Bill Richardson, who last April was shaking hands with Chavez,
is under investigation for the kind of pay-to-play that Democrats have perfected in New Jersey:
_ Early 2003: Richardson wins legislative approval of a $1.6 billion highway and transportation construction program called Governor Richardson’s Investment Partnership, or GRIP.
_ October 2003: CDR Financial Products Inc. CEO David Rubin contributes $25,000 to Richardson political committee, Moving America Forward.
_ 2004: Bonds are issued for GRIP transportation program. CDR, which is based in Beverly Hills, Calif., becomes part of a team of investment and financial advisers selected by the New Mexico Finance Authority to put together the GRIP financing. CDR earns at least $951,000 in fees in 2004 for its services to the authority.
_ June 2004: CDR — under its former name, Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin and Co. — donates $75,000 to a political committee that Richardson established, Si Se Puede! Boston 2004 Inc. The donation comes a couple of months after the transportation financing arrangement won state approval.
_ 2005: Rubin gives $10,000 to Richardson’s re-election campaign.
_ Aug. 29, 2008: The New Mexico Finance Authority issues a statement saying it is “cooperating fully” with federal authorities in their investigation of CDR in connection with the 2004 issuance of bonds.
_ Nov. 14, 2008: Richardson meets in Chicago with President-elect Barack Obama, who interviews him about being secretary of state. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton also is being considered for position.
_ Nov. 23, 2008: Democratic official says Richardson is Obama’s choice for commerce secretary.
_ Dec. 3, 2008: Obama announces his selection of Richardson as commerce secretary, calling him a leading “economic diplomat for America” in troubled times.
_ Dec. 10, 2008: Richardson’s expected replacement as New Mexico governor, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, announces a transition advisory team.
_ Dec. 16, 2008: A person familiar with the proceedings tells The Associated Press that a federal grand jury is investigating how CDR won its contract. Richardson ducks questions about the company at a news conference.
_ Jan. 4, 2009: Richardson withdraws his name from consideration for commerce secretary.
The Obama team says that Richardson wasn’t forthcoming with them about the federal investigation.
Interestingly, American Spectator points out that (emphasis added)
But it isn’t just Obama and Richardson that Rubin has ties to. According to federal law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation, federal officials are also looking into CDR’s political and financial ties to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, as well as to Democrat state and local officials in Illinois, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
As I have posted here and at the Star Ledger’s NJ Voices blog, prominent fund-raiser and Rendell supporter Robert M. Feldman of Philadelphia is also under federal indictment. Small world.
Rubin has lots of connections among the Dems,
CDR also had close business ties to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, marketing and selling financial instruments created through low-income housing “lease to own” programs across the country. “If someone wants to understand just how deep Democrats are into the housing bubble and the economic crisis, they should look at some of the financial wheeling and dealing around some of those ‘lease to own’ programs,” says a former Freddie Mac lobbyist based in Washington. “It’s a veritable ‘who’s who’ of Democratic state and local politics from New York to Los Angeles.”
Who will Obama nominate for Commerce Secretary? We shall soon find out. The list of prominent Democrats not under indictment is getting smaller by the day.
Share on Facebook