The New Mexico Republican Party lambasted Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) on the Breitbart News Saturday radio show for exacerbating the state’s economic crisis by, among other things, halting indoor restaurant service as part of changes to the reopening timeline that will go into effect Monday.
“You’re watching not even the slow the destruction of the New Mexico economy but an almost complete destruction,” Steve Pearce, the chairman of the New Mexico GOP, told Breitbart News Saturday host, Matt Boyle. “Early in her shutdown order, she allowed the big-box stores to remain open … [but] closed the mom and pops [and] closed the restaurants.”
“So she had to reopen up the restaurants to an extent,” and now she is saying “she has to close down the restaurants [to walk-in dining, but] leave the tattoo parlors open, leave other things open,” he added.
On July 9, Grisham unveiled sweeping changes to the state’s standing public health order, citing a spike in infections across New Mexico.
Grisham halted indoor restaurant services while allowing big retailers to continue operating, which will hurt small “mom and pop” establishments, Pearce argued. To the dismay of the state’s GOP, the governor also closed state parks to out of state visitors, a move that Pearce said would hurt the tourism industry.
Grisham also suspended autumn contact sports at schools, among other things.
Her administration had threatened to impose fines of thousands of dollars on businesses that flout the shutdown.
That prompted restaurants to join other businesses in filing a lawsuit against Grisham’s administrations for imposing exorbitant penalties on companies accused of violating her public health orders.
The lawsuit is reportedly heading to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
The health order falls under one law that gives her permission to restrict activities, but the penalty under that law is only a citation like a parking violation or a speeding violation. The maximum is a $100 fine. She’s taking the penalty from another law and applying it to this law. We know it’s totally illegal, so we’re taking it to the [state] supreme court. She’s charging people $5,000 a day and [she] expressly is prohibited to do that under the law, and we’re asking the supreme court to stop her action.
That New Mexico Supreme Court will reportedly hear the lawsuit August 4, Pearce said, stressing that the GOP is “fighting for mom and pop stores.”
Referring to the new coronavirus restrictions imposed by Grisham, Pearce accused the governor of retaliating against restaurants for joining other businesses in filing the lawsuit.
“It appears to be outright retaliation because people in the restaurant association had always fought against the concepts that she fought for,” like a minimum wage increase, the GOP chief in New Mexico noted.
While she threatens her constituents with heavy fines for violating the lockdown, Grisham has violated some of those same measures on several occasions, Pearce asserted, lamenting the Democrat-controlled attorney general offices in the region have refused to launch a formal investigation into the violations.
“We raise the issue constantly,” Pearce said.
Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden is reportedly considering Grisham, a Latina, for his running-mate.
Rather than focusing on what is best for the state, Grisham’s actions of reimposing a lockdown are part of her audition to become Biden’s potential vice-president pick, Pearce argued.
Nationally, the governor “has aligned herself with the idea that the more they can punish the economy, the better off the Democrats are going to be,” he observed.
“So she has aligned herself from day one with the national Democrat philosophy,” not that more conservative position of state Democrats, Pearce added.
The Republican chairman indicated Grisham’s ban on walk-in dining defies logic because the governor allows much bigger retailers to remain open, noting “it’s easier to social distance when you’re dining because people don’t get up and move around.”
“In your big-box stores, people are bumping elbows, shopping, moving from one area to the next. You can’t monitor 100 to 200 people at a time,” he continued.
Courtesy of Grisham, New Mexico has joined at least 26 other states and four cities in pausing or rolling back their reopening timelines as confirmed cases reach record-levels cases in the Southern and Western parts of the United States, several tallies and news reports revealed.
Breitbart News examined two lists of states that are pausing or reversing their reopening timeline, finding at least 27 states are doing so, up from 17 in late June.
The hardest-hit states of Texas, Florida, Arizona, and California are driving the recent rise in coronavirus cases and deaths.
Although the daily number of deaths across the United States is beginning to creep back up, the numbers remain below peak levels, nationally.
Breitbart News Saturday airs on Sirius XM Patriot Radio Channel 125 from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Eastern.