Just when you think the pay-to-play scandals in New Mexico can’t get any worse, they do. Apparently, flowers are not the only things that bloom during the spring season in New Mexico.
Last week brought news that Governor Bill Richardson’s campaign and political action committees received nearly $200,000 from money managers and brokers who were seeking access to the state’s multibillion dollar pension funds.
Okay, I know, old news. But, this same editorial takes a deeper look at the ethically questionable behavior coming out of the Attorney General’s office. Mind you, we were hopeful that when pay-for-access AG Patricia Madrid left office, things would get better. But, it now looks like the players may change, but the game remains the same.
As for Mr. King, he is underselling his political talents. Campaign records show that in the month before his 2006 election, his campaign received $50,000 from Houston lawyer Kenneth Bailey and Mr. Bailey’s previous law firm in two $25,000 installments, one of which came within a week of Election Day.
And, what does $50,000 buy these days?
However, you have to wonder just how vital this particular lawsuit is, since it was marketed to New Mexico and many other state AGs as an off-the-shelf product by the Bailey firm.
It would seem it is the going price to bring win the right to sue in the name of the State. When law firms are able to buy the right to sue companies on behalf of the state in exchange for a political contribution. We’re all in trouble.
Now, in all fairness, some of you may think I’m jumping to conclusions here. These campaign contributions, and the resulting “gift” to the law firm may just be coincidental. For those of you feel this way, I’d suggest you look no further than Attorney General Gary King’s own analysis regarding appearances:
“There’s an old saying that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then its probably a duck,” say AG King. “And I think we know a duck when we see one.”
Well, I guess duck hunting season is starting a little earlier this year..