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, [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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Rio Arriba County yanks money for NetRoots Nation conventions

By Rob Nikolewski on November 12, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
Rio Arriba County will no longer pay to send county employees to NetRoots Nation conferences.
About five months ago, New Mexico Watchdog revealed two workers attended the well-known liberal political convention using taxpayer money.
“Rio Arriba County will no longer honor any travel requests to future NetRoots Nation conferences,” county manager Tomás [...]

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At least 63,900 New Mexicans must change health care policies

By Rob Nikolewski on October 29, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — At least 63,900 people in New Mexico have been notified they’re going to have to change their individual health care policies — some must do it within a matter of months while others can wait until end of next year — according to a review by [...]

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How to make NM less vulnerable to federal gov’t shutdowns

By Rob Nikolewski on October 15, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — Regardless how it eventually ends, the partial government shutdown has highlighted how much New Mexico is dependent on the federal government.
And that leads to the next question: what can New Mexico do to diversify its economy so it will be less vulnerable to political bickering on [...]

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What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working

By Rob Nikolewski on October 8, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
It’s been a full week since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, yet New Mexico Watchdog — like millions of Americans and doubtless thousands in New Mexico— is still unable to create an account on www.healthcare.gov.
Tuesday morning, for the third time since the rollout began Oct. 1, N.M. [...]

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Report: NM child care rife for potential fraud, three sex offenders found at sites

By Rob Nikolewski on September 25, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — Too many of New Mexico’s child care centers are rife with sloppy and lax record-keeping, potentially costing taxpayers millions of dollars. On at least three occasions, registered sex offenders were living at the same address as child care locations, a state government report found.
In a 75-page [...]

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