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Sandra Jeff gets bounced off the ballot

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog The maverick ended up getting roped by a lack of valid signatures. Rep. Sandra Jeff, D-Crownpoint, described by her supporters as independent and by her detractors as erratic, got bounced off the 2014 Democratic primary ballot on Monday afternoon by a district judge in Gallup who ruled that 23 of the 91 candidate petition signatures from voters in ...
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Investigations

This ain’t your grandpa’s PD: Hobbs commercial raises eyebrows

By Rob Nikolewski on April 14, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE — It’s a commercial that’s been playing across New Mexico for weeks now: A 30-second spot encouraging people to apply to the Hobbs Police Department, offering high pay and good benefits. But the images in the commercial — of cops shooting guns, helmeted officers bursting into a home, [...]Read More>>

Under attack: Depth of federal arms race should surprise, shock citizenry

By Rob Nikolewski on April 2, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE — In late February, four federal agents carrying side arms with a drug-sniffing dog descended on the Taos Ski Valley in what was called a “saturation patrol.” Authorities were working on tips of possible drug selling and impaired driving in the ski resort’s parking lot and surrounding area. But [...]Read More>>

New Mexico Watchdog’s Top 10 stories of 2013

By Rob Nikolewski on December 25, 2013
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE — New Mexico taxpayers this past year saw little good, plenty of bad and a whole lot of ugly. A review of the Top 10 stories covered and uncovered by New Mexico Watchdog shows a parade of bad behavior and wasted money in the Land of Enchantment. But to [...]Read More>>

Ex-mayor of Columbus smuggles guns, keeps taxpayer-funded pension

By Rob Nikolewski on December 18, 2013
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE – A conviction for gun smuggling isn’t stopping a former Columbus mayor from getting nearly $17,000 a year in taxpayer-funded pension money, New Mexico Watchdog has learned. The former mayor, Eddie Espinoza, was released from federal prison in late November three years early from a four-year sentence after [...]Read More>>

Nice perks: A review of the contracts of NM’s two-year college presidents

By Rob Nikolewski on December 12, 2013
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE — If you want to work somewhere with plenty of vacation and sick days, it’s hard to beat a job as the president of one of New Mexico’s eight independent two-year colleges. The compensation packages for at least four of those presidents allows a minimum of 20 vacation [...]Read More>>

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Capitol Report

Washington Post picks up NM Watchdog story on Hobbs PD UPDATE: Town in Minnesota also has armored personnel vehicle

By Rob Nikolewski on April 17, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE  – New Mexico Watchdog’s story on the 30-second commercial for the Hobbs Police Department is getting national attention. The Washington Post website picked up the story on ”The Watch,” a blog on civil liberties and the criminal justice system that’s written by Radley Balko, the author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop: [...]Read More>>

Effort to kick Sandra Jeff off the ballot is alive again UPDATE: Decision due Monday

By Rob Nikolewski on April 16, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE  – Sandra Jeff‘s career at the Roundhouse is in jeopardy. On Wednesday morning, the New Mexico Supreme Court, in a 4-1 ruling, sent back a legal case challenging the number of valid signatures that Jeff turned in for her re-election effort. That means the Democratic state representative who has often voted with [...]Read More>>

Who judges when the judges are up for a raise? NM case gets complicated UPDATE: Four justices recuse themselves

By Rob Nikolewski on April 15, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE – The five justices of the New Mexico Supreme Court may find themselves in a position most American workers can only dream of: Giving themselves a raise. That’s because the state Supreme Court has been asked to rule whether a line-item veto from Gov. Susana Martinez that refused [...]Read More>>

Report: 85 percent of public pensions may run out of money in 30 years

By Rob Nikolewski on April 10, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE — Public pension systems across the country may be heading toward a financial meltdown, according to a series of stress tests conducted by a respected hedge fund. Bridgewater Associates, based in Wesport, Conn., estimates it will take about $10 trillion for public pensions to meet their financial obligations [...]Read More>>

Court sides with ‘The Elephant Man’ of NM’s public meetings

By Rob Nikolewski on April 9, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE — He’s been called a gadfly. He may annoy the heck out of the Albuquerque Public School’s Board of Education, and he even attended one public meeting wearing an elephant mask. Still, Ched MacQuigg has every right to speak before the board, according to a federal judge in [...]Read More>>

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