LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — When Nikia Jackson needed to be screened for a sexually transmitted disease, she wanted a clinic that was reputable, quick and inexpensive. After searching online, Jackson, 23, ended up at the Obria Medical Clinics’ sparkling new facility in an office park in suburban Atlanta. She was unaware that the clinic does not offer condoms or other kinds of birth control beyond so-called natural family planning methods. Religious conservatives say these types of clinics are the future of women’s sexual health care in the United States.
On July 20, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spoke at a closed-door meeting of conservative state legislators and lobbyists, raising questions about his stated goals of transparency in federal government. Zinke, a former Montana congressman, spoke in Denver at the annual meeting for the American Legislative Exchange Council, an industry organization backed by Koch Industries and ExxonMobil and devoted to “limited government, free markets and federalism.”
ALEC, whose initiatives include a push for state control over federal lands, provides model bills for state legislatures and influences bills going through Congress. Because of the group’s funding sources and its interest in states holding public lands, conservationists see Zinke’s association with the group as problematic. Throughout his congressional confirmation process for the Department of Interior position, and in the early months of his job, Zinke has reiterated that he does not favor land transfers. “The things that Zinke has claimed he stood for, in terms of public lands, ALEC are the ones driving against that all these years,” says Aaron Weiss, media director at the Center for Western Priorities.
After the Senate fell short in its effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is poised to use its regulatory powers to accomplish what lawmakers could not: shrink Medicaid. President Donald Trump’s top health officials could engineer lower enrollment in the state-federal health insurance program by approving applications from several GOP-controlled states eager to control fast-rising Medicaid budgets. Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Arizona and Wisconsin are seeking the administration’s permission to require adult enrollees to work, submit to drug testing and demand that some of their poorest recipients pay monthly premiums or get barred from the program. Maine plans to apply Tuesday. Other states would likely follow if the first ones get the go-ahead.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is headed to Washington. The mayor’s office announced Wednesday that Berry, a Republican, will meet with the Donald Trump administration to discuss an infrastructure plan. The mayor’s office said that the administration “hand-picked” the attendees of the summit. Municipal elected officials and governors will reportedly meet with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, among other members of the Trump administration. NM Political Report reached out to the office of Gov. Susana Martinez to ask if she would be attending the summit.
Gov. Susana Martinez continued warming up to President-elect Donald Trump by defending his controversial pick of Steve Bannon to national media outlets Tuesday. Trump’s pick of Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart, the far-right news website, as chief strategist at the White House drew rebuke from anti-discrimination groups like the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. At the same time, the American Nazi Party, the Ku Klux Klan and former KKK leader David Duke praised Trump’s pick of Bannon. Bannon is under fire for his alleged anti-semitic comments as well as running Breitbart while the website published stories with headlines like, “Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage,” “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy,” and “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews.” While Democrats, including those in New Mexico’s congressional delegation, are criticizing Trump for the pick, most congressional Republicans haven’t commented one way or another on Bannon.
Mike Pence showed up in Las Cruces Wednesday for a campaign rally in an airport hangar and sounded confident that New Mexicans would vote for Donald Trump. “This movement is coming together,” Pence said according to the Albuquerque Journal. “New Mexico is coming together, and we’re going to make Donald Trump the next president of the United States of America.”
It was the third trip by Pence to New Mexico and the first to Las Cruces, as the Trump campaign seeks to put New Mexico in play after two large victories by Barack Obama in the state in 2008 and 2012. Both the Trump campaign and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign are airing ads in New Mexico. Polling has shown Clinton leading in New Mexico.
It appears the Donald Trump campaign really believes that New Mexico is in play. Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, is headed back to New Mexico for another campaign event. Pence will be at Las Cruces for a rally this Wednesday, at Southwest Aviation, according to the Trump campaign website. It’s part of the vice presidential hopeful’s busy schedule that has him in Loveland, Colorado later that same day. Tuesday, Pence will be campaigning in Pennsylvania.
Donald Trump is coming back to New Mexico for a campaign rally, a week before Election Day. Trump will be in New Mexico Sunday to headline a campaign rally. The rally will be held at Atlantic Aviation, near the Albuquerque International Sunport according to Trump’s website. The doors will open at 4:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. start time. Trump has a rally scheduled for Greeley, Colorado at 4:00 p.m. that same day.
On his second campaign visit to Albuquerque in three months, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence repeated many of the statements he touched on during his first visit. “When I get up in the morning, I’ve got to turn on the television with a stick,” the Indiana governor said, repeating a lament he said in August aimed at perceived media bias against Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. “The party in power just can’t seem to figure out my running mate,” Pence continued. “And of course, I’m talking about the media.”
Pence held the rally at the Hilton Embassy Suites near downtown Albuquerque. Saying media coverage of Trump’s scandals still hasn’t eliminated him from contention, Pence stated that the coverage is “kind of fun to watch.”
“They got one tweet and they think they got him,” Pence said, “and they get up the next morning and Donald Trump is still standing.”
Pence criticized media for ignoring “an avalanche of controversies” surrounding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.