Both Susana Martinez and Bill Richardson made a lot of enemies during their respective two terms as governor. And though both were pretty unpopular by the time they left office, at no point were there actual moves to impeach either one of them, even from their most rabid critics.
But just about six weeks into her governorship, Michelle Lujan Grisham has inspired a petition to remove her from office.
I first heard about this Monday in a text from a friend saying she’d just caught the tail end of a TV news report on KRQE about some group wanting to impeach the governor. I scoffed, telling her it sounded bogus. No New Mexico governor has ever been impeached, and I’ve never heard of any governor in any state who’s been impeached after a month in office. And to think, she was elected just three months ago by a landslide margin.
But indeed, right on the station’s website was the story about a Ruidoso man who had started an online petition asking that state Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, begin the process of impeaching Lujan Grisham. Clicking over to Change.org, a site that specializes in online petitions, I found it:
“The President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has ‘authorized the use of force’ by deploying the National Guard to the southern borders of New Mexico as to protect its citizens from illegal entry and or illegal activities of our enemies,” said the document, created by one John Daniel. “The governor of the state of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has overruled this authorization of the President and ordered the removal of the National Guard. By doing so, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has deliberately and recklessly aided our enemies in illegal entry to the state, committing illegal activities and endangering the safety of its citizens.”
I wasn’t aware that Mexico or Mexicans or others trying to get into the U.S. were “our enemies.” In the old days, Congress had to declare war on someone for there to be an enemy. But I guess I’m just being quaint.
Lujan Grisham indeed recalled most National Guard troops sent to the border by Gov. Martinez at Trump’s request. Martinez had deployed 118 troops. Lujan Grisham said some of those will remain to give humanitarian aid for migrants and asylum-seekers — or as the petition calls them, “the enemy” — who have arrived in recent weeks.
When KRQE reported this Monday, it said more than 19,000 people had signed Daniel’s petition. The last I checked, on Thursday morning, that number had more than doubled to over 44,000.
Boy, that’s a lot of people for Lincoln County.
Of course, we have no way of knowing how many of those signatures are from people actually in New Mexico. Something tells me that a big chunk of the people who signed don’t know Michelle Lujan Grisham from Michelle Obama and can’t tell Zach Cook from Zach Galifianakis.
Who knows, many of these signatures might not even be from the U.S. — the country that Lujan Grisham allegedly is treasoning against. Probably wouldn’t be a major task for some Moldovan troll farm to generate a few thousand signatures. No proof that anything like that took place, but without seeing the actual signers, you can’t rule it out.
So far neither Cook nor any other Republicans has introduced articles of impeachment. I haven’t even seen seen any breathless press releases from House GOP spokesman Larry Behrens about impeaching the allegedly traitorous governor.
During my years of covering the Roundhouse, I have seen actual moves to impeach high-ranking public officials. There was state Treasurer Robert Vigil — who resigned in 2005 when a House impeachment committee began deliberating about actual articles of impeachment. Six years later, Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. resigned as a part of a plea deal with the Attorney General’s Office that came as another House impeachment committee was investigating him. And in 2013, Secretary of State Dianna Duran resigned as a part of a plea deal while another impeachment committee had started investigating her.
In all three of these cases, the officials had been indicted on criminal charges. That’s certainly not the case with our current governor, who I’m pretty sure is not losing any sleep over this petition.