Anarchy in the Duke City?

In this week's Intelligencer, ABQ's sanctuary city failure, PED’s cool reception, misinformation misleads public on wildfires, and Secretary Haaland shown up by Joe Manchin.

The Intelligencer is a weekly newsletter that gives you a quick overview of La Politica across New Mexico and the U.S., covering topics such as policy, current events, the political landscape, and tech.

Send us any feedback (including chismes and quejas) by going to our website or shoot me an email at dax[AT] And if you are not already subscribed, sign up here.

Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos

1.  “Spreading out the camps is stupid. Enabling this lifestyle is counterproductive… C'mon folks, get a clue.” — William Huntsman, formerly homeless  

Details: There are two proposals currently before the Albuquerque City Council that amend the zoning codes to allow government sanctioned homeless tent encampments throughout the city. The proposals are supported by Mayor Keller and ostensibly a majority of the City Council.

Background: Conveniently, councilors that are sponsoring these proposals are exempting their districts from creating the encampments in their own districts, instead requiring more tent encampments in Northwest Albuquerque’s District 5, represented by City Councilor Dan Lewis. He called out his colleagues for their hypocrisy:

“These encampments are often ridden with unsanitary conditions, drug abuse, physical abuse and victimization of the most vulnerable…are not safe or compassionate and…subject [homeless people] to harm, disease, illness and hopelessness," he said. If the encampments are developed, he predicts that "Albuquerque is on its way to looking like Seattle and other large cities."

Sustainable planning?: William Huntsman, a formerly homeless Albuquerque resident, echoed Lewis, saying "I have spent many years on the streets, and I can tell you, most of the people are coached and directed to go to Albuquerque. It is not by chance or accident. Want to solve this problem? Do your homework. ABQ is a 'target-rich environment.’”

Abolish the sanctuary city status that Albuquerque currently enjoys…is painfully clear that the status isn't working.” said Hunstman.

San Fransicko imports: Meanwhile, Michael Shellenberger, a Progressive advocate running against California Governor Newsom, in a tweetstorm this week exposed the bigger agenda behind other left-wing proposals that include tent encampments with a "living lot”, described as people who “live in light vehicles, recreational vehicles, or tents would be given a piece of property— mixed-use zones and non-residential zones — to live on with little regulation.”

Curiously, he remarks that George Soros is "far and away the largest funder of progressive criminal justice advocacy in the US, and one of the largest funders of Newsom and progressive district attorneys..." Soros has contributed significantly to Democrat candidates in New Mexico, notably donating six figures to Raul Torrez in 2016. Torrez is currently running to become the next Attorney General in New Mexico...

2. MLG’s Public Education Department Plan Met With Questions, Scorn


Rough draft: MLG finally released her much-anticipated plan for the Public Education Department (PED) in response to the ongoing litigation from the Yazzie/Martinez case. According to reports, last year PED broke its word that the draft would include 90-day benchmarks for shorter-term performance targets.

Unfortunately, the public only has until June 17 to comment on the 55 page document — yet the plan is expected to begin implementation immediately.  

What they’re saying: “It’s clear that it still lacks the critical elements…concrete goals, action steps, estimated funding levels, timelines, responsible parties, and estimated staffing needs,” said Melissa Candelaria, education director with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.

A Public Education Department spokesman said in a statement. “It’s also important to note that the draft plan is, indeed, a draft, and we expect to receive valuable feedback.”

Special Interests: Rep. Derrick Lente (D) described the plan as “we know what’s best for Native kids approach” and pushed instead for the alternative plan Tribal Remedy Framework driven by Native American political activists.

3. Environmentalists exploit New Mexico fires with misleading propaganda


Details: The Hermit’s Peak fire began as a proscribed burn by the federal government. Now, the Feds are dragging their feet in answering questions, including if there was too much wind in the area to proceed with the burn and are refusing to provide additional details about the decision to ignite the fire.

In spite of this fact, the local intelligentsia are instead blaming the fires on “climate change.”

Why it matters: Citing a study in Ecology Letters, the left-wing media claims that man-made climate change in New Mexico is making wildfires worse or at least increases the risk of bad wildfires. The study is about the causes of tree mortality not the specifics of New Mexico’s climate.

The big picture: The study itself admits the scientific community generally attribute such tree mortality to direct causes “including insects, disease, weather and other” and in attributing more weight to “climate stress broadly defined” their “approach has uncertainties.”

Clearly the ongoing drought is a critical fact. But there is no consensus that hot weather and droughts in a desert climate is evidence that carbon is destroying Earth. But the failure of Washington to properly manage our public lands is exacerbating the situation and making our forest fires more severe.

4. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland freezes during testimony


Details: During a Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on the president’s 2023 Interior budget request, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin caught former New Mexico Congressman Deb Haaland off guard in an embarrassing display that went viral.

Why it matters: Manchin pulled out a press release and read incriminating context:

Manchin: “The U.S. Department of Interior just put out a statement…looks like you all are going to shut everything down.”

Interior Sec. Deb Haaland: “I am sorry. I am sitting in this hearing...and not…"

Manchin: “This shuts it down. It shows what your intent is.”

The big picture: Speaking of viral, President Biden said recently in Japan, “[When] it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”

Biden says the quiet part out loud and implies what the previous Democrat President said explicitly about skyrocketing energy prices.


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