Shady Roundhouse Deal Making

With the 2022 legislative session underway we have been providing you a special edition of the Intelligencer that includes summaries of Roundhouse activity, tracking the latest movidas, legislation on the move, and all other important legislative activity - in a session with very limited public access.

Our coverage this week comes with only hours left to go in the 2022 session. In short, session activity continues to reveal the out-of-touch mentality of the progressives in power.

Also this week:

  • Renewable energy mandates continue to threaten our grid's reliability
  • The leader of the Albuquerque police union says crime is surging because cops are not allowed to do their jobs
  • How a San Francisco school board recall should be a wake up call to those who continue to ignore parents

We'll be monitoring the final hours of the 2022 session, and for the most up to date information please follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Once the dust settles we'll recap the session's final day activity in the coming week.

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 Four

Throughout this session there have been countless examples of how Speaker Egolf and the House Democrat caucus have habitually stifled debate, limited transparency, and reduced public participation as much as possible in order to pass legislation supportive of the special interests that fill the campaign coffers of the progressives running Santa Fe.

A couple of particularly egregious examples of this involved the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee, which recently was thrown into chaos due to Rep. Georgene Louis getting booked into a Santa Fe County jail Monday on an aggravated DWI charge. But before that hoopla, on Saturday Georgene Louis violated the rules in order to ensure passage of the disastrous SB 14, the gas tax bill. On Wednesday, the bill was passed in that committee and is headed to the full House for a vote. 

However, although radical environmentalists have such a stranglehold on the Roundhouse Democrats are willing to break the rules to pass legislation that places corporate special interests above the needs of New Mexican families — we've been told that its passage is not assured. Hopefully, Santa Fe has enough foresight to realize that increasing the cost of gas, groceries, and pretty much everything else that needs to be shipped, is a terrible idea. Especially when New Mexican families are dealing with the worst inflation in half a century.

It is notable though that while the progressive environmentalist agenda runs pretty much unabated in the Roundhouse, other progressive proposals have failed, sometimes spectacularly. At the top of that list is the anti-crime agenda, strongly advocated by Governor Lujan Grisham, which never got anywhere. Some boneheaded gun control proposals, including making certain gun clips illegal and punishing gun owners who don't have gun safes, also thankfully died in committee.

As we approach the close of the 2022 session, it seems that the "super majority" of the Democrats in the Roundhouse was tapered in no small part due to the political realities that MLG faces in her reelection campaign. This tightrope she is walking is why she had to try to get some political cover in announcing an anti-crime agenda (even though she knew her progressive allies wouldn't be onboard) and also why she made the calculated risk to alienate her radical environmentalist allies by throwing her support behind the hydrogen bill.

MLG is keenly aware of the need to aggressively position herself for reelection: a Senate Finance amendment was filled last minute yesterday to allow PNM to temporarily use the San Juan coal plant - which coincidentally is just long enough to reduce the possibility of blackouts this summer (due to her mini Green New Deal) and the possibility of a major embarrassment in the middle of her reelection campaign later this year.

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

New Mexico's 'mini' Green New Deal continues to threaten our state's energy grid

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Details: On Tuesday, Attorney General Hector Balderas criticized the state Public Regulation Commission saying its “inaction” has contributed to growing concern over potential blackouts this summer.

Background: Actually, the grid reliability concerns are the result of a perfect storm of short-sighted, bad public policy from Santa Fe combined with supply chain issues that have exacerbated Santa Fe's poor decision making. These supply chain issues have simply accelerated the timeframe of when reliability issues would surface due to the misguided renewable energy mandates.

What they're saying: PNM WPM Director Steven Maestas recently told the ABQ Journal that PNM "got virtually no responses" in a recent call for RFPs and that "neighboring utilities typically aren’t selling any excess energy on the daily or long-term markets".

What we're watching: The reality is that renewable energy mandates have caused shortages. It's why California actually added oil & gas generators last year in order to meet demand and avoid blackouts. Adding variable, renewable energy to replace reliable energy (as the PRC did yesterday in approving a plan to replace nuclear power with solar power) will only make New Mexico's energy grid both less reliable and more costly. 

"You have high crime... you have a weak on crime approach at the state legislature" - APD Detective Shaun Willougby

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Details: On Tuesday the president of the Albuquerque Police Association told a national news outlet in an exclusive interview that crime is urging in Albuquerque because cops are not allowed to do their jobs.

What they're saying: "You have high crime, you have high substance abuse, you have a weak on crime approach at the state legislature—we have since the beginning of time," said Detective Shaun Willougby, president of the Albuquerque Police Association, in the Fox News interview. 

"Couple that with a completely handcuffed police department and eight years into a consent decree … and this is what you get," Willoughby continued.

Watch the full interview here.

“This is a political earthquake,” said Autumn Looijen, one of the organizers of the recall. “San Francisco is standing up to fight for its children and for good governance.”

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Details: Election results on Tuesday went viral when they revealed that San Francisco overwhelmingly voted to recall three school board members. The recall effort in the overwhelmingly progressive and Democratic city has drawn national attention as one of the highest-profile examples of voter frustration over school closures and other related issues.

What they're saying: "The SF school board recall should be a wake up call to elected officials — especially Democrats — across the nation: Parents are fed up with the status quo that puts adults ahead of kids and ideology ahead of results," said former NYC major and ostracized Democrat Mike Bloomberg on Twitter on Wednesday.

The big picture: The parents of San Francisco have clearly spoken and the results should serve as a wake-up call to school board across the country. Many see the results as a prelude for upcoming midterm elections, showing that San Francisco could be a harbinger of things to come: a famously liberal city finally lost its patience when progressive politics took priority over the needs of families and their kids.

 

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