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More Obama Pay for Play   December 16th, 2008
Gov. Richardson potentially linked to pay for play in New Mexico       

 
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According to reports today, Gov. Bill Richardson is potentially involved in a pay-to-play situation unfolding in New Mexico. While it isn't as sensational as selling a senate seat and he's far from been proven guilty, it appears possible that Obama's nominee for Secretary of Commerce might be tainted by the same kind of pay-to-play politics as is apparently commonplace in Illinois.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/16/politics/washingtonpost/main4671020.shtml

A federal grand jury is investigating whether a financial firm improperly won more than $1.4 million in work for the state of New Mexico shortly after making contributions to political action committees of Gov. Bill Richardson (D).

The probe focuses on whether the governor's office urged a state agency to hire CDR Financial Products...

In the New Mexico case, the FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating how CDR, based in Beverly Hills, Calif., won lucrative fees from the New Mexico Finance Authority in 2004 soon after donating $100,000 to two Richardson organizations.


Is pay-to-play standard operating procedure throughout the country?

Update 1/4/2009: Bill Richardson has now withdrawn his nomination due to the pay-for-play allegations.

Bill Richardson is withdrawing his nomination to be commerce secretary, FOX News confirmed Sunday.

Richardson, who will remain governor of New Mexico, is facing a federal grand jury investigation into whether he exchanged government contracts for contributions to three Richardson political committees...

Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh told FOX News that with the cloud lingering over the Obama transition because of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged attempts to sell Obama's vacated Senate seat, the Richardson nomination would have been another unwanted distraction.


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