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New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, withdrew his bid because of an federal investigation into his political activities.
"Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact," he said Sunday in a report by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell. "But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process."
A federal grand jury is investigating how a company that contributed to Richardson won a lucrative New Mexico state contract.
New Mexico’s Gov. Bill Richardson, who is the newly named Secretary of Commerce in Obama’s about-to-be Cabinet, is also being investigated by a federal grand jury in his home state for possibly steering state bond business from the New Mexico Financial Authority toward David Rubin, a significant campaign contributor, according to an NBC News report, among others.
NBC’s Lisa Myers reports that two former state officials say they’ve recently been questioned by a federal grand jury specifically about allegations that Richardson or aides pushed state business worth nearly $1.5 million in fees toward CDR Financial Products in 2004. The company is headquartered in Beverly Hills.
Perhaps no governor has rewarded so many supporters with so much.
Five years ago, just eight of Gov. Bill Richardson's political appointees made more than $100,000 a year. Today, more than 100 earn at least that much.
Also up under Richardson: the number of gubernatorial political appointees, formally known as exempt employees.
In his first 15 months in office, the number of appointees scattered throughout government grew from 167 to 307. Today, there are 468 gubernatorial appointees in exempt positions.
That growth in the patronage, or spoils, system of state government is one of the legacies of Richardson as he prepares to vacate the Governor's Mansion for a slot in Barack Obama's Cabinet.
Richardson's top-paid appointee is State Investment Officer Gary Bland, the man in charge of the state's multibillion-dollar permanent, or trust, funds.
Bland's annual salary was $307,199 as of September, up 37 percent from $225,000 in December 2003.
Those at the lower end of government's food chain haven't fared as well under Richardson.
The average salary of a state classified — or nonpolitical — employee was $38,820 in July 2007, up 19 percent from Richardson's first year in office.
The list of political appointees making more than $100,000 a year is dominated by agency heads and other top government managers, but it also includes Richardson's chief scheduler ($133,120) and the assistant to first lady Barbara Richardson ($107,519). The scheduler earns more than Richardson ($110,000) and at least 12 Cabinet secretaries.
The figures in this column are based on data on exempt employees provided by the Department of Finance and Administration.
(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...
Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I knew about the investigation, but I also think Richardson is innocent of any wrongdoing. Don't you, Grady?
Originally posted by anyone
I just learned of this and am shocked and saddened as well. I like Richardson. I'm becoming jaded with the disappointment from politicians. Example: Edwards, Clinton, McCain... and now possibly Richardson. Anyway hope he comes out clean, but you would think if he was he would stick it out. Maybe he just doesn't want to sour the beginning of Obama's first term. ??
WASHINGTON - An upstate New York developer donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton’s foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman’s mall project.
Mrs. Clinton helped enact legislation allowing the developer, Robert J. Congel, to use tax-exempt bonds to help finance the construction of the Destiny USA entertainment and shopping complex, an expansion of the Carousel Center in Syracuse.
Originally posted by Stormdancer777
and then there were three???
A donor’s gift soon followed Clinton’s help
$100,000 donation highlights ethics issues with links to foundations
Not the Hillary,Blago, Richardson,Wright, fill in the blanks, I knew.
'Thousands of phone calls' on feds' wiretaps
[edit on 103131p://bSunday2009 by Stormdancer777]