“A Stronger New Mexico”, a political action committee linked to the Democratic Governors Association, released a TV ad which asserts Republican candidate for Governor Mark Ronchetti “opposed a woman’s right to control her own body ‘at all stages’ and praised” the U.S. Supreme Court “for giving that power over women to politicians like him.” The ad claims “governors get power over abortion rights” with Roe v. Wade overturned.
The TV ad also links Ronchetti to a 2020 endorsement for US Senate from “National Right to Life”, the nation’s largest anti-abortion group, when it says “Extremists who’d outlaw abortion even in cases of rape and incest said he’s their choice for New Mexico, which makes Ronchetti the wrong choice for governor.”
In response to the “A Stronger New Mexico” TV ad, Ronchetti released his own rebuttal TV ad on abortion. The ad is entitled “You Deserve the Truth”. It has Ronchetti sitting on a leather couch, ostensibly in his home, wearing an open collar shirt and blue gens, as he speaks directly into the camera and “over articulating” his words, as he tends to do, and exposing his TV weatherman “bleached” white teeth. Ronchetti says this in the ad:
“You deserve to know where candidates stand and not be scared by false ads. … The governor supports abortion up to birth. … That’s extreme. … I’m personally pro-life, but I believe we can all come together on a policy that reflects our shared values. … We can end late-term abortion while protecting access to contraception and health care.”
The on-screen graphics say first that Governor Lujan Grisham supports abortion “up to moment of birth” and that she made New Mexico the “late-term abortion capital of U.S.” The ad goes on to say Ronchetti proposes banning abortion after 15 weeks of gestation, with exceptions for rape, incest, and to preserve the life of the mother.”
MARK RONCHETTI MAKES CONFESSSION IN PRIVATE TO LEGACY CHURCH PASTOR STEVE SMOTHERMMON
On Sunday, July 10, the very conservative Republican pastor Reverend Steven Smothermon of Legacy Church during his Sunday church service, exposed Mark Ronchetti’s new moderate stand as nothing more than ruse to get elected. Ronchetti’s new stance on abortion is approving abortion for up to 15 weeks of pregnancy and in cases involving rape, incest and when a mother’s life is at risk. This is what Smothermon preached and said from his pulpit:
I know Mark Ronchetti came out, and some people are very upset, because he said I think [abortion] is reasonable up to 15 weeks. . . I know a lot of us got mad. I did too. I had a long talk with him for hours. I said, dude right out of the gate you blew it and he said here’s what I was trying to do. I know what you were trying to do but you didn’t do it and here’s what he said.
He said, ‘listen, I just want to start with getting rid of partial birth abortion in the whole state’–which we should be happy with–and he said ‘but I can’t just go in and do it 100 percent because we won’t ever get elected.’ He said I just want to start but his goal would be to end abortion in New Mexico. Just so you know.
How do I know that? Because I talked to him for hours and I said I won’t support anybody that believes in killing a baby ever. I don’t care how much you are right on other issues. That one issue is enough for me because if you don’t believe in life, something’s wrong.
The full video of the Smothemon sermon can be viewed with comments on Ronchetti starting at 27:10.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s campaign was quick to seize upon Smothermon’s revelations and called Ronchetti a liar who is trying to trick voters to get elected. Kendall Witmer, a spokeswoman for Lujan Grisham’s campaign had this to say:
[“Ronchetti is] dangerous for women who depend on abortion health care. The rights of women to make decisions about their own bodies in New Mexico depends on reelecting Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.”
“Lujan Grisham told CNN New Mexico doesn’t have any restrictions on abortion, which she supports. There are no restrictions, she told CNN’s Jake Tapper, because “this is a privacy right and a personal decision between a woman and her doctor, and to interfere in any of these medical decisions creates … unknown, untold reductions in civil liberties for any number of individuals, including women’s access to contraceptives.”
The link to the quoted news source material is here:
In 2021, in anticipation of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Governor Lujan Grisham worked and lobbied the New Mexico legislature to repeal the state’s 1969 criminal law that made abortion a crime so that the state law could not become enforceable. In June, Lujan Grisham issued an executive order aimed at protecting patients and providers from lawsuits and arrest warrants filed in other states.
A HIDEOUS ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL GUEST COLUMN
On Sunday, July 31, the Albuquerque Journal ran a guest column that was a hideous, inflammatory attack on New Mexico, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Legislature and all of its citizens who support a woman’s right to choose and a woman’s reproductive rights. The guest column was written by Stephan Helgesen who says he is a retired career U.S. diplomat who now resides in Tijeras, New Mexico. According to the Journal biographical foot note, Helgeson has lived and worked in 30 countries for 25 years and is the author of 12 books and has written more than 1,200 articles on politics, economics and social trends.
Following is the full, unedited column with link to the Albuquerque Journal:
HEADLINE: New Mexico has become the land of disposable life
BY STEPHAN HELGESEN / TIJERAS RESIDENT
PUBLISHED: SUNDAY, JULY 31ST, 2022 AT 12:02AM
“Get ready my fellow New Mexicans, your state is soon to become the abortion equivalent of the ubiquitous 7-Eleven convenience store thanks to a progressive governor and a doctrinaire Democratic Legislature that care more for living voters than womb-bound future ones.
Tough words admittedly, but it’s time we all took the gloves off and stopped hiding behind a sense of fair play or giving the left the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their real attitudes toward human life. Truth is, their actions show they care more about protecting their ideology than protecting innocent life.
This whole “reproductive health care argument” and a “woman’s right to choose” is just a smoke screen for a self-centered egotistical bias toward women who don’t want to suffer the inconvenience of bearing a child. While I’m willing to admit there are instances when an abortion can be morally justified – in cases of rape and incest and when there is a real and present danger to the health of the mother – those instances are few and far between the millions of abortions that occur every year in the USA.
It pains me to say it, but we have become a nation of blame-shifters. “It was his fault that I got pregnant!” “Of course I knew what a missed menstrual period means, but I knew that I could always get an abortion if I was pregnant, so no big deal.”
Now that the Supreme Court has reversed the Roe versus Wade decision of 1973, we will soon see if our states will also avoid their responsibility to protect human life, or, as with the recent easing of marijuana laws, they will see dollar signs in the continuance or expansion of their abortion industry.
New Mexico will probably become a one-stop shop for out-of-state expectant mothers. “Come to New Mexico. Bienvenidos. End your pregnancy here in just 24 hours and use the rest of your time to see our glorious Land of Enchantment. See the sights. Taste our culture that celebrates life in all its forms.”
What hypocrisy. The native peoples of New Mexico have always revered life. Elizabeth Terrill wrote a piece for the Navajo Times in which she said, “As a Native American woman, I know this (that life is sacred and begins at conception) to be true at a fundamental level. It has taken centuries for our Native peoples to be afforded the human rights that all people deserve by their very nature.
Precisely because of our history of being discarded and disdained, we have an obligation to stand for those who are today being denied the rights that we have fought so hard to obtain.”
How did our state go from one that respected and revered indigenous people’s cultural and religious beliefs about the sanctity of life to an abortion sanctuary state? The answer is simple – politics, simply politics.
A true-blue state, New Mexico has sold its morals for 30 pieces of silver and the prospect of being viewed as progressive rather than a state steeped in traditional values. Human life is expendable. Women must have the sovereign right to decide who lives and who dies, and the state has the responsibility to uphold those new moral rights. That’s basically what Senate Bill 10 passed in the 2021 legislative session says.
Given the laws being passed in neighboring states limiting abortions, we are bound to see an influx of abortion tourism. This will please the pro-abortion zealots, but it will really please organizations like Planned Parenthood that stand to do a land office business.
Abortion gold has been found in them thar hills. At a time when the left is steadfastly protecting the lives of (undocumented) immigrants pouring into our country it strikes me as paradoxical that we are willing to sever the lifelines of the innocent and vulnerable unborn. Is this the new New Mexico True? If so, count me out.”
RESPOND TO HIDEOUS COLUMN
After reading the inflammatory Helgeson guest column, this author was compelled to respond directly to Stephan Helgesen as well contact the Albuquerque Journal editors to question why the column was published in the first place given the inflammatory and many falsehoods contained in the guest column.
Following is the email exchange that ensued:
Date: 8/2/22 From Pete Dinelli, To Stephan Helgesen, Subject: Helgeson Trash talking; Albuquerque Journal guest column
“ Mr. Helgeson
I read your opinion column published by the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday, July 31 with the link here:
Why the Albuquerque Journal editors would even publish it is astonishing given how offensive it was to the State, which is the reason for me sending this email to the Journal editors.
Your column is replete with rhetoric and downright lies that you are trying to pawn off as legitimate commentary. It really amounts to nothing more than offensive, inflammatory rhetoric, including the following:
“Get ready my fellow New Mexicans, your state is soon to become the abortion equivalent of the ubiquitous 7-Eleven convenience store thanks to a progressive governor and a doctrinaire Democratic Legislature that care more for living voters than womb-bound future ones.”
“This whole “reproductive health care argument” and a “woman’s right to choose” is just a smoke screen for a self-centered egotistical bias toward women who don’t want to suffer the inconvenience of bearing a child.”
“While I’m willing to admit there are instances when an abortion can be morally justified – in cases of rape and incest and when there is a real and present danger to the health of the mother – those instances are few and far between the millions of abortions that occur every year in the USA.”
“… we have become a nation of blame-shifters. “It was his fault that I got pregnant!” “Of course I knew what a missed menstrual period means, but I knew that I could always get an abortion if I was pregnant, so no big deal.”
“New Mexico will probably become a one-stop shop for out-of-state expectant mothers.”
“Come to New Mexico. Bienvenidos. End your pregnancy here in just 24 hours and use the rest of your time to see our glorious Land of Enchantment. See the sights. Taste our culture that celebrates life in all its forms.”
“A true-blue state, New Mexico has sold its morals for 30 pieces of silver and the prospect of being viewed as progressive rather than a state steeped in traditional values. Human life is expendable. Women must have the sovereign right to decide who lives and who dies, and the state has the responsibility to uphold those new moral rights.”
“Abortion gold has been found in them thar hills. At a time when the left is steadfastly protecting the lives of (undocumented) immigrants pouring into our country it strikes me as paradoxical that we are willing to sever the lifelines of the innocent and vulnerable unborn. Is this the new New Mexico True? If so, count me out.”
TRASH TALKING COLUMN
For a man who is supposedly a retired career U.S. diplomat and who has lived and worked in 30 countries for 25 years, author of 12 books and has written more than 1,200 articles on politics, economics and social trends, your column reflects that of an obscene right-wing fascist who has no tolerance for Democrats, no tolerance for human rights, no tolerance for civil rights and especially no tolerance for constitutional rights of woman. You even managed to bring up your dislike or undocumented immigrants in your column on abortion.
Your column amounts to nothing more than trash talking of a state that you show an absolute ignorance and disdain for including the people who have lived here all of their lives and dealing with all of its problems. You sound like so many of those who move to the state and then proceed to try and save us from ourselves. We do not need saving from people that are the likes of you who are intolerant.
At the end of your column you say “Is this the new New Mexico True? If so, count me out.” I would like to take you up on that and ask that you count yourself out and move to Texas, Mississippi or Florida, or perhaps even Afghanistan or Iran where woman have no rights and treated as chattel, and where you and your right-wing ideology will fit in just fine. Just think, if you were to move to Afghanistan you could offer your diplomatic skills to the Taliban.”
Date: 8/3/22: From Stephan Helgesen; To: Pete Dinelli; Subject: RE: Helgeson Trash talking Albuquerque; Journal guest column
Interesting response. It is precisely what I expected from someone like you.
Date: 8/3/22: From: Pdinelli; To: Stephan Helgesen; Subject: RE: Helgeson Trash talking Albuquerque; Journal guest column
Thanks for agreeing with my assessment of you and what you stand for and not taking issue with it.
Date: 8/3/2022: Subject: Helgeson Trash talking Albuquerque Journal guest column; From: Stephan Helgesen; To: P Dinelli
“Are you kidding! I know you and have followed your failed political career over the years and dismiss you and your far-out opinions. I have nothing but pity for you and the far-left looney characters that you align yourself with. But, since I am a Christian and see life as sacred I will pray for yours along with all the aborted babies that negligent mothers have destroyed since Roe versus Wade in 1973 (62 million in case you didn’t know it).”
Date: 8/3/2022: Subject: Clownish, right wing Pseudo Christian; From: P Dinelli; To: Stephan Helgesen
Failed political career? Now that’s rich and clownish coming from a right-wing fool such as yourself. You have not lived in New Mexico long enough to know me nor who I am. Otherwise, you would know practicing law has been my career for 42 years and not politics. This includes being a successful prosecutor for 15 years with high conviction rates, having my own successful law firm, being an elected city councilor, being a judge, and being Chief Deputy District Attorney, Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer.
You on the other hand really have nothing to show for as a failed diplomat, otherwise you probably would open that big mouth of yours and tell the whole world what you actually accomplished during your 25 years globetrotting. Instead, you embellish your credentials. The only “far out opinions” and looney characters are pseudo-Christians such as yourself who I will never have pity for. You’re such a hypocrite when you say “life is sacred” and then say in your Journal column you have no problem with exceptions for rape and incest. There are no exceptions for Christians such as Pastor Steve Smothermon.
Please look in a mirror so you can see what a real loser looks like.
Date: 8/4/2022: Subject: Re: Clownish, right-wing pseudo christian; From: Stephan Helgesen; To: PDinelli
The last word is yours. Go in peace.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
There are many who believe what is published in the Albuquerque Journal as guest commentary should be simply ignored. Still others believe that no one reads the Albuquerque Journal and so why even bother challenging anything the paper publishes in its editorial sections. Such beliefs are misplaced, short sighted and are dangerous. Political propaganda, such as what Stephan Helgesen wrote, that goes unchallenged is viewed as the truth by too many who are just plain lazy to seek the truth.
Way too many believe that our first amendment right of free speech does not have any limitations and that one is allowed to just simply lie and distort facts and that it is somehow protected free speech. Our former President Donald Trump is one such person who believes lying is “free speech” as he promotes the big lie that he won the election in 2020. It led to a January 6, 2021 attempted coup to overthrow our democracy. Michelle Obama famously said, “when they go low, we must go high” but that only gets you so far. Lies and extremism must be dealt with and challenged aggressively and assuredly, otherwise they will be accepted as the truth by those unwilling to even try and find out what the truth really is.
Discourse as reflected in the Journal Helgesen guest column that promotes intolerance, promotes hate and distrust of others, and that denigrates women and seeks to deny basic civil rights and human rights and a woman’s right to choose and to have control over her own health care decisions must be challenged in no uncertain terms, even if only published in the Albuquerque Journal.
There is absolutely no doubt that the July 31 inflammatory Albuquerque Journal Stephen Helgeson guest column combined with the outing of Republican Mark Ronchetti’s and his intention to ban all abortions are clear evidence of what New Mexico Republicans are really up to when it comes to abortion and woman’s reproductive rights.
A Mark Ronchetti ad blasts the Governor saying she lied about his record to defund the police saying it’s dangerous when a Governor lies. Failing to disclose is lying. Ronchetti can proclaim all he wants that he supports a “reasonable approach” to abortion when the truth is Ronchetti confessed behind closed doors that there is absolutely “nothing reasonable” about what he wants and what he will advocate for if he is elected. The truth is Mark Ronchetti lied to the public about his intent to destroy a woman’s reproductive rights in order to get elected.
Woman’s rights are under siege by the right-wing New Mexico Republican Trump Party and the Trump US Supreme Court. Make no mistake, a woman’s right to choose and their reproductive rights in New Mexico are on the 2022 ballot in the form of the Governor’s race.
Behind the bleached teeth, phony grin of TV personality Mark Ronchetti is a dark and sinister political agenda to destroy a woman’s reproductive rights to the point that his campaign lapel pin might as well be a coat hanger.