KSFR

Mary Lou Cooper

Mary Lou Cooper reports on consumer issues for KSFR as well as on politics and elder affairs. She also assists radio journalist Dave Marash at KSFR, conducting research and booking for the “Here and There with Dave Marash” program. She has worked for the U.S. Congress as well as for the Nevada and Tennessee legislatures, and remains a political junkie. She worked many years for an association of Western state legislatures and was a contributor to “Capitol Ideas,” a national magazine about state government.  In 2016 Cooper received a public service award from the New Mexico Broadcasting Association for her KSFR story on Internet romance scams.  She has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and from the National Federation of Press Women. She grew up in Oak Ridge, TN and received her BA from Emory University in Atlanta and her MA from the University of Texas Austin.  She also holds fiction and screenwriting certificates from the University of Washington.

The American Automobile Association has just released its 2017 Green Car ratings. So if you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle and want to be kind to the environment, this guide is for you. KSFR's Mary Lou Cooper spoke to AAA New Mexico spokesperson Doug Shupe to find out more.

You can search AAA's Green Car Guide here.

For many people who’ve experienced the process of recognizing that a stay in assisted living is needed or even imminent,  there are probably few thing that seem quite as momentous — or as stressful as deciding where that’s going to be There’s making the decision and  then finding the right facility — and asking the right questions. For help with this, we rely on our consumer affairs reporter, Mary Lou Cooper, who brings us this story.

WalletHub

Depending on where in the US you live, a job hunt can be anything from a breeze to an all-encompassing cloud of frustration. KSFR's Mary Lou Cooper caught up with an analyst from the financial site WalletHub to learn where the jobs are and aren't in America.

Today's story on IRS impersonation is the second in Mary Lou Cooper's series on tax scams by individuals masquerading as IRS agents. Here are some surefire ways to know that you do not actually have an IRS employee on the line. Tax scams in New Mexico amount to more than $100,000 a year. But that's mild compared to California, which clocks in at $11 million in the scams.

Tomorrow is February 1st and that means that tax season is upon us.

We kick it off Mary Lou Cooper’s new consumer affairs series on tax scams and schemes with this story about how to choose a tax preparer and what to look out for.

In Part 2 of this series we’ll take a look at IRS impersonators.

This fall, in the course of reporting on the problem of compulsive gambling in seniors, KSFR learned that some people who have this problem of compulsive gambling may be  adversely affected by drugs used to treat Parkinson’s Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome.

Mary Lou Cooper goes deeper into the story and a proposal to amp up the warnings on the medications and inform consumers.

In early December the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration reported to the Legislative Finance Committee on New Mexico’s forecast budget deficit. That number stands at a projected shortfall of $66.9 million for the current fiscal year that ends on June 30th. The 2017 Legislative Session begins January 17th at noon. Today in our continuing series about what to expect from both sides of the aisle Mary Lou Cooper talks with Senate Minority Leader, Republican Stuart Ingle.

Mary Lou Cooper speaks with Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth about the 2017 New Mexico legislative session. The 60-day session begins on Tuesday, January 17th, and confronts the body with both the need to address the budget shortfall, and to pass new bills.

We enter this first week of the new year of 2017 with a new series Effective Activism. What Is It? What Can Activists Do to Bring About Real Change?

Today we look at a movement much on the minds of disaffected voters—that is, reform of the Electoral College that would result in a sea change to the current system of electing the US President. Mary Lou Cooper brings us the story.

Last winter marked the warmest December-through-February on record for the lower 48 states. So what’s in store for us this winter?  Mary Lou Cooper brings us the story.

Last month Minneapolis journalist John Rosengren published "The Casino Trap" in AARP Bulletin. The story focused on aggressive marketing tactics that casinos are using to attract seniors. Rosengren explained that seniors fill off-peak hours in many of the casinos.

“Citizens should be provided with free unbiased information when they go to vote.”

This from Walker McKusick of voter site Project Vote Smart. The website helps voters sort through were politicians stand on the issues. Mary Lou Cooper has the story.

“Our intent is to be incognito and undercover," Stewart Rhodes said, speaking to KSFR’s Mary Lou Cooper about his group the Oath Keepers whom he has urged to go undercover at polling places on November 8th. The Oath Keepers has representation in New Mexico and is active in most United States. Their membership is said to exceed 30,000. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the Oath Keepers as one of 998 active, extreme antigovernment groups that it identified in 2015. For the second part of this story, KSFR's Mary Lou Cooper spoke with the SPLC's Ryan Lenz.

Marilyn Calkins, Tea Party Command Center Blogger Spot

In August 2015 the Washington Post reported that shortly after Donald Trump declared his candidacy for president in June, Trump adviser Roger Stone wrote 13-page memo. That memo urged Trump onto a talking point that “the system is rigged against the citizens.”  Trump once uttered the word rigged seven times in just over a minute to describe the US political system.

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“The Odds of an Electoral College-Popular Vote Split Are Increasing.” That headline comes from Nate Silver, who this morning posted it on the influential political website FiveThirtyEight.com. Fluctuations in state voting trends reported by pollsters who cover the presidential election can feel like a roller coaster ride, but the outcome of the election does not lie directly with we the people, actually, but rather with the electoral college. KSFR's Mary Lou Cooper illuminates this 200-year-old system’s mysteries.

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