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Richardson's Withdrawal: Loss of an Important Spokesman

La Opinin, Editorial, Staff Posted: Jan 06, 2009

Editor's Note: An editorial in Spanish-language daily La Opinin calls Richardson's withdrawal from the nomination of Commerce Secretary a tough blow for Hispanics.

Governor Bill Richardsons withdrawal from the nomination to head the Commerce Department is a tough loss of an important spokesman for Latino interests in President-elect Barack Obamas Administration.

With Richardsons withdrawal, we lose an experienced voice in governmental affairs, a supporter of trade, and a major political figure who self-identified as a bridge between the next government and Latin America.

The New Mexico governor is part of a federal investigation into CDR Financial Products of California, which won a contract to manage state bonds at the same time the firms owner made contributions to Richardsons election effort.

In this case, it is hard to imagine why the probeinitiated months lateris now considered an obstacle that could affect confirmation while it was not in December. Although Richardson maintains he did not think the investigation would take so long, the judgment used in selecting him, knowing the legal problem the nominee was facing, is questionable.

So far, there is no reason to believe that Richardson acted illegally. Permissive laws governing campaign contributions allow donations of this type when government contracts are involved, despite the appearance of a conflict.

The Richardson affair is not likely to have a major impact on Obamas transition, but for Hispanics and the U.S., the loss of this experienced, respected voice in the next government is a tough blow.

Related Articles:

An Administration Without Richardson

Chinese Mixed About Bill Richardsons Exit

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