Gov. Bill Richardson today appointed his new members of the troubled State Investment Council. They are former interim state Treasurer Doug Brown — who Richardson appointed in 2005 to replace Robert Vigil who resigned in the face of a kickback scandal — and Santa Fe banker Catherine Allen will become the “public members” appointed by the governor.
Richardson re-appointed David Harris, currently a vice president at the University of New Mexico, to represent higher education on the council.
One thing all three appointments have in common: According to records kept by Followthemoney.org and OpenSecrets.org, all three have contributed thousand of dollars to Richardson’s campaigns, both gubernatorial and presidential.
Allen has contributed more than $17,000 to Richardson’s gubernatorial races, plus $4,600 to his 2008 presidential campaign. ($2,300 of that, which was earmarked for the general election, was refunded, as is the law for contributions to candidates who don’t make it past the primaries.)
Brown also gave the governor more than $17,000 for his two state races and $4,600 to Richardson ‘08 campaign, $2,300 of which was refunded.
Harris gave Richardson’s 2006 campaign $2,500 and his presidential campaign $2,300.
Allen and Brown also have contributed thousands to Lt. Gov. Diane Denish’s campaigns through the years. Allen has contributed more than $10,600 to Denish, who is running for governor this year. Brown has contributed $1,500 to Denish.
Asked about the contributions, Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said Wednesday, “They all have stellar reputations in the community and extensive financial experience that make them ideal for a seat on the State Investment Council. In addition, both Brown (who is a Republican) and Harris have served the state in various ways with distinction. Harris, of course, has served in Democratic and Republican administrations.”
More on the appointments in Thursday's New Mexican.