“Suspect” is one way to put it, but “Crooked” would be much better

The Albuquerque Journal recently offered a “post-mortem” on the Rail Runner financing deal that should have received more attention. The Rio Grande Foundation has been THE leading critic of the commuter train, but aside from the overall cost and the balloon payments (which were recently refinanced) we  haven’t focused too much on the shenanigans involved in financing the train in the first place.

The article gives some details on the role of CDR in “greasing the skids” for this crooked deal, saying, “CDR officials had contributed a total of $100,000 to Richardson political action committees in 2004 in order to get the work with the New Mexico Finance Authority, which handled bond transactions for the Department of Transportation.”

The article notes that the Obama Administration had sufficient concerns over Bill Richardson’s shady dealings with CDR that it withdrew a previously-offered Secretary of Commerce job.

The Rail Runner itself has been enough of a debacle on its own, but the financing deal behind it was simply another way for Bill Richardson to generate cash for his run for the White House. Unfortunately, New Mexico taxpayers are going to be paying the price for both for many years to come.


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