Anti-Gun Measure Fails at Albuquerque City Council; Victory for the Second Amendment

Good news!  The anti-gun measure being considered by the Albuquerque City Council tonight failed at 5 to 4, specifically Resolution 20-68 which would have called the legislature to push firearm preemption reconsideration to the ballot. The vote tally is included below:

Lan Sena: yes
Isaac Benton: yes
Klarissa Peña: no
Brook Bassan: no
Cynthia Borrego: no
Pat Davis: yes
Diane Gibson: yes
Trudy Jones: no
Don Harris: no

A no vote indicates opposition to the anti-gun measure. Thank you so much for your hard work in encouraging our City Council to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms!

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The confusing debacle that is reopening New Mexico’s schools

Are New Mexico schools reopening? Are they in-person, “hybrid,” or completely virtual? And, more importantly, what standards are to be used by policymakers? The Lujan Grisham Administration has made a hash out of this and that only reinforces my personal view that home-schooling was the only option that made sense for MY family. Unfortunately, not all families can easily do that and, with an ever-changing landscape of school reopening New Mexico’s already “inadequate” public education system is truly going to leave the vast majority of students behind.

Theoretically, schools in the green areas on the map below are allowed to open (whether that is sound logic or not is open to question), but in Farmington plans were changed on September 3, just a few days before kids were supposed to return to school in-person, due to a decision made by the PED/Gov. Lujan Grisham. The exact reason for that decision is tough to understand.

A similar situation arose in the Moriarty/Edgewood School District. On Friday September 4th the district received the final OK from the PED that they could reopen K – 5 on September 8th. On Sunday September 6th the MESD Superintendent was contacted by the PED and told that the filters in the HVAC systems in the schools in the district were subpar and they would not be allowed to open.

And, we can’t forget about the disparate treatment of public and private schools with the former being able to open at 50% and the latter only being allowed 25%.

Remember that the Centers for Disease Control has recommended that children return to school.

UPDATE: We understand from sources at Hope Christian School in Albuquerque (a private, religious school that has worked VERY hard to open) that the Gov.’s office/PED have been aggressively working to find ways they may be violating the Gov.’s orders and prevent the school from staying open 5 days a week).

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Right to Work becomes issue in New Mexico US Senate Campaign

Ben Ray Lujan doesn’t want to debate Mark Ronchetti in the race for US Senate. But, he DID take time over the Labor Day Weekend to attack Mark Ronchetti for saying, as he did during an RGF-sponsored “Liberty on Quarantine” event back in May, that he supported “Right to Work.”See for yourself in the Tweet below:

Interestingly, while the Gallup polling company releases a poll on labor issues every Labor Day they stopped asking questions about support for Right to Work back in 2014 when overwhelming majorities of Americans (regardless of political party) expressed support for such laws which simply allow people to choose whether they want to support a union by paying dues or fees.

Thanks to the Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision of 2018 all government employees in America now operate under such laws, but in New Mexico, private sector workers still may be required to join a union. Ben Ray Lujan is on the losing side on this issue, but he knows the unions are major financial supporters and have lots of manpower to help in political campaigns.

Opinions of Labor Unions, by Political Party

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Tipping Point NM episode 229: CABQ considers gun restrictions, Paul travels, Schools, Right to Work, and Base Closure

On this week’s edition of Tipping Point New Mexico Paul interviews Zach Fort of the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association about some bad, anti-gun ordinances that are moving their way through Albuquerque’s City Council. You can take action on them here.

Paul and Wally discuss Paul’s recent trip to Ohio, flying for the first time since COVID, and the relative openness of Ohio and New Mexico. Then Paul and Wally discuss various issues in education including the different treatment of public and private schools in New Mexico and the seemingly different treatment of conservative areas of the State.

The issue of Right to Work has been introduced into the US Senate campaign between Mark Ronchetti and Ben Ray Lujan. Wally and Paul discuss, but note that in the best polling available Right to Work is supported even by Democrats on a 2-1 basis.

Finally, Paul recently sat down for a podcast with the Cato Institute to discuss Base Realignment and Closure in Roswell, NM.


Opinions of Labor Unions, by Political Party

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Paul Travels to Ohio: a recap

In this space we at the Rio Grande Foundation don’t usually provide details of vacations to other states, but with the COVID 19 lockdown still in place in New Mexico and state-level responses varying so widely, Paul offers some details regarding his trip to Ohio to visit friends and family (his mom’s side is mostly in NM and his dad’s is in Cincinnati) over the Labor Day weekend. Ohio has somewhat fewer deaths as a percentage of the population relative to New Mexico.

For starters, this was the first time Paul has flown since January, pre-COVID. Paul flies Southwest Airlines whenever possible and, while there were numerous changes made by the airline (with flights canceled and moved around) the airline did a great job. Middle aisle seats were left empty but the flights were pretty full besides. Masks were required on the planes and in the airports which wasn’t always comfortable, but if you had a snack or water you could remove them. (bring a water bottle) Airports including Paul’s layover airport (Chicago Midway) was relatively quiet with many shops and dining options closed.

Once on the ground in Ohio there were real differences between New Mexico and Ohio. According to Wallethub Ohio is “only” the 23rd most open and New Mexico “only” the 34th most open, but there are numerous major differences:

  • Amusement parks (like King’s Island) and “fun” centers like Dave & Buster’s to use one example are open. Similar facilities remain closed in NM.
  • Students in most school districts in Ohio are allowed to go to school in-person 5 days a week. Those who don’t want to go in person can do virtual learning.
  • Bars were open with live music although they closed at 10:30pm. We even shot pool.
  • Few people wore masks walking around on the street, but in stores and restaurants (until seated) they did.
  • One of the hot topics is the politicization of whether or not the Big 10 Football teams will play this year or not.

While so many people are afraid to travel right now, Paul found the whole experience to be worthwhile and flying, in particular, comfortable.

Rehab Center for Drug & Alcohol Treatment in Cincinnati, Ohio


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Tipping Point New Mexico 228 228 Ken Costello – Should NM PRC Commissioners be Elected or Appointed? Also, talking Energy Transition Act

Ken Costello is an Adjunct Scholar at the Rio Grande Foundation and an expert on utilities and their regulation. Paul and Ken discuss the constitutional amendment on the November ballot in New Mexico which would shift the PRC to an office appointed by the Gov. instead of one that is elected. Also, membership on the PRC would shrink from 5 to 3 members.

Ken and Paul also discuss the Energy Transition Act and the push for 100% renewable electricity.


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ACT NOW!: ABQ City Council to consider anti-gun measures at meeting on September 9

Several measures are being discussed for final passage at Albuquerque City Council at their next meeting which (because of the Labor Day Holiday) is being held on September 9.

The potential measures are as follows:

1) The City Council would request the State Legislature place an amendment to the New Mexico Constitution on the ballot that would repeal a 1986 voter-passed amendment that restricted local government efforts to restrict gun rights.

2) The second ordinance would ban firearms from all CABQ property which includes buildings owned or leased by the City, community centers, and a large number of other City facilities.

3) The third ordinance would create mandatory storage laws for firearms kept in homes and vehicles. It is hard to see exactly how the City would enforce such laws without some kind of illegal search, but the entire ordinance is ill-conceived.

Click here to contact the Council.

Albuquerque city councilors file three new gun bills | KRQE News 13

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Bipartisan support for reforming NM emergency powers

The Albuquerque Journal recently editorialized in favor of “bringing balance” to New Mexico’s emergency powers laws. More importantly, there is at least some bipartisan support for reforming the laws that have so empowered Gov. Lujan Grisham since the COVID 19 crisis began in March.

According to the editorial Democrat Damon Ely (who we have certainly crossed swords with in the past on guns and Right to Work) and Republican Greg Nibert.

Awhile back we wrote in this space of what should be bipartisan concern about one person making and enforcing the rules under this law (regardless of party). Discussions are in their formative stages, but some kind of time limit with a vote of the Legislature on whether to continue the emergency or not would seem like a starting place for reform.

Of course, any legislation will have to achieve enough bipartisan support (after the election) to override a likely veto. That effort likely depends heavily on what happens this November.

Government checks and balances: How the border wall pushes the limits

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Tipping Point NM podcast: the Gov. loosens restrictions, taxing broadband, and IPANM chief talks Methane Rule

According to the Centers for Disease Control only 6% of COVID 19 cases have no comorbidities. Paul and Wally unpack this data point and what it means/doesn’t mean.

Under Gov. Lujan Grisham’s latest orders churches can now have congregations of up to 40%. Indoor dining and breweries will reopen at 25%. In her press conference the Gov. also comes after Española when she drove through and apparently didn’t see masks. The Mayor responds effectively and directly.

At least a few legislators are now working across partisan lines to rein in the Governor’s power under the COVID 19 emergency.

If you want broadband stop taxing it.

GOP Convention speakers focus heavily on school choice. This is good news for the effort to bring educational freedom to New Mexico.

Expiration of $600 unemployment benefit? Data questions the economic impact of that “loss” of money.

Finally, Paul interviews Ryan Davis, the new board president of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico about the proposed Methane Rule.

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Gov. tells agencies to cut 5%, $990 million deficit looms, but NM “invests” $300 million on early childhood programs

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican Gov. Lujan Grisham has asked State agencies to make across-the-board cuts of 5%. The interesting thing about these cuts is that they are in advance of FY 2022 which doesn’t begin until July 1 of 2021 or 10 months from now.

The article further notes that, “New Mexico is now heading into the 2021 legislative session with a possible $990 million deficit for fiscal year 2022” although subsequent economic data has indicated that the budget situation won’t be so dire, but a lot can happen between now and July, 2021.

Of course, while these cuts are being made and budget chaos continues (with potential, large cuts and tax hikes in the upcoming legislative session), the State is still creating a $300 million early childhood fund for pre-K programs the data for which are very skimpy.

Changes to New Mexico’s shutdown at the hands of Gov. Lujan Grisham, depressed oil prices, and high unemployment rate could also have significant impacts on the budget.




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