Dems sweat Hispanic turnout in CA. Is NM next?

In this week's Intelligencer, polling from the California recall election reveals poor Hispanic support of Gov. Gavin Newsom and fellow Dems (could New Mexico see a similar numbers?), New Mexico officials are split on Afghan resettlement, MLG's lockdown continues to hurt New Mexico's economy, our hospitals are in staffing crunch, oil booms while a coal plant closure continues, and more scandal fallout.

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.

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Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos

 

1. Dems sweat Hispanic turnout in California recall. Are New Mexico Hispanics also in play?

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Background: A recent CBS News-YouGov poll reveals Hispanics, (representing about 40 percent of California’s population and about 30 percent of the electorate), were evenly split on whether to vote “yes” or “no” on the recall, a ten point bump from a Berkeley-IGS survey in July

Why it matters:Politico piece on Monday summed it up: "Those numbers aren’t surfacing in a red or purple state, but in big, blue California, where no Republican holds statewide office, Joe Biden clobbered Trump here by nearly 30 percentage points and Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly two-to-one. And when first elected in 2018, Newsom himself carried nearly two-thirds of the Latino vote, according to exit polls."

The big picture: According to a Crooked Media-Change Research poll, Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe is running far behind Biden’s numbers with Hispanic voters this year in Virginia. In Texas the Hispanic support of Trump has been well documented. The question is, are New Mexican Hispanics also feeling alienated by the Democrat Party?

What we're watching: As we covered last week MLG's polling numbers continue to sink, though her overall Hispanic support continues to hold (for now.) While it remains to be seen if the GOP can capitalize on her continued overreach of executive power, the Albuquerque mayoral race provides a clear contrast between a conservative sheriff and a career politician. The policy differences are so stark that the outcome of that race in the state's largest city will have clear implications for the 2022 cycle. The Hispanic vote and turnout will have a major impact on the outcome of the election this November.

2. New Mexico elected officials split on Afghan refugees

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Details: The Governor basically asked the Biden administration to send Afghan refugees to the Land of Enchantment and now there may be at least 9,000 Afghanis heading to Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo. Those eligible for Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program and “other vulnerable people” will be connected with the Office of Refugee Resettlement to place them somewhere in the U.S. Another base that will receive refugees is Fort Bliss in El Paso, on New Mexico’s southeastern border with Texas.

Reactions: While some politicians, mostly Democrats, are quick to virtue signal their compassion for supporting the move, others are asking the same questions local residents are asking: How many are coming? How long will they be here? How are they being vetted for security?

3. Governor’s lockdown still hurting New Mexico’s economy

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The numbers: Hundreds of local businesses went out of business and at least tens of thousands of workers were forced out of their jobs due to MLG’s catastrophic overreaction to the coronavirus. Since then, taxpayer dollars have paid many of the able-bodied in the workforce to stay unemployed, causing worker shortages and inflated wages.

The impact: As the fat unemployment welfare checks are set to expire on September 4th, the New Mexico Restaurant Association, desperate to keep businesses operating, rolled out an ad campaign encouraging people to start applying to jobs in the food and beverage service industry.

The big picture: Our economy has struggled to reach its potential due to failed government policies like the Gross Receipts Tax, (not because of a lack of natural resources nor hardworking folks), and the lockdown dug us deeper into a fiscal abyss. New policies that offer better incentives and more opportunities will be the only way to dig ourselves out and build a more resilient economic engine.

4. Hospitals short on nurses while state government big on waste

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The situation: Hospitals in New Mexico are reportedly high on COVID cases while low on nurses. This comes on the heels of Governor Lujan Grisham’s COVID shot mandate that affects several industries, including nurses. The increase in coronavirus hospitalizations is reportedly causing a shortage of ICU space and beds and could lead to rationing medical care.

More info: Many nurses across the state, including vaccinated nurses and otherwise, protested the mandates, citing body autonomy and individual rights to choose between the fast-tracked injection or risk the 99.6% survival rate cold virus. Mandates have led to nurse shortages in Texas and other government policies have created scarcity of medical supplies. New Mexico is also suffering from other side effects from the lockdown: drug overdose deaths and a mental health crisis.

The impact: Perhaps if the state invested the $10,000,000 on ICU resources instead of lotteries and prizes to bribe New Mexicans into getting the COVID shot, rationing medical care for patients — most of whom are not in the hospital for coronavirus— might not be needed. But with politicians and bureaucrats more interested in using tax dollars to buy favorable PR, people in need of care might have to go without.

5. Oil booms, coal plant closure looms

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Details: Environmentalists are again targeting Navajo coal jobs. PNM wants to transfer its stake in a coal-powered plant to the Navajo Transitional Energy Co. (NTEC) in Four Corners. But eco-activists are demanding the Public Regulation Commission deny the deal, which could cost the Navajo Nation up to $60,000,000 per year. 700 jobs — mostly Navajo workers — would also be lost, if the environmentalists get their way. The plant brings in $100,000,000 in tax revenue to the state.

Background: The Navajo Nation has already suffered significant job and revenues losses after the 2019 closure of The Navajo Generating Station in Arizona. And next year the San Juan Generating Station located in between Farmington and Shiprock is set to close. During a committee hearing debating an environmentalist-backed bill, its sponsor, then-State Representative Melanie Stansbury, was asked what Native Americans can do when they lose their coal plant jobs, Stansbury replied “Sell art, or wool…who knows?” (timecode: 10:58:56)

Bottom line: The state Public Regulation Commission will decide the fate of those Navajos during a two-week hearing starting September 7th. Meanwhile, in April New Mexico hit record-breaking levels of oil production of more than 1,200,000 barrels per day and natural gas production at 6,500,000,00 cubic feet of gas per day in May, a big part of the anticipated $1 billion revenue boom for the next budget year. But the environmentalists and green energy corporations’ war on carbon won’t let that get in the way of their agenda for the 21st century, as MLG signs another executive order on behalf of environmentalists.

6. Fallout and fighting continues for scandal-ridden Democrats

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Fallout: Albuquerque Public Schools has officially fired disgraced Sheryl Williams Stapleton from her position, director and coordinator of Career and Technical Education. The former House Floor Leader, who is under investigation for racketeering, money laundering and illegal kickbacks, was among a dozen APS employees on leave with pay. On Tuesday, the Bernalillo County Commission appointed environmental activist, Democrat Kay Bounkeua, to fill Stapleton’s vacant District 19 seat. The 36-year-old deputy state director for the Wilderness Society in New Mexico was one of 10 applicants considered by the commission.

Other fallout: On the non-elected public officials leaving office shamelessly, Rachel Gudgel stepped down yesterday from her directorship of the Legislative Education Study Committee. She had previously admitted to slurring Native Americans (but not to slurring homosexuals, as she was also accused of.) Gudgel says she wants to keep getting paid for “earned leave” for another 6 months at her $131,000 salary (that’s the shameless part.)

The other foot: Meanwhile, State Senator Jacob Candelaria continues his feud with fellow Democrat Senate President Pro-Tem Mimi Stewart by filing a formal discrimination complaint under the New Mexico Human Rights Act, a civil rights law. Candelaria claims Stewart changed his seating assignment on the Senate floor and moved his office in the Roundhouse from the second to the third floor in retaliation for his criticisms of Stewart’s role in the Gudgel saga. “As the first openly gay man in the Senate and in the Legislature in history, I feel I also have a special responsibility to file this charge and say that we are no longer going to turn a blind eye to this [expletive].”