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Effort to kick Sandra Jeff off the ballot is alive again

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 Republicans in the ...
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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

Who judges when the judges are up for a raise? NM case gets complicated

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>>

New Mexico a little bit poorer in this year’s ‘Rich States, Poor States’ survey

By Rob Nikolewski on April 15, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE — The Land of Enchantment did not prove to be much of a land of opportunity in the past year, dropping four places in the “Rich States, Poor States” ratings. After moving up in recent years in the study, New Mexico dropped from 33rd in the nation to [...]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>>

Branson: Spaceport launch ’90 percent’ certain in September

By Rob Nikolewski on April 9, 2014
By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog SANTA FE – Will we have liftoff? After spending at least $212 million to build Spaceport America in the desert of southern New Mexico, the state’s taxpayers have been waiting with alternating degrees of skepticism and anticipation as to when Virgin Galactic will finally launch its first spaceship into suborbital [...]Read More>>

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