NM’s $36 million Medicaid controversy rolls on

By Rob Nikolewski on October 24, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – The long-running drama over allegations of misspent Medicaid dollars has been extended.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King on Thursday said his department’s investigation into charges of up to $36 million in potential fraud against 15 behavioral health-care providers will run for at least two more months.
“We [...]

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Third Democrat enters governor’s race to challenge Susana Martinez

By Rob Nikolewski on October 16, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — The race for the Democratic candidate to take on Republican Gov. Susana Martinez got a little more crowded Wednesday.
Saying he’s “in it to win it,” state Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, said he’ll join New Mexico Attorney General Gary King and state Sen. Linda Lopez in [...]

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New Mexico wants its $600,000 back

By Rob Nikolewski on September 20, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — Earlier this month, New Mexico got $26 million back from the Obama administration in mineral and energy royalties.
Now, New Mexico is one of 14 western states demanding the federal government return money it seized — citing sequestration— from a program designed to held rural communities.
“The undersigned [...]

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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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Gary King and other AGs complain about feds seizing state money, but can they really do anything about it?

By Rob Nikolewski on August 9, 2013

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE — Attorneys general from a host of Western states — including New Mexico — are protesting a decision by the Obama administration to seize mineral and energy extraction royalties.
Still, it’s far from clear whether their complaints will change anything. The federal government is blaming sequestration. The royalties [...]

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NM Attorney General joins opposition to horse slaughter plant, defenders say he’s ‘grandstanding’ UPDATE: NM Environment Dept weighs in

By Rob Nikolewski on July 22, 2013

The battle over the first horsemeat processing plant in the U.S. in seven years is heating up, with a court hearing in Albuquerque fast approaching.
The facility in Roswell is scheduled to open in two weeks but in the latest development, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King has joined a lawsuit trying to stop the slaughterhouse  from opening its [...]

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Fireworks over $36 million behavioral health allegations — state Senator hospitalized, HSD boss storms out of meeting

By Rob Nikolewski on July 5, 2013

Legislative committee meetings are usually on the dull side but over this Fourth of July weekend, lawmakers are chattering about a Legislative Health and Human Services Committee hearing that landed one veteran Democrat in the hospital and featured the Secretary of the Human Services Department storming out in exasperation.
“It was very wild,” state Sen. Gerald Ortiz [...]

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Tim Keller will run for State Auditor in 2014, not Governor

By Rob Nikolewski on May 30, 2013

You can count state Sen. Tim Keller, D-Albuquerque, out as a potential rival to Gov. Susana Martinez in 2014.
The 35-year-old who won a second term in what’s known as the International District in north-central Albuquerque in 2012, told New Mexico Watchdog Thursday afternoon (May 30) he’ll run for State Auditor in 2014.
“I think it’s a good fit [...]

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It’s dueling Democrats (so far) in race for Attorney General

By Rob Nikolewski on May 24, 2013

The top law enforcement position in the state is one of New Mexico’s most coveted elected offices but so far, only two Democrats and no Republicans have indicated they’ll run for New Mexico Attorney General.
Current State Auditor Hector Balderas and former Public Regulation Commission member Jason Marks have thrown their hats into the ring and figure to square off next [...]

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Lawsuit calls for new elections in Rio Rancho

By Rob Nikolewski on March 27, 2013

Rio Rancho saw long lines and plenty of frustration in last November’s election, which was described as “voter catastrophe.”
Now, four months later, a lawsuit has been filed in federal court calling for a new round of elections in three races that saw Republican candidates lose by small margins.
“There has to be consequences when this occurs in election [...]

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