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A troubling revelation from the Municipal Bond Bid-Rigging trial in New York, from Matt Taibbi's coverage:

Even more startling was the way that a notorious incident involving former New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Bill Richardson resurfaced during the trial. Barack Obama, you may recall, had nominated Richardson to be commerce secretary – only to have the move blow up in his face when tales of Richardson accepting bribes began to make the rounds. Federal prosecutors never brought a case against Richardson: In 2009, an inside source told the AP that the investigation had been "killed in Washington." Obama himself, after Richardson bowed out, praised the former governor as an "outstanding public servant."

Now, in the Carollo trial, defense counsel got Doug Goldberg, the CDR broker, to admit that his boss, Stewart Wolmark, had handed him an envelope containing a check for $25,000. The check was payable to none other than Moving America Forward – Bill Richardson's political action committee. Goldberg then went to a Richardson fundraiser and handed the politician the envelope. Richardson, pleased, told Goldberg, "Tell the big guy I'm going to hire you guys."

Goldberg admitted on the stand that he understood "the big guy" to mean Wolmark. After that came this amazing testimony:

Q: Soon after that, New Mexico hired CDR as its swap and GIC adviser on a $400 million deal, right?
A: Yes.
Q: You learned later that that check in that envelope was a check for $25,000, right?
A: Yes. I learned it later.
Q: You also learned later that CDR gave another $75,000 to Gov. Richardson, right?
A: Yes.
Q: CDR ended up making about a million dollars on this deal for those two checks?
A: Yes.

Q: In fact, New Mexico not only hired CDR, they hired another firm to do the actual work that they needed done?
A: For the fixed-income stuff, yes.

What we get from this is that CDR paid Bill Richardson $100,000 in contributions and got $1.5 million in public money in return. And not just $1.5 million, but $1.5 million for work they didn't even do – the state still had to hire another firm to do the actual job. Nice non-work, if you can get it.

Not good. Sadly I have to admit I thought Bill Richardson was a good idea for President given his track record - I no longer do.

We have a problem in this party with Wall Street corruption, it's time to accept that reality and make some changes.

Originally posted to DSWright on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The easiest way to accumulate money is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSWright, TracieLynn

    to steal it.  If it's legal theft, it's even better.

    What do we expect when we hire scofflaws as lawmakers?

    "In the name of the nation, and of the dollar and of the rule of law, you and your children shall sacrifice for the good of all." Rmoney's prayer

    by hannah on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:34:25 AM PDT

  •  I'm prepared to believe anything about Richardson (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, Noor B, glitterscale

    Like Edwards, he always had a bad vibe about him.  But one thing seems fishy: if it's such a blatant quid pro quo, why are they giving him a check made out to his PAC? I could go in one of two directions, both of which call into question or relativize Richardson's guilt:

    1) They would never have left that kind of paper trail for a blatantly illegal act--they would resorted to the ol' paper bag full of cash, preferably to Richardson himself--so what's claimed is simply not plausible.

    2) It went down precisely as recounted, but it was literally business-as-usual and nobody believed it was illegal, just a typical (sleazy) exercise of executive discretion in hiring someone who was politically helpful.  

    The bottom line to me is that if this had been an unusual episode, people would have acted unusually, and they didn't.

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:49:09 AM PDT

  •  We have to get these DLC types out of powerful (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSWright, kurt

    positions in our party. They are destroying us and destroying the country. They are the reasons so many independents believe that both parties are corrupt. Because the third way is corrupt and deeply wedded to Wall Street. Too many powerful democrats are more interested in protecting Wall Street than Main Street. No wonder we are having a hard time getting our message out to undecideds. Jon Corzine did untold damage to our reputation and Geitner, and Summers and Co continue to amke us all look corrupt and untrustworthy.

    Before we can clean up Congress we have to clean up the Democratic Party.

  •  Richardson's career (0+ / 0-)

    ... was already over.  This doesn't matter much.

    Those of us who'd known him on a more up close basis for a long time knew he wasn't so wonderful as some folks seemed to think.  Every damn issue, every last one, he always came down on the side with the most money.  Always.

    But his political career is over.  So: Who cares any more?

    Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden 8/10/09)

    by Land of Enchantment on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 01:16:07 PM PDT

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