KNME Ordered to Mediate Public Records Lawsuit As Fines Mount

By Jim Scarantino on December 19, 2012

After more than five years of resisting a lawsuit requesting inspection of public records, KNME-TV has been ordered into mediation where it will face claims for civil fines and attorney fees that could reach $200,000 and higher.
KNME-TV is the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) affiliate at the University of New Mexico.
The suit arose from KNME-TV’s production [...]

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The $7.9 million redistricting bill: The lawyers did very well, NM taxpayers not so good

By Rob Nikolewski on September 25, 2012

They squabbled in the legislature. They squabbled with the governor’s office. They squabbled in court. And the state Supreme Court squabbled with the retired judge they put in charge of reapportioning New Mexico’s voting districts before a final decision was reached.
Now, a breakdown of the costs of the 2011-2012 redistricting battle — the once-every-10-years process [...]

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George Will weighs in on ABQ wedding photography controversy

By Rob Nikolewski on September 17, 2012

It’s a case heading to the New Mexico Supreme Court – and could end up going all the way to the US Supreme Court.
It involves a gay couple in Albuquerque who filed suit against a small-business photography shop because the studio’s owners do not offer wedding pictures to same-sex couples, based on religious grounds. The [...]

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Lawsuit Questions KNME’s Journalistic Integrity

By Jim Scarantino on September 9, 2012

KNME-TV describes itself as “a trusted source for in-depth news and information.”  Yet for over five years the station has been resisting a public records request for documents that might show whether the PBS affiliate sold its journalistic integrity for a mere $30,000.
Since June 2007, KNME has been withholding records relating to its “news documentary” [...]

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Lawyers get nearly $3 million from taxpayers in redistricting fight UPDATE: Yikes! Legal fees will total more than $5.4 million

By Rob Nikolewski on July 30, 2012

Judge Jim Hall presides over redistricting hearing, Santa Fe, 12/5/11

UPDATE: We received a call from the Legislative Council Service telling us the legal fees will actually be substantially more than the $3 million figure reported earlier Monday. In fact, the costs will end up being more like $5.4 million — “at least,” the LCS employee [...]

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Wait ’til November? Hardly — 15 Roundhouse races will be decided June 5

By Rob Nikolewski on May 21, 2012

The general election is not set until November but a review of Roundhouse races shows that for 15 seats in the state Senate and House of Representatives, it will be all over but the shouting on June 5.
That’s because the party primary elections in those 15 races involve candidates who — should they win on [...]

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The Stephen Blanco Story: The largest fine ever imposed by the PRC.

By Thomas Molitor on May 20, 2012

“Forget about it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”
That was the last line of the classic movie Chinatown in which Jack Nicholson playing a private investigator stumbles onto a bigger story about the politics of water and the people behind it.
On August 25, 2010 the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) fined a small privately-owned water utility company in Dona [...]

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State rep Hamilton allowed on ballot

By Rob Nikolewski on April 13, 2012

It took until near the end of the business day Friday, but the New Mexico Supreme Court in a 3-1 ruling allowed longtime Republican state rep Dianne Hamilton of Silver City to remain on the statewide ballot despite some sloppy nominating petitions.
In a one-page order, the high court turned back a lawsuit from one of [...]

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Not so fast … NM Supreme Court may boot Republican state rep from ballot

By Rob Nikolewski on April 11, 2012

Republican state Rep. Dianne Hamilton of Silver City is in danger of getting kicked off the ballot for the 2012 election.
But didn’t the state Supreme Court rule Tuesday (April 10) that some 10 candidates for statewide races who fouled up their nominating petitions will essentially get a pass and remain on the ballot? Yes, but [...]

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NM Supreme Court says candidates with screwy paperwork can stay on the ballot

By Rob Nikolewski on April 10, 2012

Longtime Roundhouse veterans Tim Jennings and Pete Campos – along with eight other candidates for statewide office — avoided potential political death when the state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-0 decision Tuesday they could remain on the ballot in the 2012 elections even though they neglected to write down the districts they’re running in [...]

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