The shrill shill, also known as Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Luján, continues to vouch for Republican President Donald Trump’s powers of persuasion.

Trump says he can win New Mexico in 2020. This would be quite an upset, as the president’s approval ratings have dropped in New Mexico since he lost the state by 8 percentage points in 2016.

Trump also calls himself “a stable genius” who happens to be “great looking.” Just about everyone knows he brags almost as often as he breathes.

Luján is an exception. He believes Trump’s claim that New Mexico is a state Trump is targeting, or at least Luján claims to believe it. This approach suits Luján’s purposes as he collects more money for his U.S. Senate campaign.

This was Luján’s latest pitch, which he cleverly titled, “my heart just dropped.” The writing that follows, if you can call it writing, is by the congressman.

“Confirmed: Trump deploying dozens of staff to flip New Mexico red — threatening that ‘the cavalry’ is coming. I will not allow Trump to flip this state and sabotage our shot to win the Senate — even if it’s the last thing I do. I need 501 gifts before midnight to launch an immediate defense.”

Barring scandal, wordsmith Luján will win the Senate election by a wide margin. He has already dispatched his only Democratic opponent. She couldn’t compete with him in fundraising.

Disorganized state Republicans have three no-hope candidates from which to choose. All that remains to be decided is which of them will absorb the beating in the general election.

Luján spent much of 2019 composing solicitations about how a devious Republican machine led by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was working to defeat him. All of it was self-serving hype, a strategy Luján shares with Trump.

Twisting truth to suit himself, Luján even claimed, “Mitch McConnell announced he raised $2.1 MILLION to defeat me and hold the Senate.”

Luján’s statements are similar to the screaming headlines in supermarket tabloids. Claims that are wild and unsubstantiated can be explained away. All Luján has to do is say that what he wrote was ambiguous enough so as not to be false.

McConnell never intimated, much less announced, that he had raised millions to help a Republican defeat Luján. But Luján, sliding for cover of darkness, can claim McConnell could one day divert his own campaign funds for the New Mexico Senate election.

If there’s one thing Luján excels at, it’s fundraising. He bagged a bit more than $1 million in the last quarter.

Now, unopposed for the Democratic Senate nomination, Luján wants even more money. He will always play it that way. Some shadowy, evil force is forever conspiring to stop this onetime blackjack dealer from beating the odds by climbing higher in politics.

Many of Luján’s solicitations are sappy notes of despair followed by giddy optimism.

“This has been one of the most humbling weeks of my life,” he wrote in an email last weekend. “For the first time in my entire campaign, I was worried we’d fail to meet tonight’s monumental goal. But after generous donors stepped up to MATCH gifts in these final 6 hours — I’m now inches from closing my fundraising gap!”

What if he fell short of some unannounced goal? Suppose Luján didn’t stuff more money into his campaign account for an election that will be a blowout? Would your life be any harder if he couldn’t buy 10 more television ads that say nothing of importance?

Because the inept Republicans have ceded the Senate election to Luján, there’s no point in sending him donations.

Better to help a needy acquaintance or friend with a utility bill or rent payment than to continue the insanity.

As for Luján, he won’t change his ways. His pleadings and meanderings will go on as long as he is in politics.

He is only 47. He could be a senator for 30 years.

No doubt all of them would be filled with unforgiving deadlines to keep the cash flowing.

Ringside Seat is an opinion column about people, politics and news. Contact Milan Simonich at or 505-490-1048.

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(16) comments

Carlos Montoya


But much more can be said! I hope you do!!

Good article!!

Carlos Montoya


And there is much more to be said!!

Good ar

Chris Mechels

Milan, get a life. As you admit, you can't derail Lujan, so how about writing about some problems that you actually COULD affect, if you'd stop whining. Lujan is no great shakes, but neither was Udall. Both of them were "made" by being their father's sons. Lujan's only Democratic opponent, Maggie TO, is actually much WORSE than Lujan, if you'd bother to notice.. Maggie just can't seem to find the energy to enforce the NM laws she's responsible for; such as the Financial Disclosure Act. She's too tired, and too timid. Check the disclosure for DPS Secr Mark Shea. There ISN'T one. I have raised this with the SOS and Shea's office, and he just won't disclose. Seem to be "above" the law, like Maggie. So, yes, we could do worse than Lujan, as Maggie is worse, much worse. So, shut up and write about Maggie's utter failure as SOS, or AG Balderas and his illegal terminations, which is about to cost US many millions of dollars. Do something useful for God's sake. Stop whining. You're pathetic.

Dr. Michael Johnson

Well said!

Nicoletta Munroe

Neither Margaret Oliver, nor Ben Ray Lujan Jr., possess a law degree for the U.S. Senate position, therefore they are both unqualified. However, Ms. Oliver has completed her bachelor degree, yet Mr. Lujan has not. Thus, she is the superior candidate.

Nicoletta Munroe

The scandal that it alluded to in the article is that there is a forged, unlawfully granted, bachelor degree from Highlands University, obtained by his father near the time that he ran for U.S. Congress in the 3rd district of New Mexico. The forged degree represents fraud, because Mr. Lujan claims on the congressional website that he possesses a bachelor degree. The claim is false. It is a federal crime because Mr. Lujan is claiming to have earned the degree, and is using the congressional website to promote a lie. He has crossed state lines with forgery.

Robert Cox

Nice job, Milan. Lujan would make a fine headline writer for the tabloids. A growing number of us Democrats resent not only his frantic, money-grubbing screeching, but also his obvious demeaning of our intelligence. It would be nice if his energies were directed to his constituents. We're not counting on that.

Robert Cox

Nice job, Milan. Lujan would make a fine headline writer for the tabloids. A growing number of us Democrats resent not only his frantic, money-grubbing screeching, but also his obvious demeaning of our intelligence. It would be nice if

Sloan Cunningham

"None of the above", or NOTA for short, also known as "against all" or a "scratch" vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of the candidates in a voting system...

Tom Ribe

The republicans have nothing to offer in this race especially since they are all completely infatuated the Donald Trump. They fall over themselves to earn his praise and follow him over the edge as he works to destroy our government. Ben Lujan has been a lackluster Congressman but hopefully if he gets a good staff he can do better in the Senate. We have to hope so as we need to take the Senate back from the Republicans ASAP. As for Trump's claim he can turn New Mexico red, this is utter nonsense and all of us who live here know it.

Dr. Michael Johnson

Recently, NM has had the worst Senators in America. Tommy and Marty are as bad as it gets, especially after people like Jeff and Pete. Now we go further downhill, and will continue as the laughing stock of the US Senate.

Tom Ribe

Dr. Johnson is the head of the Don Jim Trump campaign in New Mexico. He strongly supports Donald Trump and Rudy Guiliani.

Dr. Michael Johnson

No, that is a lie, I am a registered Democrat and have been all my life, I have financially supported many Democrats in NM (Denish with $10K, Ben Lujan with many thousands when he was alive, Carl Trujillo, Heather Nordquist, etc.), look it up, if you can google and read that is.......

Richard Reinders

Dr. Johnson like myself are concerned Democrats that don't like being taken advantage of by our elected officials, and I say an honest Republican is better then a corrupt self centered Democrat. I now vote the person not the party.

Richard Reinders

You just have to ask the question, what has Lujan done for the people of New Mexico as a congressman , the answer is nothing. He has worked to benefit himself.

Dr. Michael Johnson

Actually he has worked very hard to illegally and unconstitutionally steal our water rights in Aamodt, and reward his special interests with them. That alone will get him elected.

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