTs with jump bags to respond quickly to a scene before the unit gets there costs about $1500 each. AEDs are $1500 each, with one on every fire unit as well. And then we still need to pay for the ever-valuable training and sometimes travel for each of our 12 EMTs. 

So, where does Mayhill VFD get this money? Some come from our ever-dwindling ¼% funds ($27,000-$30,000 a year); we write grant after grant. And then our members hold fundraisers. On the fire side of this, Mayhill VFD received $172,433 this year. Out of that, we pay utilities on the four stations; buy structural, wildland, and hazmat PPE, firefighting equipment, repair trucks, purchase new trucks, pay insurance, replace septic systems, and much more. If one looks at our allocation, buying a fire unit of any kind takes good, sound financial management and planning. Volunteer fire departments write grants, save and save, and then more often than not, take out loans. Yes, your local volunteer departments are in debt already. Let’s start taking out more from our budgets, as in our case, $37,000-$185,000 for individual liability insurance, if we are allowed. 

The passage of this bill further cements the lack of respect that the New Mexico Legislature has shown to volunteer firefighters. Currently, if a volunteer firefighter serves his or her community night and day in a high-risk environment for 10-24 years, he or she receives $125 a month in retirement. Legislators receive almost $11,000 a year with only ten years of partial service. 

Like some legislators, Mayhill VFD has volunteer firefighters and EMTs with doctoral and master’s degrees. We have career firefighters and retired career firefighters who go on to volunteer for 10-25 years. We have professional nurses in our EMS corps. We are dedicated citizens who genuinely serve our communities. Now, we are laid bare with no legal protection.

Thus, to deny volunteer firefighters qualified immunity while retaining immunity for the legislators, the judges, and the select others is another show of disrespect the New Mexico Legislature has for volunteer firefighters and EMTs and all who serve in the other public service professions. If it is such a great idea, why did the legislators retain their immunity? 

What is good for the goose should be good for the gander. It is saying to us, “You be good, but I don’t have to be.” Are we not guaranteed equal protection under the law? The New Mexico Civil Rights Act can have far-reaching negative results for all of New Mexico. Governor Lujan Grisham: you now need to recall this law.

An Easter Sunday reflection on Gov. Lujan Grisham’s hostility toward people of faith

Today is Easter Sunday, and although the strict COVID-19 restrictions from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham have been slightly amended, New Mexico remains one of the six states on “advisory” status, one of the few with mandatory mask mandates, and some businesses still shuttered.

On Holy Saturday 2020, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made a proclamation that all in-person Easter church services of five or greater were banned, effectively stopping New Mexicans from attending church on Easter Sunday. 

She said she wanted to make “absolutely clear that mass gatherings of any type are not permitted in houses of worship.” She continued, “We know that you want to practice your faith, as you should. But this year we must remember that home is holy. The best thing you can do for your community is to stay there.”

Gov. Lujan Grisham had completely shuttered church services on a state level, however, abortion clinics were allowed to stay wide open, despite health concerns.

Then, on Easter, the Governor made a “proclamation” from the Governor’s mansion, writing on Twitter, “This Easter, home is the holy place. I expect all New Mexicans to stay safe by staying home to celebrate, not gathering with friends and family. Together, we will have a safe and happy Easter – by staying apart. BUT tell the kids not to worry: the Easter Bunny is essential!” 

She “expected” New Mexicans to just throw their faith out the door to comply with her mandates. Throughout the lockdowns, the Governor’s religious persecution continued.

Then in May, on Mother’s Day, Gov. Lujan Grisham sent out her State Police to serve a cease and desist order to Truth or Consequences pastor, Dr. Caleb Cooper.

“Here’s a notice that we need to get through, and it’s a cease and desist order,” said the officer serving the order. When Cooper asked why he was being served the order, the officer responded, “for violating the public health order,” citing the May 2nd church service held at the church.

Pastor Jeff Carr of Mesa Baptist Church in Rio Rancho was told by the Governor’s Office that while in-person services were prohibited, he could still hold “online services, drive-in services where people remain in the car with their windows rolled up… or listen to a radio service, honk their horns for ‘Amen!’ and so on.”

But others fought back, such as Legacy Church in Albuquerque which sued the state and remained under scrutiny by the Governor and the liberal media for living out their faith through fellowship in their church.

Las Cruces Bishop Peter Baldacchin instructed his diocese that “While it is true that we need to take every reasonable precaution to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, it is equally true that we offer the greatest ‘essential service’ to our people. The past few weeks have brought to light many unintended consequences of the ‘stay-at-home’ order.” 

This Easter, the struggles still remain, with the Faithful being instructed by the Governor to “celebrate safely” and important traditions such as the pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó are being prohibited. But people of faith are not backing down, and should never forget Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s hostility toward them. New Mexico is a state founded upon faith and its people have proven they will not take kindly to persecution.

A walk of faith is not a ‘super spreader,’ despite what the Archdiocese of Santa Fe says

This year, just as last year, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe bowed down to calls from the far-left demanding the cancellation of everything from church service to outdoor walks of faith, meant to be a pilgrimage–a sacrifice–to honor Jesus Christ’s ultimate payment for our sins on the Cross. Of course, they demanded these cancellations due to “COVID-19.”

In typical fashion, per usual with the Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, which unfortunately remains mostly limp and actionless in the face of true struggle (such as fights against abortion and assisted suicide), decided to cancel the annual pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó–“no doubt the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States,” described as the “Lourdes of America.”

“Since the pandemic is still with us and we do not want to invite the spread of the Coronavirus via super spreader event like a pilgrimage with tens of thousands of people, the El Santuario de Chimayó will be closed on Good Friday,” the church wrote on its Facebook page. “We are sorry that it has to be this way, but we’re hoping next year will allow for a return to the beloved pilgrimage as in the past.”

Not only did the church forbid visiting the sacred site itself, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe “strongly discouraged” people from even walking to El Santuario de Chimayó and a similar trek to Tome Hill Park in Los Lunas

El Santuario de Chimayó is a venerable place of worship for centuries, with incredible stories of faith bringing forth healing. According to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, “El Santuario has been a place of worship from the beginning – a place to pray, to thank, to ask, to meditate and to experience peace of mind as well as of body.” 

Here is an excerpt from the history of the church, per the Archdiocese:

One tradition recalls that during Holy Week on the night of Good Friday, Don Bernardo Abeyta, who was a member in good standing of the Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jes6s el Nazareno (Penitentes) was performing the customary penances of the Society around the hills of El Potrero. Suddenly he saw a light springing from one of the slopes of the hills near the Santa Cruz River. Don Bernardo went to the spot and noticed that the shining light was coming from the ground. He started to dig with his bare hands, and there he found a Crucifix. He left it there and called the neighbors to come and venerate the precious finding. A group of men was sent to notify the priest, Fr. Sebastian Alvarez at Santa Cruz.

Upon hearing the extraordinary news, the priest and people set out for Chimayo. When they arrived at the place where the Crucifix was, Fr. Sebastian picked it up and carried it in a joyful procession back to the church. Once in the church, the Crucifix was placed in the niche of the main altar. The next morning, the Crucifix was gone, only to be found in its original location. A second procession was organized and the Crucifix was returned to Santa Cruz, but once again it disappeared, The same thing happened a third time. By then, everyone understood that El Sefior de Esquipulas wanted to remain in Chimayo, and so a small chapel was built.

So, if such spiritual healing and miracles have taken place here at El Santuario de Chimayó, then why now cower in fear, in a time when such miraculous healing and prayer by the Faithful are needed now more than ever? Especially pilgrimages which are done OUTSIDE IN THE FRESH AIR--the absolute safest place to be during a pandemic.

Despite the church being shuttered by the Archdiocese, New Mexicans searching for healing made and are making the journey to El Santuario De Chimayó anyway, many searching for healing. 

Danielle Lovato, who was interviewed with her husband by the Santa Fe New Mexican says, “I decided that in order for me to get through this journey in this chapter in my life that I need to get my faith as strong as it can be.” She continued, “And I did one treatment, and before that one treatment we walked from the exact same place — and my treatment went well.” 

“Lovato and her husband walked again Wednesday, the day before her second chemotherapy appointment. She said after a four-hour treatment Thursday she felt great and was able to play with her son, crediting it to her strong relationship with God,” reports the New Mexican

“I believe it’s the perfect time for people to reflect on God and how great [He] is,” said Lovato. “This pandemic was very scary, and here we are a year later and it’s all thanks be to God.”

Others from across New Mexico and the world have refused to shut down and be scared along with the so-called “leadership” of the Catholic Church in New Mexico. Despite what Archbishop Charles Wester or any other such man of the cloth may use to justify the hollow stance, the Faithful will keep on walking in their faith and in their actions to honor Jesus Christ, the savior of the world this Easter.

NM oil producer speaks out against GOP CD-1 candidate who voted for MLG’s ‘Green New Deal’

The following letter was sent from oil and gas producer Roy Ables to the New Mexico Republican State Central Committee members ahead of Saturday’s vote on the GOP nominee for the First Congressional District to replace Democrat former Rep. Deb Haaland:

My name is Ray Ables. I own and operate a New Mexico oil and gas business called Pace Oil Field Services.

I’m writing to you today because one of the Republican candidates for the 1st District, Senator Mark Moores, voted for the New Mexico Green New Deal, also known as the “Energy Transition Act.”

I don’t believe our party should nominate a candidate who supports legislation like this that puts our New Mexico oil and gas industry at risk.

Let me explain the damage caused to our industry by this legislation that was pushed so hard by Michelle Lujan Grisham and the radical left. Oil and gas provides 40% of our state’s budget, thousands of jobs, and of course, affordable energy for our families. But the Energy Transition Act requires that New Mexico fully transition AWAY from oil and gas. 

As Daniel Turner, Executive Director of Power the Future, wrote for Fox News: “this destructive law is essentially a hidden carbon tax and will threaten the jobs of thousands of energy workers, raise utility rates, cut state revenue, and make green energy companies rich at the taxpayers’ expense.” You can read Turner’s full op-ed here: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/daniel-turner-stealth-version-of-aoc-green-new-deal-now-the-law-in-new-mexico-voters-be-damned.

It’s no secret that New Mexico’s economy is one of the worst in the nation. And destroying oil and gas – the industry that keeps our state afloat – in the name of promoting “green energy,” is the worst possible policy decision. The fact that Senator Moores voted for Gov. Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Green New Deal should be disqualifying in this race.

We need to send someone to DC who will fight for New Mexico jobs and stand up to the radical Democrats who will push Green New Deal legislation that will negatively impact New Mexico. If this vote is any indication, Mark Moores will be no different than Deb Haaland.

Thank you for your time, and for the sake of New Mexico’s oil and gas workers and the future of our state, I ask you to take this information into consideration ahead of your vote on Saturday. 

Respectfully,

Ray Ables

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.

Red to green: No matter what ‘color’ your county is, never forget MLG locked you down

On Wednesday, many restaurants, shops, and other small businesses celebrated the shift from “red” (meaning nearly completely locked down) counties to less harsh yellow, turquoise, and green reopening statuses. With Wednesday’s announcement, not a single new Mexico county is in the “red.”

However, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (MLG) should not be thanked for these counties’ reopening plans. After all, MLG is the one who locked down the state to the harshest criteria in the nation throughout the pandemic, with sporadic reopening and then reclosing plans, which led to thousands of New Mexico small businesses going under–for good.

Lujan Grisham kept on changing the goalposts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, repeatedly refusing to ease restrictions despite her supposed plan.

During the heat of the pandemic, Lujan Grisham shuttered businesses and demanded citizens comply with her COVID-19 restrictions. However, once Black Lives Matter and Antifa terrorists began marching in the streets and burning down businesses, she applauded them despite their refusal to obey her restrictions on mass gatherings, with many maskless protesters. 

Instead of reprimanding these people, she applauded their efforts, which undoubtedly helped spread COVID-19 to more New Mexicans. “This is a violation of the mass gatherings, no doubt, but we’re just going to take a leap of faith in protecting protesters who have no other way, quite frankly. Right? There’s no other way to be seen, to be heard, to be respected, and to be clear about your message,” she said.

Before Lujan Grisham’s color-coded lockdown, New Mexicans were subjected to arbitrary “benchmarks,” which she and advisor Dr. David Scrase repeatedly changed on a dime. Then, citizens were subjected to Lujan Grisham’s red, yellow, and green system. Then, she changed her three-color system to a four-color system, adding “turquoise.” 

Now, with New Mexico’s neighboring states reopening, Scrace says, “I get the natural tendency to wonder why we can’t be like them.” However, New Mexico remains shuttered, even at the “green” and “turquoise” levels, New Mexicans are mandated to wear masks, observe “social distancing,” and avoid mass gatherings. 

The Governor is trying to normalize strict lockdowns as the norm in New Mexico. Even at the green level, our state is bleeding cash and losing people to other states where the government is not hostile to businesses merely trying to make ends meet.  

Never forget that Michelle Lujan Grisham locked New Mexico down and crippled countless small businesses in the process. Her hypocritical “leadership” through COVID-19 has caused mass confusion, is responsible for thousands of deaths (including suicides) and is the single person to blame for our state’s bleak economic outlook. Do I even have to mention her jewelry buying spree at a shuttered business and her $200 per pound Wagyu steak dinners on the backs of the taxpayers through the “discretionary” slush fund?

Never forget what she did to you during COVID-19, and if you still are thinking about voting for her, then you are as lost as she is. 

The government prohibited Denny Stong from defending himself

Ten people, including a Boulder police officer, were killed in a shooting at the King Soopers supermarket in Boulder on Monday, March 22. One of the victims was Denny Stong.

I knew Denny. I was planning to attend an event with him at the beginning of May. He was 20, and his life was tragically cut short. His death is a catastrophic loss for his family, his friends, and his community.

This young man was also looking to obtain a concealed carry permit from the State of Colorado. Unfortunately, Denny was too young: Colorado requires permit holders to be 21 years of age to be issued a concealed handgun carry permit.

I blame the gunman for Denny’s death. But I also blame the government and Kroger Company for leaving him defenseless.

Denny and I recently connected through our mutual love of history. Our joint fascination with the American Civil War led us to work toward historical preservation in Colorado and the Southwest together. We had plans to make a presentation to the public at a museum event in May.

An ardent supporter of the Second Amendment, one of his last public Facebook posts was his birthday fundraiser for the National Foundation for Gun Rights, an advocacy group that works to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners.

Americans want to be able to defend themselves. In fact, first-time gun ownership is on the rise. Coupled with a study from the Cato Institute with the conclusion that crime rates decrease when concealed carry laws are enacted, Americans have proven they can defend themselves responsibly.

Policies and discrimination stand in their way. Our laws and Kroger Company employment regulations disarmed Denny.

The 21 year age requirement not only serves no purpose, but it has been costly, as with the case of Denny. Plenty of military men and women train with firearms every day, and many of those personnel are under 21. The Defense Manpower Data Center, responsible for Department of Defense data management, reports that over 19% of active-duty military personnel are between 18 and 21 years old. Why is 21 an appropriate cutoff age for concealed carry permits if you can own a firearm at 18?

King Soopers is a Colorado subsidiary of the Kroger supermarket chain. It operates more than 150 stores in Wyoming and Colorado, while Kroger is based in Cincinnati.

Kroger has recently changed its gun policies and sales practices. In 2019, Kroger asked shoppers to leave their firearms at home. The policy change came a day after grocery rival Walmart made a similar change. The previous policy had been to defer to state or local gun regulations.

Even if Denny could not apply for a concealed carry permit because of his age, he could not have exercised his right to open carry a firearm in Colorado because of his employer’s strict anti-gun policies.

Around the country, there are many reports of concealed carry permit holders stopping crimes, including mass murderers.

On January 17, 2019, Jay Brown, an IHOP employee in Huntsville, Alabama, stopped a gunman, potentially saving many lives. Another restaurant patron was proud he took action, “It’s amazing that he was able to think so quickly on his feet in that situation, because I think I probably just would’ve panicked,” Sierra Seay said. What if Denny could have been a Jay Brown?

Concealed carry permit holders can stop crime and save lives. Denny Stong was wrongfully deprived of his right to carry a concealed handgun by the government for no logical reason, and it probably cost him his life. I mourn his loss.

Government failed Denny Stong and robbed America of a hero. If Denny had been allowed to carry a concealed firearm, lives could have been saved. The outcome of Monday’s shooting should have been radically different.

“The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Patrick Brenner is a Policy Analyst with New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom, and individual responsibility.

Gov. MLG’s dreams of New Mexico getting hooked on drug money

On Monday. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent out a tweet reaffirming her plan to transform New Mexico’s economy from a fuel and energy-based economy with our booming oil, gas, and coal sectors to heavily reliant on drug money from overtaxed marijuana. 

The Governor failed to ram through her proposed legal weed bill in the 2021 Legislative Session, so in a desperate move to “not take no for an answer,” she will force the Legislature to reconvene in a “special session” to pass recreational weed legislation.

“I believe legalization of adult-use cannabis will be one of the largest job-creation programs in New Mexico history, driving entrepreneurial opportunities statewide for decades to come. It’s clear that New Mexicans are ready – let’s get it done,” the Governor wrote on Twitter. 

It is clear that even the most “progressive” far-left plan for the Governor to ram through legalized pot wouldn’t even make the tiniest dent in New Mexico’s revenues with the current budget sitting at a bloated $7.4 billion — yes, BILLION.

According to that leftist legal recreational pot plan’s fiscal impact report, New Mexico would take in at most $15.1 million in revenue after years of losses to implement the program. 

For context, the MOST such a revenue plan would generate in revenue wold be 0.204% of the needed funds to plug the gaping hole in Gov. Lujan Grisham’s budget. 

The oil and gas industry, in contrast, generated $2.8 billion directly to the state general fund in fiscal year 2020. That is approximately 37% of the state’s budget coming from oil and gas.

In states that have already legalized adult-use marijuana, the largest of them being California, the state only brought in a total of $1.5 billion since 2018. The state’s budget is approximately $202 billion.

Gov. Lujan Grisham’s push for weed comes as she and her allies in the Democrat-dominated Legislature have pushed the most aggressive anti-energy policies aimed at driving the oil and gas industry out of the state in its entirety. 

Weed, no matter if it passes or not, won’t make the slightest difference in the state’s budget, but Gov. Lujan Grisham sure wants to make New Mexico dependent on drug money–either by 20% taxed dope through her plan–or on the streets through contraband merchants of the product.

READ NEXT: Deep-pocketed marijuana lobby banking on Legislature’s proposals to legalize weed

Gov. MLG wants New Mexicans to foot the bill for Democrats’ political ineptitude

On Saturday, the last day of the 2021 Legislative Session, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she will be calling a special session after the Legislature (dominated heavily by Democrats in both chambers) failed to epic proportions in their empty promises of ramming through a recreational pot bill.

But despite the lopsided partisan composition in the Legislature and their ability to force through other crazy bills such as abortion up-to-birth and the “Civil Rights Act,” which will line Speaker Brian Egolf’s (D-Santa Fe) pockets with civil litigation going to his law firm on the backs of local communities, Democrats fell short on legalizing recreational marijuana.

Democrats had sixty days to get the job done with the help of defecting “Republicans” such as Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-Chaves, Eddy, and Otero), who is a prominent proponent of legalizing weed. He even sponsored a proposal of his own to do it. 

The Democrats can only characterize the Governor calling a special session for her extreme agenda as one thing: a massive failure on their part to deliver. Despite suspending rules in both chambers on the last two weeks of the session, only allowing the public to testify on bills in 10-15 minute increments for both sides, and the lopsided majorities of Democrats to Republicans in committees and in the chambers themselves, Democrats failed, not just on pot, but on many other issues.

Democrats failed to ram through all gun-grabbing bills, couldn’t pass their 20+ cent per gallon gas tax on the poor, were unable to advance their anti-police tort claims act, didn’t pass their overhaul of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, failed at implementing “critical race theory” doctrine into state agencies, among so many other proposals. 

But bills that actively intend to create a culture of death, including assisted suicide via lethal drugs and abortion up-to-birth, were streamlined. 

For those who claim Democrats are champions for weed legalization, they failed year after year after year while they were in the majority and prioritized murdering babies and killing sick people over weed bills that they professed to be “revenue-generating” miracles for the state budget. 

Now, these same Democrats will force New Mexicans to foot the bill for a special session costing upwards of $50,000 per day because Democrats couldn’t even finish the job they claimed they cared so much about. Their failure is on their hands and their hands alone. New Mexicans should not be forced to fund this frivolous and self-serving special session. 

Remember: Democrats have been in power for most of 80 years in this state. They had chance after chance to do pretty much whatever they wanted with their oversized majorities for decades. 

Despite this year’s “Zoom” legislature where the public was barred from the People’s House with a chain-link fence and National Guardsmen fortifying the premises, Democrats still failed. Their failure is representative of their do-nothing, useless sad excuse for a party as a whole. 

I hope Republicans in the House and Senate give the Democrats holy hell in this special session and leave nothing off the table to resist Gov. Lujan Grisham and the radical Democrats’ pagan agenda. We must beat these people at their own game.

READ NEXT: Deep-pocketed marijuana lobby banking on Legislature’s proposals to legalize weed

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