NMPED Violates New Transparency Law?

In this week's Intelligencer, the state education department misses deadline, rumors of another locked-down session, Democrats' suspicious electioneering efforts, major fail for stimulus money, and a shocking act in New Mexico.

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]nmhispanos.com. And if you are not already subscribed, sign up here.


Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos

1.  Public education department admits failure

Details: The New Mexico Public Education Department admitted that it failed to meet a year-end deadline to launch a transparency website to provide parents and citizens school spending details. Only after being grilled by The Associated Press did PED launch the incomplete site.

What they’re saying: “Public officials have a responsibility to get timely information out that would affect policy decisions,” said Shannon Kunkel, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.

“It is imperative for parents and taxpayers to easily see and understand how school districts and charter schools are spending their dollars,” Fred Nathan Jr., executive director of Think New Mexico, added. The organization noted that data from 2007 to 2017 revealed administrative spending on central office staff grew 34% while spending on teacher salaries and classroom materials grew by around 4%.

“The intent was always to…see a budget for each school. And that’s the piece that’s missing,” said Amanda Aragon, executive director of New Mexico Kids CAN.

The big picture: Instead of being dependent on state bureaucrats, perhaps New Mexicans should take a cue from other states and demand a Parents Bill Of Rights, which could include rights related to curriculum, medical decisions, and student safety.

2. MLG extends state lockdown orders; some schools are in lockdown yet again

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Lockdown order: The Governor, unsurprisingly, has again extended the lockdown orders and mandates. There is also chatter that the Roundhouse will be locked down again for the upcoming session next week. Currently, there are already restrictions and vax/testing mandates, albeit with exemptions.

Note that in the upcoming legislative session, there is a bipartisan effort to limit the governor's abuse of the emergency declarations that have been extended for almost two years: the legislators plan on introducing House Joint Resolution 3, which would limit any emergency declaration by the governor to 90 days. 

Closures: Santa Fe Public School District Superintendent Larry Chavez announced the district will go virtual next week, citing record COVID infections for staff and students in district schools. The decision came a day after the local teachers union pressured district officials to shift to a four-day week on campus and reserving Fridays for “asynchronous” (pre-recorded) online content.

The big picture: National Education Association of Santa Fe President Grace Mayer said the powerful union “talked about educators maybe taking on additional online students and maybe being compensated appropriately for that work.”

Meanwhile, the CDC was caught in another misleading claim about COVID effects on kids.

Sandia National Laboratory, however, is putting a pause on enforcing a previously announced vax mandate set to take effect this month – due to an ongoing lawsuit filed by several employees.

3. Governor and Secretary of State push radical voting plan, including 16 year-olds

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Details: In an obvious attempt to create a permanent Democrat majority in elections, MLG announced on Jan. 6th their intention to expand voting at the expense of election integrity.

Provisions: Along with allowing 16 year-olds to vote in local elections, the plan is crafted to maximize voting in situations that would benefit mostly Democrats. Among them:

  • create a permanent absentee ballot list upon request of individual voters
  • mailed-in ballots could be received from the end of voting on Election Day to the Friday after
  • expand early voting through the Sunday before Election Day
  • designate Election Day as a state holiday
  • straight ticket option

The big picture: Expanding voting access is a noble cause, but without equal efforts to maintain election integrity (such as photo voter I.D.), MLG and her ilk's singular focus on loosening restrictions reeks of partisan efforts to rig elections.

Combined with the new gerrymandering, Democrats hope to overwhelm the organic populism spreading across America — which some say could actually backfire as Hispanics are increasingly souring on radical left-wing policies.

4. Big government spending fail compounds inflation crisis

Data: A new report shows the Biden Administration’s promise that their $1.9 trillion spending spree, the economy would create more than 10 million jobs in 2021, failed by almost half. The Democrats blew nearly $2,000,000,000,000 in taxpayer dollars while adding even fewer jobs than if we spent nothing. The bill was packed with politically motivated handouts.

Meanwhile: December alone saw inflation rising faster than in the last 40 years, while the consumer price index (CPI) increased 7 percent – even with (and largely due to) unprecedented cash Congress and the Federal Reserve are pumping into the economy.

Key stats: From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Energy prices as a whole rose 29.3% over the last 12-months, including gasoline up to 49.6%
  • Food prices up 6.3% the biggest increase since October 2008
  • Real earnings declined 2.4%
  • Non-energy/food related inflation saw its largest annual growth since February 1991
  • Shelter increased 4.1% for the year, the fastest pace since February 2007
  • Used vehicle prices increased 37.3% since last year

5. “Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that.” –abortionist Dr. Curtis Boyd

Tragedy: An 18-year-old New Mexico woman could be charged with attempted first-degree murder after Hobbs police department says she abandoned her newborn baby in a dumpster.

The woman claimed she was not aware that she was pregnant when she “sought medical attention for abdominal pain” the day before unexpectedly giving birth. She said she panicked and didn’t know who to call for help.

Why it matters: Every life is precious, and no human should ever be abandoned to die. Clearly, this young woman did not have a family or support system she felt she could turn to. Prosecutors said the attempted first-degree murder charge could be changed to felony child abuse, which will be decided during an upcoming preliminary hearing.

The hypocrisy: While the state of New Mexico might prosecute the killing of a baby only one day old, last year Governor Lujan Grisham signed S.B.10, which gives even more protection for controversial abortion of up to 9 months. This ethical double standard allows the killing of a pre-born baby – a fully formed human being. Abortion-at-9-months advocates, like the bill’s sponsor Rep. Angelica Rubio, shout loudly for profit-driven abortion while remaining silent on tragic cases such as this one.

 

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