“I’m not daunted by obstacles, whether it’s NRA propaganda, rogue sheriffs throwing a childish pity party or bad-faith critics. Legislative leaders and I will continue to fight the scourge of gun violence in our communities.”– Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, in a Twitter thread Tuesday afternoon referencing pushback from counties and municipalities across the state unhappy with her push for gun control.
The Crib Sheet is a collection of stories, events, and ideas that are shaping the conversation in New Mexico and D.C. politics.
- The Governor felt compelled to respond to the growing movement of communities rallying against her push for gun control because it is the first organic grassroots pushback by rural areas (including Democratic heavy areas like the City of Española and Rio Arriba County) outside the control of more progressive urban Democrats. Senate bill sponsor Richard Martinez of Espanola was rebutted by his own city and county yesterday, emblematic of the divide between the more progressive Democratic agenda in control of the Roundhouse and alienated moderate Democrats. The legislation is all but assured to make it to the Governor’s desk and be signed into law, but it is going to be interesting to watch if this rural pushback is the beginning of a larger movement with energy and motivation to last beyond the legislative session (not to mention the unfavorable optics of Grisham demonizing law enforcement in a state plagued with crime). Note the irony of a progressive activist remarking that sheriffs risk “lawsuits and jail time if they don’t uphold the law” regarding sanctuary 2nd amendment resolutions but places enacting immigration sanctuary resolutions face no such consequences.
- Speaking of immigration sanctuary resolutions, Bernalillo County Commission yesterday unanimously passed such a resolution.
- While some in Santa Fe want to remove the cap on film subsidies, current figures by the New Mexico State Film Office estimate that the state has a $382 million backlog of rebates owed for past, current, and soon to be filmed productions. Clearly the film industry is doing well in New Mexico, but giving Hollywood a blank check does not seem like a prudent use of taxpayer money.
- At the same time, there is a Democratic push to raise taxes in what they claim is an effort to reduce dependence on oil and gas revenue. In a state already struggling to attract investment and high earners, their intentions might be noble but will invariably hurt the state’s already struggling economy.
- There is a notable dichotomy in a recent poll by the University of New Mexico between the sixty nine percent of voters that support requiring photo ID at the polls and the push by some for same day voter registration – but without the photo ID requirement that New Mexicans overwhelmingly support. I think most voters would happily support same day registration if it was coupled with the photo ID requirement (myself included), but you have to wonder about the intentions of those pushing to ease ballot access without robust voter verification such as photo voter ID, especially when claims such laws are discriminatory are patently false.
- The debate over a minimum wage increase continues among concerns of the impact it would have on the business models of small businesses. It appears some kind of increase is inevitable, with a more modest proposal by Senator Clemente Sanchez gaining momentum and support from small business owners.
- Oil and gas pipelines that will run from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast cleared a crucial hurdle on the path for final construction, expanding transport capacity needed in the region as the Permian sees unprecedented growth.
- On an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation”, Governor Grisham explained that her decision to pull New Mexico National Guard troops was because she saw no evidence of “a real emergency or a crisis” during her brief trip to the border. Meanwhile, just a few days earlier the special agent in charge of the DEA division that covers New Mexico said that the state is “ground zero” for drug smuggling. Using National Guard troops is probably not the most effective way to combat drug trafficking, but Grisham’s dismissive attitude towards real border issues is counterproductive towards addressing and fixing a serious problem.
- Congressman Ben Ray Luján gets profiled in a Politico piece pondering his chances of moving up the Democratic leadership ladder in the U.S. House.
- New Mexico’s Congressional delegation managed to secure funding for the Southwest Chief route in the latest federal budget signed by President Trump, ending plans by Amtrak to replace the daily train service with bus service between Dodge City, Kansas and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
[Tech & Strategy]
- Yesterday Congressional Democrats held a major tech policy hearing that kicked off an anticipated push for oversight “that could bring heightened attention to some of Silicon Valley’s controversial business practices” that is expected to include new regulations around online privacy.
- The new frontier of campaign tech involves political campaigns utilizing the devices we use as potent tracking tools to learn a person’s whereabouts and bombard them with targeted ads.
- Counterintuitively, the path to victory for President Trump in 2020 involves maintaining his relatively strong Hispanic support in order to deny the Democratic nominee Electoral College votes in key states.
- The phenomenal snowpack in northern New Mexico has been great for ski resorts: Ski Santa Fe is planning to stay open until the first weekend in April.
- An exhibit at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque seeks to educate visitors about the origins of the Zia symbol.
- The Christmas tree to be displayed on U.S. Capitol west lawn this December will be sourced from the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico.