Is state-wide guaranteed basic income coming?

In this week's Intelligencera push for state-wide guaranteed basic income, record-breaking numbers (and not in a good way), more shuffling in the Governor’s cabinet and the House, Mayor Keller’s field of nightmares, and an update on corruption cases.

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 [email protected]. And if you are not already subscribed, sign up here.


Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos

 

1. Socialist politicians, activists push state-wide guaranteed basic income

money

Details: Santa Fe’s Mayor, a Las Cruces City Councilor, and a political activist from New York made their case for “a regular cash payment accessible to members of a community, with no strings attached and no work requirements…to supplement, not supplant existing social safety net benefits” during Monday’s Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee at the Roundhouse.

Why it matters: Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) is not the solution to New Mexico’s lousy economy. In one of the most exhaustive studies on the viability of GBI conducted anywhere in the world (taking 30 months and 500 pages to complete), it found that “there are better, more effective ways of creating a more just society than through a guaranteed income.”

The big picture: The way to help families out of poverty is to increase opportunities for jobs and prosperity, not handing over workers’ tax dollars to ideologically driven activist groups to dole out to hand-picked voting blocs. Las Cruces City Councilor Johana Bencomo claimed that poverty is both "a policy choice" as well as "patronizing and patriarchal." What's truly patronizing is believing poor brown people only want free money; Hispanos have an entrepreneurial spirit and want the economic freedom and opportunity to pursue the American Dream. In fact, Hispanics are opening more small businesses than anyone else in the US.hispanic opening more business than others

2. Violence continues to rise in New Mexico cities

violence

Details: Albuquerque Police Department announced there have been 81 homicides committed within city limits so far this year, which tragically ties the record set in 2019. In 2020, there were 77 murders, which broke the previous record of 72 – so the trend is increasing during Mayor Tim Keller’s term.

Meanwhile three hours south in Las Cruces, shootings are on the rise. There was also a recent murder by stabbing/decapitation. That murderer was arrested just weeks prior by LCPD for smashing up a local coffee shop. He was released and the thousands of dollars’ worth of property damage was deemed “non-violent.”

What they're saying: In late July, Las Cruces City Councilors and even state legislators met with constituents to discuss the worsening crime problem. State Rep. Angelica Rubio, an open radical activist, made it very clear, “that I don't believe that we should be investing more in policing, I believe that we should be investing more in investment.”

The big picture: Many radical New Mexico Democrats are parroting the same "defund the police" talking points seen across the county and in Washington D.C. but the issue is a clear political loser: by a lopsided 2-1 margin, likely voters in a new Rasmussen Reports survey disagreed with anti-police policies, with 63% disagreeing and 31% agreeing with the defunding call. And by a 57%-33% margin, voters also agree that “new Democrats in Washington attack and degrade all law enforcement officers.” This presents a clear opening for levelheaded elected officials to position themselves as standing with the overwhelming majority of voters who support law and order.

3. Central planning causing economic chaos

no job

Details: In a monthly economic survey of small businesses, 49% of business owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a 48-year record high. Unfilled job openings have remained far above the nearly 50-year average of 22%. It's almost as if incentivizing people not to work... causes people not to work. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased eight points to a net negative 20%.

small_biz_optimismCase in point, our newsletter last week highlighted the chile crop crisis. Farmers haven’t had enough people to hire, in spite of wages up to $17 an hour plus benefits and even free housing. In response, the Lt. Governor’s office announced the state will funnel $5,000,000 of federal COVID money in a desperate move to save this year’s crop. The Lt. Governor blames supposed low wages instead of the $300 per week in supplemental COVID unemployment payments for the lack of workforce. 

Meanwhile, the Governor, along with 27 other New Mexico politicians signed a letter pressuring local businesses to mandate vaccinations for their employees, citing only the increase of cases in the last six months. The letter does not mention the number of deaths during that time.

The bottom line: When the government shuts down the economy and then spends other peoples’ money to “stimulate” the economy, the people suffer.

4. Radical legislator replaces corrupt Majority Floor Leader

javier

Details: Rep. Javier Martinez has been elected to be the Democrats new floor leader in the state House. Martinez, a lawyer by profession, is also the executive director of a community organization and is known for his left-wing credentials. In the 2021 session he sponsored several egregious bills, including restrictions on small business, a massive unfunded program for illegal immigrants, and a double tax on health care. 

Why it matters: On Martinez’ LinkedIn profile he identifies as a “change-maker” (socialist agitator) and he runs the Partnership for Community Action, funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation (of course),  and “has spent 30 years building power in communities, by connecting families to leadership and advocacy opportunities that support policy and system levels change.” Basically, what they do is recruit and train political activists to push policies like HJR 1, the constitutional amendment he sponsored to raid the permanent fund to pay for education industry cronies.

The big picture: Like his disgraced predecessor, his day job is to advocate (lobby) state legislators (his colleagues) for a socialist agenda. His promotion also opens up the chairman position on the powerful House Taxation and Revenue Committee.

5. Scandalous updates

corruption

Details: CYFD Secretary Brian Blalock resigned from his post under suspicion of multiple improprieties. Beginning in 2020, Blalock’s department was communicating internally through an encrypted messaging app and deleting these communications, which could be considered improper destruction of public records, a fourth-degree felony.

In the midst of that controversy, Blalock gave a no-bid $45,000,000 contract to Binti Inc. Several high ranking employees have been fired, punished, or resigned after voicing concerns over the contract.

"We have the funding, because I'm going to make sure we get the money," said former state representative and APS employee Williams Stapleton pitching a software provided by a shady company called "Robotics” to APS that was part of an alleged scheme that funneled money to Stapleton’s bank accounts. Eight APS teachers also endorsed the deal during that presentation and are currently on administrative leave during the state and federal investigations looking into the matter.

The big picture: Both Secretary Blalock and House Floor Leader Stapleton’s situations are being looked at by the New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, who himself has recent complaints against him for outsourcing millions of dollars in contracts to law firm Robles, Rael, & Anaya – one of his top campaign donors. Balderas and Marcus Rael Jr., had been in talks regarding the gigantic energy merger between PNM and Avangrid. On Friday, Avangrid’s lobbyist Rael Jr. was disqualified from lobbying on the deal by the Public Regulation Commission because of the conflict interest concerns.

6. Mayor hopes boondoggle will be a boon for his campaign

albuquerque

Details: On Friday, Albuquerque City Councilors were bombarded by emails opposing Mayor Keller’s field of scheme for a $50,000,000 soccer stadium downtown. Anti-stadium emails outnumbered proponents 13 to 1. Then over the weekend New Mexico United Soccer team, who has been lobbying city hall, responded with their own digital campaign, blasting their own emails to councilors over the weekend.

Why it matters: One councilor, Trudy Jones, said the corporate welfare project pushing to be funded with debt (bonds) is being fast-tracked by Keller to boost his re-election efforts. "I've never seen anything like it. I've never seen someone who is basically going to be the recipient of this kind of a bonding do any kind of politicking to get what they want. I mean, I think that's pretty much inappropriate.” 

The big picture: With a record-breaking homicide rate and rampant homelessness, mental health and drug addiction crises, the people of Albuquerque need to address the downfall of their city. But Keller seems to only be concerned with keeping his grip on power for four more years.