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[26 Jul 2011 | No Comment | ]
Industry-funded group drafted N.M. lawmakers’ bills on climate change, hospital liability, health insurance

State lawmakers regularly introduce legislation written by the influential but little-known American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a largely industry-funded group with ties to tobacco, health care and oil corporations, legislators acknowledged Tuesday.
New Mexico lawmakers introduced several bills drafted by ALEC during the regular 2011 legislative session, Veritas NM found. The bills included proposed laws to limit lawsuits against hospitals, reduce regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, and increase penalties for shoplifting. (See below.)
Corporations pay ALEC up to $25,000 apiece in annual membership fees and up to another $10,000 for their representatives …

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[19 Jul 2011 | No Comment | ]
Hispanic Cultural Foundation pays $5,000 fine for lobbying violations

The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC)’s private fundraising foundation has paid a $5,000 fine ordered by Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran, state Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer confirmed Tuesday.
The NHCC Foundation will not contest the fine for violations of the state lobbying law, and “will endeavor to meet all requirements of the Lobbyist Regulation Act in the future,” attorney Brad L. Hays told Duran in a July 14 letter accompanying a $5,000 check.
The Foundation has also now registered as a lobbying entity for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011, …

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[15 Jun 2011 | No Comment | ]
Hispanic Cultural Foundation to pay rent for its state offices — but late payments for its cafe already a ‘chronic problem’

For the first time in nearly a decade, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC)’s private fundraising foundation will pay rent for its state offices at the Center.

The New Mexico Constitution’s anti-donation clause prohibits the donation of state goods, property or services to private entities. But for at least a decade, Center staffers say, the Foundation has used its offices rent-free.

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[7 Jun 2011 | No Comment | ]
NHCC Foundation’s Apodaca registers as lobbyist — but has not yet paid $5,000 fine

© Veritas New Mexico
National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) Foundation President and CEO Clara R. Apodaca has submitted lobbyist registration forms to the state for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011, Secretary of State Bureau of Elections Director Bobbi Shearer said Tuesday.
“We have not yet received any expenditure reports or a response to the fine,” Shearer said, referring to a $5,000 fine imposed by Secretary of State Dianna Duran on the NHCC Foundation for Apodaca’s violations of the state Lobbyist Regulation Act.
The violations were first uncovered by Veritas New Mexico.
Sec. Duran …

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[28 May 2011 | No Comment | ]
NHCC Foundation fined for ‘serious breach of law’

Updated – Citing a “serious breach of the law,” New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran has fined the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation $5,000, the maximum allowed, for violations of the Lobbyist Regulation Act.
Duran also demanded Foundation accounting records and expenditure reports for its lobbying efforts since 2006.
Legislative appropriations secured by the Foundation are now at the center of a separate state investigation into alleged misappropriations and commingling of state funds with private money in the Foundation’s bank account.
“(I)t is clear from your own records that the Foundation engaged …

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[14 May 2011 | No Comment | ]

Just weeks after then-Human Services Department (HSD) cabinet secretary Kathryn “Katie” Falls signed the last of three no-bid state contracts with Alicia Smith & Associates late last year, the company hired her as a consultant.
“Ms. Falls was hired in mid-December with a start date of February 1st,” company founder Alicia Smith wrote in an e-mail to Veritas New Mexico late Friday. “She agreed to begin in mid-January in order to work on a project with another client of the firm.”
Falls resigned her state post Dec. 30, according to HSD …

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[11 May 2011 | No Comment | ]

An attorney for the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation’s board of directors has acknowledged in a May 10 letter to Secretary of State Dianna Duran that Foundation officials likely failed to comply with the state’s lobbying law.
“I have advised the Foundation that the Board should adopt a policy that if any officer or member of the Board engages in contact with the legislature on behalf of the Foundation, that person should register pursuant to the statute,” attorney Brad L. Hayes wrote. “Further, I will advise the Board to place the …

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[6 May 2011 | Comments Off | ]

The National Hispanic Cultural Center’s private fundraising foundation has refused to turn over its bank statements to the state, despite an earlier claim that it had already done so.
“The NHCCF has declined our request for those records,” Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) spokesman Doug Svetnicka wrote in an e-mail to Veritas New Mexico. “(T)he Department of Cultural Affairs does not possess nor has it ever possessed the bank records of the NHCCF that you have requested.”
Bank statements for $812,500 in state fresco appropriations — and other taxpayer money, including …

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[5 May 2011 | One Comment | ]

The state Human Services Department (HSD) has selected two finalists for a contract to overhaul the state’s $3.9 billion Medicaid health insurance program for people with disabilities and low income levels.
Either Alicia Smith & Associates of Washington, D.C. or Practical Government Solutions (PGS), a newly-registered Wisconsin company, is expected to sign a contract next week to restructure the state’s Medicaid system.
Alicia Smith & Associates appears to have had at least one distinct advantage over other contenders for the contract, state records show: three existing Medicaid-related contracts with HSD.
But Smith has …

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[3 May 2011 | Comments Off | ]

New Mexico lawmakers appropriated $812,500 in taxpayer money for master muralist Frederico Vigil’s 45-foot tall painting at the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Torreón Building, but Center officials and the president of their private fundraising foundation disagree over who owns it.
The Foundation managed the fresco project. A 2008 purchase agreement with the state indicated the Foundation would transfer title for the fresco to the state in 2009.
But that has not happened, Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) spokesman Doug Svetnicka has confirmed — and is unlikely to occur before completion of a …