Love him or hate him, Chicago-based journalist Daniel Libit is set to soften his laser focus on the University of New Mexico athletics program. Libit said he hopes journalists, and the taxpayers and students who keep the school’s athletic department afloat, build on his work to hold Lobo leadership accountable on spending and transparency. NM Political Report met with Libit at Manny’s, a Jewish deli near downtown Chicago where former Barack Obama advisor David Axelrod reportedly holds court. While eating a pastrami sandwich and matzo ball soup, Libit had choice, and sometimes pointed, words for UNM, journalists covering the university’s athletics program, his critics and college sports in general. After running the website from his apartment overlooking Navy Pier for about a year, Libit is mothballing NM Fishbowl to expand his coverage beyond one relatively small fish in the pond of college athletics.
An apartment in downtown Chicago overlooking the historic Navy Pier is probably the last place University of New Mexico officials would expect some of the most ardent criticism of their athletics program. But that’s exactly where the shots toward the UNM athletic department are being fired from. Since last November, journalist Daniel Libit has been writing investigative stories about the UNM athletic department on his self-published website NMFishbowl.com. He received probably the most attention yet when he filed an open records lawsuit last week against UNM Foundation arguing that the non-profit organization should be held to the same transparency standards as the university itself. The lawsuit stems from records Libit requested from UNM Foundation as well as the school itself regarding information on the naming rights of WisePies Arena (aka The Pit).
The FBI has interviewed several Republicans in the state over fundraising activities related to Gov. Susana Martinez’ top political advisor, the state’s second largest daily newspaper reported Friday night. Related Story: Former official: FBI asked about issues in Martinez administration. The Santa Fe New Mexican cited an unnamed “prominent New Mexico Republican” that had been interviewed and said others had been interviewed about activities from Martinez’s political wing. The report came hours after a reporter for CNBC tweeted about the news. The newspaper notes that the money went to Jay McCleskey, who was Martinez’s campaign manager and has run a number of campaigns for Republicans in the state.