New Mexico Dem governor spent taxpayer money on groceries, booze: stories


New Mexico’s Democrat governor is on the defensive after a report this week detailed her workplace’s spending from a taxpayer-supported expense fund.

Data present Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spent practically $13,500 over a six-month interval in 2020 on gadgets akin to groceries, dry cleansing and alcohol, the Sante Fe New Mexican reported.

The booze spending included a purchase order in September of greater than $200 for 5 bottles of tequila, two bottles of vodka, two bottles of Merlot and single bottles of whiskey and gin, the report mentioned.

In the identical report, the newspaper disclosed that Grisham was internet hosting in-person employees conferences on the governor’s mansion on the similar time that she was urging the general public in opposition to mixing households so as to assist cease the unfold of the coronavirus.

About half the $13,500 went towards meals for the governor’s Cupboard members and staffers throughout these conferences, Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki instructed The Related Press.

State Republicans have been outraged by the governor’s use of taxpayer money.

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“I didn’t notice the governor was so underpaid that she has to make use of discretionary cash for issues that she must be paying for herself,” state Home Minority Whip Rod Montoya, a Republican, instructed the New Mexican. “Legislators are all up right here doing our job, and we’re doing it on per diem.”

“I didn’t notice the governor was so underpaid that she has to make use of discretionary cash for issues that she must be paying for herself.”

— New Mexico state Rep. Rod Montoya, a Republican

“It’s not what tax {dollars} should be spent for,” New Mexico Home Minority Chief Jim Townsend of Artesia instructed the paper. “In a time when persons are hurting all around the state, utilizing their tax {dollars} to purchase Wagyu beef has received to be somewhat bit disenchanting to many individuals.

“I feel it’s simply extra of indication of the issue that we’ve had, and the governor has had, connecting with individuals,” he added.

“It’s not what tax {dollars} should be spent for.”

— New Mexico state Rep. Jim Townsend, a Republican

After the newspaper’s report appeared, Grisham addressed the matter Friday throughout a digital information convention.

“I don’t need New Mexicans to really feel like I don’t take severely their hardship,” Grisham instructed reporters.

“I don’t need New Mexicans to really feel like I don’t take severely their hardship.”

— New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. (Related Press)

Grisham mentioned she didn’t personally make the purchases. As an alternative, they have been made by a “girl who works right here [who] is a rock star,” the New Mexican reported.

On Thursday, Stelnicki defined the $200 booze buy. He mentioned it was for a deliberate vacation get together that was finally canceled. He claimed the bought bottles of alcohol remained unopened.

The spending got here regardless of a state regulation enacted in 2019 that set new limits on use of the governor’s discretionary funds. That regulation was signed by Grisham’s predecessor, former Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican who additionally took criticism for the way her workplace spent money, the New Mexican reported.

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Grisham, 61, a local of New Mexico who’s in her first time period as governor after serving within the U.S. Home and previous to that because the state’s well being secretary, has taken warmth from companies due to her coronavirus restrictions.

In December, sources instructed Fox Information she turned down a suggestion to function inside secretary within the Biden administration.

The Related Press contributed to this story.

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