Category Archives: 2017 legislative session

Tracking Campaign Finance Spending In New Mexico

NMiF: Sandra Fish

May 26, 2017 – Reporter Sandra Fish keeps a close eye on spending by lawmakers and lobbyists during the legislative sessions and throughout the year. She sat down this week with producer Sarah Gustavus to talk about her coverage for New Mexico in Depth of campaign finance reports from the first four months of the year. They also talked about what’s at stake if journalists and everyday New Mexicans can’t easily access information about political spending.

Further Reading:

SOS holds out hope for campaign finance funding
May lobby filings reveal $690,000 in NM spending
Loophole and vague laws create ambiguity in lobbyist reporting

NMiF examines the special legislative session, correspondent Megan Kamerick begins a month-long series on behavioral health services for New Mexicans, plus Civil Rights movement photographer Maria Varela.

NMiF: Mental Health

It's been nearly four years since the Martinez Administration stopped Medicaid payments to 15 nonprofits providing behavioral health services, accusing them of millions of dollars in fraud. The organizations were eventually cleared of wrongdoing by the Attorney General, but many had gone out of business. What is the state of mental health care in New Mexico now? This week on New Mexico in Focus, correspondent Megan Kamerick begins a month-long series on behavioral health services for New Mexicans. 

Correspondent Russell Contreras sits down with photographer Maria Varela to talk about her experience photographing voting rights demonstrations in Alabama. Varela also discusses her efforts to create Head Start programs in poor, rural areas of the American South during the Civil Rights movement. She has an exhibit up right now in the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.

And host Gene Grant and this week’s Line opinion panelists discuss the recent special session, jobs that are going unfilled in New Mexico, and the cost of security services for an event with Milo Yiannopoulos on the UNM campus earlier this year.  

Gene Grant

Russell Contreras      
Megan Kamerick

Studio Guests:
State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Maggie McCowen, executive director, New Mexico Behavioral Health Providers Association
Elise Padilla, fellow, National Latino Behavioral Health Association
Natalie Smith, therapist and executive director, Awake and Aware
Maria Varela, photographer

Line Panelists:
Elaine Baumgartel, news director at KUNM
Dan Boyd, capitol bureau chief for the Albuquerque Journal
Andy Lyman, reporter for NM Political Report
Inez Russel Gomez, opinion page editor for the Santa Fe New Mexican


New Mexico in Focus is involved, informed, in-depth media airing weekly on New Mexico PBS. The program debuts Friday nights at 7 p.m. on NMPBS 5.1 and appears online at The show rebroadcasts on NMPBS 5.1 Sundays at 7 a.m. and on NMPBS 9.1 on Saturdays at 5 p.m and Sundays at 3 p.m.

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