Squier apologizes for email, defends probe into Medicaid fraud allegations

By Rob Nikolewski on September 27, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – New Mexico Human Services Department Secretary Sidonie Squier had a busy day Friday.
First, she issued a public apology for an email she wrote about child hunger in the state. Then, she told New Mexico Watchdog she’s confident the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office will find evidence [...]

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Deadline passes, but still no word from Michael Sanchez on run for governor

By Rob Nikolewski on September 3, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – First, Michael Sanchez was playing Hamlet — agonizing over a decision to run for governor.
Now, he’s playing keep away.
As of the close of business Tuesday, the state Senate Majority Leader and veteran Roundhouse Democrat hasn’t returned reporters’ telephone calls after declaring he would announce by Labor [...]

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Michael Sanchez playing Hamlet on possible run for governor

By Rob Nikolewski on August 29, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
ALBUQUERQUE – The grudge match is on hold.
Michael Sanchez still hasn’t made up his mind on whether to run for governor in 2014.
The Senate majority leader, considered by many the most powerful Democrat in the Legislature and an arch-nemesis of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, said he’ll announce his intentions [...]

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Lopez and King undeterred by Susana in race for governor

By Rob Nikolewski on August 13, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – First, People magazine, in a story about the relationship between Gov. Susana Martinez and her developmentally disabled sister, said Martinez doesn’t have “a serious 2014 re-election challenger in sight.”
Then, last week, a story from Politico about various gubernatorial races across the country mentioned Martinez, along with [...]

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Democrats complain as capital outlay projects put on hold

By Rob Nikolewski on July 11, 2013

The executive order by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was clear: If you’re haven’t turned in your audits and can’t show you’re in decent financial shape, you don’t get any capital outlay money.
But now that some communities and entities slated for state dollars are seeing delays, a number of Democrats say the order is too restrictive and Senate Majority [...]

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EBT cards at strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos? It’s still OK here in NM UPDATE: ‘We ran out of time,’ Sanchez says

By Rob Nikolewski on March 21, 2013

A bill aimed at curbing abuse of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards sailed through the state House of Representatives and two Senate committees but was never heard on the Senate floor in the just-completed 60-day legislative session.
And that could mean a loss of an estimated $5.5 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Familes (TANF) funding for [...]

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“Gun show loophole” bill runs out of time

By Rob Nikolewski on March 16, 2013

It wasn’t taken up on the Senate floor until the final 35 minutes of the 60-day session and a bill aimed at closing what advocates say is the gun show loophole died one step short of reaching the governor’s desk.
“This bill will come back,” Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, said on the Senate floor of House Bill 77 [...]

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NM session ends with last-second deal — Susana says she’ll sign it, no special session

By Rob Nikolewski on March 16, 2013

It was New Mexico politics and its wildest, wooliest and wheeling-and-dealingest.
The 60-day legislative session ended with a compromise among Democratic leadership, Republican leadership and the office of Gov. Susana Martinez on a tax deal that rolled a number of hot-button issues, including approval of the so-called “Breaking Bad” bill that provides incentives for TV series shot [...]

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“Lucky” Varela taken to hospital, expected back at Roundhouse Saturday

By Rob Nikolewski on March 15, 2013

In what doctors say appears to be a reaction to blood pressure and allergy medication, longtime Roundhouse state rep Luciano “Lucky” Varela was rushed to a hospital Friday morning (March 15) after he fell unconscious for about 20 seconds.
House Speaker W. Ken Martinez ordered the hallways of the third floor cleared so Rep. Varela could [...]

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Democrats feuding with each other: “The game’s on,” says Michael Sanchez

By Rob Nikolewski on March 8, 2013

Things are getting testy as the final days of the 60-day legislative session wind down.
On Thursday afternoon (March 7), an upset Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, told House Majority Whip Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, “The game’s on” between the Democratic leadership in the two chambers of the Roundhouse.
“I was just told by your chairman [...]

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