Saturday, November 28, 2015


An anonymous comment on my previous post in which I cast shade on New Mexico's criminal justice system directed my attention to a nationwide study released a few days ago by the Center For Public Integrity that gives New Mexico a D minus in state government accountability and transparency, placing it near the bottom of the nation. (Where we do have company. Many states get either a D- or failing F.)

The section on New Mexico includes an informative article by local investigative journalist Gwyneth Doland that provides some context for our results. Dolan writes that the creation some years back of a Judicial Standards Commission has done much to clean up that branch of government, but a similar lack of oversight for the executive and legislative branches has opened to door to an ongoing history of scandals, such as those involving Governor Susana Martinez' fundraising or her awarding of a casino contract, which are currently being investigated by the FBI, another that led to the recent resignation of Secretary of State Diana Duran, who is supposed to oversee campaign finances but was spending her own donations on a gambling lifestyle, and another that led to the recent resignation of state senator Phil Griego, a real estate agent who got the legislature to buy property from a client in a deal that netted Griego a $50,000 kickback, or, if you will, commission.

The Center for Public Integrity is a Washington DC based NGO funded primarily by the kind of people who fund public broadcasting, like the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation and billionaire George Soros. It includes a staff of former public broadcasting and network TV reporters and has won four Pulitzer Prizes for investigative journalism.

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