On Thursday, it was revealed that scandal-ridden alleged serial groper Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spent federal funds totaling about $283,000 despite the state Supreme Court ruling that by unilaterally spending funds, it is abusing her power and violating the Constitution.
But it appears the Governor doesn’t care because she is spending the federal cash anyway — a big middle finger to the Legislature — despite the unanimous Supreme Court ruling against her.
New Mexicans reacted to the news, with Sen. Jacob Candelaria (D-Bernalillo) saying, “The Supreme Court’s order entered on Nov. 18 … made perfectly clear that the governor and no one under her control … ‘shall not transfer, encumber, commit, expend or appropriate any additional funds’ out of the [American Rescue Plan Act] account in the state treasury, absent legislative appropriation.” Candelaria was one of the senators who filed suit against Lujan Grisham’s abuse of power.
“The Legislature did not appropriate the fund transfer … so this to me is a pretty serious, clear and glaring violation of the Supreme Court’s order and makes clear that despite the Supreme Court’s order, this administration chose to spend … out of this fund illegally and in direct violation of the court’s order,” he told the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Sen. Greg Baca (R-Valencia), who was one of the senators on the lawsuit, wrote on Twitter, “This is possibly a sanctionable offense.”
The state Republican Party decried the Governor’s abuse of power via Chairman Steve Pearce who said, “This is another example of the Governor acting like a dictator and ignoring the other equal branches of government.” He added, “What she has done is contemptible, wrong and dishonors the office of Governor. She must be held accountable for openly defying the Supreme Court, and such action must not be tolerated. This governor continues to think she’s the law of the land, and time and time again she has violated her own rules and policies. She is not the ‘Queen of New Mexico’ to do as she pleases. She has to adhere to our constitution and understand that our government has checks and balances.”
Republican House Leader Jim Townsend (R-Artesia) wrote, “This administration, as directed by [Michelle Lujan Grisham], has unilaterally grabbed power and ignored the Constitution, apparently caring little about the rule of law. For 632 long days, [she] has sidelined the people’s Representatives and Senators in favor of a near dictatorship that excludes even her colleague Democrat leaders, spending money willy-nilly.
Brett Kokinadis of the Santa Fe Republican Party said the Governor is “drunk on power.”
Now, as the second 2021 special legislative session approaches, it appears Democrats will use their unilateral force to redistrict congressional and legislative maps to benefit themselves, while largely ignoring Luja Grisham’s repeated abuses of power in office and maladministration.