Tipping Point NM episode 429: Florida vs. New Mexico Metrics, Electric Car Credit, ABQ Homeless and more

MLG extends her health orders again. Scrase claims “success” but with what evidence given New Mexico’s objectively poor COVID performance.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was here in NM recently. While MLG and her political allies call him “extreme,” there are few metrics on which New Mexico outperforms Florida when one considers economy, education, crime, and COVID

And, as if we haven’t talked about various rankings enough, New Mexico policymakers were recently presented with a variety of negative metrics.

Sadly, the Democrat legislators quoted in the article seem motivated to ignore NM’s poor rankings.

European energy prices should be a warning to Americans.

No electric car on the road today would qualify or electric vehicle credit in recently-passed federal legislation. 

At Monday’s meeting the City of Albuquerque Council placed a moratorium on proposed homeless encampments but kept the $250,000 in place to fund Planned Parenthood.

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“Progressive legislator”: our critics are corrupt or just ignorant

New Mexico’s Democratic Party, always liberal especially considering their incredibly long grip on power, has moved even further to the left in recent years. The 2022 election is in some ways a test of whether “moderate” Democrats in New Mexico are willing to continue down the “progressive” path no matter how far to the left they go. By our estimation (due in part to the governing obstacle presented by Gov. Susana Martinez), the government of New Mexico moved dramatically to the left starting in 2019 with the Lujan Grisham Administration.

Progressive Angeilica Rubio, one of those aforementioned “progressives,” took an interesting approach to defending “progressive” governance in the Albuquerque Journal recently. She cites some supposed accomplishments in the form of new government mandates and benefits: establishing statewide earned sick leave, raising the minimum wage, increasing the Working Families Tax Credit, increasing teacher salaries, and making our communities, land, water and air safer.

What she fails to mention is New Mexico’s failing education system, failing our kids, failing economy, and the fact that New Mexico is losing its young people to other states. Finally, to the extent New Mexico HAS expanded its social benefits, it has done so in part due to the largesse of an industry that she and the “progressives” would like to eliminate (oil and gas).

Finally, New Mexico has been controlled by Democrats (especially in the Legislature) for most of the last 100 years with the GOP having never had governing control since 1930. Voters need to ask progressives to answer for the failures of decades of Democrat policies before they send New Mexico even further to the left politically.

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A win and and loss at Albuquerque City Council

In what can only be called a big change of heart at Albuquerque’s City Council, a 6-3 majority changed directions and instituted a one year moratorium on “safe spaces” for the so-called homeless at Monday’s meeting. While the “safe spaces” concept has potential, it cannot be the only approach taken by the City of Albuquerque to address the issue. Enforcement of rules against camping in public parks, panhandling, and crime issues MUST be undertaken as part of any effort to create “safe spaces.”

Unfortunately and somewhat shockingly, the City Council failed to redirect $250,000 the Council “donated” to Planned Parenthood recently. The funds would have been redirected to Barrett House shelter, which aids women and children experiencing homelessness. Instead, Council kept the $250,000 in place while also handing an additional $100,000 to Barrett House and $100,000 to a community energy efficiency project.

City officials claim the City’s “contract” with Planned Parenthood covers only certain health care services, such as breast exams, cancer screening and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. The Planned Parenthood funding and additional funding was supported by a 5-4 majority that included Trudy Jones.

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ABQ Journal/cartoonist further elaborate on NM’s workforce participation problem

The ABQ Journal (presumably) capped off its series of reports on New Mexico’s poor workforce participation rate with an excellent editorial and appropriate cartoon by Trever.

Unlike the articles by the various reporters who relied on comments from politicians, the editorial board provided much more robust discussion of reforming welfare programs, improved vocational education, and broadly incentivizing work.

We welcome the Journal’s coverage of the issue and hope that New Mexico’s elected officials will do something productive to address the issue.

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Lujan Grisham extends public health order to August 26

Surprising absolutely no one, Gov. Lujan Grisham has (yet again) extended her public health order relating to COVID 19 for another few weeks, this time until August 26.

There are some changes in the latest order to limit the amount of reporting necessary by businesses and other entities, but the fact remains that Lujan Grisham shows no signs of abandoning her “emergency” powers.

An interesting quote from David Scrase as the Gov.’s COVID advisor attempts to justify what can only be described as a failed response to COVID by the Lujan Grisham Administration, “Over the past eight months we have excelled in implementing the tools to minimize the spread of COVID-19 such as: vaccines, boosters, home testing and oral treatments that have helped reduce hospitalizations and deaths.”

Sadly, New Mexico ranks 6th highest in deaths per capita due to COVID and New Mexico was ranked 3rd-worst among US states by the definitive study of state COVID responses:

 

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NM Policymakers ignore rankings at their (and our) peril

Recently, a group of New Mexico legislators heard numerous negative comments regarding the State’s business climate from national organizations like Tax Foundation and the Council on State Taxation.

As Dan Boyd at the Albuquerque Journal noted, New Mexico achieves poor marks in several categories relating to business taxation. Here are a few choice quotes, “I think we have to take a lot of those so-called rankings with a grain of salt,” Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos. Furthermore, Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, said factors like a state’s population and average income levels should be factored into tax rankings, but frequently are not.

These comments reflect nothing more than a case of denial. There are two kinds of data: anecdotes and hard data and if New Mexico was one of the fastest growing, most economically successful states (independent of the oil and gas industry), that would be one thing, but very few people believe that New Mexico has a thriving, diversified economy that could survive a major hit to the oil and gas industry on which it relies.

And it’s not JUST economic policy on which New Mexico fails, our policymakers are also failing our kids as the recent “Kids Count” report highlights. These people have no plan to improve New Mexico so they simply deny that a problem exists.

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Florida vs. New Mexico? Really?

With GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis coming to Southeast NM over the weekend in support of Mark Ronchetti’s campaign to unseat Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, some current and former Democrat politicos in New Mexico have attempted to throw “shade” at DeSantis.

Rep. Liz Thomson also had these “kind” words to say about DeSantis regarding his more open COVID policies.

But whatever you think of DeSantis, it is hard to find ANY significant policy area where Democrat-dominated New Mexico performs better than DeSantis’ state of Florida (which has been much more politically-competitive but overall more conservative).

Despite Rep. Thomson’s statement above, Florida has performed better on COVID;

On the recently-released “Kids Count” report (by a left wing think tank), Florida ranked 35th while New Mexico came in dead-last.

According to Wallethub, New Mexico spends the 28th most on K-12 while our results are 51st while Florida spends 44th most but performs 14th-best.

RGF put the following together awhile back on a variety of data points which all point towards Florida.

If you can find a legitimate measure of governance in which New Mexico outperforms Florida, please email it to us: info@riograndefoundation.org

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Europe’s anti-energy policies are harming citizens, will Americans follow the same bad policies?

The problems faced in many European countries that have abandoned traditional energy sources has been exposed due to Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. European nations will either adopt better policies or continue to suffer. And by suffer it isn’t just prices, in Germany they are rationing hot water now and telling people to prepare for home heating to be limited this winter.

It is not widely known by Americans that the UK banned “fracking” in 2019. The UK actually has decent prospects for oil and gas, but the anti-fracking policy makes it impossible to get them. What does this mean in practice? It means massive increases in utility bills in the UK which also means that businesses and energy-intensive industries will be unable to compete.

If US and New Mexico policymakers from Joe Biden to Martin Heinrich and Michelle Lujan Grisham have their way, we’ll be energy poor like Europe soon.

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Lujan Grisham announces broadband plan: will it benefit Democrat legislator?

Gov. Lujan Grisham has announced a new $123 million grant program to expand broadband access in New Mexico. The effort, financed in part through legislation passed in the Legislature in the 2021 special session  will award grants to cover up to 75 percent of total project costs for network expansion in unserved and underserved areas of the state. See graphic below:

Interestingly, one of the prime beneficiaries of this spending is Sceye with operations in New Mexico which is supposed to launch dirigibles to provide broadband service to areas lacking traditional broadband. Sceye’s general council is none other than Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil. Of course Hochman-Vigil was present in the Legislature to vote on HB 2 in the affirmative.

 

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Tipping Point Episode 428: Jeremy Gay – Candidate for New Mexico Attorney General

On this week’s interview Paul sits down with Republican Attorney General candidate Jeremy Gay. Paul and Jeremy discuss the role of Attorney General in New Mexico. What can he do to fight out-of-control crime? What are some limits of the office? What is the role of the AG in the economy? Will Jeremy allow billionaires like Michael Bloomberg pay the salaries of employees in the AG’s office as current AG Hector Balderas has done? Gessing and Gay discuss this and numerous other issues.

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