New allegations of corruption and lawbreaking against Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Democrat Party governor of New Mexico, were revealed in a lawsuit filed this week by the former chief financial officer of Spaceport America, Zach DeGregorio.
Zach DeGregorio, the former Chief Financial Officer of Spaceport America, alleges that one of Grisham’s political appointees, Alicia Keyes, encouraged him to falsify an economic impact study. He also alleges that Keyes mishandled a bond refinancing for the purpose of defrauding the state. When DeGregorio attempted to report the wrongdoing, he claimed, he was threatened with investigations and a firing.
…The lawsuit also alleges that Spaceport America’s chief client, Virgin Galactic, and its CEO, Richard Branson, bribed Lujan Grisham in exchange for “essential business” status during COVID-19 shutdowns. The governor’s office met with Virgin Galactic shortly before Grisham “ma[d]e changes to the NM Spaceport Authority board,” “ma[d]e staffing changes at the NM Spaceport Authority,” and “made operational changes at the NM Spaceport Authority that benefited Virgin Galactic at the expense of other customers and the NM taxpayers,” according to the lawsuit.
You can read the actual filing here [pdf].
DeGregorio resigned in 2020 after filing an earlier complaint alleging that the CEO of Spaceport America, Daniel Hicks, had broken several laws in operating the spaceport. In the new lawsuit DeGregorio also alleges that Hicks tried to illegally access his email account to read private emails concerning these allegations.
Spaceport America was established a previous Democratic Party governor, Bill Richardson, based on Richard Branson’s false promises that Virgin Galactic would soon be flying hundreds of tourist flights yearly, thus attracting other space-related business to New Mexico. Since then all the state has gotten from the spaceport is expenses, almost no business, and a lot of scandal. This story is not the first, and I suspect it will not be the last, especially if Virgin Galactic goes bankrupt in the next few years (something I personally expect).
What Spaceport America will likely not get is actual business. It can’t work for orbital flights, being in the interior, and there isn’t enough orbital runway business to sustain it, especially since there are thousands of other runways to choose from.
Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!
From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.
does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.
“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.
All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.
Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.