AlamogordoTownNews.com The Couy Griffin Interview…
AlamogordoTownNews.com as a community citizen-based publication is actively engaged in digging deeper into stories, business interests and the movers and shakers of the Alamogordo community via in depth researched coverage and dialog rather than the lightweight coverage of the local corporate owned news entities.
AlamogordoTownNews.com attempts to hear and publish different sides of issues and to ensure a diverse population of voices are heard. As such we will report a variety of viewpoints, some we agree with, some we find distasteful. We will always attempt to present facts and we will limit perceived propaganda and if facts are in question, we will question them. Individuals in the public domain of politics and entertainment that live a very public life have a higher standard of what is perceived as slanderous against them and many times at the local political level that is a lesson not at first understood nor recognized.
Fact based; science-based reality checked dialog is the foundation of our reporting on hard stories. Political stories can at times get shaded with opinion of those being interviewed. In this interview we have attempted to be unbiased and fair in allowing Mr. Griffin an open platform and quoting him verbatim without edit excepting for a few grammatical edits in punctuation.
We have published many articles related to the recall effort of Couy Griffin that have been presented by the Committee to Recall Couy Griffin and others via its variety of spokespersons, directly affiliated and not affiliated with the effort.
As such the editorial board of the AlamogordoTownNews.com site felt it appropriate to reach out to Mr. Griffin and get his thoughts concerning the recall, but equally important we have presented the question to many local political leaders of, what they have done while in office to improve the lives of the people they represent?
As we enter the municipal elections period, we will press those elected and those seeking elected office on what, if anything, they have accomplished to better the lives of their constituents. We want hard concrete facts not talking points to present to the electorate. We will not always get them as that is the nature of political dialog.
What have they achieved that benefits the citizens, the business community, the level of education and poverty in the area? Those are the hard questions each voter should ask prior to casting a vote. Few elected leaders like these questions when pressed. Accountability of local political leaders seems to be lacking by a complacent citizenry within Alamogordo and Otero County when looking at low voter turnout in relation to local elections.
One gets the government one deserves by participation, and one does indeed get the government one deserves by a lack of participation. Those at the table do indeed decide, as Chez Sanchez reminds Otero County Citizens in his blog posts, and that principle we do indeed, agree.
Otero County seems to have one party that is driving the dialog and much of that dialog seems to be driven from extreme positions within that party, from the mask mandate in public schools to overall public health and immigration; the alternative parties and independent point of view is missing in much public dialog and debate within Otero County. Are there other voices and other active parties? If so lets hear from them on the many issues before the city and county.
The silent majority of Alamogordo and Otero County voters are just that, mostly silent, and as such the evolution and election of individuals such as Congresswoman Yvette Herrell and the election of the commissioner Couy Griffin is the result of that silence and complacency by those in the silent middle or those more moderate in thinking within all parties.
The perception by the public of extremist positions, controversial rants, and allegations of mishandling the public trust is what appears to have led to the recall effort of Couy Griffin.
Mr. Griffin has been controversial at best, some would say damaging to the reputation of the county at worst.
That is not for us to decide within the context of this article. The context of this article is to hear from Couy Griffin himself and then as the recall effort proceeds, you, the educated and informed voter within his district will decide his outcome and the outcome of the future of the Otero County politics of the future.
This recall effort is historic for the county and eyes all over New Mexico and the nation are watching this effort. Mr. Griffin is certainly feeling pressure based upon our dialog with him. What proceeds is a series of questions and his response to each.
We offer no opinion but just present the dialog and you the reader can consider the responses…
The Couy Griffin Interview of August 7, 2021…
We began the dialog with Mr. Griffin in wanting to know a bit about his past and his time in France. How did he end up there and did he enjoy his life there, and then we proceeded into his role as an elected official, Cowboys for Trump, and the recall?
AlamogordTownNews.com – How long did you live in France and how did you end up there?
Couy Griffin Response – “I attended Cochise College in Douglas Arizona. I won the region in bull riding competition as a freshman and competed at the college national finals at Bozeman, Montana. I moved to Paris in 98’ and returned to the states in 2003.
AlamogordoTownNews.com – It sounds exotic for a cowboy from New Mexico to end up in France. Tell us about your history and how you ended up in France working at Disney?
Couy Griffin Response – “I attended college on a rodeo scholarship where I competed as a bull rider. I went to school with a friend who grew up on the Navajo Reservation and saw an ad where they were looking for Native American Indians to perform in the show. He responded, was hired, and plugged me to the casting director to play the role of a cowboy in the show.
It was an amazing experience and truly a world class show. It was a scripted show that starred Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull and Cowboys and Indians from across the states. My roles were trick riding, trick roping, driving the stagecoach and a little bit of acting.
The show was very well received by the European guests. There were two shows a night that seated around 1.200 people a show where the guests enjoyed a full BBQ Menu and all the beer they cared to drink. It was a world class show on every front.
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Did you enjoy the life overseas?
Couy Griffin Response – “I truly enjoyed living in Paris. I bought a condo just near the golf course and had a wonderful group of the most diverse friends a person could have. Friends from all over the world. I was able to travel to most of the Western European countries and was truly blessed to see more of the world. During the end of my stay, it got a little harder to live in France with the political tension between France, the US, and the mess in Iraq. All the French media could do is talk about “the cowboy” George W. Bush. And with me being an actual cowboy living in Paris you could imagine the negative attention and environment I sometimes landed in. “
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Would you do it again?
Couy Griffin Response – “I would absolutely love to be involved in another type of Wild West show again one day. I created and produced a few shows after moving back to the states. One of which was here in Alamogordo at the Otero County Fair. I have tremendous confidence in my ability to produce a show, but I lack in the financial backing and organizational ability to actually put one on. There is so much that goes into production but Lord willing and by God’s grace I hope that one day it will happen. To answer your question “if I’d go back” I’d say no. I’d rather take my talent and the learned experience and move forward but I’d definitely love to be involved again one day.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – How are you personally impacted by the recall effort?
Couy Griffin Response – “This recall effort has been by far one of the most difficult seasons in my life. The reason being is because I have fallen victim to the lies and slander propagated by those involved as well as the local media who give them their platform. When I drive thru town with my 6-year-old son and see the signs and booths set up promoting this recall it just makes me feel horrible. With my social media being shut down I now have no platform to defend myself against these lies. In today’s world you can be tried, convicted, and sentenced thru social media and local media without being given any kind of right to respond.
When my hearing was scheduled to address the allegations in this recall the state of NM scheduled this hearing on the same day of my monthly commission meeting. I was faced with either attending the commission meeting and upholding my oath to office or going to defend myself against the recall. I filed a motion of continuance stating that my right to due process was being infringed upon and the District Judge Manuel Arrieta (a Bill Richardson appointed judge) denied that motion. Therefore, they had this hearing to decide my fate without me being present. The allegations for recall and my defense are such:
- Fails to properly attend meetings. This accusation stems from me attending 4 county commission meetings telephonically. This is a common practice in Otero County and has been accepted for years. Out of the 4 meetings I telephonically attended 2 of them were because of the quarantine restrictions which disallowed me to attend. So technically I only attended 2 meetings which I could have been physically present for but due to being out of town I called in and attended. The previous District 2 Commissioner Susan Flores telephonically called into 8 commission meetings during her last 4-year tenure in office. That is over twice as many even with the meetings I couldn’t attend because of quarantine restrictions.
- Banishment from the Mescalero Apache Reservation. This happened because I traveled onto the Mescalero Apache Reservation and met with a tribal member named Chris Valdez who couldn’t get the tribe to help him with medical treatment from a work-related accident. While meeting with Chris we spoke about the recent Covid money the tribe had received and where that money had been spent. Upon publicly requesting an audit to make sure that money was getting to the people of Mescalero it wasn’t long after that tribal president Gabe Aquilar banished me from the reservation. All the while he is driving a brand-new Ford Expedition while many of the people he is elected to represent are living in very destitute conditions.
- Use of County Resources for Cowboys for Trump. This stems from using my office to record videos. All I did was record videos with my phone while in my office. Since being elected to this office I have spent less of the county money in reimbursements than any of my fellow commissioners. To date I have spent $397 in travel expenses. My fellow commissioner Gerald Matherley has spent over twice as much as I have, and we took office at the same time. Previous District 2 Commissioner Susan Flores spent over $8,600 dollars in travel expenses during her last term as county commissioner in this same office. I have been extremely careful and frugal while being in office. Yet I have been to Washington DC countless times fighting against the federal overreach on the citizens of Otero County. All the way to the Oval Office with a personal, one on one meeting with the President. And President Trump has never recognized Cowboys for Trump or me being a part of Cowboys for Trump. Every time I have spoken to the President, Vice President, or heads of the United Sates Agricultural Dept they have always and only recognized me as Commissioner Griffin.
- Filing improper travel voucher, failing to exercise proper fiduciary responsibility. I filled this travel voucher out under the direct advisement of the county secretary Sylvia Tilbrook as well as County Manager Pamela Heltner. I had never filled a travel voucher out before and they are the ones that got me the paperwork and stepped me thru how to fill it out. This voucher was then approved by the finance director Julliane Hall as well as County Manager Pamela Heltner. I had absolutely no idea there was any problem with this voucher nor did my fellow commissioners when former commissioner Lori Bies as well as Gerald Matherley both voted to approve this voucher in a regularly scheduled meeting. The amount of the voucher turned out to be more than my budget would allow so both commissioners voted to raise my budget allowance to cover this “improper voucher” which now I’m the one taking the heat on.
- Violation of the Gift Act by soliciting and accepting $3,500 from a restricted donor. I’m not sure if it was $3,500 or $3,400 but I know that G.B. Oliver from the Chamber of Commerce “passed the hat” to local business owners to help me raise this money. The money was only raised to help pay the county back for the illegal travel voucher that they issued. This money that was raised was raised for Otero County. As soon as the full amount was raised, I took this cash money in an envelope, got a money order from Well Fargo, and paid the county back the full amount for the travel voucher. Only trying to do the right thing. That is to make a wrong a right. I also first checked with our County Attorney Michael Eshelman who advised me there was no problem in raising this money to pay the county back.
That is in a nutshell my response to these allegations. A response that the state of NM and District Judge Manuel Arrietta did not allow me the opportunity. If I would have been able to attend this hearing, I don’t believe the recall would have been allowed to move forward and I wouldn’t be going thru what I’m going thru right now.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – What 3 accomplishments have you done as a commissioner that you are proudest of?
Couy Griffin Response – “This is a tough question because the so many issues I have fought for have been such huge battles.
1. I was able to address the serious conditions of our local forests directly with the President. On my first conversation with the President, I asked him if he knew where Cloudcroft New Mexico is. He replied no and I told him that he would know exactly where it was if the forest surrounding it were to catch on fire. The President then networked me with Undersecretary of Agriculture Jim Hubbard who oversees all the national forests across America. I had a commitment from Undersecretary Hubbard to bring his whole staff to Otero County and while we were organizing the trip Covid hit. This completely shut his office down and hampered his efforts.
2. I stood alongside our local sheriff David Black as well as the N.M. Sheriffs Association in defending against the red flag gun laws. I travelled the state and spoke strongly inside our county to push back against these unconstitutional laws.
3. I was the only elected official to question the Governor in Santa Teresa NM when she said there was no crisis on our southern border. I advocated strongly for our local border patrol and fought hard to get our secondary checkpoints back open when the crisis on the border forced them to close.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com –What have you done as a commissioner to bring jobs to the district?
Couy Griffin Response – “Bringing jobs to Otero County was one of my main focusses while entering into this office and is still a focus today. The jobs that I fought for are the jobs that have always sustained our local economy. That is logging and sawmilling, oil and gas, and the ranching industry. That is why I spent so much time in Washington and focused so heavily on creating a strong relationship with President Trump. These jobs which include natural resources on federal land could only be fought for on the federal level. I fought and attained a verbal commitment from President Trump that in his words he was going to “fix my problem”. I truly felt that our problems were going to be fixed during his second tenure in office but with the outcome of the speculative election it has been a great defeat.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – What have you done to lower the poverty rates and improve the graduation and literacy rates in your district since elected?
Couy Griffin Response – “I believe I have fought for those problems non-stop over the last 3 years while being in office. The reason being is because with a stronger private sector and less dependance on the government those problems will fix themselves. When you have a society that is solely dependent on federal money you have destitution on every front. If we could have gotten our logging and sawmilling industries on their feet, it would have provided jobs in the private sector and given people a hope for growth and prosperity moving forward into the future.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – What have you personally done to attack the blight of abandoned properties and properties that are eyesores of junk in your district?
Couy Griffin Response – “I just received a call and drove by one of these properties yesterday. It is so hard to get these types of properties cleaned up with current state laws that are on the books. I have encouraged our state representative Rachel Black to investigate getting whatever legislation we need thru the state house to address this horrible problem. I have also visited with the property manager of Eileen Acres as well as brainstormed with property owners from this development about what options may be available. I have expressed a commitment to do anything in my power as a commissioner to clean up abandon buildings and trailer houses throughout the county, but we really need cooperation from the state and that is still to be determined.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Have you officially announced a run for sheriff in the other county?
Couy Griffin Response – “No I have not. But I have entertained the thought and have spoken about it publicly. With the current political state in our country, I feel the office of Sheriff is the most important and powerful political position in the county. If we must make a strong stand one day in our country, it will need to be done thru the office of Sheriff and I feel I have the intestinal fortitude and would be willing to lead that charge.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – If you are running for sheriff why are you holding on to the commission position as it would appear your heart is more into the role of a sheriff?
Couy Griffin Response – “I’m not running for sheriff, at this time anyway.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Can a sheriff hold office if you were elected while having a federal indictment pending?
Couy Griffin Response – “I am currently facing a misdemeanor trespass charge and one that I don’t believe is fair or just. So, we will just see where that ball lands. I did nothing violent or anything that I have any conviction over that was wrong on Jan 6th. I simply stood alongside fellow Americans to protest what I believe were fraudulent elections. And did so under the guise that we were still a free country and still had a Constitutional Right to do so.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Do you believe former president Trump turned on you when he distanced himself from Cowboys for Trump?
Couy Griffin Response – “Former President Trump never distanced himself from Cowboys for Trump. That was a “Fake News” headline. If you believe he distanced himself from Cowboys for Trump, where did you come to that conclusion from? President Trump has never even publicly recognized Cowboys for Trump. The different times President Trump recognized me, Couy Griffin, was only as an Otero County Commissioner. That is the representation that I brought Otero County.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – What benefit did the association of Cowboys for Trump bring to Otero County?
Couy Griffin Response – “It helped me to build a relationship with the former President. By me starting and operating Cowboys for Trump it allowed me the opportunity to speak to him about issues directly affecting the great people of Otero County. You could view Cowboys for Trump as a type of “non-paid” lobbying group for Otero County that worked itself all the way into the Oval Office and gained direct attention from the President of the United States. That was an accomplishment. And all my reward has been an unjust and uncalled for recall election with my name smeared daily on social media and mainstream media. But the reward that I work for is not of this world but a world to come. And the only one that matters at the end of the day is God and praise be to Jesus God knows my heart and knows why I do what I do.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Do you feel the political establishment in Otero County, the state or the Republican Party has turned or distanced themselves from you?
Couy Griffin Response – “I have been very let down not necessarily by the state party but by the chairman Steve Pearce. Only days after the event of January 6th Steve issued an official public statement off the state party platform that said “Couy Griffin travelled to Washington DC to lead the protests and riots”. This was a flat out lie and a very slanderous attack. Steve to this day has not retracted that statement nor apologized for it. So, in saying that I have absolutely no respect for Steve Pearce. And to this day wonder how you can lose the Governor’s race and when you do you are rewarded with the position of chair of the Republican Party?? Steve is a multi-millionaire that knows his way all too well around Washington DC.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com – Why do you think a bipartisan recall committee was formed and any feelings towards those individuals or party officials?
Couy Griffin Response – “In my opinion “bi-partisan” has really lost its edge and its meaning. I say that because many Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats and vice versa. Most are just bar certified attorneys who pick an R or D to fight for but at the end of the day they sleep in the same bed of corruption. All the legislation coming out of our state and federal houses only give more grounds for attorneys to sue. Alas creating more work for most of these agenda driven scum bags. Take Brian Egolf for example. He is the ringleader and one of the biggest reasons New Mexico is so oppressed. You put attorneys like Egolf and Jacob Candelaria in office and you are going to have a dysfunctional and self-serving government like we currently have in NM. Civil Rights, Equal Rights, Transgender Rights………all this legislation does is provide more ground/standing for attorneys to sue but does nothing to help NM become more prosperous or successful.”
AlamogordoTownNews.com went back and forth with multiple emails for clarification and in dialog with Mr. Griffin. We concluded letting him know we were considering running two stories one as a more of a human interest and one of the more political Couy Griffin. He responded to that feedback requesting that we do one “story and that the man he was before he entered office is the man he is today.”
Again AlamogordoTownNews.com is not issuing an opinion on the recall or of Mr. Griffins feedback from this interview process. We will leave that for the readers to determine. We do have some unanswered questions and will follow-up with Steve Pierce and others referenced via his comments in future stories of follow-up.
We will conclude this article with Mr. Griffin’s final statement to the AlamogordoTownNews.com site…
“I’d rather not have the story laid out in a way on how such a nice guy could now be such a horrible domestic terrorist. Of course, not accusing you of that’s the way it would be presented but I can promise you one thing. I’m the same guy today as I was before if not more loving and more sacrificial today.
Since entering office, I have done everything for the greater good and made huge sacrifices. After my first trip to Washington when Cowboys for Trump was founded and branded and all the guys, I rode with came back to families awaiting their arrivals at the airport I came back to divorce papers on my kitchen table.
I had to get completely out of the restaurant business because after the Alamogordo Daily News began their slanderous attacks my business was in the tank. I have given all my personal time, finances, and energy to this cause.
I’ve made some emotionally driven statements a couple times, only good Democrat…and black NFL football players who want to disrespect our flag and play something as RACIST as a “black national anthem” to go to Africa and play their football. Both statements taken entirely out of context.
The first statement I was only speaking figuratively and the second as a red blooded American. If you don’t love it leave it. But the media will only cherry pick those two sound bites out of hundreds of speeches I’ve made.
I’ve ONLY ever wanted to put America and the American People first. I’ve wanted to protect our second amendment and protect the unborn. And it’s too bad Democrats don’t care as much about dead babies as they do dead Democrats!!
I’ve written you candidly and honestly as I would a friend. In trusting that you are decent though I’ve never met you. That is the way I treat everyone. With love and respect. As I have learned to do as I work out my faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.
You can use anything I’ve told you to date. Even this message right here. All I ask is that you don’t twist my words or try to present me as someone I’m not. I’m tired of the media. I’m tired of the liars and slanderers like Paul Sanchez, Scott Fredericks, and the rest of the recall committee.
I have a little over a year left on my oath to the people who elected me and after that I will have done my service.
Politics is the most dirty, corrupt, and hateful world I have ever looked into. And the only reason I fight the way I do is to try and do my part to protect our country and freedoms from those who want to destroy both. I am financially broke and hang in the balance of an uncertain future. But by God’s grace I will not be threatened, intimidated, and I damn sure won’t back down.
AlamogordoTownNew.com is publishing the interview notes directly as written by Mr. Griffin. We offer no commentary at this time but will allow comments, guest commentaries or feedback from any of our readers if they remain professional, stick to facts and do not engage in propaganda and distortions of facts nor personal attacks.
The comments from Mr. Griffin are his and his alone and he owns the commentary of which is published as a response to questions posed.
Now the readers and the voters of his district will decide his fate and that of the political agenda of Otero County as the recall effort moves forward. Mr. Griffin has approximately 1 year left in his term if the recall effort fails before he would face re-election if he so chose to run.