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You Got to Play, Now It’s Time to Pay – Again

There have been many stories about the Pay to Play politics of Governor Bill Richardson. And, according to a recent article by Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican, Governor Richardson’s run for President is no exception:

So who is bankrolling Richardson’s campaign? (the Web site of the campaign finance watchdog group Center For Responsive Politics) breaks down contributions by the donor’s employer. By far, the biggest employer is New Mexico’s state government. State employees so far have coughed up $244,730 for the chief executive’s campaign.

So, is it normal for a presidential campaign to aggressively pursue donations from state workers (subscription)?

Mary Boyle, Washington, D.C., spokeswoman for the government watchdog group Common Cause, said it’s unusual for a presidential candidate to bring in so much from state workers.

From one view, “It reflects well that people in state government must (like) him,” Boyle said. From another view, “Questions could be raised as to whether state employees are being pressured to give out of fear their jobs will be in jeopardy if they don’t,” she said.

Hmm, my money is on the latter.