Is Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham waging war on the Catholic Church for political retribution?

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham began lifting her rigid restrictions on small businesses, allowing them to re-open at 25% capacity. However, she arbitrarily continues to punish the Catholic Churches of New Mexico by only allowing Churches to re-open at 10% capacity.

This attack against religious freedom in New Mexico is uniquely impacting the Catholic community because Catholic services are uniquely dependent upon the physical presence of their Priests and their parishioners due to their Eucharistic Masses. Evangelical Churches throughout New Mexico, on the other hand, have been able to continue virtually unimpeded due to services that can be streamed online.

Could it be that Lujan Grisham is using her executive power during this COVID-19 crisis to wage war on the Catholic Church of New Mexico, due to the Catholic Bishops’ bold stance in opposition to 2019’s House Bill 51, the – Decriminalize Abortion Ban during the 2019 legislative session? 

According to Breitbart News, “[Pro-life] advocates are especially grateful for the efforts of the Catholic bishops of New Mexico who worked in defense of life. In addition to several official statements from the bishops, Abortion Free New Mexico noted the prayer vigil organized by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in the rotunda of the capitol building. Archbishop John Wester welcomed people of all faiths to join in prayer to ‘move the hearts of the Democrat legislators to oppose pro-death legislation,’ the pro-life group said.”

In fact, it was Catholic Democrats in New Mexico who were pivotal in the defeat of this radical pro-death agenda spearheaded by New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham.

During the 2019 Legislative Session, Lujan Grisham welcomed radical pro-abortion extremists in Santa Fe and vowed to sign their extreme legislation if passed by the New Mexico legislators.

A Facebook post dated March 2, 2019 stated, “More than 100 advocates and health care providers a-delivered over 10,000 signatures in support of House Bill 51, removing ourtdated and unenforceable language criminalizing New Mexico health care providers. Reproductive health care is not a crime, and I am proud to stand with women across New Mexico in support of HB 51.”

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After the devastating defeat at the New Mexico legislature, Gov. Lujan Grisham wasn’t going to let this current crisis go to waste.

During the current COVID-19 crisis in New Mexico, the governor has deemed abortion facilities “essential” and allowed them to remain open, but has deemed Churches “non-essential” and forced them to close.

Tara Shaver of Abortion Free New Mexico received the following statement from the governors office:

“We have discussed this matter and the clinics are not going to close. Some people are claiming that abortions are elective surgeries and we are not considering them as elective surgeries.”

Meanwhile, The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has been especially hard hit due to the current shut-down imposed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. 
According to one report, “The Archdiocese says it’s struggling to make payroll since parishes haven’t been able to gather collections since the state public health orders prohibit in-person services.”

In addition, for Catholics, the ability to meet and receive communion is a cornerstone of their faith. The Church’s purpose is to bring souls to salvation and minister to the poor and needy, but Christians can’t fulfill these purposes when the governor deems fellowship, community and service to others as non-essential activities.  

This absurd inconsistency coming from New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reeks of political retribution.

Bud and Tara Shaver lead the pro-life ministry Abortion Free New Mexico, using a systematic approach to closing abortion facilities through investigative research, public exposure, and proper oversight and accountability.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at news@pinonpost.com.

VIDEO: Ronchetti lies again — breaks own campaign promise to not hit fellow Republicans

New Mexico’s voters have come accustomed in the last few weeks to seeing new headlines about now-disgraced ex-television weatherman Mark Ronchetti, who has scorned the conservative Republican base. In 2019, just nine months before announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate, Ronchetti lambasted President Trump as the “Orange One,” and claimed led him to leave the Republican Party, as well as taking a “part of [his] soul” that he’s “not getting back.”  

Such harsh language from the embattled former local weatherman toward the President has led Republicans to flee from his campaign with as much speed and passion as humanly possible. Former supporters of all stripes now write messages on social media rebuking Ronchetti. One ex-supporter writes, “I’m so sorry I wasted my donation on you,” as another one writes, “A friend of mine told me that you were a ‘NeverTrumpster’ & I said, No way !! but now you have proven me wrong. So, I am deleting your emails that you are sending me to support you in your run for U.S. Senate for N.M.” 

As his crumbling base bleeds, and his campaign shills out hundreds of thousands of dollars on television ads that don’t so much as mention President Trump by name, Ronchetti has gotten desperate — and in doing so, betrayed his first campaign promise.

After yours truly uncovered damning evidence linking Ronchetti to NeverTrumpers, some who even donated $11,000 to radical leftist Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Ronchetti spoke at the Republican Party of Bernalillo County pre-primary convention. During his speech, he lost it — lashing out at Trump supporters asking him questions as “little Facebook trolls who are in their parents’ basement with their Cheeto-stained fingers.” 

The leftist jab was followed by a “positive campaign” pledge he demanded all other candidates sign in order to gag questioning of his record and connections to anti-Trump rogue “Republicans,” such as Jay McCleskey, his “slash and burn” general consultant. 

Ronchetti said, “In closing, I’d like to put my money where my mouth is on the ‘unity pledge,’ right? We all need to be on the same side, and I’ve taken as many arrows as anyone. I did not fire back at a fellow Republican, not once.” That turned to be blatantly false, as just second before, he bashed Republicans asking him questions as “little Facebook trolls.”

He then held up a piece of paper, saying, “This is a positive campaign pledge right here. I’m going to sign it right here. I will not take a shot at a fellow Republican. I hope my fellow Senate candidates will sign this as well.” Not a single Republican opponent signed the document.

But that supposed honorable “pledge,” which he promised through his word and a stroke of his pen, was just previously violated when his campaign sent out a hit job on his fellow candidate, Gavin Clarkson, who he attacked with inaccurate claims. He sent out a mailer attacking Clarkson on his work for the Trump Administration, his previous bankruptcy shortly after the financial crash of 2007-08, and a patently false claim that he attended a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Note: Gavin Clarkson has not said a lie or untrue thing about Mark Ronchetti, yet, Ronchetti feels the need to throw out these untrue attacks on Clarkson.

The below-the-belt, desperate hits by Ronchetti’s flailing campaign not only undermined his campaign promise, they also violated the small remnants of credibility he may have had left. With the petty attack, Ronchetti proved without any doubt whatsoever, that he is both a liar and as credible as a high school bully — thinking he can get his way with a little pushing. 

Does Ronchetti want to mention that President Trump’s Interior Secretary (who Ronchetti claims fired Clarkson), hosted Clarkson and his wife Marina to the Trump Administration’s 2019 Interior Department Christmas Party, a clear disproval of Ronchetti’s conspiracy theory that Clarkson was forced out of the department?

Does Ronchetti want to bash President Trump once again by going after the President’s multiple bankruptcies out of the hundreds of businesses Trump has run? Would Ronchetti like to hit one more nail into his coffin of Trump-hating rhetoric for the fun of it?

Does Ronchetti want to explain to voters that the supposed “protest” Clarkson went to never happened and he actually went up to North Dakota to assist an old girlfriend, not “protest”? Ronchetti clearly sees his opponent as a real threat, and since this is the best attack he thinks he has, he’s using the final card in the deck — since the ones against me and other conservative Republicans flopped on their faces.

This is by no means the first attack Ronchetti’s campaign has made against Clarkson, previously sending out a statement calling him a “failing candidate,” despite Ronchetti’s voters running for the hills, not Clarkson’s.

The vengeful and cowardly tactics of Ronchetti’s campaign are more apparent now than they ever were before — and the weatherman’s lies aren’t fooling anyone. Mark Ronchetti is a NeverTrumper, always has been, always will be. Petty hits on the President such as calling him the “Orange One,” and mocking his hairstyle show just what kind of Senator he would be — no better than radical Democrats Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker. If he’s looking for his “Spartacus” moment, he sure isn’t getting it with the negative campaign he’s running.

MLG’s strict face mask requirement discriminates against low-income workers, people of color

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who claims to be a supporter of the poor and downtrodden, commanded in her latest edict that “essential workers” must wear masks or face coverings.

According to her edict, “All employees must wear their face coverings in the workplace at all times when in the presence of others.” She made sure to add a condescending statement belittling New Mexicans, many are people of color, saying, “If New Mexicans don’t behave safely, we won’t be able to reopen more than we have. Every single one of us has to do their part.”

The requirement adopted by her and many Democrat governors may disproportionately affect people of color and the poor, who cannot afford face masks. Business owners, many of them owning small businesses, cannot afford to buy face masks, which have become a hot commodity amid the pandemic. It’s difficult to find any at reasonable prices, with some being sold for as much as $20 apiece. 

So, who will provide these face masks required by Lujan Grisham’s edict? Small business owners and workers, that’s who. But price gouging is causing low-income individuals to not be able to afford masks. One report states the gouging has caused such a difficult market, allowing “only the more affluent can afford masks.” According to the latest statistics, people working in the restaurant industry were the most common group of low-income workers, 7.76% of the workforce, a group specifically singled out in the Governor’s edict., Also, over half of all jobs (49,249, or 53.0 percent) were held by ethnic minorities.

But regarding a different issue, Voter ID laws that secure American elections, Lujan Grisham claimed that having an ID to vote is “burdensome.” She also said such laws “disproportionately impact poor, elderly, disabled & Americans of color.”

The same tired argument can be made for requiring face masks, and we actually have a case, since a face mask can only be bought from select vendors, they are in low supply, and a burden to obtain. Getting an ID, which is required for everything from checking into a hotel to cashing a check, is not an undue burden.

Lujan Grisham’s discriminatory face mask order not only undermines her credibility as a leader, it hurts small businesses and working families who will have to go out of their ways to obtain face masks. The only people who will be hurt by Lujan Grisham’s requirement are the poor, who she seems to not give two thoughts about. 

We pray for President Trump and our beautiful state of New Mexico on this National Day of Prayer

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer in the United States, where people of faith unite as one nation to “turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” 

The President is required by law to proclaim this holiday on the first Thursday of May each year and has survived the test of time, since being formally enacted in 1952 despite failed attempts by atheists to have it ruled unconstitutional.  

But as our nation faces the ramifications from the COVID-19 pandemic, our prayers are especially critical at this consequential time, as our nation is locked down, our jobs are being lost, our friends and family may have been dealt with the loss of loved ones, and uncertainty looms ahead.

As New Mexicans, we are a people of faith, and our prayers can make a difference on this national holiday to help contribute to the healing of our nation — including our state. 

Our President, Donald J. Trump is working hard to get our country back open and save as many lives as possible, despite the ravenous media looking to tear him down at every turn. Today, we must pray for our strong Commander-in-Chief, our beautiful First Lady Melania Trump, our Vice President, Mike Pence, our Second Lady Karen Pence, and their families as they support our great leaders in this time of crisis.

We must also pray for New Mexico as our people are hurting and our state is battling a strict lockdown by our despotic ruler. We pray for our brothers and sisters facing catastrophic fines for trying to put food on their tables by working. We pray for the workers being laid off and furloughed, the health care workers and necessary employees on the frontlines combating the pandemic, the brave law enforcers, firefighters, first responders, and military members keeping us safe, and every New Mexican as they survive this crisis.

We pray for the unborn and their mothers as they face the brutal slaughter of abortion each day, despite the crisis closing, the medically compromised as they fight to stay safe from COVID-19, and all who live in uncertainty as injustices are carried out all around us.

Today, we pray for our voters to choose candidates who will uphold our New Mexico values of faith, family, the sanctity of life, support for our President, and who will uphold ALL of our rights enshrined in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Mexico.

As our nation prays for healing, we must pray for the healing of hearts and minds so that our fellow citizens can open their arms to freedom, and reject the tyrannical rule that aims to keep us downtrodden, poor, and uneducated. By our prayers and our actions, we will take our state back into the right hands, and we will overcome whatever afflicts us. 

As Americans and New Mexicans, we are strong, patriotic, fair, just, and most importantly, prayerful. Our prayers work, and God hears every single plea, multiplying with each one prayed. Although we may not be together during this National Day of Prayer, God is everywhere, and he is with us always. 

From the gypsum majesty of White Sands and the towering spires of the Organ Mountains to the breathtaking wings of Shiprock, these reminders of God’s hand give us hope for the future, and give us something to fight for — our people, our state, our culture, and our identity.

We are not alone. We must look up and give thanks for all the beautiful things God has provided us. With Him, all things are possible, if they be His will. We can turn our state around through our hard work, our prayer, and our love for each other.

May God bless our state, our President, and our nation. 

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.” — Philippians 4:11-14, KJV

Freedom, Tyranny and New Mexico’s Fight Against COVID-19

Unconstitutional Government Overreach by NM Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

The purpose of my post today is to highlight the continual struggle between tyranny and liberty, and the front lines which are now drawn in New Mexico. While it is evident that COVID-19 is a virus to take seriously, the Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has overreached by imposing government control on her constituents with her blanket-approach in closing all NM small businesses, shuttering gun storefronts, and prohibiting the gathering of more than five persons. The constitutional rights of Americans should never be done away with even in times of crisis, and New Mexicans can and should practice the proper protective measures and social distancing while maintaining their ability to live out their lives without government interference.  In addition, Lujan Grisham has closed down the city of Gallup not allowing anyone in or out. This essentially is “martial law” and should never occur in the United States of America. 

New Mexico is currently under one of the most restrictive lock-downs in America due to a public health order issued by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, instituted on March 13, and originally set to expire on April 30, 2020. The purpose of this public health order was to “flatten the curve” so that the hospital system would not be overwhelmed with patients negatively impacted by the COVID-19 / novel coronavirus which was traced to an outbreak in Wuhan, China which the World Health Organization and Chinese government tried to cover up. Due to the lack of knowledge around COVID-19, computer models predicted hundreds of thousands dying in America due to the illness, hospitals being overrun. It increased damage to public health due to a lack of appropriate ventilators. 

Lujan Grisham banned in-person church gatherings and utilized the Amber alert system to warn all residents via text message not to attend church the day before Easter Sunday.  Many congregants at churches were not going to attend services but instead, watch through a live stream option wherein the place of worship may or may not have more than five persons to operate the technical equipment and perform for the community.  Many churches had little notice to come under Lujan Grisham’s orders.

One of the most misguided portions of Lujan Grisham’s restrictive orders was to ensure that hospitals in New Mexico do not perform “non-essential” surgeries and preventive care such as cancer screenings while deeming abortions ‘Essential’. Lujan Grisham’s restrictions on hospital services, coupled with the lack of COVID-19 patients, caused many hospitals to lay off staff and caused extreme financial distress for all hospitals in New Mexico. A report just released stated that rural hospitals in NM lost $250 million dollars in revenue in April 2020.

As part of the public health order, “non-essential” businesses (as defined by the State of New Mexico) were closed. The governor of New Mexico had set up a hotline for residents to report non-essential businesses which were open for business, and as such were in violation of the public health order, which resulted in state police visiting the non-essential business and issuing a citation, a cease and desist order, and/or a $5,000 per day fine.

For the small business owners whose businesses were deemed “non-essential” by the New Mexico Governor, their livelihoods have been put in jeopardy by the Governor’s illegal and unconstitutional actions. The measures instituted by Lujan Grisham are unfair to small business owners — the backbone of American prosperity.

Lujan Grisham “tipped her hand” when she started her belief that “a case anywhere in New Mexico is a case everywhere in New Mexico.” We are now seeing the far-left using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to institute extreme government control and create a society where only government and large corporate retailers exist within the geographic confines of New Mexico. 

Small businesses must be allowed to open with the same safety precautions as “big box stores” such as Wal-Mart. Lujan Grisham’s preferential treatment of “big box stores” and government employees is a calculated political move to drain her opponents: conservatives and Republicans in New Mexico, out of jobs, money, and any valuable resources in her attempt to secure the Vice-presidential/running mate nod from Democrat Presidential front-runner Joseph Biden.

Given the significant problems with the restriction of personal freedom, economic hardships, and inadequate government “solutions”, a discontent among New Mexico residents is rising. 

A Return of the Power to the People

A movement is rising within the United States, Mexico at the forefront due to the draconian measures of the Lujan Grisham which do not align with the rural, diverse culture of New Mexico. Conservatives, many of whom are small business owners, farmers, ranchers, and tradesmen who built America, are tired of their rights being violated by government control in violation of the Fourth Amendment, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and the 14th amendment, Equal Protection under the Law.  In addition, New Mexicans’ ability to purchase ammunition and a firearm were curtailed by Lujan Grisham closing gun storefronts in direct violation of the Second Amendment of our Constitution. The First Amendment has been violated with the public health order of no gatherings of more than five persons.  All of these constitutional rights should have remained in place with proper safety measures to mitigate contracting COVID19.

As someone who was raised in a small business-owning family and as a rancher in New Mexico, I know first-hand the challenges faced in putting food on the table in New Mexico. After the first couple of weeks of Lujan Grisham’s lockdown, as the science caught up with the media hype and we realized our hospitals were not being overrun, we witnessed conservative activists who were unjustly confined unite through social media and begin organizing “Freedom Rallies” to exercise our freedom of speech, freedom to assemble and to “push back” against the Governor’s unconstitutional actions such as shuttering the gun storefronts.

I live and raise my family in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I am a mother with four children. We attended a “Freedom Rally” in Santa Fe, with multiple cars driving around the Santa Fe Capitol in a “Gridlock NM” event held Saturday, April 18, 2020. I was the only person walking, and my family and I practiced appropriate “Social Distancing” according to CDC guidelines. As I was the only person on foot, The left-wing media of Santa Fe took my photograph and united against me to deride the movement of small businesses, which was gaining steam as a “gridlock without any gridlock.” A mother of four wearing a handkerchief over my face surrounded by NM State Police helicopters circling the Santa Fe “Round House” is an iconic image that defines our struggle for freedom in the times of COVID-19.  

Movements start with one voice and one person. This is the point we must make even in the heart of a Democrat-controlled city and the political and cultural heart of New Mexico–Santa Fe.  The purpose of the expression of the First Amendment was to redress grievances in government that the early Americans were well aware of with the King of England.  The rights of Americans are again being tested; a free America has never tolerated draconian measures.

“Freedom Rallies” began popping up all around New Mexico after the Santa Fe gridlock: on Friday, April 24, 2020, a large group rallied on Albuquerque Civic Plaza, and a car caravan gathered in Los Alamos, New Mexico among other cities throughout the state. I was in attendance in the rally in Los Alamos, and again my campaign practiced proper social distancing, with face coverings and sanitizing spray used continuously.  The narrative that Republicans are a “death cult” such as Stelnicki (Lujan Grisham’s spokesperson) has said, is false for my campaign as a Republican because I take this virus seriously as I take my constitutional rights. So do many New Mexicans. 

The growing social movement against Lujan Grisham’s overreach came to an impasse when the Mayor of Grants, “Modey” Hicks, decided to declare Grants “open for business” in defiance of the Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health order. Mayor Hicks ordered all city employees to return to work and, additionally, to open the City-owned golf course. The mayor had the support of local Sheriff Tony Mace, to open small businesses. 

The city was opened on Monday, April 27th, to much anticipation and speculation about a confrontation between city and sheriff law enforcement and state police enforcing Lujan Grisham’s public health order. I attended the opening where I stood with U.S. Military veteran Mayor Hicks. The business of Papa’s Pawn, a pawn shop run by a disabled veteran, was issued a citation and later fined $60,000 for violating the public health order.  Lujan Grisham set out to make an example of a constitutionalist, disabled American veteran. This family will never be able to pay a $60,000 fine — as Lujan Grisham makes that amount in around four months — this family will never be able to. The far-left administration in New Mexico and the far-left administrations of the greater U.S. are out-of-touch with the results of centralized government policies. Their reliance on their own laws to provide them with money and give out money will not be sustainable in a capitalistic society.

I was in attendance at Santa Fe, Grants, and Los Alamos “Freedom Rallies” in support of our constitutional rights as Americans to peaceably assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances. While complying with all CDC Guidelines, I stood as a representative of all small business owners in New Mexico who are fighting for freedom and equal protection under the law. 

Gallup Lockdown/Retribution from MLG

Shortly after these protests, on April 30, 2020, and in response to conservative “Freedom Rallies”, Michelle Lujan Grisham reduced restrictions in NM, allowing retail businesses to operate curbside, re-opened golf courses, and unveiled a “multi-phase plan” to re-open New Mexico. However, she kept all restrictions in four counties of NM around the Navajo (Diné)  Nation. Meanwhile, the New Mexico Attorney General sent a letter to Grants Mayor Hicks and sought an order from the NM Supreme Court to force Mayor Hicks to comply with Lujan Grisham’s public health order. 

New Mexico Republican State Representatives sent a letter to Lujan Grisham’s office imploring her to create a plan, and a plea to Attorney General Barr to enforce protection of our constitutional rights.

On request of the outgoing Mayor, the City of Gallup is currently in a state of emergency based on the New Mexico Riot Act, meaning only residents are allowed to enter the city. All roads in and out are being closed by state police due to the spread of COVID-19 cases in the surrounding Navajo Nation.  The Navajo Nation also experienced 57-hour lockdowns on Fridays at 5 p.m. until Mondays at 8 a.m., and travel is extremely limited, such as requiring a maximum of two people in one motor vehicle.

Due to Lujan Grisham’s action, we will experience the “Law of Unintended Consequences.” The Navajo Nation relies on border towns for basic necessities, including potable water for cooking and cleaning. Navajo Nation members will now have to travel further for their needs, complicating an already difficult situation for Navajo Nation members and possibly furthering the geographic spread of COVID-19.

Flipping New Mexico Red in 2020

I am running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Congressional District 3 to return the U.S. government back to working for the people of New Mexico who are being oppressed by an overreaching state governor. I stand 100% with our President Donald Trump, who, through Attorney General Barr, has stated that governors must respect constitutional rights. 

I encourage all American patriots to keep up their fight against government overreach that infringes upon constitutional rights.  I support opening small businesses safely and responsibly. I am advocating a county-by-county approach that puts decision making into the hands of our local officials such as sheriffs, business leaders, health care professionals, and community leaders with the cooperation of the Governor of New Mexico.  I believe we must focus the bulk of COVID-19 mitigation efforts on the Navajo Nation and areas with the highest risk and transmission. Now is not the time for a top-down, centralized government approach, but reasoned and common sense empowerment of local elected officials in a way that allows small businesses to operate in a responsible, safe manner.  Local officials should interact with the Governor of New Mexico to obtain pertinent information to mitigate COVID19 as well as information on resources that could help stop the spread of COVID19, such as proper protective safety gear.

In Congress, I will work to ensure the constitutional rights of Americans are upheld in a safe manner. The Governor’s actions have set the precedence of a centralized, overreaching government that has done away with the rights of Americans, and unnecessarily shut down the economy and livelihood of many in our state. Lujan Grisham’s’ unwillingness to listen to her constituents has created a foment of dissension among many New Mexicans that can only be remedied by electing conservative officials into positions of decision-making within the US government. Join Americans in expressing your voice, standing up for your rights, and “holding the line” to defend this great experiment — the United States of America.  

Alexis Martinez Johnson is a Republican Candidate for the U.S. House in New Mexico’s 3rd District. More information, please visit www.AlexisJohnsonNM.com.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com.

Why Are NeverTrumpers Pushing #FakeNews Hits Against Pro-Trump Clarkson?

Anti-Trump news outlets smeared New Mexico Republican Senate candidate, Dr. Gavin Clarkson, over spurious allegations as part of a deep state assault designed to sideline his efforts to drain the murkiest part of the swamp on behalf of the Trump administration. Worst of all, his Republican opponents who claim to support President Trump are now hypocritically using the same discredited liberal media sources that concocted the Russia Hoax and Impeachment Witch Hunt narratives to attack him. Why should GOP voters and donors be expected to swallow #FakeNews uncritically?

Clarkson served in the Trump administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development at the Department of the Interior. Clarkson provided the Piñon Post with a copy of his resignation letter, which clearly shows he resigned at the end of 2017 to run for Congress in New Mexico. The #FakeNews media, however, claims he was fired eight weeks earlier in November over an “agency scandal.” It turns out that the only scandal happened during the Obama Administration, but according to a former Interior official with first-hand knowledge of the situation, “Federal ethics rules legally prevented Clarkson from addressing the concocted corruption allegations until after he left federal service. It was a total hit job designed to retaliate against him for holding lazy bureaucrats accountable.”

The #FakeNews further claimed Clarkson’s involvement in a tribal loan as a private citizen amounted to unethical activity. The left-wing outlets—which include the George Soros-backed ProPublica, Jeff Bezos’s Washington Post, and the left-wing blog ThinkProgressargue that a tribal loan’s lack of success somehow indicates malfeasance.

A conversation with a former Interior official that worked closely with Clarkson confirmed that the #FakeNews account couldn’t have been further from the truth. The Inspector General report on the loan actually cleared Clarkson of any wrongdoing. Like many ventures, this one didn’t work out as planned, something President Trump and many successful entrepreneurs can relate to. But liberal journalists who wouldn’t know the first thing about running a lemonade stand frivolously claim there was something amiss here with Clarkson’s legal arrangement as a business consultant.

The left-wing media also ignored the fact that Lois Lerner, the same rogue IRS official who attacked Tea Party groups, was also single-handedly responsible for causing the tribal deal to fail. Disclosing her involvement wouldn’t fit their leftist narrative

That same former Interior official also noted that the Inspector General report didn’t cover Clarkson’s time at Interior. It only covered the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 2010 to 2016, which was when Barack Obama was in charge. Clarkson was appointed to the position by President Trump to clean up the mess left by the previous administration. The coverage wrongly implies the Inspector General focused on Clarkson’s time at Interior.

The #FakeNews insisted that Clarkson’s involvement in the 2010 loan was unknown to agency vetters. That’s not true. Clarkson, disclosed the loan during his background check and White House vetting process, noting that “the White House knew about this and knew it wasn’t much to worry about.”

So why does the establishment want conservative donors to believe the #FakeNews? Clarkson told the Piñon Post that the deceptive articles about his record are being shared among Republican insiders to derail his candidacy.

Let’s take a look at who these insiders are granting credibility:

ProPublica dedicates itself to attacking the Trump administration and undermining the America First agenda. It depends on the generosity of liberal billionaires to exist. Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society donated $200,000 to the outlet. The biggest donor to ProPublica is the Sandler Foundation, a progressive non-profit that donates heavily to left-wing causes. ProPublica’s penchant to attack Trump and conservatives has led them to make major mistakes. In 2018, the outlet published false information about Trump’s CIA Director Gina Haspel, and was forced to retract its hit piece.

The Washington Post is currently being sued by the President for libel. The Post has had to retract some of its own anti-Trump reporting. In 2017, the paper retracted a story that claimed Russia hacked a power grid in Vermont. The story was intended to further elevate claims Russia hacked the 2016 election to deliver Trump a win. Its liberal biases are only a mystery to those who live under a rock.

Think Progress was created by the Center for American Progress, the Clintons’ favorite think tank. It routinely smears conservatives and exists solely to push a progressive agenda. Real conservatives would dump their news articles in the trash.

The Republican establishment pretends to stand up for Trump’s agenda, yet spreads the most baseless smears about genuine America First candidates. Clarkson’s hypocritical opponents are Exhibit A. 

So can they have it both ways? There is practically a catalog of pro-Trump cliches Clarkson’s primary opponents are repeating like robots. They say the Russia hoax and impeachment witch hunt were #FakeNews but then attack Clarkson with discredited reports from the same outlets that propagated them. The Washington Post declared the impeachment war on day one. Republicans would do well to find another use for such rags.

Gavin Clarkson is the only candidate in the New Mexico Senate race who personally sacrificed something to support President Trump. Risking his academic career, in a 2016 editorial and at a later meeting of Trump’s Native American Coalition, Clarkson publicly lauded the Trump campaign’s economic platform and subsequently praised Trump’s Supreme Court pick, all while his current opponents were hesitant to support President Trump. The socialist cabal at his university eventually fired him because of his service in the Trump administration.

Now he wants to go to Washington to drain the swamp and put America First. It’s no surprise the liberal media wants to stop him, and they have willing partners among the NeverTrump GOP establishment. FakeNews will only win out if grassroots conservatives cower in politically correct silence. 

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 to John@PinonPost.com.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com.

Ronchetti’s NeverTrump ‘Orange One’ jab reveals slew of unearthed comments bullying Trump, GOP

On Monday, it was revealed that Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Mark Ronchetti had attended a far-left symposium by climate change alarmists and gave his support for the theory of “man-made climate change.” But that is not what is irking Republicans in the Land of Enchantment.

While speaking at the event, Ronchetti lambasted the “Orange One” President Trump claiming he drove him to leave the Republican Party. He said, “I’m afraid that that has taken a part of my soul.”

Conservative Republicans warned early-on about Ronchetti’s anti-Trump sentiments, as well as his hiring of the most divisive political strategist in the state, Jay McCleskey. But upon hearing the questions by pro-Trump Republicans, Ronchetti violently lashed out, claiming they are “little Facebook trolls who are in their parents’ basement with their Cheeto-stained fingers.”

Now, even more, information has come to light showing Ronchetti mocking President Trump, including laughing at a comment that Trump is a “brushfire” and making fun of the President’s hairstyle on-air while working as a weatherman for KRQE News 13. He also made fun of a leaked photograph of Melania Trump, saying it was “unbelievable” to a comment that she could be the future First Lady of the United States. But that’s not all — Ronchetti revealed his deep admiration and “friendship” with notorious Trump-hating comedian George Lopez.

Lopez faced harsh criticism on both sides of the aisle in January 2020 when now-deceased Iranian terrorist Gen. Quasem Soleimani offered $80 million to anyone who would assassinate President Trump. Lopez said, “We’ll do it for half.” 

In a previous video, Ronchetti commented that Lopez “is a really funny guy” and  “pretty good guy, too, in person,” joking “like [we] hang out on the weekends.”

In another video, Ronchetti photoshopped his face onto President Trump’s hairstyle, saying, “the swirl is so nice,” adding, “the point is you don’t have to lose your cool over a bad haircut, okay?”

In another video, Ronchetti mocked former Governor Republican Gov. Susana Martinez for wearing a green hard-hat during an interview, in which he and KRQE anchors laughed hysterically at Martinez, with Ronchetti saying, “just take the hard hat off!” 

After Ronchetti’s direct shot at Trump as the “Orange One,” his mocking the future First Lady, bashing conservative Republican voters asking him questions as “little Facebook trolls who are in their parents’ basement with their Cheeto-stained fingers,” and shots at moderate anti-Trump Gov. Martinez’s appearance shows his willingness to go after people with ad-hominem attacks and mock them based on looks. These clips show how Ronchetti is not above high-school bullying and hazing of people based on skin color, hairstyle, and other factors. Gov. Martinez was a candidate of Jay McCleskey, Ronchetti’s campaign “messenger.”

Ronchetti has no past voting record of Republican support and has been embraced by people such as local drug dealer Darren White, who gave radical Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham $11,000 in her race for Governor. His pollster, Nicole McCleskey, served as NeverTrumper Jeb Bush’s pollster for his failed presidential run against Donald Trump.

Ronchetti’s opponents have denounced his comments, one of them even calling for him to drop out of the race for the U.S. Senate. Ronchetti’s campaign laughed off the comments, claiming the ex-weatherman was “joking.” But Republicans are not taking the comments bashing the incumbent Republican president lightly. Some have even gone so far as to demand campaign donation refunds in light of the anti-Trump comments. Requests for refunds can be directed to Ronchetti’s campaign email account, info@markronchetti.com.

MLG rammed our state directly into a wall — make sure you are registered to vote Republican in 2020

The 2020 primary is right around the corner, and this could not be a more important election for our state. 

This election is New Mexico’s last shot at turning our state red, which is why I want to make absolutely sure you are registered to vote this election.

As our state has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen exactly what Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (MLG) and the Radical Democrats will do in times of crisis — take advantage of a deadly plague as an opportunity to force through socialism far and wide and ram our beautiful state directly into the ground. 

As our state has shut down and commerce has ceased, MLG has taken EVERYTHING away from working families — from their jobs that pay the rent, to the places of worship that give communities hope and light. As promised, she rammed our state directly into a wall.

But while the hard-working people of New Mexico are forced to pinch pennies, uncertain if they can afford to feed their children, MLG and the Radical Democrats let big corporate box stores and late-term abortion clinics stay wide open. 

It may or may not be a coincidence that the same places MLG allows to stay open gave thousands in cash to the Governor’s campaign account. Walmart flushed $7,500 toward her campaign, while the abortion industry threw $22,000 her way.

With this crisis, we now know what the Democrats will do if given power. Even before this crisis, Democrats spent money like it was going out of style, funding irresponsible free daycare programs, raising her cabinet’s salaries by 17%, passing New Mexico’s “Green New Deal,” which will gradually erase the critical oil and gas industry, among other dangerous measures.

Other than her reckless spending, MLG tried to force through radical abortion-up-to-birth and infanticide legislation, passed an unconstitutional assault to the Second Amendment in the form of a “red flag” bill, ripped away counties’ right-to-work laws that protect workers, ordered the New Mexico National Guard to abandon the U.S./Mexico border, and so many other foolish actions.

While New Mexico families remain in poverty and starve as MLG lets COVID-19 ravage our state so she can play politics, it is clear that Democrats do not have New Mexicans in mind. Our state has had nearly 90 years of Democrat rule, and it has done nothing but sink to the bottom of the nation, placing 50th in just about everything.

The 2020 election could not be more critical. We cannot afford to allow Democrats any more time in power. They’ve proven without a shadow of a doubt that if given unchecked political dominance, they will pounce on the opportunity to push through their socialist agenda.

This is our absolute last chance to make a difference — and it’s critical that you are registered to vote and that your party registration reads “Republican.”


The primary election is coming up, and our mandate to send forth the strongest candidates to take on the socialist Democrats should be our highest priority. 

So, please make sure you are registered to vote by clicking this link. Although you may think you are already registered, irregularities are known to happen. Double-checking is an easy way to make absolutely sure you are registered.

If you are not registered to vote, you can easily fill out an online form and register. Please make sure you are registering as a Republican to ensure you can vote in the GOP primary, as well as the general election. The form can be found by clicking this link.

If you are registered as a “Declined to State,” “Libertarian,” “Democrat,” or anything else, please change your voter registration to “Republican” to make sure you can participate in the primary election. You can update your registration to Republican by clicking this link

Lastly, If you are unsure if you can make it to the voting booth to vote this election, don’t let that stop you. Order an absentee ballot to make sure your vote is counted! Request a ballot by clicking here.

Together, we can and will turn our state around, and it starts with everyone reading this to share this critical information with your family, friends, and other loved ones so that they can also help us flip New Mexico red in November. As a team, we can get New Mexico families back to work and lift our great state out of this mess.

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.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com

Heinrich, Dems play politics with pandemic — use COVID-19 to attempt halt on border construction

On Saturday, Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and fellow hard-left Radical Democrats in the U.S. Congress penned a letter demanding Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper halt all border wall construction, using COVID-19 to justify their partisan plea. Retiring Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), U.S. Reps. Deb Haaland (D-NM), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), were some of the co-signers of the letter.

The letter claims the construction of the border wall “places local communities at unnecessary risk,” continuing to say, “Money should be invested in healthcare, small businesses, and fighting the spread of COVID-19, not used to build an ineffective and wasteful border wall that does not solve our immigration crisis or protect our homeland.”

A response to the hyper-partisan letter (that uses not a single statistic or fact-based argument), the ACLU’s Astrid Dominguez responded, “We welcome this letter from Members of Congress, and call on the Trump administration to use this crisis as an opportunity to abandon its wasteful use of precious resources on the expansion of a border wall.” The key phrase to note here is “use this crisis as an opportunity.” The very fact that the left wants to use a deadly pandemic as an “opportunity” to stymie the Trump Administration’s policies says a lot about those signing onto the letter, as well as the fringe-left groups goading on the partisan measure.

“The only way to ensure that New Mexico stays safe during this global pandemic is to stop the militarization of our communities and provide fair and equitable access to healthcare services for all people who need them,” said Johana Bencomo, Executive Director of NM CAFé, a dark-money “non-profit” which harbors criminal aliens in New Mexico under the guise of Catholicism and Christian churches.

The open-borders Democrats led by Martin Heinrich and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, are proving every single day that they do not have the best interest of the state in mind, and would much rather work solely to push forward policies that hurt our state forward. Just as Lujan Grisham irresponsibly pulled the New Mexico National Guard from the Southern Border as one of her first acts as governor, despite hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens attempting to flood into our state, Heinrich’s letter once again just proves the carelessness and disregard Democrats have for our state and for our safety. 

As New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham works hard to keep open businesses who have given to her political campaigns (such as abortion clinics, big box stores, and pot dispensaries), New Mexico’s sad excuse for a congressional delegation is hard at work ramming far-left policies down the throats of average New Mexicans — once again weaponizing a crisis for their own political gain. The disgraceful attempts by New Mexico Democrats should be noted and NEVER forgotten.

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form represent the viewpoints of the publication or its editorial staff. Submit an op-ed to the Piñon Post at: news@pinonpost.com.

Together apart

We’ve always known the risks associated with congregating in crowds, but we’ve pushed them to the back of our minds. Handshakes, kissing, drinking from the same glass, and sneezing and coughing indiscriminately have led to the spread of germs ever since God was in short pants. We’ve endured plagues like the Black Death in the 14th century. That one killed around 50 million people. The Bubonic Plague of the 17th century hit Italy hard, killing over a quarter-million people and nearly half the population of Verona. London, too, was hit hard in the same century. At the plague’s peak, there, nearly 8,000 people/week were killed, ending up with a total of 100,000 victims. 

In 1720, a merchant ship sailed into the harbor of Marseille in France carrying what was called, ‘mortal distemper’ from the Middle East. The ship was quarantined, but the owner persuaded the authorities to offload its cargo, unleashing plague-carrying rat fleas into the unsuspecting population. The result…one hundred thousand people dead in southern France. 

Fast forward to the 19th century and the Chinese province of Yunnan, and what is known as the ‘Third Pandemic’ erupted there and spread viciously throughout the globe for the next several decades. Rats ended up carrying the plague to six continents. Most of the devastation took place in China and India, but places like San Francisco were also affected. 

In the 20th century, more specifically from 1918-1920, the ‘Spanish Flu’ infected a half-billion people around the world which was 27% of the world’s population at the time. The mortality rate from that flu was estimated to be from 17 million to as many as 50 million. Some estimates even put the death toll at 100 million! There have been many theories about where the flu originated, northern China being one of them, but wherever it came from, its killing effect was mind-blowing. 

Here in America, we have experienced measles epidemics, tuberculosis, and polio outbreaks, not to mention the devastating HIV scourge in the 20th century. In the last 30 years or so, we’ve seen the Swine Flu, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the Ebola outbreak and now, the Coronavirus which is dramatically changing the way we are forced to live our lives. While great strides have been made in virology and in the downstream advances in vaccine discoveries, there are two things that we Americans haven’t confronted, adequately. The first is our poor institutional memory. (Institutional memory is the collective knowledge and learned experiences of a group like our entire non-scientific population. As the turnover of new generations occurs among our population these concepts must be transitioned…and they have not been.) 

The second is our ignorance of the fact that our bodies are not invulnerable. Just because we have managed to conquer some diseases or mitigate their effects on us through advances in medicine, we have convinced ourselves that we can somehow skirt the inevitability of large-scale epidemics and pandemics. Those two things have made us more vulnerable to disease as has our unwillingness to prepare for such diseases and properly plan for their arrival. Our healthcare system, especially our emergency healthcare preparedness system, has been inadequate throughout many Administrations and didn’t start with Donald Trump nor his predecessors. 

We’ve become so convinced of our own ability to ‘tackle anything that comes our way’ that we have simply failed to acknowledge our own mortal weaknesses. Having said that, it does no good to invoke old aphorisms like “Those who do not remember (or heed) the past are doomed to repeat it.” We must deal with our failings now. The onset of the Coronavirus must be the catalyst for us to re-examine our approach to many things. Globalization is one of them. 

The ‘enlightened’ politicians of the post-WWII era believed that the only sane way to avoid new wars was to reject the monopolistic and imperialistic tendencies that led to many of those wars. The way to do that was to shrink the space between cultures and make the world smaller and its economies more interdependent. They did this by pushing a one-world ethos based on globalization. 

Enter NATO, the European Economic Community (now European Union), a strengthening of the U.N., a reduction in global trading barriers through the WTO and other organizations along with multi-lateral and bi-lateral trading pacts. Couple them with billions of dollars of international investments, the linking of world currencies, the opening up of new markets, vastly improved travel possibilities and improved digital communication along with the imposition of a one-world trading language (English) and globalization became the world’s new religion. 

Hundreds of millions of non-business travelers spent billions flying or sailing to new exotic destinations and bringing back with them not only impressions of new cultures but goods purchased in over one hundred countries. This led to increased demand for not only new products (which importers were only too happy to accommodate) but also prompted American companies to reduce their costs by investing in manufacturing or assembly of familiar U.S. products, overseas. 

This contract manufacturing included a wide range of products that were now bearing the ‘Made in China’ label. Pharmaceuticals were one of them. While this offshore manufacturing decreased costs for some medicines it also created a dependency for many antibiotics, some of which are now going to be in short supply due to the shutdown of some Chinese factories. The result is that globalization has shown itself to be the ultimate double-edged sword. 

Americans – indeed the whole world’s people – are now discovering the unpleasant edge of that sword and are now being forced to accept the downside associated with that dependency. Our current state of national emergency is a graphic reminder of the inescapable cause and effect our decisions have and of the real consequences of ‘togetherness.’ As we sequester ourselves away with ‘social distancing,’ avoiding congregating in large numbers and concentrating on those closest to us, we actually have a golden opportunity to re-examine our ways and our choices both as individuals and as a country. There is not a better time than now to do so.

Stephan Helgesen is a retired career U.S. diplomat who lived and worked in 30 countries for 25 years during the Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush Administrations. He is the author of ten books, four of which are on American politics and has written over 1,000 articles on politics, economics, and social trends. He can be reached at: stephan@stephanhelgesen.com

Opinions offered by Piñon Post contributors in no way, shape, or form 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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