MLG's approval rating sinks

In this week's Intelligencerthe governor slips in the polls, the madness of mask mandates takes a toll, crime in Albuquerque spins out of control, coal makes a comeback, and the state Democrat Party fights for its soul.

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. MLG’s approval rating below fifty percent

mlg mask

Survey says: A recent poll found Governor Lujan Grisham is slipping in public approval. Only 46 percent of New Mexico voters approve of her job performance – barely 1 point higher than voters who disapprove. 79 percent of Democrats approve of Grisham. And these numbers are from a Democratic polling firm, so its very likely her approval numbers are underwater.

Details: Her biggest weakness is Independents: only 33 percent approve of her while more than half of all Independents do not. Elections are won by the winning the middle, so this shows her vulnerability.

What it means: But Hispanics gave her the highest approval rating at 53 percent. 35 percent of Hispanics disapprove. The key, perhaps, to defeating MLG (and her overreaching onerous mandates) next year is engaging with Hispanic Democrats and Independents to persuade them of the Governor’s failures and scandals. As of yet, there is only one Hispanic running for the Republican nomination but no top tier opponents have announced.

2. Mask Madness

las cruces map

Examples: The real world consequences of Governor Lujan Grisham’s unilateral orders continue to make headlines. The latest executive order sparked: a new lawsuit claiming it violates the constitutional rights of individuals; the potential termination of an award-winning New Mexico university professor; the demotion of a university dean for failing to punish that professor, protests by public health workers and outraged parents across the state.

Why it matters: Not only does evidence show that school masks are not necessary, casual use can actually increase the risk of getting sick and also shows masks do not stop viral transmission. Aside from the social damage of isolation, stress, and infringement on liberty, the economic costs of the lockdown include dependency, poverty and the consequences that flow from it.

3. Crime and politics


Details: Since our last Intelligencer which covered horrific public murders in the Duke City, four police officers were shot during a robbery. The next day, police shot a suspected murderer. Thankfully, no one died - but the spree was another loud message that things are out of control.

Banality of bureaucracy: It was revealed that when criminals are caught, they are often released. Specifically, instead of lock up, judges will order ankle-monitoring. But, on weekends, holidays, and at night, no one is actually monitoring them and it can take 12-24 hours (or longer) for violations to be reviewed. Robberies, rapes, and murders are being committed by those who are supposed to be watched.

Lack of leadership: APD has, for years, pointed out the problem of “let-‘em-go-judges.” And although Pretrial Services, an arm of the courts, is in charge of the ankle-monitoring, Mayor Keller plays petty politics by snubbing the Sheriff’s Office during a recent press conference, yet there is no mention from his office about this appalling failure to monitor dangerous criminals.

4. The coal-powered economic comeback


Details: Global CO2 emissions surged past pre-pandemic levels to new highs, according to a new report examining trends during the first half of 2021.

Why it matters: The report reveals that while U.S. emissions continue to drop, other countries like China and India continue to build and bring online coal powered power plants in order to meet their tremendous growth in electricity demand.

Meanwhile, New Mexico’s push for renewable energy has pushed electric bills up 8.7 percent over last year, the 6th highest increase in the nation. The increase comes at a time when many states are seeing their rates decrease. California's electric bills are up over 21 percent from last year and now pay the most of any of the lower 48 states.

The big picture: The push to follow the "California Model" in New Mexico will continue to raise our electricity costs, harm reliability, and do nothing to solve global electricity carbon emissions.

5. Democrats internal and external turmoil continues


Overview: From the Governor’s cabinet to the Attorney General’s office, both elected and appointed Democrat’s scandals and infighting have been very public. The ongoing feud between Senate Pro Tem Mimi Stewart and Sen. Jacob Candelaria escalated to Twitter.

Who’s involved: The latest squabble was a tweet from Candelaria claiming Stewart’s moving him to a lesser working space at the capitol was “retaliation” for his outspoken criticism of her handling of the LESC Director controversy. Also, an op-ed signed by seven Democrat state reps called for the Director’s resignation but did not call out Stewart nor Democrats Sen. Bill Soules and Senate Leader Peter Wirth by name.

Why it matters: Most New Mexicans don’t — and shouldn’t — care about petty bickering over what is mostly ego-driven power struggles. However, we all should care about who does take power and what they do with it. The latest example of massive corruption is former House Floor Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, a Democrat, who is under investigation for funneling over $5,000,000 into a “ghost corporation” with almost a $1,000,000 of it going into her own bank accounts.