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Breaking: Bill Richardson Drops Out as Obama Commerce Pick

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson dropped out as Secretary-Designate of Commerce over an investigation into possible "pay-to-play" tactics concerning some of Richardson's political donors and awarding of state contracts.

From the AP:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Sunday announced that he was withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama's commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors won a lucrative state contract.

Richardson's withdrawal was the first disruption of Obama's Cabinet process and the second "pay-to-play" investigation that has touched Obama's transition to the presidency. The president-elect has remained above the fray in both the case of arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and with the New Mexico case.

A federal grand jury is investigating how a California company that contributed to Richardson's political activities won a New Mexico state contract worth more than $1 billion. Richardson said in a statement issued by the Obama transition office that the investigation could take weeks or months but expressed confidence it will show he and his administration acted properly.

"But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process," Richardson said. "Given the gravity of the economic situation the nation is facing, I could not in good conscience ask the president-elect and his administration to delay for one day the important work that needs to be done."

Richardson said he will remain as governor and told Obama, "I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful."

The announcement came ahead of Obama's Monday meetings with congressional leaders on a massive economic recovery bill he wants lawmakers to pass quickly.

Obama said he has accepted Richardson's withdrawal, first reported by NBC News, "with deep regret."

"Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office," Obama said. "It is a measure of his willingness to put the nation first that he has removed himself as a candidate for the Cabinet to avoid any delay in filling this important economic post at this critical time. Although we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson's decision, I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration."

A person familiar with the proceedings has told The Associated Press that the grand jury is looking into possible "pay-to-play" dealings between CDR Financial Products and someone in a position to push the contract through with the state of New Mexico.

State documents show CDR was paid a total of $1.48 million in 2004 and 2005 for its work on a transportation program.

Richardson ran against Obama in the Democratic presidential primary, but withdrew after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

He is one of the most prominent Hispanics in the Democratic Party, having served in Congress and as President Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations and energy secretary. As governor, he has kept up an international profile with a specialty in dealing with rouge nations. Obama also considered him to be secretary of state.

CDR and its CEO, David Rubin, have contributed at least $110,000 to three political committees formed by Richardson, according to an AP review of campaign finance records.

The largest donation, $75,000, was made by CDR in June 2004 -- a couple of months after the transportation financing arrangement won state approval -- to a political committee that Richardson established before the Democratic National Convention that year.

Sounds like a "culture of corruption" to me.

This investigation began in the summer and the Governor was aware of it.

More on the specifics of the investigation in this article from the Washington Post, dated December 16, 2008.

Below, the Baron has more on this situation.

All I'll add is, the timing seems pretty convenient, during the Israel/Hamas conflict, in addition to it coming out on a Sunday afternoon.



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Comments (42)

Now, Now, let's not have an... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Now, Now, let's not have anymore of that neocon hate speech! Tee Hee

Sounds like a "culture o... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Sounds like a "culture of corruption" to me.

No, it sounds like a "culture of even though I did nothing wrong the Republicans will once again use a non-event to bash Obama and drag the process into the toilet so I'll get out of the way for the good of his administration and the country."

Yeah, like he stabbed Hill ... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Yeah, like he stabbed Hill and Bill in the back and trotted over to Obamalala. For the good of the country of course.

Another one bites the dust.... (Below threshold)

Another one bites the dust. Can you hear my heart bleeding?

This is not the Bill Richar... (Below threshold)
Barack Obama:

This is not the Bill Richardson I thought I knew.

Brian:Did you actu... (Below threshold)

Brian:

Did you actually write your comment with a straight face? If so, bravo!

I would like to say I am sh... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I would like to say I am shocked, but I am not. ww

Look! Up above! In the very... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Look! Up above! In the very first comment! MPR commented without saying "Obamalala!"
Oh, shit, there's comment # 3. Never mind.

Just for you Bruce.... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Just for you Bruce.

Oops. Now Obamamlala's team... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Oops. Now Obamamlala's team is calling Richardson a liar. Something about a kettle and pot, let's see how does that go now?

You coined it, MPR.(As far ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You coined it, MPR.(As far as I know.) At least spell it correctly.

Al hale Broose%Kee... (Below threshold)
shawn:

Al hale Broose%

Keeng uf trolz nd gud gramur.

(Just for you, Broose.)

BTW, your posts are sooo thought provoking. Great commentary.

No, really..

MallowThe other da... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Mallow

The other day I noted that you act like a 13 yo girl. I was wrong and I apologize to all the 13 yo girls. You're less mature than my 7 yo grandson. And you're an author here? Good grief, Kevin had to go to the bottom of the barrel to find you.

Grow up twit. With the crap you write you have no right to criticize anyone for anything.

Waaaah!... (Below threshold)
shorter Brian:

Waaaah!

Seems like he is guilty, ev... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Seems like he is guilty, even before a trial, according to the GOP. Why is that? Remember all the BS you spouted about "cold cash Jefferson"? He is finally going to trial, and if he is guilty, he should get the same sentence that the "Duke" got, right?

Or like poor Scooter, he didn't do anything wrong. BS, he lied and got caught lying and was convicted of it.

Both parties have their crooks, about 99% from each party are crooks. The GOP just screams more when one of theirs get caught. Why? Oh I remember, party of family values, right. WAAAA.

Allen- at least the GOP ... (Below threshold)
Kat:

Allen- at least the GOP has values. The Dimmicratics, not so much.

Brian- if this is a "non-event" why did Richardson withdraw his nomimation? Why, oh why.
Liberalism is a disease from which there is no cure.

CHALLENGE (with answer), CA... (Below threshold)
Ted:

CHALLENGE (with answer), CAN ANYONE PROVE THIS WRONG?:-

1. Constitution Article II requires USA President to be "natural born citizen".

2. BHO's website admits his dad was Kenyan/British, not American, citizen when BHO was born.

3. BHO is therefore not a "natural born citizen" (irrespective of Hawaiian birth or whether he may be a 14th Amendment "citizen" of USA) -- confirmed in the Senate's own McCain qualification resolution (that both parents must be citizens of USA) co-authored by BHO.

4. Supreme Court has already docketed two upcoming conferences, 1/9/09 and 1/16/09 -- between dates Congress counts electoral votes (1/8/09) and Presidential inauguration (1/20/09) -- to address Berg Case and fashion relief on BHO's eligibility to be President.

5. Since the fact of BHO's dad being Kenyan/British not in dispute, Supreme Court rules on Summary Judgment to enjoin BHO's inauguration as President.

6. Therefore, BHO is not inaugurated as President.

7. Vice President Elect Biden is inaugurated Acting President under the 20th Amendment to serve until new President is determined -- the procedure for which determination to be set out by Congress and/or the Supreme Court so long as in conformance with the Constitution.

ANSWER TO ABOVE CHALLENGE

IF, when counting the electoral votes, Congress WERE TO find by 1/8/09 that Obama -- not being an Article II "natural born citizen" (father Kenyan/British, not American) -- fails to qualify as President, Biden would become the full fledged President under 3 USC 19 (free to pick his own VP such as Hillary) AND THERE WOULD BE NO NEED FOR DEFERRAL TO THE SUPREME COURT to enjoin Obama's inauguration relegating Biden to being merely Acting President under the 20th Amendment until a new President were duly determined.

(The preferable choice, at least for the Democrats, would seem obvious.)

Well, I have heard of a few... (Below threshold)
MPR:

Well, I have heard of a few things that might help a liberal condition improve to maybe, rational.
Getting robbed at gun point when your out to dinner with your family by an illegal, with a long criminal record, in a sanctuary city. Sorta clears your head.

"MallowThe other d... (Below threshold)
lowmal:

"Mallow

The other day I noted that you act like a 13 yo girl. I was wrong and I apologize to all the 13 yo girls. You're less mature than my 7 yo grandson. And you're an author here? Good grief, Kevin had to go to the bottom of the barrel to find you.

Grow up twit. With the crap you write you have no right to criticize anyone for anything."
-------------------------------------

*Yawn*

JFO,

For the hell of it, I looked over a couple archives, and, to my surprise, I found that most all your posts consist of usually 4 things:

1) You liken the author or fellow commenter to a "something-yr old" (in my case, a 13yr old)

2) Your favorite forensic tool is calling someone an "idiot" (this time it was "twit".)

3) You use "good grief" incessantly, such as in one reply you asked a commentor "Good Grief, were you potty trained?"

4) And in most all of your posts, you never actually comment on what has been written.

I haven't gotten the "potty trained" reference yet, but I'm sure you'll work it in soon.


Hope you have a nice evening!

-Shawn


Ted:You're not win... (Below threshold)

Ted:

You're not winning any converts here with your Nirther crap. Obama will be inaugurated. Repeating your copy and paste fantasies until you're blue in the fingers will not make any difference.

You're wasting your time.

Brian- if this is a "non... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian- if this is a "non-event" why did Richardson withdraw his nomimation? Why, oh why.

To avoid having Obama deal with the crap that Republicans invent when it turns out he happens to know someone who knows someone who some authority suspects of wrongdoing.

Liberalism is a disease from which there is no cure.

Wow, you have such a low opinion of 79% percent of the country. Truly the definition of an America-hater.

Oh, sorry... I meant "Obama... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Oh, sorry... I meant "Obamalala".

"To avoid having Obama d... (Below threshold)

"To avoid having Obama deal with the crap that Republicans invent when it turns out he happens to know someone who knows someone who some authority suspects of wrongdoing."

It must be nice to be blessed with such clairvoyance and outright imagination. Hey, can you tell me what the outcome of the Ohio State/Texas game will be tomorrow? We could make some money with your talents!

Brian,Your are ser... (Below threshold)
Heywood:

Brian,

Your are seriously delusional or a functioning moron. 79% of the country liberal? Please!

Produce some firm evidence of that other then your slobbering drivel, links, references, anything to prove it. I dare you, no I double dare you, in fact I will go so far as to say you can't. Other then in some weird fantasy.

Because 79% of the popular vote may have gone to Barack does not make all of those voters liberal, get a clue, open your eyes, think for yourself, stop reading that crap you do and believing every word of it. It means he won the popularity contest, that's all it is. With this congress, and it's shit ratings, I am not expecting much will get solved in the next couple of years, same old shit, new face.

It must be nice to be bl... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It must be nice to be blessed with such clairvoyance and outright imagination.

It takes neither. Only watching and listening to the right frantically trying to make connections between Obama and Blagojevich, Ayers, Rezko, etc.

Hey, can you tell me what the outcome of the Ohio State/Texas game will be tomorrow?

No, but I can tell you the outcome of the MN senate race.

79% of the country liber... (Below threshold)
Brian:

79% of the country liberal? Please!

I didn't say that. Kat was the one attributing defense of Obama to "liberalism". So if that's the definition...

Produce some firm evidence of that other then your slobbering drivel, links, references, anything to prove it. I dare you, no I double dare you, in fact I will go so far as to say you can't. Other then in some weird fantasy.

Since we're using Kat's definition of "liberalism", you can take this link and go f-ck yourself.

"It takes neither.</... (Below threshold)

"It takes neither.

Plus, you have neither.

"Only watching and listening to the right frantically trying to make connections between Obama and Blagojevich, Ayers, Rezko, etc."

You just rattled off a long list of well-known connections. You forgot to add Richardson to it. The connection to each, since we all know you lack imagination and intelligence, is extremely poor judgment.

"No, but I can tell you the outcome of the MN senate race."

Well, duh. I was hoping you actually had clairvoyance, since you seem to know what the public doesn't about Richardson. Hence, my "question" about the Texas/Ohio State game.

Obviously from your answers, you are as witless and humorless as you are unimaginative. As usual.

Shorter Tom: "Brian, all th... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Shorter Tom: "Brian, all those things you just said... uh... NOT! Nyaahh!"

I rest my case. Goodnight,... (Below threshold)

I rest my case. Goodnight, Brian.

BIOlogicalWere you... (Below threshold)
JFO:

BIOlogical

Were you just born as asshole or do you have to work at it?

JFO:I'm betting ev... (Below threshold)

JFO:

I'm betting everyone here would like to ask you two twits that very question.

Wow - do you just sit in a ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Wow - do you just sit in a dark hole somewhere waiting with lips pursed, drooling at the thought of an instant response? My guess is you were born an asshole.

"Wow - do you just sit i... (Below threshold)

"Wow - do you just sit in a dark hole somewhere waiting with lips pursed, drooling at the thought of an instant response?"

No moron, I just got back from dropping my son off at school and running a few errands, and happened to check this thread just after you posted your idiotic, off-topic comment.

"My guess is you were born an asshole."

That would be because you and Brian are contrarians here to the death and I don't let you get away with your stupidity. Did you ever think that's what folks around here think of you? If you did, it doesn't stop you from making your comments, does it?

I'm OK with your opinion because it's always wrong. Since you two can't stay on topic, both of you can have the last word. Your drivel isn't really worth reading, anyhow.

ShawnYou are doing... (Below threshold)
potroast:

Shawn

You are doing a fine job! How noble of Richardson to step down. The only job bam-bam could deem useful in the future is cleaning up after the family dog. Home Depot's having a sale on buckets and shovels. Talk about the bottom of the barrel.

My take on politicans...lib... (Below threshold)
mag:

My take on politicans...liberal or conservative they are all brothers under the skin. They think more of themselves than America and its people. We should all band together and demand decent people to represent us and if not boot them out quickly.
I am sure they love all this fighting between us. I remember an old boss saying to me she loved when us workers fought among ourselves this way we would not gang up on her.
Thought my viewpoints lean to the conservative side, I am really disgusted with all the politicans.

Mallow:I hate to pun... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Mallow:
I hate to puncture your sarcasm with the "great commentary" remark, but I have a couple of quibbles.
One, YOU are supposed to be the commentator here, not me. Instead of doing that, you post an AP article, along with the very insightfully insightful insight that, "the timing seems pretty convenient." As if any politician announcing something like this would wait until just before Good Morning America came on on Monday morning. Were you born yesterday?
Two, writers who call themselves professional should proofread their posts. So should amateurs, like the Obamalala guy. So, no matter how much it irritates you, or him, I'll continue to ridicule you, and him, if you don't. You'll thank me eventually. Non-sloppy writers are usually taken more seriously.
Of course, with posts like this, I doubt Redstate.com will be trying to lure you away anytime soon.
No, really.

Amen, mag. It's the nature ... (Below threshold)
max:

Amen, mag. It's the nature of the beast.

"A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker." - H.L. Mencken

Bruce, being a regular carb... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

Bruce, being a regular carbuncle on Wizbang's ass, you should know that when noteworthy news occurs, many times a post is written as "Breaking", with links to corroborative news stories included. SOP.

I added a few lines of commentary, which I stand by, and fully expected the likes of you to not appreciate. And you know what? Too bad!

You also said "writers who call themselves professional should proofread their posts". Where have I ever said I was a "professional"? I defy you to produce a qoute. I also said that I am a complete neophyte at this. (Let me save you the trouble of saying "Truer words were never spoken.".

And as far as other places "luring" me away: I am quite happy right here.

I'm waiting for the time when you are actually going to post something worthy of thoughtfulness.

You really should go somewhere else.. It seems you just don't like it here..

Why bother?


I don't think I'm the only ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I don't think I'm the only carbuncle on Wizbang's ass, as you so delicately put it, Shawn. But I seem to be the one who hurts oo widdle feewings most often.
In my carbuncly comment above, regarding proofreading, I also said that, "So should amateurs, like the Obamalala guy." And they, and you, should.
But I'm not really a stickler about it. Lately, a guy calling himself "retired military" and I have got into it pretty good, right here on this site. Sometimes I got the best of him, I like to think, and several times he got the best of me. He makes a few errors in spelling and syntax, but I don't mess with him about it because the sonofagun HAS SOMETHING TO SAY.
Same with the Baron. Although I can't claim to ever really have bested that guy, he'll tell you I have admitted BEING bested at least once or twice.
And look what has happened already! You DID proofread comment # 38, didn't you?
One other thing. If it wasn't for us carbuncles, how much fun would you knuckledraggers have around here, every poster grunting, "Me too!"?

Don't equate replying to on... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

Don't equate replying to one of your "comments" as having hurt feelings, Broose.

Honestly, and I've written about this before, I like ALL comments: good or bad. I don't like people like JFO who only sit there and basically name-call for a whole post. Here and there is all in good fun, but, when you have nothing to add to the commentary, then, what's the point?

If your sole concern towards me is my "proofreading", well, then you are pretty shallow. I'd rather hear what you actually think of what is written other than how it is written, and get your point of view on the subject introduced.

You seem, in certain instances, to be a pretty smart guy. I may not agree with you, but, I can respect what you say.

Seems like you can't afford the same courtesy.

Now, go back to being "Keeng uf trolz".

Fair enough, Mallow. I'll t... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Fair enough, Mallow. I'll try to be good from now on.
But I have no tolerance for that Obamalala guy.

79% of the country liber... (Below threshold)

79% of the country liberal? Please!

I didn't say that. Kat was the one attributing defense of Obama to "liberalism". So if that's the definition...

Umm, you may want to look back at that there post again Brain, Kat did not provide a definition for Liberalism, she stated it was a disease, and clearly that is her opinion and not a definition.

Also, she asked you a valid question based on you stating that the withdrawal was "non-event." Yet you couldn't respond to that and why am I not surprised?

Finally, for this first part, your inference was pretty clear, to me at least, that an approval rating for Obama of 79% somehow points to large numbers of liberal leaning people in the populace, and like I said, "You are seriously delusional . . . " Then you provide a link to the same poll, conducted by CNN, that paragon of fair and balanced reporting, as some sort of proof? What would be beyond delusional?

Since we're using Kat's definition of "liberalism", you can take this link and go f-ck yourself.

Since Kat did not provide one, "we're" not using one and my that was a snappy response. Did you pick that one up at the local Jr. High you attend? Just curious.




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