Monday, January 05, 2009

Bye-bye Bill

Now that Bill Richardson has withdrawn his name as Commerce Secretary nominee, is it time to wonder what the point was of that 63-page application form for nominees for the Obama administration to fill out. This was supposed to be the most exhaustive vetting process ever and it missed something that was reported in the media in August of this year. Shouldn't Richardson have included information about the Grand Jury investigation in his application? And why does he suddenly now think that he needs to withdraw his name? Presumably he knew about this a month ago. Did he really think that the investigation would be completed over the holidays? It sounds like the Obama team and the Richardson camp are busy casting blame on each other as to whether he was up front with them about the Grand Jury investigation.

UPDATE: It sounds like the investigation isn't going to stop in New Mexico.
According to federal law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation, federal officials are also looking into CDR's political and financial ties to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, as well as to Democrat state and local officials in Illinois, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

Rendell placed Rubin on a political patronage commission in Pennsylvania, and Rubin was also given a seat on a Los Angeles City commission back in 2002, both seemingly as the result of political contributions to political action committees. Rubin has also been a financial supporter of Rev. Al Sharpton.

CDR also had close business ties to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, marketing and selling financial instruments created through low-income housing "lease to own" programs across the country. "If someone wants to understand just how deep Democrats are into the housing bubble and the economic crisis, they should look at some of the financial wheeling and dealing around some of those 'lease to own' programs," says a former Freddie Mac lobbyist based in Washington. "It's a veritable 'who's who' of Democratic state and local politics from New York to Los Angeles."