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NM Foundation For Open Government Hosts 2017 William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Awards

on October 4, 2017 - 7:45pm

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and Los Alamos Daily Post Publisher Carol A. Clark in conversation following today’s Foundation for Open Government event in Albuquerque. Their conversation touched on a variety of subjects including the importance of shining a light on dark nets ... those notorious digital marketplaces operating in the hidden corners of the Internet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Attorney Blair Dunn chats with Los Alamos Daily Post reporter Maire O’Neill at today’s event. Dunn was honored in the legal category and has represented plaintiffs in several public records disputes and has taken on a mayor and judges, among others in his pursuit of freedom of information. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Staff Report

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government celebrated almost three decades of open government advocacy at the 2017 William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Awards luncheon today at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.

The awards have been presented since 2002 in memory of FOG co-founder and longtime board member William S. Dixon. They recognize individuals who, like Dixon, are advocates for the First Amendment and the state’s sunshine laws.

The 2017 William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Awards winners:

  • Whistleblower and citizen advocate Sondra Everhart;
  • Data journalist Sandra Fish;
  • Attorney A. Blair Dunn; and
  • Animal Village NM’s Sonny Aris and Attorney Peter Goodman.

Today’s Keynote Speaker was James Neff, a prize-winning author and the Philadelphia Media Group’s deputy managing editor for investigations and projects. Neff’s books include, “The Wrong Man: The Final Verdict on the Dr. Sam Sheppard Murder Case”; “Vendetta,” a book about Robert F. Kennedy’s war against Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa; and “Mobbed Up,” a biography of Teamster president Jackie Presser, adapted into an HBO movie.

FOG President Gregory P. Williams said that it is inspiring to have so many people in New Mexico fighting to open up the government.