Report: New Mexico Democrat Governor Spent Thousands In Taxpayer Money On Groceries, Liquor, Dry Cleaning
The governor of New Mexico, Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham, reportedly spent thousands of taxpayers money for her personal use — including purchases of groceries, liquor and even for dry cleaning services.
A local report said Gov. Grisham racked up a spending of $13,500 in the last six months of 2020, citing “documents released under a public records request.”
“Receipts show more than $6,500 on groceries, from Wagyu beef and tuna steaks to several purchases of alcohol, including bottles of tequila, vodka, gin, wine and beer,” Sante Fe New Mexican said.
The Democratic governor “or one of her surrogates” also reportedly spent $200 on alcohol during a Sam’s Club visit, and also used taxpayer’s money to pay for dry cleaning services.
People close to Grisham were said to have enjoyed salary increases too “ranging from $7,500 to $12,000” last year, despite the coronavirus ravaging across the country.
“It really appears in the Governor’s Office as if she really believes herself to be more privileged than everybody else in New Mexico,” Republican House Minority Whip, Rod Montoya (Farmington) said.
“I didn’t realize the governor was so underpaid that she has to use discretionary money for things that she should be paying for herself. Legislators are all up here doing our job, and we’re doing it on per diem,” he added.
Another Republican, House Minority Leader Jim Townsend, also slammed Governor Grisham for her actions — which so happened when the coronavirus pandemic crippled most businesses and left millions of Americans without work.
“It’s not what tax dollars ought to be spent for,” House Minority Leader Jim Townsend said.
“In the time when people are hurting all over the state, using their tax dollars to buy Wagyu beef has got to be a little bit disenchanting to many people. I think it’s just more of [an] indication of the problem that we have had and the governor has had connecting with people,” he added.
The Democratic governor also drew flak for breaking her own mandate on social distancing — as she held meetings at the governor’s mansion while telling New Mexicans to avoid any kind of gathering.
Gov. Grisham’s spokesperson, Tripp Stelnicki, argued that unlike other kinds of gatherings at home, the Democratic governor along with her Cabinet members are discussing means to address the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
“There’s a difference between inviting someone into your house for the Super Bowl or someone’s birthday and having three or four Cabinet secretaries there to talk about their budgets amid an unprecedented economic downturn and to work out what we’re going to propose or recommend to the Legislature given the changing economic forecast,” Stelnicki told Sante Fe New Mexican.
“I mean, the governor does live there, but it’s not like she’s inviting them into her living room,” he added.
Meanwhile, Townsend noted that it’s still breaking her own rules.
“Those are the kinds of things that cause people to totally distrust the government,” Townsend said.
“When they see these [messages] of, ‘You need to stay home and you can’t have your family for Christmas and you can’t do this and you can’t do that,’ but I’m going to sit here and eat Wagyu beef and buy hundreds of dollars of alcohol with your tax dollars. What in the world would you expect them to think?”
This is not the first time that Gov. Grisham received backlash over accusations of “hypocrisy.” Local outlet KRQE News 13 reported in May last year that the Democratic governor defied her own lockdown measure by ordering a jewelry shop to open for her convenience.
Other top Democrats across the country have also been exposed to public scrutiny over the past year for breaking various kinds of coronavirus-related restrictions.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was caught in a controversy when she visited a San Francisco salon despite COVID-19 lockdowns, California Gov. Gavin Newsom also faced backlash when he was photographed attending a birthday party — violating California’s coronavirus restrictions that time.
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