MLG's out-of-touch agenda is failing New Mexico families

With the 2022 legislative session underway, for a few weeks we will be providing you a special edition of the Intelligencer that includes summaries of Roundhouse activity, where we will be tracking the latest movidas, legislation on the move, and all other important legislative activity - including some of the chatter going on behind the scenes in a legislative session with very limited public access. 

Our coverage this week comes after passing the halfway mark of the 2022 legislative session. Also this week, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján's health scare threatens the Biden agenda and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is grilled by frustrated Border Patrol agents.

We'll be monitoring the rest of the 2022 session weekly in our newsletter, but for more up to date information please follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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


Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos

2022 Legislative Session Recap: Week Two

Leading the Roundhouse coverage over most of the last week is how Governor Michelle Lujan's awkward pivot to the right has fallen apart: it continues to alienate her leftist allies while leaving those on the right unconvinced that her moderate shift is genuine and not simply her playing politics in what will be a tough election year for Democrats. A quick status update of some of her agenda items:

  • MLG's “signature piece of legislation”, the hydrogen bill, stalled in its first assigned committee last week.
  • Even with MLG  under tremendous pressure to address our state's crime wave, that legislative agenda has largely languished — even with recent data from a Legislative Finance Committee report that found that in 2020 New Mexico had the highest overall crime rate in the country and the second highest violent crime rate. Perhaps when MLG and her progressive allies ram through an anti-law enforcement agenda as recently as last year, these out-of-touch politicians do not have the capacity to enact effective legislation that protect our communities and those who serve.
  • MLG's call to cut taxes notably included a repeal of a state income tax on Social Security. A GOP-sponsored bill stalled, a thinly veiled attempt by Democrats to have a Democrat-sponsored bill advance for their own political benefit.

Coverage of MLG's stalled agenda was usurped Tuesday night by an incredible story by the ABQ Journal, in which New Mexico's second-longest serving House Democrat, in a letter to Democrat caucus, ripped into Speaker of the House Brian Egolf:

“[Egolf's] leadership has been most distasteful, elitist, chauvinistic, cowardly and detached from the needs, issues, values and beliefs of our traditional Hispano communities and from our Latino immigrant brothers and sisters,” Rep. Miguel P. Garcia, D-Albuquerque wrote.

In that letter Garcia also urged House Democrats to censure Egolf. Garcia's comments, while rare from a fellow Democrat, are sadly emblematic of the type of self-serving, out-of-touch leadership that's common in the Roundhouse today. We stand in solidarity with Rep. Miguel P. Garcia’s courageous efforts to speak truth to the power.

Tragically for Hispanic and all New Mexican families, Egolf's progressive handlers remain in control of the People's House for now. But the growing divide between traditional, hardworking New Mexicans and progressives who run the Democrat Party is clear. Egolf and these out-of-touch ivory tower progressives believe that by dividing us, by bullying us, they will remain in control. But as evident by the courage shown by Garcia and other leaders, the people of New Mexico are waking up.

Here is a briefing of some of the other news coming out of the Roundhouse:

  • Speaking of the Roundhouse being out-of-touch, a gas tax bill, SB 14, cleared its second committee and is headed to the full Senate. Clearly, with gas and food prices at record highs, now is the time to increase the cost of groceries and filling up the gas tanks of New Mexican families.

  • The progressive obsession with changing election laws continues here in New Mexico with the radical legislation proposed in SB 8, which would would grant 16-year-olds the right to vote in local elections. The bill was debated before the Senate Rules Committee on yesterday and scheduled for more consideration Friday.

  • On Tuesday the House Appropriations and Finance Committee voted 15-3 to advance a record high $8.47 billion budget that would increase state spending by 13.8 percent (roughly $1 billion) over the current fiscal year. 

  • In a rare bit of Roundhouse common sense, HB 156, a radical gun control bill that would criminalize magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, was tabled Monday night by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.

  • Regarding MLG's languishing crime agenda, a little bit of inside baseball but definitely a movida worth noting: Senate Judiciary, with chair Joseph Cervantes, is where MLG's crime bills die in the Senate. In an attempt to further stack the deck and pressure Cervantes to advance the MLG agenda, yesterday Egolf appointed an additional progressive Democrat to House Judiciary (which is a committee that was already controlled 8 to 4 by Dems).

  • Yesterday the Bernalillo County Commission appointed Art De La Cruz, a former county commissioner, to replace the ABQ South Valley seat vacated last week by Brittney Barreras.

President Biden’s agenda halted by New Mexico Senator’s illness?

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Details: New Mexico Senator Ben Ray Luján suffered a stroke last Thursday but it was only disclosed five days later. The 49 year-old legislator was checked in to a Santa Fe hospital and is expected to be out of commission for 4 to 6 weeks toward a full recovery.

Bad timing: The already razor-thin Democrat majority has failed to notch any big legislative wins as the controversial Build Back Better plan and radical election reform have crashed and burned. Democrats are hoping that pressuring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer into early retirement would reenergize progressive voters for the mid-term. The temporary loss of only one Democrat senator is another reminder of just how precarious the Democrats' hold on power in the U.S. Senate is heading into the 2022 midterms

Godspeed: Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Luján, as we are all God’s children and all lives matter. Get well soon, Senator!

Border Patrol rank-and-file challenge the bosses, captured on camera

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Background: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and his entourage have been touring the border at various locations, including El Paso, Texas. In Yuma, AZ a Border Patrol agent turned his back on Mayorkas, claiming it was the Secretary who first turned his back on the agents from the day he took office.

Why it matters: But it was at a stop in Laredo, TX where Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz got an earful on video from disgruntled agents there. Admitting that morale was at an all time low, Ortiz dismissed the negativity, “You’re upset because you didn’t get the desired outcome you want, doesn’t mean you give up.” But it soon devolved almost into a shouting match, “You’re getting bogged down in the policies, the politics” and agents countered, “You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in communities.”

The big picture: Clearly our Border Patrol agents are under tremendous pressure in the on-going southern border crisis, and while the Biden administration doesn’t seem much interested in resolving it, the situation is getting worse. 

 

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