What Did Bill Richardson Know And When Did He Know It?

Seems like Rod Blagojevich is not the only governor who might have indulged in a little pay-for-play action:

New Mexico’s Gov. Bill Richardson, who is the newly named Secretary of Commerce in Obama’s about-to-be Cabinet, is also being investigated by a federal grand jury in his home state for possibly steering state bond business from the New Mexico Financial Authority toward David Rubin, a significant campaign contributor, according to an NBC News report, among others.

NBC’s Lisa Myers reports that two former state officials say they’ve recently been questioned by a federal grand jury specifically about allegations that Richardson or aides pushed state business worth nearly $1.5 million in fees toward CDR Financial Products in 2004. The company is headquartered in Beverly Hills.

This was about the same time as CDR’s founder, Rubin, donated $100,000 to two of Richardson’s political action committees; mainly it appears to cover expenses of the governor and his staff at the Democratic Party’s National Convention in Boston that summer.

Rubin also donated another $29,000 to Richardson’s unsuccessful presidential campaign this year and last.

The confirmation hearings on this issue ought to be interesting . . . to say the least. I can’t wait to hear how the business Rubin got from the state government in New Mexico was totally unrelated to his campaign donations to Bill Richardson.