Don’t listen to the partisan fear-mongering: voting in-person is safe

In recent weeks, Democrats and the left-wing media have attempted to cast doubt on the safety of voting in-person, with story headlines reading things like “Voting fears in New Mexico amplified amid 2020 tensions.” 

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been fear-mongering about safety concerns regarding in-person voting, uring “every voter in New Mexico to request an absentee ballot and vote safely by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

However, June’s primary election went forth without any health concerns or voting locations closed down due to a COVID-19 outbreak. 

Despite the Governor attempting to stigmatize in-person voting, it is the safest way to cast one’s ballot–both in terms of one’s health and one’s security that their vote will be counted. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to the words of Democrats across the state who affirm how safe voting is:

Democrat Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover, who oversees the most populous county in New Mexico, said in-person voting is “probably one of the safest places to be in town.” 

Democrat Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver acknowledged the safety of in-person voting. She said, “in-person voting is safe and we’ll be safe here” in all 33 counties of the state. Toulouse previously fought hard at the New Mexico Supreme Court, although unsuccessfully, to hold an all-mail-in election. Democrats claimed it was an “assault on Democracy” not to eliminate in-person voting. 

Although absentee voting is an option, it is not guaranteed, as voting in-person is, that one’s ballot will not be thrown out or discarded. According to a report by NBC News, there is a higher chance that absentee ballots made by people of color will have their mail-in ballots thrown away or disqualified.

University of Florida professor Daniel A. Smith said: 

Hispanic and Black voters were more than twice as likely to have their ballot rejected as white voters in Florida’s 2018 general election. In May, he co-published a review of Georgia’s 2018 midterm election data that found a similar pattern of rejection for voters of color.

When it comes to mail voting, names and addresses can suggest race and create opportunities for implicit bias or added scrutiny. In Georgia, Democratic officials said that election officials can access a voter’s race when they’re checking for a signature match. The state party successfully sued to require multiple poll workers to sign off on a signature mismatch, which they hope will reduce bias.

NBC News writes:

The most common reason ballots are rejected is that they arrive late. Mail service is less reliable in lower-income communities, and many Native American reservations do not have home delivery addresses used for mail voting. The pandemic has stressed mail service across the board, and amid the fiscal crisis, the U.S. Postal Service has ordered recent changes that are expected to slow the mail service.

Based on the available evidence, voting in-person is not only the safest way for voters to cast their votes, it is the preferred method to ensure every voter’s ballot is counted. It is recommended that if a voter wishes to order an absentee ballot, they return their ballot to the County Clerk’s office by mail at least two full weeks before the November 3 election, otherwise, they should hand-deliver their ballot to the County Clerk’s office in their respective counties.

New Mexico’s highest-ranking election chief Maggie Toulouse Oliver herself acknowledges the safety of in-person voting, and so should voters across New Mexico. Vote in-person if possible. More voting information can be found at NMForAll.com.

The Radical Left and gutless politicians are erasing our history one statue at a time

Over the past few weeks, the call by radical socialist Democrats have become louder — and unfortunately, public officials are kowtowing to their never-ending militant demands. Across the country, monuments that have been standing for decades, sometimes even centuries, are being ripped down by violent leftists seeking to cause as much destruction as possible in this short window of outrage due to police shootings. 

No matter how outrageous the demands get, such as a Boston petition to tear down a statue of President Abraham Lincoln, the president who freed American slaves, it will never be enough for the Left in their ironic crusade against history.

But unfortunately, as politicians and community leaders cave to the vicious mob, the mobs are showing they will never be pleased, going after everything from statues to bottles of Aunt Jemima syrup. Now, seemingly EVERYTHING is being deemed “racist,” including beloved New Mexico landmarks.

Radicals led by the fringe hate group “The Red Nation” have begun demanding the removal of iconic statues of Spanish conquistador Don Juan De Oñate, with even Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham agreeing with them. A longtime-standing statue of Oñate in Alcalde was ripped down, with leftist Democrat nominee for Senate and Rio Arriba County Commissioner Leo Jaramillo leading the charge — despite him acting as one of Oñate’s conquistadors back in 2010. 

The flip-flop from Jaramillo has led some locals to brand him as a “vendido” or a “sellout.” In the Democrat primary, Jaramillo took out incumbent Sen. Richard Martinez, who was convicted of aggravated DWI. Throughout the race, Jaramillo has branded him as a much more “progressive” choice versus Martinez — adopting a pro-abortion, pro-illegal immigration platform.

But voters do not have to settle for Jaramillo’s gutless platform. Pro-life Republican Diamantina Storment is running against him in the 2020 general election to flip the seat to conservative hands.

Unfortunately, the Oñate statue in Alcalde is just the start of the mob rule by the Left — with radicals demanding a statue of Oñate in Albuquerque be ripped down. The drama created by The Red Nation to tear down the statue resulted in a conflict between protesters, including shoving people to the ground, hitting one man over the head with a skateboard, ultimately leading to a gunshot. Shortly thereafter, police intervened. 

In 2018, The Red Nation successfully convinced the leftist City of Santa Fe officials and the Fiesta Council to cancel the “Entrada” pageant re-enacting the peaceful reconquest of Santa Fe by Don Diego De Vargas over 300 years ago.

Oñate is not the only one on the chopping block — a new petition has emerged aiming to rip down iconography from the historic Kimo Theatre in Albuquerque due to symbols they claim are swastikas, despite the Native American origins intended by displaying the symbol. Now, they claim despite the intentions, the building’s images trigger “feelings of White Supremacy, hatred, genocide, and authoritarianism.” 

Renowned architect John Gaw Meem designed the Kimo Theatre, as well as other structures such as the UNM library, remodeled the Santa Fe Plaza, and did multiple restorations of pueblos across the Southwest. Now, the Left aims to rip down his work that has captured the spirit of native culture. 

At this point, who knows what the Radical Left will go after next, but surely, this is just the beginning of the cancel culture propagated by people who will never be pleased. Once gutless lawmakers began conceding to these radical groups, activists will test just how far they can go until they can completely erase cherished history.

John Block is the editor of the Piñon Post and a longtime New Mexico political activist. With the Piñon Post, John looks to bring true representation to conservatives in the Land of Enchantment and cut through the mainstream media red tape by providing independent, fair, and conservative journalism to New Mexico. Follow John on Twitter @JohnforNM or send him an email at John@PinonPost.com.

Who is standing up for our Law Enforcers? They need our support now more than ever

Over the past few weeks, radical leftists have seized on the carcass of George Floyd and desecrated his memory by pinning radical slogans, agendas, a smorgasbord of supposed “racial injustices,” and political initiatives on him — using one deceased man’s death as a prop to reignite the once-dormant race war.

However, while leftists take to the streets in droves, and in the process infect more people with COVID-19, their frustration is being unfairly pinned on the brave, hard-working men and women in Law Enforcement keeping our communities safe.

There is nothing a good cop hates more than a bad cop, but the Radical Left has begun to spin a firestorm of rabid hatred toward these brave officers — and in doing so, put a target on their backs.

Socialist New York Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad” have pledged “radical solidarity” with fringe protesters demanding police departments across the country be defunded and disbanded to placate misinformed rioters and looters, hell-bent on creating chaos and harming police. 

The list of law enforcers targeted by the savage mob of murderous thugs, unfortunately, keeps growing. Just yesterday, mourners laid to rest longtime former Police Chief David Dorn in St. Louis, Missouri, one of the many victims of leftist violence. He was shot and killed by a looter. 

Dave Patrick Underwood, a Federal Protective Service Officer was also shot and killed while protecting a federal courthouse in Oakland, California. Another officer serving alongside him was shot and is in recovery. 

Other non-law enforcement victims of leftist violence resulting from the George Floyd shooting include Chris Beaty, a black former offensive lineman for Indiana University who was shot dead in an Indianapolis alleyway by rioters, Italia Marie Kelly, a 22-year-old black woman in Davenport, Iowa, who was shot trying to escape a violent mob of looters, and countless others.

While the Left continue their despicable crusade against Law Enforcers, they are left defenseless and vulnerable, seemingly alone in the fight against the angry mob. But some are standing up, like The New York Police Benevolent Association President Mike O’Meara, who passionately defended the brave law enforcers who protect cities, such as New York.

“I am not Derek Chauvin. They are not him. He killed someone, we didn’t. We are restrained,” O’Meara said, referring to the policeman who killed George Floyd. “Everybody’s trying to shame us — legislators, the press. Everybody’s trying to shame us into being embarrassed about our profession. You know what? This isn’t stained by someone in Minneapolis,” holding his police badge up, continuing “It’s still got a shine on it, and so do theirs,” pointing to the policemen and policewomen standing behind him.

Our police officers are the people who enforce laws passed by legislators and keep drug addicts, rapists, murderers, and other nefarious actors off of our streets. Law Enforcers keep our cities and counties and neighborhoods free of crime and sleaze, and without them, there would be no justice at all — not for black people, not for white people, not for anybody.

It is time Americans from everywhere in our nation stand up and resoundingly thank the brave men and women who risk their own lives and safety for ours, so we have the right to protest and speak our truth. Police not only deserve to be respected — they deserve to be praised. They deserve more funding for their departments to keep the peace, not less, and anyone disrespecting these brave law enforcers should face swift consequences.

As noted above, there is nothing a good cop hates more than a bad cop, so let’s not change our entire system to vilify the 99% of officers who serve honorably. We must not legislate for the exception to the rule while punishing those who give their lives in service to our communities. All lives matter and Law Enforcers are included in that.

So, next time you walk down the street and pass a man or woman in uniform, thank them for keeping your community safe and show them respect. Without them, we would have anarchy. Possibly, that’s the Radical Left’s goal. Regardless, it must end, and only together can we unite our communities and mend divisions. 

Piñon Post and United Conservative Movement partner to ‘Pledge to Vote RED NM’

On Tuesday, Republicans from across New Mexico headed to the polls and chose our GOP nominees to advance to take on the Democrats in November’s General Election. Although some of our favorite candidates may not have made it out of the primary, now is the time, as Republicans to unite around every Republican on the ballot and work to turn New Mexico RED (Remove Every Democrat) in the election.

With President Trump at the top of the ticket, and a strong selection of candidates running for federal, state, and local elected officials, the stakes could not be higher for Republicans, which is why I am proud to partner with Shauna Abney of the United Conservative Movement to unite Republicans in our state behind our great GOP nominees selected Tuesday.

Although Shauna and I differ on a few candidates, we both are putting our party and our state’s future over our personal choices, and signing the “Pledge to Vote RED NM” pledge to show we are united in our fight for our conservative values and a prosperous future for our state. The stakes are too high to not be united going into November, and this is our shot at taking back our state and reclaiming our values!

Sign the pledge and send it to every Republican you know. We must unite to turn our beautiful state of New Mexico RED in November! 

Rio Grande Foundation’s ‘Taxpayer Protection Pledge’ a must for fiscally responsible legislators

In April, the Rio Grande Foundation sent a letter to candidates for legislative office requesting they sign onto the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” to be a good steward of taxpayers’ hard-earned income and promise to not raise taxes.

Just last week, Rep. Moe Maestas (D-Albuquerque), chairman of the New Mexico House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, signaled he was open to raising taxes on families and businesses already pinching pennies due to the effects of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. Maestas wrote, “A ‘no tax’ pledge is so 2009 … and was the precipice of the lost decade,” referring to former Gov. Susana Martinez’s no-tax promise.

In a recent post by the Rio Grande Foundation, “after decades of Democrat rule, New Mexico’s government spends more than nearly any other state in the nation (as a percent of GDP) while ranking 44th for ‘return on investment’ according to Wallethub.” 

It’s clear that tax-happy Democrats are not only aggressively spending New Mexico’s tax dollars, but they are also proving how they are not the best stewards of our state’s resources, especially as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is now looking to raid our state’s permanent fund.

Instead of cutting million-dollar tax subsidies given to out-of-state film companies investing little to none into our state, fiscally irresponsible Democrats seek to punish New Mexico families and businesses by gambling with our future. Raising taxes and spending New Mexico’s permanent fund puts small businesses and working families in jeopardy.

Because this is such a critical juncture in New Mexico, it is vital for voters to select legislative candidates who vow to be good stewards of the valuable resources our state has to offer. The Rio Grande Foundation’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge to “not to raise your taxes as a result of the current economic downturn” will bind candidates to fiscal responsibility and help voters ensure they are choosing candidates who will protect their hard-earned income. 

If you are a candidate for a legislative office, please find the pledge here to ensure to voter your commitment to fiscal responsibility. If you are unsure if your legislative candidates have signed onto the pledge, please reach out to their campaign and urge them to sign on. As New Mexicans, we are a family, and whatever political stripe we wear, we should all work toward fiscal responsibility to ensure a brighter future for all.

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