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AlDaja

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#1 10 years ago
Spoiler: Show
Richardson drops bid for commerce secretary post By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer Barack Obama videolthumb.708b7492a95904675d3c38d13320a04c.jpg?x=213&y=160&xc=1&yc=1&wc=399&hc=300&q=100&sig=wE96MCWP2akoqBoIkOiW8w-- Play Video AP – Richardson withdraws bid to be commerce sec'y capt.cps.orp23.040109202310.photo00.photo.default-353x512.jpg?x=213&y=309&xc=1&yc=1&wc=282&hc=409&q=100&sig=q_LGNEa6o2zooPoVNYbWYA-- AFP/Getty Images/File – Bill Richardson, pictured in 2008, president-elect Barack Obama's pick to be commerce secretary, … WASHINGTON – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson abandoned his nomination to become commerce secretary under pressure of a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors — an investigation that threatened to embarrass President-elect Barack Obama. Richardson insisted he would be cleared in the investigation and Obama stood by the governor as an "outstanding public servant." But both men said it has become clear that a grand jury probe would not be finished in time for Richardson's confirmation hearings and could keep him from filling the post in a timely matter. 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 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 transportation contract worth nearly $1.5 million. 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. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said he expected a new commerce secretary to be nominated soon but didn't have a timetable. Gibbs said the problem with Richardson's nomination wasn't a matter that those tasked to look into his background missed something. "I think the totality of our Cabinet picks is impressive and I think our vetters have done a good job," Gibbs told reporters traveling with Obama as he moved to Washington on Sunday night. A senior Obama adviser said Richardson gave assurances before he was nominated last month that he would come out fine in the investigation and the president-elect had no reason to doubt it. But as the grand jury continued to pursue the case, it became clear that confirmation hearings would have to be delayed for six weeks or even longer until the investigation was complete, said the adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity about the discussions because they were private. Aides to both men insisted that Richardson made the decision to withdraw and was not pushed out by Obama. But one Democrat involved in discussions over the matter said transition officials became increasingly nervous during the last couple of weeks that the investigation was a bigger problem than Richardson had originally indicated. Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the governor believed the grand jury matter would be cleared up by this time, but decided to withdraw when it became clear it wouldn't. "It was the governor's idea, and his decision," Gallegos said. 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 in a statement. "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." Richardson said in his statement that he will remain as governor and told Obama, "I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful." "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." 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 transition officials said Richardson's withdrawal would not affect the stimulus plan because the Commerce Department was not heavily involved. A person familiar with the investigation in New Mexico 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. In a statement issued Sunday night, CDR CEO David Rubin described Richardson as "an exceptionally able and dedicated public official, who was highly deserving of the opportunity to hold a cabinet-level position in the new Obama Administration." Rubin also said CDR "adamantly doesn't practice pay-for-play under any circumstance on any playing field." 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 rogue nations. Obama also considered him to be secretary of state. CDR and 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. In the Illinois case, Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell the Senate seat that Obama gave up to become president. Obama and two of his top aides have been interviewed by the U.S. attorney's office pursuing the case but have denied any knowledge of such a scheme and have not been accused by prosecutors of any wrongdoing. ___ On the Net: Obama transition: http://www.change.gov __ Associated Press writer Deborah Baker in Santa Fe, N.M., contributed to this report.

Second “pay-to-pay” investigation seems to hover around Obama’s political interests. I suppose the change people clung to with this presidency is more like business as usual. I suspect it will be another four years of same sh’t, different day. Both parties are corrupt that they don’t even care anymore when news breaks about key party members – nor do the people who vote for them, always convenient excuses to explain away the corruption from both party affiliates. Almost reminds me of the political atmosphere in post WWI Germany, except the rival parties haven’t started riots in the streets (yet). It really does come down to voting for the lesser of two evils, but in the end it’s the same. I vote for people, who truly intend to make a difference, even though I know they’ll never get elected, the corrupt political machine is real good about destroying good men and woman who attempt to change the norm. This is disheartening to say the least. How can we trust this administration, when scandal already plagues it on the heels of an already disgraced administration.




Dot Com

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#2 10 years ago

Get ready for the next twenty years. They are going to be ridiculously tumultuous.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#3 10 years ago
AlDaja;4754136
Spoiler: Show
Richardson drops bid for commerce secretary post By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer Barack Obama videolthumb.708b7492a95904675d3c38d13320a04c.jpg?x=213&y=160&xc=1&yc=1&wc=399&hc=300&q=100&sig=wE96MCWP2akoqBoIkOiW8w-- Play Video AP – Richardson withdraws bid to be commerce sec'y capt.cps.orp23.040109202310.photo00.photo.default-353x512.jpg?x=213&y=309&xc=1&yc=1&wc=282&hc=409&q=100&sig=q_LGNEa6o2zooPoVNYbWYA-- AFP/Getty Images/File – Bill Richardson, pictured in 2008, president-elect Barack Obama's pick to be commerce secretary, … WASHINGTON – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson abandoned his nomination to become commerce secretary under pressure of a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors — an investigation that threatened to embarrass President-elect Barack Obama. Richardson insisted he would be cleared in the investigation and Obama stood by the governor as an "outstanding public servant." But both men said it has become clear that a grand jury probe would not be finished in time for Richardson's confirmation hearings and could keep him from filling the post in a timely matter. 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 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 transportation contract worth nearly $1.5 million. 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. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said he expected a new commerce secretary to be nominated soon but didn't have a timetable. Gibbs said the problem with Richardson's nomination wasn't a matter that those tasked to look into his background missed something. "I think the totality of our Cabinet picks is impressive and I think our vetters have done a good job," Gibbs told reporters traveling with Obama as he moved to Washington on Sunday night. A senior Obama adviser said Richardson gave assurances before he was nominated last month that he would come out fine in the investigation and the president-elect had no reason to doubt it. But as the grand jury continued to pursue the case, it became clear that confirmation hearings would have to be delayed for six weeks or even longer until the investigation was complete, said the adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity about the discussions because they were private. Aides to both men insisted that Richardson made the decision to withdraw and was not pushed out by Obama. But one Democrat involved in discussions over the matter said transition officials became increasingly nervous during the last couple of weeks that the investigation was a bigger problem than Richardson had originally indicated. Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said the governor believed the grand jury matter would be cleared up by this time, but decided to withdraw when it became clear it wouldn't. "It was the governor's idea, and his decision," Gallegos said. 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 in a statement. "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." Richardson said in his statement that he will remain as governor and told Obama, "I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful." "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." 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 transition officials said Richardson's withdrawal would not affect the stimulus plan because the Commerce Department was not heavily involved. A person familiar with the investigation in New Mexico 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. In a statement issued Sunday night, CDR CEO David Rubin described Richardson as "an exceptionally able and dedicated public official, who was highly deserving of the opportunity to hold a cabinet-level position in the new Obama Administration." Rubin also said CDR "adamantly doesn't practice pay-for-play under any circumstance on any playing field." 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 rogue nations. Obama also considered him to be secretary of state. CDR and 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. In the Illinois case, Blagojevich is accused of trying to sell the Senate seat that Obama gave up to become president. Obama and two of his top aides have been interviewed by the U.S. attorney's office pursuing the case but have denied any knowledge of such a scheme and have not been accused by prosecutors of any wrongdoing. ___ On the Net: Obama transition: http://www.change.gov __ Associated Press writer Deborah Baker in Santa Fe, N.M., contributed to this report.
Second “pay-to-pay” investigation seems to hover around Obama’s political interests. I suppose the change people clung to with this presidency is more like business as usual. I suspect it will be another four years of same sh’t, different day. Both parties are corrupt that they don’t even care anymore when news breaks about key party members – nor do the people who vote for them, always convenient excuses to explain away the corruption from both party affiliates. Almost reminds me of the political atmosphere in post WWI Germany, except the rival parties haven’t started riots in the streets (yet). It really does come down to voting for the lesser of two evils, but in the end it’s the same. I vote for people, who truly intend to make a difference, even though I know they’ll never get elected, the corrupt political machine is real good about destroying good men and woman who attempt to change the norm. This is disheartening to say the least. How can we trust this administration, when scandal already plagues it on the heels of an already disgraced administration.

People expecting great change in American politics and society after this election were naive. Politicians are what they are, regardless of the spin that comes out of their mouths, the color of their skin, or the methods to their madness. This comes as no surprise. The best (and only) thing we can hope to expect from this change in administration is a different foreign policy from America, but already that's starting to look a bit bleak too. See if you can find Obama's comments on the situation in Israel, for example. There aren't any.




Buddy Jesus

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#4 10 years ago
Mr. Matt;4754325People expecting great change in American politics and society after this election were naive. Politicians are what they are, regardless of the spin that comes out of their mouths, the color of their skin, or the methods to their madness. This comes as no surprise. The best (and only) thing we can hope to expect from this change in administration is a different foreign policy from America, but already that's starting to look a bit bleak too. See if you can find Obama's comments on the situation in Israel, for example. There aren't any.

Well would you expect this individual to have comments to make when he really doesn't have any substantial stance on foreign policy.




Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#5 10 years ago
Buddy Jesus;4754548Well would you expect this individual to have comments to make when he really doesn't have any substantial stance on foreign policy.

He's set to become the president of the most powerful country on the planet in about 15 days. Chances are, this whole Israel v Gaza debacle will still be underway, or at least simmering, by that time. Even if he hasn't come up with some kind of plan to deal with the whole mess, he should at least have something to say about it at the moment.

But he doesn't. He's too afraid to offend Israel regardless of where or how they throw their weight, just like every other US president has been. Things aren't going to change.




Warborg

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#6 10 years ago

I hate to say I told everyone so, but I said there would not be any change with him. The only change Obama believes in is the name of the President




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#7 10 years ago
Mr. Matt;4754325See if you can find Obama's comments on the situation in Israel, for example. There aren't any.

The AIPAC probably has him by the balls already.

Another year of presidential puppetry? What a shock!




AlDaja

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#8 10 years ago

Agree with you all me does…oh and my post “pay to pay” meant pay to play…that’s what I get for posting when the fog of sleep is taking over.:sleep: