Study slams NM's Medicaid fraud pursuit

From - You’re not doing your job, a new Legislative Finance Committee report says about Medicaid fraud, waste and abuse investigations by two state agencies. The report was released Wednesday morning offering a scathing review for the Human Services Department and Office of the Attorney General and their inability to adequately prosecute cases and get tax dollars back. "My first knee jerk reaction is, why is this the situation in the state," said Legislative Finance Committee Chairman Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Deming). The report’s review says structural, functional and oversight issues need to be addressed in order to ensure effective use of state and federal resources. "Medicaid is a $4 billion price tag here to the state, with 75 cents on the dollar coming from the federal government. So we're not talking nickels and dimes. We're talking big time dollars," said Smith. Among the findings, New Mexico ranks 49th nationally in return on investment and total dollars recovered from Fiscal Year 2010. That means the state actually spends more money on investigating fraud than the money recovered. Read more

Pearce: A.G. Eric Holder is Abusing Authority

Steve Pearce
Washington, DC (July 14, 2011) Today, Congressman Steve Pearce condemned an announcement by the Justice Department that it would require gun shops in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and California to report sales of certain rifles to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “The Justice Department and the ATF are recklessly abusing their authority for political gain,” said Pearce. “Attorney General Eric Holder has made it abundantly clear that he supports stricter gun control measures, such as reimplementation of the Assault Weapons Ban. This new directive from Washington smacks of partisan politics.”
Brian Terry
Recent investigations by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have revealed the rampant dysfunction at the Justice Department and the ATF through the failed Operation Fast and Furious program, which allowed straw purchasers to send guns to drug lords and other criminals in Mexico. Evidence shows that some of these guns have made their way back to the United States, two of which were found last December near the body of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Eric Holder
“Attorney General Holder and the ATF have clearly demonstrated that they do not have the best interests of the American people at heart,” Pearce continued. “It is senseless to give broader authority to an agency that tragically mismanaged its last attempt at border policy. Holder should focus on bringing the responsible people within his own agency to justice, instead of deflecting the seriousness of the issue by forcing more federal intrusion into the lives of private citizens.”


Prosecutors Cause Clemens' Mistrial

Newsnm note (Spence) - In a resoruce strapped era is this case really a priority for the U.S. Department of Justice? CBS - New York - The judge presiding over Roger Clemens’ perjury trial has declared a mistrial over over inadmissible evidence shown to jurors that could have prejudiced them against the former Yankees star. “In the United States of America we try to ensure that everybody that comes into our courthouse is treated fairly,” U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said. “I have no alternative, despite the tremendous loss of time, effort and money.” Walton scolded prosecutors for twice violating his orders not to reveal certain evidence to the jury and said it put the whole case at risk. He took a short recess Thursday morning to consider how to rule on a motion for a mistrial from Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Stossel Balances Budget in Five Minutes

John Stossel
Townhall - The Congressional Budget Office says the current year's budget deficit will be a record $1.5 trillion. It also says that over the next decade we're on track for annual deficits of "only" $768 billion. I suspect the CBO has hired Rosy Scenario to do the bookkeeping, but let's take that number at face value. I'm now going to balance the budget, with the help of some experts. Read full column here:

Voter Fraud Investigation Gets Hearing

Dianna Duran
Santa Fe, NM – The Legislative Interim Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 15, at the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) Protective Services Office. Senator Peter Wirth (D–Santa Fe–25) and Representative Al Park (D–Bernalillo–26) serve as co-chairs of the committee. Friday’s meeting focuses on voter and election issues. Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran, along with Thomas Dow, General Counsel, Office of the Secretary of State and Bobbi Shearer, Director of the Bureau of Elections, will discuss a comparison of voter registration and Motor Vehicle Division Records. In reference to the Secretary of State’s upcoming testimony, Senator Peter Wirth stated, “The committee is very interested in hearing the legal basis for the Secretary of State’s decision to engage the State Police in election matters and why she believes New Mexico has been violating federal election law.”
Following the Secretary of State’s presentation, Steven Robert Allen, Executive Director of Common Cause New Mexico and Josephine Porter of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico will present on proposed legislation to address the reporting of independent expenditures and public financing of elections. The committee welcomes and encourages public attendance and input. Time for public comment will be allowed each day. For more information and the most current committee agendas and calendars click here: News New Mexico


UNM: BYOB for Cheap Seats

KOB TV - The University of New Mexico vows to stay small-time in the booze business with its new liquor license for the Pit and University Stadium. That means there will be strict limits on where beer and wine are sold and who can buy it. Only people in the club seats and luxury suites at the Pit will be able to buy alcohol during Lobo basketball games and only fans in the End Zone Club, the Zia Club and the suites will be able to do that at football games. "It's elitist as hell," said Lobo fan Johnny Gonzales. "I'm not gonna go up there. I don't know anybody, probably couldn't afford it. But if I'm sitting in the stands and I would like to drink a beer, fine. But for them not to allow me to do that, I think that's wrong." UNM Athletics Vice President Paul Krebs said he has heard the complaints, but the university is determined to keep booze sales limited. Read full story here: News New Mexico

With Debt on Creditwatch, Obama: "Don't Call My Bluff"

Bloomberg - President Barack Obama may summon congressional leaders to a Camp David summit this weekend after the latest round of White House negotiations on the deficit ended on a tense note and Moody’s Investors Service warned the stalemate could jeopardize the U.S.’s credit rating. Obama told the lawmakers they have until tomorrow to decide whether they can reach a deal to cut the deficit or settle for a way to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling before U.S. borrowing authority expires Aug. 2, two Democratic officials said. The increasing tension between Democrats and Republicans was underscored by dueling accounts of a White House meeting that ended sourly. Obama “got very agitated” and left the room after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor suggested a vote on a smaller deal, Cantor said in an interview. “Don’t call my bluff; I am going to the American people,” Obama said, according to Cantor, a Virginia Republican. Read full story here: News New Mexico