You don’t often get to write this sentence, so I had to do it:

State of New Mexico $277,230
University of New Mexico $31,950
Total from NM State Employees $309,180

Bill Richardson would be violating congressional ethics if he were still in Congress.

What am I talking about? Bill Richardson received over $300,000 from his employees. Open Secrets has the details. Congressional ethics (at least House ethics) prohibit staff from giving money to (1) their boss (because of the possibility of a raise for a donation) or (2) other members (because it would look like a back channel version of the same)

Shouldn’t it be an issue that his largest block of donors get paid by him?

Make presidential candidates live by the same ethics rules as Members of Congress.

Normally that would sound farcical, but it might be a good idea here.

1 Comment

neil · October 17, 2007 at 12:08 PM

This is a totally bogus comparison. Yes, it’s true that the Governor is on the top of the org chart. But the state employees work for the state. Congressional staff don’t work for their congressional district, they work for their Member of Congress and they lose their jobs if s/he’s not reelected.

But the most bogus part is your lede: if Richardson were still in Congress, the employees of the state would be allowed to donate to him because they wouldn’t be his employees, so he wouldn’t be violating congressional ethics.

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David Corn at Politics Daily has a smart take that Rangel will ultimately become a symbol of a corrupt Democratic Congress and Nancy Pelosi’s broken promise to drain the swamp.

Why might the Post article and this widening investigation of ties between lawmakers and lobbyists — neither of which relate to Rangel — matter for him? Though the probe has not yet found any of these House members guilty of wrongdoing, this episode will place pressure on Pelosi and her colleagues to show they’re not a party of sleaze. Consequently, Rangel is more vulnerable to the Republican’s campaign against him. If the PMA investigation heats up, he would make a great sacrificial lamb. And if the GOP continues to pursue Rangel, his party, burdened by this other ethics investigation, will have a tougher time protecting him.


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