Tipping Point New Mexico

40 Episodes

By: Paul Gessing

Podcast of the Rio Grande Foundation that addresses public policy issues facing New Mexico.

Census is Out, Why New Mexico Barely Grew and more
Last Tuesday at 11:00 PM

On this weeks discussion podcast, topics include:

MLG completely revamps her emergency orders. Overall, the situation is much better. Moving to full opening by late June depending on vaccination progress; Youth sports outdoors.¬† Mask mandate changes. More to come?¬† On May 1st after being closed for more than 1 month, New Mexico golf courses reopened.¬† Fallout for New Mexico census, LFC report.¬† Passing the buck for NM‚Äôs slow population growth. Stansbury tells Channel 4 the economy is her ‚Äúnumber one issue‚ÄĚ yet voted consistently for higher taxes. APS enrollment continues to plummet, yet money is not an issue at APS. Break...

David Clements - 2020 Election Issues, Critical Race Theory in Academia and more

On this week's podcast interview Paul sits down with David Clements. A libertarian-leaning law professor at New Mexico State University, David once ran for US Senate as a Republican, but he (like Paul) was not necessarily a fan of President Trump in his run for the White House in 2016. 

Clements not only had a change of heart during Trump's time in office, but he has actively engaged in tracking down many problems and issues with the 2020 election. David has also spoken out publicly against "critical race theory" and efforts to stifle free speech in the halls of academia. D...

COVID-19 and Science, Spaceport, Bernalillo County, Another Plastic Bag Ban and more

On this week's podcast conversation Paul and Wally discuss: 

The latest COVID maps are out and the situation seems to have stalemated or even worsened. Will the State change its metrics and if so, how?  The deposition of NM's Health Secretary throws "science" into question. Reporter Patrick Hayes questions Scrase who tap dances. NY Times says wearing masks outdoors makes no sense.  Census data are out including data on New Mexico's slow population growth and national population shifts.   Sierra County news article uses RGF data to question Spaceport. Of course, SpaceX is running ahead. Bernalillo County building taking shape wi...

Michael Johnson - Energy Reliability in New Mexico and Texas

On this week's podcast interview Paul sits down with Michael Johnson to discuss energy reliability both in Texas AND New Mexico. 

Recently Texas suffered from serious energy reliability failures, but a decade ago many New Mexicans went without natural gas for days during one of the coldest times in recent memory. Michael Johnson is a New Mexican. He wrote the definitive report on what happened in New Mexico a decade ago.    Johnson, a member of ERCOT for several years in the '90s, has also studied what happened in Texas and what caused the recent outages.   Johnson's experience includ...

High Unemployment yet Few Workers to be Found and more

On the latest Tipping Point New Mexico Paul discusses the fact that the CDC has now confirmed that he was correct in questioning "surface spread" of COVID over a year ago. Last year at this time Mayor Keller shut down Albuquerque playgrounds and parks. Paul and his family did not obey these restrictions and were criticized for it at the time.

NM has high unemployment and yet businesses can’t find workers because too many are getting checks for doing nothing. 

Some "blue" states are making COVID rules permanent. Paul is concerned this could happen in New...

Grover Norquist - Americans for Tax Reform - Federal Government Policy

On this week's episode, Paul interviews Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. There has been a lot of bad policy coming out of Washington, DC, during the first few months of the Biden Administration. Whether it is the $2 trillion "stimulus" or another $2 trillion "infrastructure" bill or attacks on free speech and Right to Work, the amount of transformationally bad public policy moving in Washington is almost too much to keep up with. Thankfully Grover spends his days and even nights working on these issues. If you want to know what is happening in the federal government you...

Energy, COVID, Freedom Index, Bleak Report for New Mexico and more

On the latest Tipping Point NM conversation, Paul and Wally discuss a few articles showing that there is "no such thing as a free lunch" when it comes to energy.

ABQ/Bernalillo County remains in Yellow. San Juan County moves from Turquoise to green. There is no end in sight for MLG’s rules.

Back to School seems to be going fine, but the number of students in school is down. 

Gov. signs ‚Äúfood freedom‚ÄĚ bill but vetoes ‚Äúearmark‚ÄĚ of¬†federal funds for unemployment insurance. The unemployment veto is important for both policy reasons as w...

Corey DeAngelis - Education Success Evidence and Issues

On this week's podcast interview Paul sits down with Corey DeAngelis, an education expert with American Federation for Children and numerous other education reform organizations. They discuss how the fight for educational choice has ramped up during COVID and discuss both the empirical evidence on a number of education issues as well as some recent success stories and what is driving them.   DeAngelis is a tireless advocate for education reform. Check out this exciting and timely discussion! 

NM Congressional District 1 Candidates Set for June Election, Marijuana Legalization and More

On this week's discussion, Paul shares his first-hand perspective of another locked-down state, California including the similarities and differences with New Mexico.

Melanie Stansbury wins the Democratic Party nomination for New Mexico's first congressional district (CD1) in an upset. She will face Mark Moores and others in a June election.  What distinguishes these two candidates?

Marijuana is legalized in a special session of the New Mexico Legislature.  How it happened and what might the rollout of this legislation look like for New Mexico

Back to school (in-person) for (some) New Mexico public school st...

Larry Behrens - Power the Future New Mexico and You're Fracking Welcome

On this week's interview, Paul interviews Larry Behrens of Power the Future New Mexico.  They have set up a website: https://www.yourefrackingwelcome.com to honor and thank workers in the oil and gas industry. 

Furthermore, Larry and Paul worked together on reopening New Mexico and the Gov.'s COVID restrictions. They start the program by discussing how their recommendations made back in April of 2020 would have been much better for New Mexicans and small businesses in the State.


COVID-19 Improvements, Marijuana Special Session, Legislation That Wasn't, and More

On this week's podcast, Paul and Wally discuss the fact that more NM counties continue to improve on COVID.

Cliffs Amusement Park is set to reopen on May 8. Hinkle Family Fun Center is still not open but is hiring. How easy will it be for these businesses to find employees with all the "free" money floating around?  

Arizona and Utah remove nearly all COVID restrictions

Two weeks after opening Texas continued to see a decline in COVID cases

In Texas when the State dropped its mask mandate on March 10 there were 5,350 new...

Larry Ahrens - Greetings from Arizona

On this week's episode, Paul sits down with former New Mexico media personality Larry Ahrens. For decades Larry was a fixture on radio and television throughout our State. Paul and Larry specifically discuss the early days of having Rush Limbaugh on KKOB radio. 

Recently, Larry moved to Arizona for a variety of reasons that we discuss during the podcast. We discuss the differences between Arizona and New Mexico and why New Mexico is held back by its political leaders from achieving greater economic and social welfare success. 

NM Legislative Session, Marijuana, Haaland Confirmed at Interior, NM Civil Rights Act and More

On this week's podcast conversation, Paul and Wally discuss the conclusion of the 2021 Legislative session. Gov. Lujan Grisham plans to call a special session to deal with marijuana legalization. Wally and Paul discuss whether that is a good idea. They discuss allegations of "bullying" and they discuss some of the most important bills that passed or failed in the legislative session.

Over the weekend rallies were held across New Mexico in support of reopening the State. Paul discusses what he saw at the Albuquerque rally.

Gov. MLG says New Mexico stands to lose $709 million between t...

Paul Bunker - The Mythology of Global Warming: Climate Change Fiction vs. Scientific Facts

On this week's interview, Paul talks to Bruce Bunker about the science of climate change. Bunker is a chemist who studied the issue at Sandia National Labs. His professional work led him to write the book "The Mythology of Global Warming: Climate Change Fiction vs. Scientific Facts." Bunker takes a scientific approach to the issue of man-cause climate change and the idea that it will have serious, negative repercussions for the planet or for humanity. 

  The RGF's expertise is not "science." We don't research or comment on the science of topics like climate change, but Bunker IS an exper...

COVID-19 Improvement, Unemployment, Tax Hikes, Marijuana, Electric Reliability and More

On this week's conversation, Paul and Wally discuss the fact that New Mexico's COVID situation continues to improve. More counties are moving into turquoise, green, etc.
When will the Gov. relinquish her powers? There's no indication of that. Paul works out with a mask on for the first time. The mainstream media is starting to acknowledge that lockdowns haven't done anything to improve COVID outcomes. 

NM unemployment rate is 8.7%, 48th in the nation. There is a clear pattern among the lowest and highest unemployment states. 

The New Mexico Legislature is coming down the stretch with i...

Clint Pagurko - RGF Intern and Policy Analyst

On this week's interview, Paul sits down with Rio Grande Foundation intern and policy analyst Clint Pagurko. Clint has been with the Foundation for just a few months, but he has made a tremendous impact with the organization by researching and writing testimony for many of the bills of concern for the Rio Grande Foundation this legislative session. His testimony has been posted at: www.errorsofenchantment.com this session along with the Foundation's usual information and analysis. 

  Clint is a recent graduate of Hillsdale College a unique and staunchly independent school based in Clint's home state of Michigan. We di...

One Year of COVID-19

On this week's discussion show, Paul and Wally discuss the rapid-changing COVID rules being imposed by the Lujan Grisham Administration.   They begin by Commemorating one year of COVID; New Mexico has announced that it is prioritizing teachers for the COVID-19 vaccine. That's a fine idea, but why wait until now when the Gov. could have made this move back in January when the vaccine came out? During this conversation, Paul and Wally receive news that schools will be reopening to all K-12 students full-time.   New Mexico's bowling alleys are still closed but MLG is letting Meow Wolf reopen on the 19th...

Rob Black and Ted Abernathy - Driving New Mexico’s Future

On this week's conversation, Paul sits down with New Mexico Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Rob Black and economic consultant Ted Abernathy who runs the firm Economic Leadership.    Ted recently worked with the Chamber to develop various economic policy recommendations for New Mexico based on numerous conversations with business leaders. The information has been shared with elected officials and economic development experts throughout the State. You can find out details on those recommendations here. 

Impact of Biden Administration Energy Policies on New Mexico

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, Paul Gessing of the Rio Grande Foundation and Kevin Hassett of the National Review Institute discussed the impact of the Biden Administration’s energy policies on New Mexico.

COVID-19 Lockdowns Get New Level, Legislative Session, Space, Sports and More

The Gov. shifts the goalposts on COVID-19 again. Most of this is good news as NM reopens further including Hinkle, Cliffs, and (presumably ABQ Isotopes) can open right now.  Bars and clubs: can reopen indoors in the newly-created Turquoise level. Sports fields, concert venues, movie theaters, entertainment centers: can reopen indoor activities at 25% capacity in green level. New Mexico is the only state in which movie theaters cannot open.

Gov. continues mask mandate. No end in sight for Gov. emergency orders. 

Gov. says she’d veto any restrictions on her authority. HJR 6 is the path forwar...

COVID-19 Lockdowns Get New Level, Legislative Session, Space, Sports and More

The Gov. shifts the goalposts on COVID 19 again. Most of this is good news as NM reopens further including Hinkle, Cliffs, and (presumably ABQ Isotopes) can open right now.  Bars and clubs: can reopen indoors in the newly-created Turquoise level. Sports fields, concert venues, movie theaters, entertainment centers: can reopen indoor activities at 25% capacity in green level. New Mexico is the only state in which movie theaters cannot open.

Gov. continues mask mandate. No end in sight for Gov. emergency orders. 

Gov. says she’d veto any restrictions on her authority. HJR 6 is the path forward ...

Jerry Walker - Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico

On this week's podcast, Paul interviews Jerry Walker, President & CEO of the Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico.

After chatting about the importance of independent and community banks in New Mexico, Paul and Jerry spend most of the podcast discussing bills before the New Mexico Legislature that would create a new, state-owned bank. The twin NM bills, SB 313 and HB 236 are moving through the Legislature now. 

Haaland Hearing, Oil & Gas to Texas, Facebook Subsidy, Legislative Session Halfway Home and more

On this week's conversation, Paul and Wally begin by discussing Rep. Deb Haaland's nomination and the start of her hearing process to become Secretary of Interior. Paul recently wrote about her here. The Lujan Grisham Administration recently said that oil/gas drilling companies are moving out of NM to Texas thanks to Biden ban. Oil prices have been tracking above $60/barrel and prices at the pump are up as well. 

RGF will be co-hosting a virtual/free event w/ National Review Institute and former Chair of President Trump's Council of Economic Advisors Kevin Hassett. Find out more here. <...

Robey Christian - Media Research Center

On this week's Tipping Point NM interview Paul sits down with Christian Robey, Vice President of External Affairs at the Media Research Center. The Center focuses on anti-conservative media bias and the Rio Grande Foundation is part of their Free Speech Alliance, an organized conservative response to media and tech bias.

The discussion includes Rush Limbaugh's legacy in alternative media, the genesis of MRC, ways in which media and tech firms influence elections, and how citizens can push back. This episode covers an especially informative and very timely issue.

Covid-19 Yellow, Back to School?, Good, Bad and Ugly Bills, Frozen Windmills, Crime and more

Counties are moving in the right direction on COVID with rates dropping and restaurants opening. San Juan County missed going Yellow by .01%

We hope we’re moving the right direction, but obviously a shift backward and yet another closure could harm restaurants. 

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller says we won’t get to Green until summer. 

CDC director had said schools should reopen regardless of teacher vaccinations, but the Biden Administration’s union-friendly politics got in the way.

According to ABQ Journal: 47 districts currently open for hybrid at elementary schools. And 41 of the state’s 8...

New Mexico Gun Legislation - Zachary Fort

On this week's podcast, Paul interviews Zachary Fort of the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association about gun rights in the 2021 legislative session.

There are several bills listed below that could impact YOUR gun rights in New Mexico. Paul and Zach discussed what is happening and what can be done about it.  

A few specific bills discussed are listed below:

1)    HB 102 Creates a committee under the Department of Health to study gun violence. Sponsor Rep. Gail Chasey

2)    HB 193 amends 2020's "red flag" bill; original bill allows police to execute search warrants for any r...

Top Golf, Pay Raises for Governor's Staff, Move to Texas and more

On this week's podcast, Paul discusses his recent IN PERSON talk to Santa Fe Republican Women group! 

Super Bowl 20,000 people attend. Halftime dancers wear bizarre and¬†de-personalizing ‚Äúdiapers‚ÄĚ on their heads.¬†

Top Golf is open while other similar businesses remain shuttered. 

Lujan Grisham raises pay for her top staffers. 

Responding to Sen. Mimi Stewart who wants New Mexicans to just move to Texas if they don't like New Mexico public policies. 

Bill Richardson’s tax cuts were a success as the Rio Grande Foundation and other economists have noted. 

Nearly hal...

John Boyd - Site Selection during COVID-19 and Beyond

John Boyd is a site selector who splits his time between Florida and New Jersey. He is familiar with New Mexico and its economy and was interviewed for the Tipping Point New Mexico podcast on April 9, 2020 in the early days of the COVID 19 pandemic. 

  On this episode John shares updates on what is happening in site selection and where business and human capital investment is moving as we move through and beyond COVID. Paul and John then discuss what New Mexico's elected leaders can and should do to build on the existing assets of New Mexico.  

COVID-19 Policy, Biden's Energy Policy, Medicaid, Freedom Index and more

On this week's podcast conversation:

Apparently not everyone was consulted by MLG on her back to school order. 

The number of active COVID cases is MUCH higher than it was for most of the time the schools were on lockdown. 

Good news. More counties are moving from red to yellow.

Under what logic can Top Golf open but not Cliffs or Hinkle Family Fun Center. 

Biden' energy crackdown isn’t just for 60 days. But, as discussed on the podcast recently, Kathleen Sgamma’s Western Energy Alliance has indeed filed a lawsuit. <...

Fred Nathan of Think New Mexico

On this week's Tipping Point interview Paul sits down with Fred Nathan of Think New Mexico. Think New Mexico is another policy think tank that works in New Mexico. They describe themselves as "A results-oriented think tank whose mission is to improve the lives of all New Mexicans."   Fred and Paul discuss the organization's past successes often working in tandem with the Rio Grande Foundation. For starters, Paul and Fred speak candidly about the security issues around the Roundhouse and the challenges of the unique 60-day "virtual" session. They also discuss grocery taxes and issues that cropped up over that is...

Back to School, 60 Day Leasing Ban, Good, Bad and Ugly Bills at Legislature

On this week's episode, Paul and Wally discuss the fact that New Mexico schools will soon reopen in a hybrid format. This is good news, but Wally and Paul do have questions. Other "blue" states have reopened as well and the Lobos and Aggies sports teams have been allowed to come back to NM, but what about football and other fall high school sports?

Biden oil leasing ban on federal lands 60 days; Shocking how quickly that came about & Deb Haaland isn’t even sworn in yet.  

Paul wants to put some facts on the table as the...

Representative Greg Nibert - NM Legislative Session

Paul interviews Rep. Greg Nibert, a member of the New Mexico House of Representatives from Roswell. 

Nibert is sponsoring critical legislation that would give legislators a "seat at the table" in future emergencies. No longer would one person, the Gov., be given or be able to take the kind of absolute control we have seen over the last year.    Additionally, Nibert and Gessing discuss the logistics and concerns about New Mexico's first-ever "virtual" 60-day session and some of the important issues that he'll be dealing with in the session.

Unemployment, Vaccine, Back to School?, NM Capitol Lockdown and more

Wallethub’s latest report on unemployment shows that New Mexico remains the 2nd-most impacted state in the nation when it comes to unemployment during the COVID 19 situation.  

Gov. Lujan Grisham held a press conference in which she discussed distribution of the vaccine and her latest plans. 400 person Harding County is in the green and Union County (Clayton) in yellow are the only counties out of the red. Despite all of the Gov.’s lockdowns New Mexico is now 15th-highest among US states in deaths per population from COVID.

SOME New Mexico kids can get back to the cla...

Kathleen Sgamma - Interior Department Impacts to Oil and Gas

On this week's podcast, Paul talks to Kathleen Sgamma. Kathleen is President of the Western Energy Alliance which describes itself as The Voice of Energy in the West. 

They discuss Biden's energy policies and their potential impact on New Mexico and its economy as well as New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland's likely impacts at the Department of Interior and the likelihood of a federal ban on fracking or oil and gas permitting on federal lands, including Native lands. Don't miss this critical conversation! 

Perspectives on Trump Legacy and Riots at U.S. Capitol and more

The events of this past week were unprecedented in American history. On this week's podcast, Paul and Wally share their perspectives on the riot at the US Capitol and Trump’s legacy more broadly. Then, Wally and Paul address the political repercussions of this event which will be extremely problematic for conservatives nationwide, let alone here in New Mexico. One of the earliest developments involves a clampdown on conservatives on social media.    Before last week went completely off the rails Paul and Wally made some predictions regarding the results of the Georgia Senate Races. They discuss the results of those pred...

Sandoval County Commissioner Dave Heil

On this week's podcast, Paul sits down with Sandoval County Commissioner Dave Heil. 

Commissioner Heil and Paul discuss Sandoval County's unique status as a relatively conservative area in New Mexico's Rio Grande Corridor. What does the County do differently to make it more business-friendly than its neighbors? They further discuss the size and growth of the County and why it is such a popular destination within New Mexico. 

Halfway Home? Looking ahead to 2021

On this week's Tipping Point NM podcast Paul and Wally look forward to and make predictions about 2021. 

Are we really just¬†‚Äúhalfway home‚ÄĚ on COVID 19?¬†If so, what does that mean?¬†

The left suddenly agrees that the ETA needs fixing. We said this at the time, but Wally and Paul suspect the motivations of these legislators don't involve defending ratepayers.

Churches face fines due to violations of Gov.’s orders. Paul attended Christmas Eve services and shares his thoughts. 

Finally, Paul and Wally make their predictions for 2021: 

First, with the Legislatu...

Spaceport America and Corruption, Virgin Galactic's Aborted Launch-Doug Messier

On this week's interview podcast, Paul sits down with Doug Messier of the space privatization website Parabolic Arc. They discuss the recent aborted launch at Spaceport America, corruption issues with the facility's leadership, and management changes at Virgin Galactic. There are many issues and challenges as Virgin Galactic HOPES to launch in 2021.  

The Year in Review - 2020

On this week's podcast, Wally and Paul review the year that was 2020. But, before discussing what was a very challenging year, they discuss President Trump's decision to sign the $900 billion stimulus bill and $1.4 federal funding legislation: 

 Biden has called the legislation a "down payment" on what we can only imagine will be an even bigger "stimulus" in the near future. 

Also, since COVID dominated 2020 like few issues since at least World War II, Paul and Wally run through this article which details "12 times when the lockdowners were wrong" 

With that, Wally and Paul revi...

Dean Stansel - NM is 42nd in Index of Economic Freedom in North America

On this week's podcast, Paul interviews Dean Stansel. Dean is a Research Associate Professor at the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, but the main topic of the discussion is the 2020 version of the Fraser Institute's Index of Economic Freedom of North America. 

New Mexico lags its region dramatically in the Index (coming in at 42nd overall) even though the data in this particular Index are from 2018, the final year of Gov. Susana Martinez's term in office. Dean and Paul discuss the components of economic freedom and why it...