Politics

You might be surprised by just how close Biden and Trump are polling in NM

According to a poll commissioned by the campaign of independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kenney, Jr., 45th President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in New Mexico.

John Zogby Strategies, which did the April 14-21 poll, found that of the 505 voters surveyed, 48.6 percent supported Biden, 41.7 percent supported Trump, and 9.7 percent supported another candidate. That means Biden is leading Trump only by 6.9 points after Biden is said to have won the state in 2020 by a 10.79 percent margin.

National favorability polls show Biden underwater, including in New Mexico, where he is -2 percent favorable. Despite Trump being -18 percent favorable in Democrat-dominated New Mexico, per the Zogby poll, he is still neck-and-neck with Biden.

According to the Kennedy campaign, “This poll surveyed more than 26,000 likely voters across the country and has a margin of error of only 0.6%.” 

“[Joe] Biden cannot beat President Trump. When you actually poll every state, and tally the electoral votes, Biden loses in a head-to-head against Trump and he loses in a three-way too,” the campaign added.

The presidential race is not the only race that could shift the winds of power in New Mexico. All three congressional seats are up in November, as well as the U.S. Senate seat held by far-left Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich, whose primary residence is in Maryland—not New Mexico. 

He is being challenged by Republican Nella Domenici, the daughter of the late GOP Sen. Pete Domenici, a revered figure in New Mexico politics due to his 36-year tenure in the Senate. 

The state also has many pick-up opportunities for the GOP in the New Mexico Legislature, with key Democrats retiring and the 2024 presidential election set to excite Republicans, who last had a majority in the New Mexico House from 2015-2016 and last ruled the New Mexico Senate in 1931. 

With woefully unpopular far-left Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham running primary challengers to many legislative Democrats, Republicans see pick-up opportunities, such as in 2020 when a far-left Lujan Grisham-backed Democrat knocked off Democrat former state Sen. John Arthur Smith in the primary for District 35 and Republican Crystal Diamond won that seat over the “progressive” Democrat nominee. Smith kept that seat in Democrat hands for 31 year, and Republicans now comfortably hold the district. This same scenario will likely play out if some of the governor’s primary challengers succeed in the June 4, 2024, election.

MLG’s $10M abortion center to service Texans one step closer to being built

Editor’s note: a previous version of this article incorrectly indicated the abortion center would be $10 billion, not $10 million.

A new abortion facility received the green light from the University of New Mexico’s Board of Regents on Wednesday to proceed with its building plans. The organization behind the facility can now purchase land for its construction.

Last year, the Legislature approved $10 million for an abortion center in Doña Ana County after pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham forced the funds through in the capital outlay bill — resulting in Republicans and even some Democrats voting against the measure because of her proposed $10 million state-run abortion mill. 

Since then, UNM, Planned Parenthood, and fringe dark money groups Bold Futures New Mexico and Strong Families New Mexico have collaborated and engaged other pro-abortion community groups to develop a plan for the center.

Heather Smith of Bold Futures stated, “Our communities have been lacking [abortion] services for decades,” she informed the UNM Board of Regents.

“Source New Mexico” writes that as well as abortions, the state-funded center will offer so-called “gender affirming care.” 

The acquisition of land, located at the Lohman Medical Park campus in Las Cruces, was approved by a 6 to 1 vote. UNM Medical Group will manage the 8,000-square-foot facility.

The contract price for the land is $1,030,630, which will be funded from the state appropriation for the project.

Charlene Bencomo, the executive director of Bold Futures, said the steps taken by the university’s board of regents give the green light to finalize the land deal and begin designing and staffing the facility. The facility is set to be Texas’ back-alley abortion facility for Texas mothers to utilize abortion tourism to visit New Mexico and end their child’s life at the state-funded center.

They also plan to collaborate with UNM to start a training program and work with the New Mexico Doula Association to integrate doula care into the center.

NRA takes MLG to court over New Mexico’s 7-day waiting period law

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in New Mexico, challenging the state’s new waiting period law for firearm purchases. The lawsuit, Ortega v. Grisham, was filed in collaboration with the Mountain States Legal Foundation.

New Mexico’s “Unlawful Sale of a Firearm Before Required Waiting Period Ends Act” mandates a seven-day waiting period before a firearm purchaser can take possession of the weapon, even if they pass a background check immediately. While the law exempts concealed carry permit holders, it does not provide exceptions for urgent situations, such as imminent threats to the buyer’s safety.

“The NRA fights every day in Washington, DC, state capitals, and when necessary, the legal arena, to protect the constitutional freedoms of law-abiding Americans and NRA members,” said Randy Kozuch, Executive Director of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA). “The State of New Mexico’s waiting period law is a clear violation of its citizens’ Second Amendment rights – needlessly delaying their ability to acquire a firearm for self-defense or sporting purposes. With this legal challenge, NRA is committed to seeing that this unconstitutional law be wiped from the state statutes.”

The NRA is suing New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Attorney General Raúl Torrez, arguing that the waiting period infringes upon both the Second Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment, which applies the Second Amendment to the states. The NRA has also requested a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of the law during litigation.

The lawsuit, filed by plaintiffs Samuel Ortega and Rebecca Scott, details how the waiting period law has impacted their attempts to purchase firearms. Ortega and Scott both passed federal background checks but were unable to take possession of their purchased firearms due to the waiting period requirement. They argue that the law unnecessarily burdens their Second Amendment rights.

According to the lawsuit, “The right to keep and bear arms recognized in the Second Amendment is made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Waiting Period Act burdens the right of residents of the State of New Mexico, including Plaintiffs, in exercising their right to keep and bear arms, a right which is explicitly protected by the Second Amendment.”

The lawsuit further contends that there is no historical precedent for such a waiting period, stating, “It is impossible for the State to meet this burden because there is no historical tradition of firearms being regulated in this manner either at the time of our founding and the ratification of the Second Amendment, or during the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

The NRA and the plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the waiting period law is unconstitutional, a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to halt its enforcement, and other relief as deemed appropriate by the court.

In scathing op-ed, Dem NM legislator rips ‘Woke’ progressive bullies in party

In a defiant op-ed published in the Albuquerque Journal, Democrat State Representative Marian Matthews from New Mexico openly criticized this year’s Senate Bill 3 (SB 3), the failed Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) bill, marking her firm opposition to what she described as a flawed proposal championed by the far-left progressives within her party. Matthews, who represents District 27, highlighted her commitment to protecting vulnerable populations, a commitment that led her to vote against the bill not once but twice.

Matthews invoked the words of Hubert Humphrey to underline her point, stating, “The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadows of life – the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.” She argued that the New Mexico Legislature frequently fails this moral test, and passing SB 3 would continue that trend by potentially reducing or eliminating services for those most in need.

The crux of Matthews’ argument revolves around the economic strains placed on caregivers, who are legally bound to pay the state minimum wage and provide mandated state benefits. She noted that, unlike other businesses, caregivers cannot simply raise prices to cover increased costs due to slow adjustments in state contracts. This leads to reductions in workforce and services, exacerbating the plight of about 70,000 of New Mexico’s “most vulnerable” citizens.

State Rep. Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque)

Matthews criticized the formation of the task force designed to develop the PFML, pointing out its lack of representation from caregivers, healthcare providers, and rural areas. She highlighted the unsustainable nature of the bill, questioning its long-term viability and the capability of the state agency assigned to administer it.

Reflecting on her own legislative efforts, Matthews mentioned her support for a more inclusive and sustainable PFML bill that she introduced in 2024. However, she encountered resistance from fellow legislators who believed exempting caregivers from payroll taxes funding the program would lead to its insolvency. “PFML would be paid for on the backs of the most vulnerable,” she lamented.

Matthews also shared personal anecdotes from her career, including threats from a powerful unnamed senator aimed at stifling her opposition to the PFML bill and other legislative efforts. Despite the political pressure and personal attacks, Matthews remains committed to advocating for the most vulnerable populations, stating, “Whether or not I win the election, I do not regret my votes. I don’t apologize for advocating for the most vulnerable New Mexicans.”

The representative concluded her piece with a call to action for more rigorous debate within her party, reminiscent of the Democrat Party’s former historical “Big Tent” approach. However, the Democrat Party of John F. Kennedy appears not only to be on life support, but deceased. 

She expressed hope for a revival of vigorous, contentious debates to achieve better policy outcomes, boldly stating, “I’m up for a raucous debate if the Woke ever wake up!” 

UNM president breaks silence on anti-Israel protesters’ demands

The University of New Mexico released an official statement on May 14 responding to recent protest demands related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. 

The university responded to calls for a ceasefire and demands for so-called “transparency” regarding its investment activities, specifically concerning ties to Israel.

UNM President Garnett Stokes clarified the university’s stance, emphasizing that as a public institution, UNM will not engage as a political entity in social or geopolitical debates. The statement highlighted the university’s intention to remain neutral on such issues.

Furthermore, the university has made a firm commitment to complete transparency, pledging to disclose its investment portfolio in its entirety by August 2024. 

This response directly addresses the demand for transparency from the university divestment coalition, a group of student leaders. 

The statement also acknowledges and addresses issues at the Duck Pond protest encampment, noting several policy violations, including restricted public access, disruption of university operations, safety concerns due to unsafe structures, and vandalism.

President Stokes has requested the voluntary dismantling of the Duck Pond encampment by 5 p.m. on the same day the statement was issued, warning that the university is prepared to take further actions if necessary. The involved parties have been duly notified about this directive.

Court halts Lujan Grisham’s 180-day PED rule in shock win for rural schools

A coalition of New Mexico school superintendents has initiated legal action against state officials, challenging the public education department’s imposition of a 180-day school calendar. 

The superintendents argue that the rule represents a case of “executive overreach,” according to Stan Rounds, the executive director for the New Mexico School Superintendents Association.

During a court session in Roswell, a District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order against the New Mexico Public Education Department’s (NMPED) mandate, which was set to start in fall 2024. 

The rule would abolish the four-day school weeks prevalent in many of the state’s rural areas. “If you do a four-day week under the new rule, you essentially will have to go to school about 49 of those 52 weeks,” explained Rounds.

The lawsuit, supported by over 50 school districts and including officials from Mosquero, contends that the extended calendar would significantly increase travel times, costs, and burdens for both students and staff. 

Superintendent Johnna Bruhn of Mosquero Municipal Schools highlighted these concerns, stating, “The issue is, it’s going to be an increase in travel time and an increase in costs and an increase in the burden on the students and the staff.”

The discontent extends beyond administrators to the community. Ronald Dixon, whose grandchildren attend school in Grady, expressed his disapproval, emphasizing the impact on recovery and rest. “I just totally object to it because they don’t give the kids an opportunity to rest, as well as the teachers, and give everybody a break,” he said.

In response to the lawsuit, the PED provided a statement defending the policy by pointing to schools that voluntarily adopted longer calendars and reportedly saw improved student outcomes. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also voiced support for the rule, asserting that it would enhance the state’s educational performance.

However, a court just ruled that PED’s mandate violates 2023’s law change requiring 1140 instructional hours and does not comply with legislative history. Additionally, the rule was found to be at odds with legislative history. The judge emphasized that legislative power prevails in determining the structure of educational policies.

Referencing the 2009 law that initially introduced the 180-day requirement and its repeal two years later in 2011, the judge highlighted this legislative action as indicative of the intent not to enforce such a mandate. Furthermore, the judge pointed out that PED’s delay of 12 years to enact the 180-day rule, as noted in a December communication to the Legislative Finance Committee, suggests that the department itself doubted its authority to impose this requirement.

As a result, the judge granted a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the rule, citing its inconsistency with established statutes and its contravention of legislative objectives. The court also mandated that PED must approve school budgets that adhere to current legal standards.

The court requires the submission of findings within ten days to support this order. Additionally, a scheduling discussion is set for Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. to address the matter further.

MLG taking large NM delegation to Europe for enviro excursion

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico is once again leaving the state, this time for an international trip to Rotterdam, Netherlands, under the guise of promoting business and trade at the 2024 World Hydrogen Summit and Exhibition. Critics argue that her travel highlights a concerning trend of prioritizing global climate agendas over immediate local issues, as she aims to discuss potential investments in New Mexico’s hydrogen sector.

It is not immediately clear what this expensive “climate change” excursion will cost. However, with the governor flying out her husband, Manny Cordova, Office of the Governor Deputy Chief of Operations Caroline Buerkle, Environment Department Cabinet Secretary James Kenney, Department of Transportation Secretary Ricky Serna, Office of the Governor Communications Director Michael Coleman, New Mexico Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Rob Black and HyVisory Inc. Managing Director Stewart Stewart, it is sure to be quite the expense.

Taxpayers see this as an extravagant use of taxpayer money, especially when many New Mexicans continue to face everyday challenges that are sidelined by high-concept, low-impact environmental strategies.

Rotterdam, Netherlands

The governor’s hydrogen-based model for the economy is more about aligning with trendy global environmental movements than delivering practical economic benefits to New Mexico residents, especially since oil and gas funds the state’s large $10+ billion budget. 

The governor’s office boasts about creating a favorable hydrogen policy landscape in New Sed, which supposedly attracts global energy leaders. However, detractors argue that this focus diverts attention and resources from more pressing statewide needs such as public safety, education, healthcare, and infrastructure, all of which the state is ranked last or near last. 

As the governor prepares to promote New Mexico as a thriving hub for hydrogen investment, despite her hydrogen bills failing miserably at the Legislature year after year, her critics urge a reevaluation of priorities, suggesting that state leadership should concentrate more on tangible solutions that directly benefit its citizens rather than chasing international acclaim for environmental initiatives.

The governor recently left the state for Washington, D.C., to attend Joe Biden’s White House correspondents’ dinner and other lavish D.C. media parties.

Leftists whine after law-breaking NMSU protesters arrested

Thirteen individuals were detained at New Mexico State University’s Las Cruces campus on Thursday following a two-hour sit-in protest. The demonstration, organized by anti-Israel parties, took place in the Hadley administration building, a hub for the university’s top administrative offices.

The protest started with a group of about 12 to 16 people positioning themselves in the central hallway, engaging in chants and songs. Outside, additional supporters joined, some playing musical instruments on the building’s doors, echoing the sentiments inside, as campus police restricted entry.

The sit-in was part of a broader movement that included a week-long encampment on campus, during which protesters issued demands to the university’s board of regents. These demands included adopting a cease-fire resolution and transparency about the university’s investments, specifically concerning any financial ties to entities benefiting from military actions in Gaza or associated with the Israeli government.

The protesters also strangely demanded that NMSU remove Pistol Pete as the university’s mascot.

Despite the protesters’ demands, the university’s regents did not address the cease-fire resolution. Interim President Mónica Torres communicated through a letter that the university had found no investments matching the criteria specified by the protesters and requested the disbandment of the camp due to policy and safety concerns. This camp was dismantled shortly after, on May 6.

As the sit-in commenced around 4:30 p.m., just before the end of the academic year, the atmosphere outside Hadley Hall was contrastingly serene, with students engaging in typical campus activities. However, inside, the mood was different as protesters, closely encircled by campus police, continued their demonstration. 

By 5:30 p.m., the building was fully occupied by protesters and police. NMSU Police Deputy Chief Justin Dunivan mentioned efforts to de-escalate the situation and acknowledged the ongoing dialogue with the protesters.

As tensions escalated, supporters outside intensified their efforts, banging on the windows and shouting support slogans, with one protester marking the pavement with messages calling for a cease-fire. The administration noted a window was broken during the protest, attributing it to the intensity of the demonstration.

The situation reached a climax at around 6 p.m. when the university’s spokesperson, Justin Bannister, stated, “That building closes for business at 5 p.m.,” indicating that the protesters had been repeatedly asked to vacate the premises before being warned of impending arrests. This led to the arrest of 13 people, with charges ranging from misdemeanors like criminal trespass to felonies such as battery on a peace officer.

The following day, Interim President Torres released a statement, acknowledging the presence of both students and others in the protest and reiterating the university’s commitment to enabling peaceful protests while maintaining campus operations and safety.

After the news of the arrests, the far-left fringe group “ProgressNow New Mexico” bemoaned on X, “​​Last night peacefully gathered protesters at NMSU were violently removed during a sit-in. One was so brutally assaulted they required hospitalization. 

We expressly condemn the use of force by police against students exercising their right to assemble and speech (sic). Again.” 

On the other side of the argument, former Congresswoman Yvette Herrell wrote, “Kudos to NMSU for handling this the right way. Clear communication from the administration about the consequences for breaking the law, then rapid follow-through from law enforcement when those warnings were ignored. Lawbreakers were promptly removed, arrested, and charged – problem solved. Other universities should take note!” 

Judge sides with Egolfs on how to handle high-stakes fraud battle

A legal battle involving Democrat former New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf, his wife, Kelly Egolf, and a group of prominent investors will be settled through arbitration rather than in court. District Judge Francis Mathew made this decision on Thursday, siding with the Egolfs, who had argued that an agreement between Kelly Egolf and her former business partners at New Mexico Fresh Foods required dispute resolution through arbitration.

“We have been clear from the beginning this case never should have been filed in court, and we are glad Judge Mathew confirmed that today,” stated Brian Egolf’s attorney, Mark Baker, after the ruling, per the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Meanwhile, Clifford Atkinson, representing the plaintiffs, said they are considering options for an appeal but did not provide further comments. The plaintiffs include Bob and Ellen Vladem (the namesake of the Vladem Contemporary Museum), real estate mogul Ed Berman, attorney Dan Perry, philanthropist Gail “Peaches” Gilbert, restaurateur Charles Dale, Jessie Groothuis, and Steven Lustig.

The group claims that the Egolfs devised a scheme to cut them out of New Mexico Fresh Foods by orchestrating a bank sale of its assets to Invictus, a company they allege was set up to defraud them of their $3 million investment.

However, the Egolfs’ legal team argued that the investors deliberately blocked Kelly Egolf’s attempt to secure additional funding when New Mexico Fresh Foods encountered financial trouble. In response, Brian Egolf created Invictus to prevent total financial collapse.

Aside from the investors’ contributions, New Mexico Fresh Foods secured about $700,000 in public funding and benefited from government tax breaks for equipment purchases. Additionally, the company received a $375,000 loan from the Santa Fe Community Foundation.

The Egolfs’ motions to enforce arbitration, filed by attorney Jennifer Noya on behalf of Kelly Egolf and by Baker representing both Brian Egolf and Invictus, also sought to either dismiss the lawsuit or pause the case while arbitration proceeds.

“This isn’t a dispute involving an arbitration agreement that’s buried in some sort of consumer contract or nursing home admission documents,” Noya explained. “Rather, this is a case filed by multiple sophisticated investor groups.”

Billionaires fund anti-Israel protests as Dems like Vasquez accept their cash

Several House Democrats in challenging re-election campaigns, including New Mexico Rep. Gabe Vasquez, have accepted contributions from the wealthy Pritzker family, who have been linked to groups involved in recent anti-Jewish protests. 

According to data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the Pritzker family, known for their ownership of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, donated substantial amounts to vulnerable Democrats as well as to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and House Majority PAC. Both organizations aim to secure a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.

Reports indicate that the Pritzker family founded the Libra Foundation, which funds smaller nonprofits. Some of these nonprofits, like the Climate Justice Alliance, have taken Hamas’ side as Israel continues to defend itself against radical Islamic terrorists launching attacks.

Another funded group, Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, has promoted anti-Israel demonstrations. 

The Immigrant Defense Project, also supported by the Libra Foundation, joined a protest in Washington, D.C., that led to several arrests.

Additionally, the Pritzkers and billionaire George Soros are reported to support the Tides Foundation, which funds “progressive” organizations such as the Adalah Justice Project. This project took part in a protest at Columbia University that was disrupted last week after multiple arrests.

Alongside Gabe Vasquez, other vulnerable Democrats receiving donations from the Pritzkers include Reps. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska), Mike Levin (D-Calif.), Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.), Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Susan Wild (D-Pa.), Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Chris Deluzio (D-Pa.), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.). 

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