Not so Fast There, Bill

Before the liberal media get too far along in the consecration of lame duck New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as Hillary Clinton's successor at the State Department, they'd best take a look at this letter which appeared in a photo as part of a front page article in the Sunday Albuquerque Journal. Since a subscription is required to read the article in its entirety online and view the photo, I will reproduce the letter verbatim as it appeared in the Journal.


                                                                                    U.S. Department of Justice

                                                                                    United States Attorney

                                                                                    District of New Mexico


Dear Gentlemen:

            As you know, the United State's investigation in the above-referenced matter has revealed that CDR and its officers made substantial contributions to Governor Richardson's political organizations during the time that the company sought financial work with the NMFA. The investigation further revealed that pressure from the governor's office resulted in the corruption of the political process so that CDR would be awarded such work. At this time, however, the United States will not seek to bring charges against your clients arising out of NMFA's award of financial work to CDR.

            This letter is limited solely to each party's conduct in NMFA's award of financial work to CDR in 2004. It is not to be interpreted as an exoneration of any party's conduct in that matter, nor should it be interpreted to address other conduct that may be under investigation.

This notification shall not preclude the United States or the grand jury from reinstituting such an investigation without notification if, in the opinion of the United States or the grand jury, circumstances warrant such reinstitution.

                                                                        GREGORY J. FOURATT

                                                                        United States Attorney


The caption under the photo identifies the date of the letter as August 27, 2009. It followed a public announcement that the Obama/Holder Justice Department had ordered the investigation terminated. Fouratt was quoted at the time as saying the action did not mean exoneration as the governor's PR machine immediately began to crow, but this is the first time I have seen the letter published. The Journal caption says it was obtained from one of the involved attorneys.

CDR refers to CDR Financial, a California investment firm whose CEO was reputedly another Hollywood Friend of Bill's. NMFA is the New Mexico Finance Authority. To better understand the nature of this particular scandal, go here. Also, it is helpful to keep in mind that this is just one of several scandals involving pay-to-play schemes linking criminally-convicted investment firms to the Governor's office and numerous, highly-placed Friends of Bill. The depth and breadth of the corruption of the Richardson Administration has continued to unfold throughout his governance. One can only wonder at what will come to light once his successor, Republican Susana Martinez, a former hard-nosed prosecutor, assumes office and the Democrat spin machine can no longer control the flow of information. And as Fouratt's letter indicates, there is much more to be revealed than has been thus far, a possibility reinforced by a quote from New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, who has successfully prosecuted some of these pay to players. These words should give serious pause to those who consider this investigation over:

"This is sort of like when you pull a thread on the sweater and that one thread starts to unravel the entire fabric. We're pulling threads and it turns out the other end of the thread is in New Mexico or Connecticut or Illinois or in California."

Even the willfully blind and deaf mice of the mainstream media should be able to read Fouratt's letter and conclude that Big Bill and his buds aren't out of the woods yet, especially with an incoming, Republican-controlled House providing oversight to Holder's politicized Justice Department. Big Bill, who used to pad his resumé with claims of being drafted as a pitcher by the Kansas City Athletics until ABQ Journal reported it to be a long-told lie, should be paying attention to the words of another baseball great, Yogi Berra, who wisely noted,

"It ain't over till it's over."

Rather than Secretary of State, perhaps Obama should appoint Richardson director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He could run it from inside and save taxpayers a federal salary and benefits.

UPDATE: The Wednesday edition of the Albuquerque Journal (subscription required) amazingly has two late-hour, front page reports of more shady dealings in the Richardson administration. Big Bill may be riding off into the sunset on Friday, but here we are, still viewing new evidence of his corruption right up until the moment he saddles up. The Journal has obtained another letter from the State Investment Council through an FOI request. The letter, to now-resigned-under-a-cloud State Investment Officer, Gary Bland, is from Richardson's "former campaign finance chairman and personal confidant," Paul Blanchard.

Here's verbatim from the portion of the letter reproduced on the Journal's front page:


Dear Gary,

Please get 3 or 4 of the entities doing business with your office to send their donations in and attend this function. The contributions are $10,000 per person.

This will be a very intimate setting and should make your contributors very happy with their access to the Governor.


Do you suppose the mainstream media might read this letter and conclude that the Richardson campaign is selling "access to the governor" to "entities doing business with" the state?

Nah, they won't because the phrasing is just so incredibly subtle and cleverly nuanced.

The Journal article goes on to say the letter is one of 1.8 million documents provided to the Justice Department in the ongoing federal investigation of the pay-to-play scandals under the Richardson administration which have cost the State of New Mexico hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from state employee and teacher pension fund investments.

The second article in the Journal reveals that the very same "former campaign finance chairman and personal confidant," Paul Blanchard,  who contributed more than $300,000 to Richardson's two campaigns, has been trying to snag himself a deal to build a new slots casino at the Downs of Albuquerque. Fortunately, that insider's deal got sidetracked when a quorum of the necessary Richardson appointed commissioners was unavailable to vote approval.

Why is any of this regional sleaze important to AT readers? Never forget that Bill Richardson, in spite of his Anglo name, is considered a minority Hispanic icon by the Democrats and has been a darling of Hollywood lefties for decades. Do not forget that he was a serious presidential contender and then a pick for Commerce Secretary in the Obama administration until federal digging in the litter box of New Mexico politics began uncovering far too many odoriferous leavings of the Richardson administration. But for Big Bill that's merely a bump in the road.

Bill's still ambitious and you know how the Democrats love their minority crooks.