Gwyneth Doland

Reporter/Call In Show Host

Gwyneth Doland is a correspondent for “New Mexico in Focus” on New Mexico PBS and an adjunct lecturer in the Communication and Journalism Department at UNM.

As the executive director for the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government she ran a hotline helping journalists and others get access to public records and open meetings. As the editor of The New Mexico Independent, a startup online-only news site, she and her team were honored with the 2010 First Amendment Award from ACLU of New Mexico. Her work for two alternative weekly papers, the Santa Fe Reporter and Weekly Alibi also won several awards.

Gwyneth is a former director of the Journalism and Women Symposium and New Mexico in Depth, and serves as the Freedom of Information Committee Chair for the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande Chapter. She was named the 2013 Communicator of the Year by the New Mexico Association of Women in Communications.

New Mexico’s unique way of paying for public infrastructure projects has been under fire lately. Critics say lawmakers often divert money as political pork, at the expense of statewide construction projects. 

Now some  government officials are taking steps to address the problem at the local level. 

Kari Greer / US Forest Service Gila National Forest

KUNM Call In Show 4/21 8a: 

You probably noticed that this February and March were much warmer and drier than normal. In fact, this year New Mexico got only 12 percent of the rainfall it usually gets in March. The unusually warm weather prompted mountain snow to melt faster and earlier than usual, while winds whipped up wild fires, stripping land that then becomes vulnerable to flooding.

Victor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 4/7 8a: The level of crime in our cities makes many New Mexicans feel unsafe. And disturbing violent crimes have dominated our attention recently. Is our system working to make New Mexico safer?

Arianna Sena

Polls show New Mexicans believe their government is corrupt. State lawmakers say that while there may be a few bad apples, the system we have is working.

But the facts show just the opposite: New Mexico has the widest gap in the country between the laws on the books and the way those laws are actually enforced, according to a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity.

Arianna Sena

During the 2016 legislative session, the People, Power and Democracy project tracked efforts to address ethics, accountability and money in politics. This year lawmakers met for only 30 days and were charged first and foremost with preparing a state budget. Most of the bills we followed failed, but many sponsors and advocacy groups pledged to return again in the longer 2017 session and try a gain. Here’s a summary of the proposals we watched most closely.

What Passed

House webcasts to be archived

https://www.flickr.com/photos/87913776@N00/460375914

Over the past few years New Mexico has used short-term solutions to balance the budget without raising taxes. But if oil and gas prices stay low, it will become more and more of a challenge to find the money the state needs to pay the bills.

Raising at least some taxes might not be politically popular, but Sen. John Arthur Smith, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, argues it’s the fiscally conservative thing to do. And he wants to start with the gas tax.

TaxRebate.org.uk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Monday brought felony charges against a former state senator accused of using his office to make money on a land deal.

Zack McCarthy via CC

In front of a group of commercial real estate developers, Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill she said will make the campaign finance system more accurate and transparent, and make it easier for the public to access the information.

Gwyneth Doland

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 2/25 8a:  

State legislators passed a budget, created a REAL-ID driver's license fix, cracked down on DWI and child porn and advanced bail reform. But did they do anything to reverse the tide of indicators that New Mexicans have lost faith in state government? We look at what lawmakers did, or didn't do, to restore the public trust. 

Chris Goldberg via Flickr, Creative Commons

The NM Legislature wrapped up another session. KUNM's Chris Boros speaks with Gwyneth Doland about what happened and what didn’t happen.

Arianna Sena

Lawmakers are wrapping up a 30-day session in Santa Fe Thursday. They’ve hammered out a budget, moved forward on some crime-fighting bills and spent time debating anti-corruption proposals. 

tomwsulcer / Creative Commons License

A state House panel on Tuesday approved a bill that would give political candidates and elected officials clearer guidelines on how they can spend money from their campaign accounts. It's been an embarrassing problem for the state.

Arianna Sena

The state Senate halted an attempt to create an ethics commission on Tuesday that would have overseen the legislative and executive branches.

revisorweb via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

The People, Power and Democracy project is focusing on state government ethics and transparency in the 2016 legislative session. Correspondent Gwyneth Doland spoke with KUNM's Chris Boros.

Jen Gallardo via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The state House voted Saturday to peel back the curtain a little on lobbying in Santa Fe, but it was a small step toward revealing how money flows through the halls of the Roundhouse.

kenteegardin via Flickr / Creative Commons License

The state Senate has passed a proposal that would ask parts of state government to start doing more research on which of their programs delivers the best return on investment.

Capital Outlay Reform Fails

Feb 13, 2016
Stephen Norman via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Lawmakers sidelined a proposal Friday to change the way New Mexico pays for public works projects.  

A broad coalition of business, labor and good government groups supported the proposal, which would have created a commission to evaluate and prioritize infrastructure projects.

Gwyneth Doland

The state auditor released a report Friday showing about $4 billion is sitting around across the state unspent—but it’s unclear whether that money could help with the current budget shortfall vexing lawmakers in Santa Fe.

401kcalculator.org via Flickr / Creative Commons License

People, Power and Democracy is a project focusing on state government ethics and transparency.  Gwyneth Doland spoke with KUNM's Chris Boros.

ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

The state House voted Tuesday to create a statewide ethics commission. But will the proposal have time to get through the Senate? There are only eight days left in the session.

Flood via Flickr / Creative Commons License

We are more than halfway through the legislative session and the bills are starting to move more quickly on their way to the finish line next Thursday. Gwyneth Doland is covering state government for the People, Power and Democracy Project. She spoke with KUNM's Chris Boros.

revisorweb via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

A new survey of New Mexico business leaders shows most think there is a real problem with money in politics in the state. And some business groups are getting serious about plans to clean up state government.

dan machoid via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Many people complain that big public works projects aren’t getting done in New Mexico because the system we use to fund them is dominated by politics. But that could change as two proposed reforms of the capital outlay system gain momentum this legislative session.

Julian Lim / Creative Commons via Flickr

 

There are less two weeks left in the 30-day legislative session. People, Power and Democracy's Gwyneth Doland has been up in Santa Fe covering state government. She spoke with KUNM's Chris Boros. 

starreyez024 via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 2/4 8a: A new report says New Mexico’s economy isn’t growing because it’s based on “crony capitalism,” meaning our government responds to the needs interests of a few powerful, wealthy interests—leaving the rest of us pay the price. 

New Mexico Legislature

A plan to give individual voters more influence in elections hit a roadblock on Friday but is expected to get a hearing this week. The proposal (HJR 1) introduced by Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, would amend the state constitution to create an independent citizen group that would be in charge of redistricting.

davecito via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Lawmakers in Santa Fe are nearing the halfway point of this 30-day session.  Gwyneth Doland of the People, Power and Democracy project spoke to KUNM's Chris Boros to discuss the status of a proposed constitutional amendment that would create an independent redistricting commission. 

Johnathan Rolande via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Storefront lenders scored a win in Santa Fe Tuesday when the House Business and Employment Committee unanimously sidelined an effort to cap interest rates on installment loans. 

@jbtaylor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico’s independent voters could be allowed to participate in primary elections if a proposed constitutional amendment is successful.

ROBERT SMITH VIA FLICKR / CREATIVE COMMONS

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 1/21 8a: 

  

In her state of the state address Tuesday, Gov. Susana Martinez told lawmakers that public safety should be their top concern. But she also mentioned the need to reform an old and entrenched system of political pork that's interfering with our ability to build things New Mexicans say we badly need: new roads, bridges and water systems.

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