03
Feb
09

Governor Richardson, This Can’t be So?

I backed fully Governor Richardson until he dropped out of the Presidential Primary’s in December of 07.  I supported President Obama’s nomination of the Governor for Secretary of Commerce until the “Pay for Play” (CDR) problem came to light and the FBI was involved investigating whether the CDR, a California-based financial services company, engaged in “pay-to-play” after it and its CEO gave thousands of dollars to Richardson PACs and subsequently won state contracts.

But now in a Politico article by Ben Smith, entitled: “Richardson investigation expands”, states; The Albuquerque Journal reports that federal investigators have asked the Democratic Governors Association, which Bill Richardson headed, for documents in their expanding pay-to-play investigation.

Here are a few excerpts (high lighted by myself) from Ben Smith’s Politico article:

Governor Bill Richardson

Governor Bill Richardson

As political alliances go, the four-year marriage between Gov. Bill Richardson and the Democratic Governors Association was golden.

Richardson got prestige, coast-to-coast travel and national exposure that would help fuel his presidential bid, while the DGA basked in his growing notoriety and fundraising prowess.

“It’s been very beneficial,” Richardson acknowledged in late 2006, when his stint with the political group — as federal liaison, vice-chair and unprecedented two years as chairman — wrapped up a month before he launched his unsuccessful quest for the White House.

Now, that political shine could be tarnishing.

Recent news reports say authorities have asked for information involving the DGA as part of the federal “pay-to-play” investigation that derailed Richardson’s nomination for U.S. commerce secretary.

That probe centers on a single financial firm involved in Richardson’s $1.6 billion GRIP transportation program, CDR Financial Products, and its contributions to the DGA and two Richardson political committees — Si Se Puede and Moving America Forward.

A Journal analysis shows three other firms that made millions on GRIP bond work — J.P. Morgan Securities, UBS Bank and RBC Dain Rauscher — also gave to the DGA, contributing a total of nearly $500,000 around the time the transportation financing plan was being developed and finalized.

Some of the donations were in cash, others were “in kind” services, such as catering. Swiss-headquartered UBS was by far the largest donor with about $421,000.

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