I am a life-time Democrat, first voting for Senator Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 primary. The vast majority of the time, I vote for the Democratic candidates, but not always. I voted for Michelle Lujan Grisham for governor in 2018, but will not repeat what has become a mistake this year.
your october 23 editorial was excellent. I was particularly impressed that you stated you would not have endorsed Mark Ronchetti if he had been an election-denier. He provided an unequivocal one-word answer: NO, to the question if the election was stolen. And you correctly focused on the fact that, with all Lujan Grisham’s wonderful experience, we are only far deeper in the hole on so many different fronts.
I realize that editorials need to be limited in length. Yours already was quite long, while being temperate and focused on the issues. Regrettably, several major issues were omitted; enough so that a second editorial would be appropriate. Please consider:
1. The COVID Pandemic. You touched briefly on MLG’s success in the very early days of the pandemic on the vaccines. However, her use of “orders,” some truly absurd, like masking outdoors and quarantining for 14 days if one skips over the state line to El Paso, for example, many people angered. Ditto that, squared, for the closing of certain businesses and not others, and the closing of schools. There was a most viable alternative that, even today, she will not use: public health education. … For all those closures and orders, New Mexico was in the top third of states in terms of deaths per capita. Per the Microsoft Bing website, as of today, New Mexico has sustained 8,624 COVID deaths. If New Mexico had tracked the Japanese response, only some 600-700 New Mexicans would have died. If New Mexico had tracked any other country in the world, less than 8,624 New Mexicans would have died. Yet, MLG is not even asking why. Instead, she is running campaign ads that brag about how many lives she has “saved.” That is infuriating.
2. The “mess” in the New Mexico State Police. MLG stated she inherited “a mess” in the NMSP. … Almost four years later, the taxpayer is again reaching into his/her pocket to pay the first female NMSP helicopter pilot, Ms. Lopez, $750,000, for the sexual harassment she endured … Why has Secretary Bowie not been fired over this? To truly fight crime, we need a strong and ethical NMSP that does not tolerate false police reports. We don’t have one.
3. Sexual harassment payments. It is not just “the boys” that engage in sexual harassment. MLG is front and center on this one, paying at least $150,000 to silence one of her former communications directors for what she did to him. Of course, she denies having done it, but paid the money, anyhow, to avoid “a distraction” during the pandemic. … Literally every day, I receive yet another email from the MLG campaign asking for yet more money. Perhaps others also are reluctant to contribute, knowing it will only be more “hush money.”
4. Veterans. Ten percent of the NM adult population are veterans of the armed forces of the United States. For almost four years, NM Veterans Secretary Sonya Smith did virtually nothing, in particular concerning the scams that deny veterans their lawful rights. Finally, it has been announced that Smith wants to “spend more time with her family,” the standard out-the-door excuse. But where is the strong replacement who will undertake the effective action to defend veterans and ensure they receive their lawful rights, and counters an anti-veteran culture?
All, for your consideration. Thank you.