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N.M. Integrity Rated So-so

New Mexico got Fs in six of the 13 categories that were rated by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization

ABQ FREE PRESS STAFF REPORT

When it comes to open government and the transparency that’s necessary to deter corruption in state government, New Mexico got a better grade than 16 other states. But that’s not saying much.

The state got a grade of D-minus when it comes to state government integrity, according to a new report by The Center for Public Integrity.

New Mexico got Fs in six of the 13 categories that were rated by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit news organization. New Mexico got flunking grades in public access to information, political financing, executive accountability, legislative accountability, lobbying disclosure and ethics enforcement agencies. It got Ds in three categories, and scored its highest grade, a B- in one area — internal auditing.

“What really stands out is that of all 50 states, New Mexico has the widest gulf between the laws that are on the books and the vigor with which they’re implemented: the so-called “enforcement gap,” the report said. The striking enforcement gap in the Land of Enchantment punctuates a broader conclusion: when it comes to ethics and campaign finance, it can be pretty easy for bad actors to get away with breaking the rules in New Mexico.”

Check out New Mexico’s integrity report card at the Center for Public Integrity website.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.