Friday, October 30, 2009

Gifts From CDR

State Republican Chairman Harvey Yates, responding last night to the CDR indictments, is calling for Gov. Bill Richardson and Lt. Gov. Diane Denish to "relieve themselves of all campaign contributions collected from (CDR owner David) Rubin." That's not such an unusual demand. What's unique is that Yates says the money shouldn't be given to charity, which is the usual route for tainted campaign cash. (In the past I've sardonically referred to this as the "Kickbacks for the Kiddies" campaign.)

Instead, Yates says, these funds should be given to the state attorney general "for an account maintained specifically to investigate political corruption in New Mexico.” That might not be a bad idea to have such an account for toxic campaign funds. Of course our charities that have come to depend upon windfalls from corruption would be hurt.

While thinking about those CDR contributions, I came upon this January 2009 report from the Institute of Money in State Politics. It's a look at contributions from Rubin and CDR to politicians from around the country.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell tops the list with $35,000 in contributions. 2003 California gubernatorial candidate Cruz Bustamante is second with $21,200 and Richardson third with $20,000.

Of course, these numbers aren't complete, at least as far as Richardson goes. Most of CDR's contributions to him went to Richardson PACs Moving America Forward and Si Su Puede, which paid for hotels, limousines etc. at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston for Richardson and his staff.

In fairness, I don't know whether there are simialr PACs for Rendell or Bustamante to which CDR might have contributed. In fact a Pittsburgh paper reported earlier this year that Rendell received $40,000 from Rubin.

The report lists $10,000 in CDR contributions to Denish. As her campaign for governor continues, expect to hear more about this cash from the state GOP and the Republican gubernatorial candidates.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.:

According to Denish campaign spokesman Oren Shur, the campaign donated its old CDR contributions to two Albuquerque charities this morning.

"Earlier today, the campaign delivered a $5,000 check to the Storehouse, which provides food to families in need, and a $5,000 check to the Barrett Foundation, a shelter for women and children," Shur said in an e-mail.


Courtesy of Heath Haussamen, here's a copy of Thursday's CDR indictment in New York federal court.

Rubin Indictment