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Oops, Too Late to Avoid Taint

It looks like Governor Bill Richardson’s Administration is in the middle of yet another sticky situation at a most inopportune time (subscription):

The Journal reported last week that the Transportation Department and SCS, a company affiliated with Richardson supporter and friend Gerald Peters, were discussing a headquarters of about 170,000 square feet— down from the 300,000 initially called for by the department.

In general terms, SCS is to build a headquarters and provide a Rail Runner station for the state free of charge in return for the right to develop the rest of the Transportation Department property.

The Journal also has reported that defendants in the Metropolitan Courthouse construction scandal in Albuquerque were linked to the early stages of the planned redevelopment on a 25-acre tract near downtown Santa Fe.

One of them was hired as project manager for the DOT redevelopment and two flew on state planes to out-of-state meetings about the headquarters redevelopment.

A new federal indictment alleges the same defendants in the courthouse case also conspired to corrupt another DOT project, which state officials have identified as the proposed redevelopment of its District 5 regional office on Santa Fe’s southside.

That’s an awful lot of defendants to be connected to a man running for President of the United States. It will be interesting to see if this reignites national investigations into other questionable Richardson activities.

Combine Governor Richardson’s numerous gaffes on the campaign trail with his one degree of separation from several shady characters, and it becomes very clear why some folks are pretty disappointed with Governor Richardson:

The New York Observer’s Steve Kornacki writes that Bill Richardson “might just be the biggest disappointment of all” the White House candidates. The “hesitant, confused and jarringly inarticulate man the country has met this year is a far cry from the savvy and confident leader that his resume might lead one to expect.”

Stay tuned for more fallout.