NM’s Environment Dept may have to return $6 million to the EPA

By Rob Nikolewski on June 19, 2013

Sloppy — and missing — bookkeeping has led the Environmental Protection Agency to consider a recommendation demanding the New Mexico Environment Department return nearly $6 million.
If the EPA’s leadership approves the recommendation from its own Inspector General’s report, the NMED says the multi-million dollar loss would “jeopardize the ability to perform the day to day functions of the agency.”
Since [...]

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Gov’t lawyers really love Barack Obama

By Rob Nikolewski on June 17, 2013

A review of Federal Election Commission records by a law professor at Pepperdine University found that not only did lawyers at federal agencies contribute more to Barack Obama than Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election but that every single federal agency reported an overwhelming advantage to Obama.
The analysis also showed that two federal agencies [...]

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NM Watchdog story puts heat on county approving taxpayer dollars for liberal political convention

By Rob Nikolewski on June 11, 2013

It took a couple weeks but a New Mexico Watchdog story about the Rio Arriba County Commission spending $2,500 in taxpayers’ dollars so two county employees can attend a well-known liberal political convention has generated plenty of controversy.
“This entire conference is clearly not training for any County employee,” a blistering editorial in the Rio Grande Sun [...]

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The number of people on disability in NM jumped 58.7% in nine years

By Rob Nikolewski on June 10, 2013

As Americans receiving work disability have grown to record numbers, the increase in the Land of Enchantment has far outpaced the national average.
A review of figures from the Social Security Administration by New Mexico Watchdog shows that between 2003 and 2011 (the most recent year available for states), 22,488 more people in New Mexico are [...]

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Rio Arriba taxpayers to pay for county employees’ trip to NetRoots convention

By Rob Nikolewski on May 29, 2013

Taxpayers in Rio Arriba County are footing the bill for two county employees to attend a four-day convention in California with a decided partisan political bent, New Mexico Watchdog has learned.
In late April, Rio Arriba County Commissioners in a 3-0 vote approved out-of-town travel expenses for Lauren Reichelt, the county’s director for Health and Human [...]

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Here’s the 83-year-old WWII internment camp survivor the IRS asked about

By Rob Nikolewski on May 20, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service not only wanted a wide variety of information from the Albuquerque Tea Party‘s application for non-profit status, it also wanted to know what contacts it had with people from other political organizations too.
That included an 83-year-old great-grandmother who was once held in a World War II internment camp, New Mexico Watchdog [...]

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NM Watchdog investigation shows big increases in ‘institutional spending’ at state universities

By Rob Nikolewski on May 17, 2013

Do universities in New Mexico spend too much money on what’s called “institutional support” compared to academic support and instruction?
A New Mexico Watchdog investigation into schools of higher education in the state shows that in an 11-year period, spending for services associated with running a university has almost uniformly risen much faster than spending on education and academics in general.
Here’s what we [...]

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Part 2 of NM’s audit crisis: No paperwork? Then you get no capital outlay goodies

By Rob Nikolewski on May 13, 2013

Government entities be warned: Fail to submit an audit to the state and say good-bye to some of that state money you want.
In Part 1 of our investigation into agencies, school districts, communities and other entities that haven’t turned in proper audits of taxpayer dollars they’ve received or spent, New Mexico Watchdog focused on the [...]

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New Mexico’s audit crisis and the Dirty 59: “A culture of a lack of accountability”

By Rob Nikolewski on May 8, 2013

By law, every organization in New Mexico that receives or spends public funds has to turn in an audit each year.
“If a government is going to spend taxpayer money they should be able to account and submit a full accounting of those activities every year,” State Auditor Hector Balderas said. “It’s a fundamental check and [...]

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Sticker shock: Increases of 124% and higher at 5 of 6 NM universities since 1999

By Rob Nikolewski on April 22, 2013

If you’re a student at one of New Mexico’s four-year universities — or if you’re a parent paying for your kid to attend college — you may be thinking, “the price tag for college always seems to get higher every year.”
Well, your hunch is grounded in fact.
A New Mexico Watchdog investigation into the data that the [...]

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