Punk shoots up ABQ mall — a ‘gun-free zone’

On the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 24, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) swiftly responded to reports of gunfire at Coronado Center — a “gun-free zone” — in northeast Albuquerque. The incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m., prompting a significant police presence.

Around 100 officers who were initially monitoring a rally at the Uptown Shopping Area were quickly redirected to Coronado Center upon receiving alerts of shots fired.

Gilbert Gallegos from the Albuquerque Police Department provided updates following the incident, stating, “The suspect is not in custody. To my understanding, they did a foot pursuit, chased him out of the mall, and he was able to escape at this point. We do have a good description. We believe we may have photos later tonight. We’re getting those analyzed and checking with different witnesses who were involved, but at this point, everybody is safe at the mall, everyone is safe in the surrounding area. We don’t believe there’s any kind of threat to the public.”

Another photograph of the suspect:

Witnesses inside the mall described a chaotic scene, with people rushing to safety. Maryah Lovato shared, “We didn’t hear gunshots. We just… everybody piling up, like falling over each other. We thought maybe something, a fight was happening, so we just ran out. We were stressed out, just trying to get to somewhere safe.”

By 4:54 p.m., APD confirmed that there was no active shooter. An off-duty Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputy or lieutenant pursued the offender. While APD had a description of the suspect, they anticipated releasing photos later that evening.

Fortunately, there were no reported injuries, and officers discovered at least one bullet casing at the scene. The firearm used in the shooting was not immediately identified.

Crucially, APD clarified that there was no connection between the rally held earlier and the shooting at Coronado Center. The mall, however, remained closed for the remainder of the evening following the incident.

The suspect was later identified as 14-year-old Isaiah Montoya.

Reports indicate that immediately after the shooting, around 3:51 p.m., officers detained a juvenile involved in a confrontation with Montoya. The juvenile revealed a prior friendship with Montoya but mentioned an ongoing dispute over social media. Following a physical altercation at the mall, Montoya allegedly brandished a silver handgun and pursued the juvenile and another individual. The situation escalated as Montoya fired a round outside the mall, causing panic among shoppers and workers.

Surveillance footage and eyewitness accounts, including those of an off-duty Bernalillo County Sheriff’s lieutenant, provided a detailed sequence of events. Montoya, carrying the firearm, initially walked away from the mall entrance but then turned back, firing a shot that struck the building. Additional footage captured Montoya manipulating the handgun outside the mall before fleeing the scene toward Menaul Blvd.

A gun matching Montoya’s firearm was discovered near the mall on November 25th, 2023, and subsequently turned over to the police. A warrant from the Children’s Court approved charges against Montoya, and efforts are underway to apprehend him.

Concerns have been raised regarding the potential culpability of Montoya’s guardians under Bennie’s Law, an anti-gun law recently passed regarding minors getting access to firearms from their parents or legal guardians. The law stipulates that if a child gains access to a negligently stored gun, resulting in harm or death, it constitutes a fourth-degree felony with a possible sentence of up to a year and a half in prison.

The application of the law hinges on whether the child causes harm, turning it into a misdemeanor if no injuries occur. The involvement of Montoya’s guardians in legal proceedings remains unclear at this point. However, despite the law, it appears it has not been a deterrent whatsoever, as crimes involving minors and firearms have gone up since its passage.

Could the ‘First Manny’ secretly be MAGA?

A recent Thanksgiving post by far-left Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham could give New Mexicans a clue of who the first gentleman, or as Lujan Grisham calls him, the “First Manny” (Manny Cordova) really is.

Lujan Grisham posted via X on Black Friday, “I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the First Manny, my children and grandchildren. Let the Christmas season begin!” Along with the post was a photo of her and some family members, including Cordova, who stood to her right.

The first gentleman was wearing a distinctive Navy and white sweater, and the photo appears to have been altered to remove the “Turnberry Scotland” logo from the garment in the photograph.

On the right arm of the sweater in the photograph, however, the text “Glenmuir 1891” can be seen stitched in the fabric. 

The sweater design is sold at the official Trump store, which is run by the 45th President Donald Trump’s family, and the sweater is offered online for sale, which promotes the Trump Turnberry Hotel and Resort. Similar sweaters are also sold at the Glenmuir store.

Screenshot of the Turnberry Scotland sweater via the Trump Store. Accessed Nov. 24, 2023: https://www.trumpstore.com/product/saltire-zip-neck-sweater/

The subtle wearing of the Trump brand by the first gentleman is noteworthy, as is the apparent digital altering of the photo to remove the logo, as Lujan Grisham is rabidly anti-Trump.

The extreme far-left Democrat has attacked Trump’s record on the pandemic and immigration, calling him a “failure” among many other cheap shots, potentially to the chagrin of the now-first gentleman. 

Lujan Grisham and Cordova were married last May at a Washington, D.C. ceremony officiated by Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris.

According to analyses of Mr. Cordova’s past voting history and likely party indicators, although he is registered as a Democrat at the governor’s mansion, he is calculated to be a “weak Republican,” another indicator the first gentleman could be more conservative than he may seem.

Could the “First Manny” secretly be a Trump supporter? The evidence shows he may not be as far-left as his wife, the governor.

Not so honorable: New Mexico Supreme Court censures Democrat judge

In a recent development, a Democrat New Mexico judge from Las Cruces, The “honorable” James Martin of the 3rd Judicial District Court, faced public censure from the New Mexico Supreme Court for breaching six rules of the Code of Judicial Conduct. 

The censure, issued on Nov. 13, followed an acknowledgment of allegations by Judge Martin, who admitted to influencing prosecutors to pursue more severe charges against Robert “Berto” Burnham in a 2018 case.

Judge James T. Martin. Portrait via NM Courts.

The case involved Burnham, the former owner of Boots And Bourbon, who was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a semi-automatic rifle at a woman at the Las Cruces bar, identified as Martin’s daughter. The bar subsequently closed in 2018, and Burnham was convicted in 2021, with an ongoing appeal.

During Burnham’s trial, Judge Martin reportedly leveraged his authority to coerce prosecutors Samuel Rosten and Spencer Wilson into modifying the charges against Burnham. In a phone call, Martin directed the prosecutors to use language such as “brandish a firearm” in jury instructions instead of stating that Burnham “pointed a firearm” at Martin’s daughter. Following this, an amended jury instruction was submitted, alleging that Burnham “brandished and/or pointed a deadly weapon.”

After Burnham’s conviction, Martin inquired about his detention, expressing satisfaction that he was taken into custody. The court’s opinion highlighted Martin’s allowance of his daughter in his chambers during the trial, acknowledging the potential appearance of impropriety.

The Supreme Court’s censure aimed to emphasize the importance of judges avoiding any appearance of impropriety and to reassure the public of the legal system’s commitment to maintaining an independent, fair, and impartial judiciary.

NM high court sets hearing date for suit over Gov. MLG’s anti-gun order

In New Mexico, the state Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments concerning the scope of the governor’s authority to issue public health orders. 

The petition initiating this legal scrutiny has been filed by entities including the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Republican Party of New Mexico, and every Republican state legislator. The legal filing came after Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a public health emergency order stripping Bernalillo County and Albuquerque residents of their right to concealed or open carry a firearm. 

During the signing of the blatantly illegal order, Lujan Grisham claimed that no constitutional right, in her view, including her oath, “is intended to be absolute.”

A Joe Biden-appointed judge quickly struck down that measure due to its blatant unconstitutionality, but the question about the governor’s authority to make such edicts is what the lawsuit is centered upon.

Alongside questioning the governor’s authority, the petition seeks clarity from the court on whether drug abuse and gun violence can be considered valid grounds for declaring a public health emergency. The New Mexico Supreme Court has slated the arguments for January 8, where these issues will be thoroughly examined.

Reps. John Block (R-Alamogordo) and Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) have begun impeachment proceedings against the governor and intend to bring them forth in the next legislative session.

ABQ Mayor Keller sides with eco-left, vetoes bill to rein in ‘rogue’ board

In a recent development, Mayor Tim Keller has vetoed Bill O-23-88 and R-23-176, sending ripples through the Albuquerque City Council. The bills aimed to repeal and replace the Air Quality Control Board and impose a moratorium on the board, restricting its ability to pass a Health, Environment, and Equity Impacts rule without scientific evidence, arguing it falls beyond its jurisdiction based on case law.

City Councilor Dan Lewis expressed concern, stating, “By vetoing these bills, the Mayor has put the City of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico at risk of losing thousands of jobs.”

 Lewis criticized the Mayor for siding with enviro-Marxists, particularly mentioning Marla Painter, whom he accused of representing only the South Valley, and her husband Mark Rudd, a domestic terrorist associated with the Weather Underground. Lewis argued that the veto goes against economic development and the interests of numerous family-owned businesses, expressing grave concerns about the proposed rule. In a press release, Lewis wrote that the veto “puts checks and balances on rogue Air Quality Control Board.”

According to Lewis, the Air Quality Control Board intends to implement regulations that would make it extremely challenging, if not impossible, for companies to obtain air permits in Albuquerque. Despite the Mayor expressing serious concerns with the proposed rule, he chose to veto the legislation, preventing the board from moving forward with these regulations.

The Albuquerque Journal characterized the proposed Health, Environment, and Equity Impacts rule as “perhaps the most restrictive regulatory rule in New Mexico history,” with environmentalists supporting its broad application to various businesses requiring air quality permits, from small enterprises to schools, hospitals, and more.

The University of New Mexico voiced its apprehension, stating that the proposed regulations could negatively impact UNM operations on the main campus, the Health Sciences Center, UNM Hospital, and anticipated developments like the South Campus TIDD and UNM Health infrastructure.

Even the City’s Environmental Health Department expressed concerns, noting that the proposed rule seemingly applies to a wide range of entities, including small businesses, schools, hotels, office buildings, gas stations, and larger corporations.

The undemocratic decisions and alleged behind-the-scenes deals of the Air Quality Control Board are now a cause for concern, potentially harming major employers and jeopardizing the city’s ability to attract businesses crucial for job growth. The Air Quality Control Board is set to review the proposed rule from December 4th to 8th. The City Council will have an opportunity to override the Mayor’s veto with six votes at the regular meeting on December 4th.

New Mexico ranked one of the least free states

In the “Freedom in the 50 States 2023” report by the Cato Institute, New Mexico finds itself ranked 35th, indicating its position as one of the less free states in the country. The comprehensive evaluation conducted by the libertarian think tank scrutinized policies affecting economic and social freedoms across all 50 states.

While New Mexico secured favorable marks for personal freedom, its economic performance was subpar, reflected in its overall score of 0.04. The report noted that the state has historically possessed more personal freedom than economic freedom, with recent improvements in fiscal policy. Despite moving up to 39th place on fiscal policy, up from a prolonged stint at 48th, and achieving a 36th-place rank on regulatory policy, its 41st-best score on economic freedom weighed down its overall standing.

New Mexico faced criticism for government consumption (48th), government employment (48th), and labor market freedom (44th), among other categories. The report highlighted that the state’s overall tax burden, although below the national average, did not significantly contribute to government choice due to limited competing jurisdictions.

Despite its economic challenges, New Mexico garnered commendations for marriage freedom (No. 1), asset forfeiture (No. 1), and cannabis policies (No. 8). The state also boasted an above-average ranking for incarceration (13th), with low victimless crime arrests and favorable asset forfeiture laws.

However, areas for improvement were identified, with recommendations to enhance school choice and liberalize smoking laws to boost the personal freedom score. The report acknowledged New Mexico’s strong stance on religious freedom and equal rights but criticized weaknesses in tobacco and educational freedoms.

The Cato Institute’s report crowned New Hampshire as the freest state, followed by Florida, South Dakota, Nevada, and Arizona. Conversely, the least free states were identified as New York, Hawaii, California, New Jersey, and Oregon.

Read the report here.

NM Supreme Court holds fate of swing district in balance

The Republican Party in New Mexico is fervently urging the state Supreme Court to invalidate a congressional map that has dissected a politically conservative oil-producing area into multiple districts while reshaping a swing district along the U.S.-Mexico border to favor Democrats.

The court heard oral arguments on Monday but did not issue a ruling. The map in question, crafted by far-left Democrat state lawmakers, is contested by Republicans who argue that it disproportionately affects the representation of their political minority in the state.

The stakes are high as the court’s decision could sway which party ultimately holds the reins in the state’s Second Congressional District, where Democratic Representative Gabe Vasquez seeks a second term. This district has become a focal point in national politics as Republicans strive to maintain their slim majority in the U.S. House in the upcoming 2024 elections.

Similar battles over congressional maps are unfolding across the country. Recent court rulings in Alabama and Florida found that Republican-led legislatures had unjustly diluted the voting power of Black residents. Legal challenges are ongoing in various states, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

In New Mexico, a state district judge ruled in October that Democratic lawmakers had significantly weakened the votes of their political opponents. However, the judge stopped short of labeling it as “egregious” gerrymandering. The Republican Party, appealing this decision, argues that the diluted representation of their political minority may persist for the entire decade until the next round of map redrawing.

Harrison, representing the Republicans, pointed to the 2022 defeat of incumbent GOP Congresswoman Yvette Herrell as evidence of the adverse impact on Republican representation. However, justices raised skepticism, noting the thin margin of Herrell’s loss in 2022 and her previous loss in the open race for the seat in 2018 before district boundaries were redrawn, indicating ongoing competitiveness.

Sara Sanchez, representing Democratic legislative leaders, countered that the evidence presented in the case does not support claims of egregious gerrymandering. She emphasized that while every map may favor one party over another, it only becomes a constitutional concern when it results in entrenchment, a level of effectuation not evident in this case.

The broader political landscape in New Mexico, where Democrats currently hold all statewide elected offices, three congressional seats, and two Senate seats, underscores the significance of the ongoing legal battle over redistricting. The state Supreme Court’s ruling will shape the trajectory of political representation in the Second Congressional District and could have broader implications for the balance of power in the state.

Two New Mexico U.S. reps. vote against stripping antisemitic colleges’ funding

The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted by an overwhelming bipartisan majority to strip federal funding from college campuses that promote antisemitism. 

However, two New Mexico representatives decided to support antisemites and vote against the legislation along with 52 of their colleagues.

Those who voted no were Reps. Teresa Leger Fernandez of the Third Congressional District and Melanie Stansbury of the First Congressional District.

Rep. Gabe Vasquez of the Second District, who faces a tough 2024 reelection against Republican former Rep. Yvette Herrell, voted for the measure.

Stansbury and Leger Fernandez voted with the likes of antisemitic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, both Democrats. Omar was removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee for her antisemitism, and Tlaib was censured for her rabid antisemitic comments.

A full breakdown of representatives who voted against the commonsense measure is below: 

1. Amo (RI)

2. Balint (VT)

3. Barragán (CA)

4. Beyer (VA)

5. Blunt Rochester (DE)

6. Bonamici (OR)

7. Bowman (NY)

8. Bush (MO)

9. Cárdenas (CA)

10. Casar (TX)

11. Case (HI)

12. Casten (IL)

13. Chu (CA)

14. Clarke (NY)

15. Cleaver (MO)

16. Crockett (TX)

17. DeGette (CO)

18. Foster (IL)

19. García (IL)

20. Green, Al (TX)

21. Grijalva (AZ)

22. Hoyle (OR)

23. Jackson (IL)

24. Jacobs (CA)

25. Jayapal (WA)

26. Johnson (GA)

27. Kamlager-Dove (CA)

28. Lee (CA)

29. Lee (PA)

30. Leger Fernandez (NM)

31. Massie (KY) 

32. McClellan (VA)

33. McCollum (MN)

34. Moore (WI)

35. Nadler (NY)

36. Napolitano (CA)

37. Ocasio-Cortez (NY)

38. Omar (MN)

39. Peters (CA)

40. Pingree (ME)

41. Plaskett (VI)

42. Pocan (WI)

43. Pressley (MA)

44. Ramirez (IL)

45. Sablan (MP)

46. Schakowsky (IL)

47. Scott (VA)

48. Stansbury (NM)

49. Takano (CA)

50. Tlaib (MI)

51. Tokuda (HI)

52. Velázquez (NY)

53. Watson Coleman (NJ)

54. Williams (GA)

CYFD’s jaw-dropping decline in abuse prevention funds revealed

New Mexico’s child welfare agency, the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD), has witnessed a significant reduction in spending on evidence-based abuse prevention programs, according to a recent legislative report. Despite a high prevalence of child maltreatment, the CYFD’s spending on services aimed at preventing repeated abuse and neglect plummeted by 77 percent between fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 2023, as revealed by analysts from the Legislative Finance Committee, per the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The report highlighted that prevention services accounted for a mere 3 percent of spending on Protective Services in FY23. Acting CYFD Secretary Teresa Casados contested the accuracy of the analysis, stating in an email that spending on preventive services had, in fact, increased by 4 percent from $7.56 million in FY2022 to $7.87 million in FY2023. As of November 16, spending had reportedly reached $13.47 million, indicating a positive shift “reflecting that CYFD is moving in the right direction with a focus on prevention.”

In response, the LFC stressed the importance of understanding how the allocated funds were being utilized, emphasizing evidence-based prevention services as a legislative priority. Maralyn Beck, founder of the New Mexico Child First Network, expressed disappointment at the reported cut in abuse prevention spending, describing it as “both frustrating and deeply irresponsible.” Beck underscored the need for increased investment in upstream services to address New Mexico’s ongoing behavioral health crisis.

The legislative report further revealed that the CYFD had not expended any of the $20 million allocated by the Legislature in FY2023 to expand behavioral health provider capacity. The LFC had previously reported New Mexico’s consistent ranking among the top six states for repeat maltreatment of children within a year of an initial abuse or neglect allegation.

The fiscal year 2024 budget recommendation acknowledged that increased spending on preventive services correlated with a decline in cases of repeat maltreatment. However, it pointed out that the reported drop in abuse prevention spending was a matter of concern, especially considering New Mexico’s record-breaking revenues and the responsibility to prevent child mistreatment.

State Sen. Crystal Diamond Brantley (R-Elephant Butte) emphasized the importance of preventing the “willful harm of our most vulnerable children,” citing the need for an Office of the Child Advocate to enhance oversight of CYFD. Brantley urged the governor to support this proposal in the upcoming legislative session.

State Rep. Liz Thomson (D-Bernalillo), chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, expressed concern over the reported drop in abuse prevention spending, stating, “My reaction is, ‘Wow.’ Of course, I would like to know more details, but that doesn’t seem like we’re going in the right direction.”

As the state grapples with child welfare challenges, stakeholders and legislators are expected to push for reforms in the upcoming legislative session, focusing on prioritizing effective prevention programs and leveraging federal funding to address child maltreatment effectively.

Maryland-dwelling Sen. Heinrich declares ‘momentous day’ in most elitist flex yet

Far-left U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich bragged on Saturday from his official government account about his New Mexico house being “100% electrified,” meaning he has stripped out all gas-using appliances to replace them with electricity, which is produced by 63.9 percent fossil fuels, including oil, gas, and coal.

The Democrat hailed the accomplishment as “a momentous day in our household.”

He said in a video posted to X, formerly Twitter, “So, my HVAC unit died, so we went ahead and replaced it with a whole-home heat pump, and that allows us to pull out the gas furnace, and we’ve got that done now. So, a bit of a momentous day today. We are officially 100% electrified and off [the] gas in the house, so I’m gonna turn off the meter.”

According to This Old House, “Heat pumps cost more than other HVAC units, ranging from $2,000–$20,000 including installation. Here are more details about each common type of heat pump: Air-source ($4,500–$8,000): Air-source heat pumps are the most common. They absorb heat energy by pulling in the air from outside your home.”

The average New Mexican, unlike Heinric, who primarily lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, does not have $20,000 to splurge on such a heat pump unit. 

The far-left senator has previously bragged about installing other electric appliances in his home, claiming they will save the planet while they cost more for the average consumer, who does not have Heinrich’s means to supplant traditional appliances for electric-only ones unnecessarily.

He supports banning gas stoves and has pushed for an extremist “electrify everything” agenda.

Despite his public opposition to using oil, gas, and coal products, he is happy to use propane, as he shared in a previous post, proving utter hypocrisy. It is unclear if Heinrich only rides in electric Ubers/Lyfts or drives only an electric vehicle. It is clear, however, that Heinrich flies on airplanes the few times he travels to New Mexico.

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