New Mexico Breaks Bad

This is a mostly multiple-choice pop quiz to test your knowledge of the fictional characters on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul and some real-life characters in New Mexico.

1.) Which one of the following never pled guilty to a felony?

a. Breaking Bad’s Walter White, chemist-murderer.

b. Manny Aragon, former Democrat President Pro-Tem of the New Mexico state senate.

c. Ken Schultz, former Democrat Mayor of Albuquerque.

d. Toby Martinez, former Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Administrator.

2.) Following his role as a DEA agent in Breaking Bad, who was elected to public office in New Mexico?

a. Timothy Keller, Mayor, City of Albuquerque.

b. Steven Michael Quezada, Bernalillo County Commissioner.

c. Raúl Torrez, Bernalillo County District Attorney.

d. Pat Davis, Albuquerque City Counselor.

3.) Even though he took a legal correspondence course with the University of America Samoa, Better Call Saul’s Jimmy McGill apparently had no trouble passing the New Mexico bar exam. Which prominent New Mexico politico was never able to pass the exam?

a. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico.

b. Ben Ray Lujan, U.S. Senator from New Mexico.

c. Deb Haaland, U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

d. Timothy Keller, Mayor, City of Albuquerque.

4.) If a vote were taken today, which one of the following would be the most disliked woman in New Mexico?

a. Skyler White, Walter White’s spouse on Breaking Bad.

b. NM state senator, Sheryl Stapleton.

c. Ellen Bernstein, President Albuquerque Federation of Teachers.

d. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor, state of New Mexico.

5.) Which of the following New Mexico lawyer ads is the most amusing or irritating?

a. Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul’s Saul Goodman.

b. Longtime local Ron Bell.

c. Newcomer to New Mexico Lerner & Rowe

6.) Henry R. Schrader, Breaking Bad DEA agent and Walter White’s brother-in-law, meets his end in the desert in To’hajiilee, New Mexico. How do you pronounce To’hajiilee?

Answer #1.

Breaking Bad’s Walter White.

The Metropolitan Court in downtown Albuquerque is a really nice building. It should be: it cost over $80 million to build. Following completion in 2004, there was some state court litigation between several of the subcontractors. One of the litigants hired a forensic accountant to review all the courthouse construction billing records. At the conclusion of the state court trial, it is rumored that the state court trial judge recommended to the forensic accountant that she take her findings to the FBI. It is purported that the FBI took particular interest in an invoice with the handwritten notation “Pay Manny 50.” The rest, as they say, is history. Manny Aragon, Ken Schultz, and Toby Martinez, along with others, pled guilty to corruption charges. The prosecution was headed by a Bush-appointed U.S Attorney. It is doubtful that a Democrat-appointed U.S. Attorney would have pursued the litigation with equal vigor.

Answer #2.

Steven Michael Quesada. He played DEA agent Steve Gomez on Breaking Bad. Apparently just playing the part of a DEA agent for a television series was good enough for the voters to overcome his past legal problems.

Answer #3.

Deb Haaland. The former congresswoman from New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District has recently been confirmed as Secretary of the Interior. As pointed out by Tucker Carlson, identity politics played a large role in her appointment, including the fact that she is just the second Secretary of the Interior of Norwegian descent.

Answer #4.

Santa Fe-raised Anna Gunn played the part of the petulant and irritating Skyler White. Nonetheless, hopefully most people realize that she was just acting!

Democrat state senator Sheryl Stapleton is most famous for having called Republican Governor Susanna Martinez “that Mexican on the 4th floor.” Had a Republican legislator made that remark, his political career would have been toast in about five minutes. But because Ms. Stapleton is a member of at least three protected classes, her remark was deemed gratuitous and harmless. She describes her occupation as “educator.” She is not the most disliked woman in New Mexico because almost no one has heard of her outside of Albuquerque.

Ellen Bernstein (not the actress) is the long-time president of the Albuquerque Federation of Teachers, one of the most powerful unions in the state.  Despite the fact that New Mexico has the worst-rated public school system in the country, she consistently places the needs of her union member teachers above those of students and their parents. In-person learning has been banned for months in Albuquerque Public Schools. Ms. Bernstein has insisted that in-person learning cannot resume until all teachers have been fully vaccinated. Nonetheless, in late January when the nearby Rio Rancho Public Schools announced that it was going to vaccinate several thousand schoolteachers and staff, Ms. Bernstein publicly protested that it would be unfair for Rio Rancho to get vaccinated before Albuquerque Public Schools.  Within hours of her statement, the NM Department of Health cancelled the scheduled vaccination event for Rio Rancho. You can’t make this stuff up.  Bernstein and her union have caused much misery, but most of that misery has been limited to the Albuquerque metro area.

By a process of elimination, that leaves Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico, as the most disliked woman in the state.

Despite no statistical correlation between the severity of a state’s lockdown and Wuhan virus deaths per million, Ms. Grisham has imposed some of the most severe restrictions in the country on New Mexicans including: state university sports teams not even being permitted to  practice in state; state university sports teams not permitted to  play any games in state; all high school sports shut down; New Mexicans traveling outside the state were supposed to self-quarantine for two weeks upon return; the same for travelers coming into New Mexico (which devastated the tourism industry); bars have been closed since March of 2020; in-person learning shut down for K-12 schools, and a total indoor restaurant dining ban for months. Despite the brutal conditions imposed on the hoi polloi, Grisham, like some other blue-state governors, has a different standard for herself. In April of 2020 when all nonessential businesses were shut down, she was somehow able to purchase and get delivered expensive jewelry. A review of her discretionary fund found many questionable charges billed to the state, including a bill for construction of a doggie door; cleaning expenses for dog urine on rugs and large expenditures for alcohol and expensive food when the state had severe limits on group gatherings. When questioned about these matters the governor directed a representative to respond on her behalf.

Because the suffering inflicted by Michelle Lujan Grisham has been statewide, has lasted for over a year and has been largely unnecessary, she is the “winner.”

Answer #5.

You decide!

Answer #6.



Image: marc david rapoza and Stilfehler

If you experience technical problems, please write to