Links - Official Sites: Governor's Office, Bill Richardson for President, Inc.
Organization, Photos
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Finances: Bill Richardson for President, Inc., (2), summary
Albuquerque Tribune: Richardson's Quest  |  Santa Fe New Mexican: The Richardson File
The Early States: IA, NHPre-Campaign: Independent Sites
Withdrew on Jan. 10, 2008

In Brief - Elected Governor in Nov. 2002; re-elected in 2006 with about 69% of the vote.  Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, 2005 and 2006.  Chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention.  Worked at the consulting firm Kissinger, McLarty & Richardson.  U.S. Secretary of Energy, 1998-Jan. 2001.  U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, 1997.  Represented the 3rd CD in New Mexico for 15 years, 1983-97.  M.A. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 1971 and B.A. from Tufts University, 1970.  Grew up in Mexico City.  Born Nov. 15, 1947 in Pasadena, CA.  [Timeline].

"A New Progressive"
On January 21, 2007 Gov. Bill Richardson announced formation of a presidential exploratory committee.  "We need a president with the experience to start the healing, both here and abroad," Richardson said in a video statement that appeared on his website.  Richardson also highlighted his experience, noting, "Before I became Governor of New Mexico, I served as Congressman, Ambassador to the United Nations and as Secretary of Energy."  In his speeches Gov. Richardson has described himself as "a new progressive Democrat."  In a speech to the International Association of Fire Fighters' 2006 Legislative Conference, Richardson stated, "It's a philosophy that matches the progressive principles of the party but with a new commitment to fiscal responsibility and accountability.  I can say I'm pro-worker, I'm equal opportunity, I'm pro-environment, pro-affirmation action, pro-public education, but also pro-business.  We need business to attract jobs."  On May 21, 2007, four months after his initial announcement, Richardson formally announced his candidacy in Los Angeles.

Near, Far and Very Far
Richardson earned a reputation as a tax cutter early in his first term as Governor.  In 2003 he led the effort in his state to cut the top tax rate on personal income taxes from 8.2 percent to 4.9 percent over five years, and to cut capital gains taxes in half, also over five years.  In 2004 he worked to repeal the food tax.  The Cato Institute's 2004 "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors," which measures the governors' cuts in taxes and spending, gave Richardson a "B" grade, singling him out as "one of the best new governors of any party.”  However, Paul Gessing, president of the free market Rio Grande Foundation of New Mexico, pointed to spending on projects such as commuter rail and the spaceport to argue that, "Aside from cutting income taxes, Richardson’s fiscal record fails to live up to his reputation."

Richardson drew national attention on Aug. 12, 2005 by issuing an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the counties on the Southern border of New Mexico.  The order stated that the border area "has been devastated by the ravages and terror of human smuggling, drug smuggling, kidnapping, murder, destruction of property and the death of livestock" and that the border "is in an extreme state of disrepair and is inadequately funded or safeguarded to protect the lives and property of New Mexican citizens."

While confronting pressing issues near at hand, Richardson has not given up his efforts at international diplomacy.  In October 2005 he traveled to North Korea for unofficial but State Department-sanctioned talks with senior officials there as part of the ongoing effort to address that country's nuclear program.  Richardson also visited the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon during the three-day trip.  In September 2006 he traveled to Sudan and persuaded President Omar al-Bashir to release Paul Salopek, a writer on assignment for National Geographic, and his interpreter and driver; they had been charged with espionage.  In January 2007 he made a four-day trip to Sudan arranged by the Save Darfur Coalition.

Looking even further afield, Richardson has worked to make New Mexico the center for commercial space travel.  On Dec. 14, 2005 he and Sir Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin group, announced that the space travel company Virgin Galactic and New Mexico will partner to build a $225 million spaceport facility on 27 square miles of land near Upham.  The state is to spend $110 million on the project; on March 1, 2006 Richardson signed a bill creating the New Mexico Spaceport Authority. [New Mexico Economic Development Department]

New Mexicans seemed to like Richardson's leadership; in his 2006 re-election campaign he swept to  victory, defeating former Republican state party chair John Dendahl by a 69 percent to 31 percent margin.

Shades of Bill Clinton
During his 2002 campaign Richardson set a Guinness Book of World Records record for shaking hands with 13,392 people at the New Mexico State Fair in an eight-hour period.  He does bring an energy and enthusiasm to politics that is slightly reminiscent of Bill Clinton, and like Clinton, he has been characterized as "undisciplined." Richardson has a broader range of experience than Clinton did when he campaigned for president.  He served 15 years in Congress; he has international experience, both from his diplomatic forays as a congressman and his service as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; he has state-level executive experience in New Mexico; and he has experience with one of the most vexing issues facing the United States, energy.  Richardson is a Westerner and a Latino.  He can campaign using hues of orange, yellow and red in addition to red, white and blue, and he can spice things up; for example at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston he distributed bottles of salsa.  State Republicans have criticized Gov. Richardson for leading a lifestyle "of the rich and famous." [2005 radio ad].

In Spring 2000 Richardson, then serving as Secretary of Energy, was seen as a strong possible pick for Vice President Al Gore's running mate until June, when reports of missing computer hard drives at Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory filled the news.  In the 2004 cycle his name again came up in vice presidential speculation.  It did not happen, but Richardson worked for the Democratic ticket and had a prominent role as chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, although he was unable to swing New Mexico for the Kerry-Edwards ticket.  Richardson's PAC, Moving America Forward, formed in mid-2002, was active through the 2004 cycle.  MAF registered 77,525 voters in Florida, New Mexico and Colorado, including 10,571 Native Americans, and spent roughly $2.5 million before he shut it down in early 2005.  Richardson also formed a charitable entity, Moving America Forward Foundation, a 501(c)(3) in Oct. 2003.  MAFF registered 76,920 voters in Nevada and Arizona, including 13,795 Native Americans, and trained 469 future Hispanic and Native American leaders around the country; MAFF also spent about $2.5 million.  More recently, Richardson's position as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in both 2005 and 2006 afforded him a national stage.  Thirty-six governorships were up in 2006, and he led the charge with the not too subtle tag line "I won't wait for '08."

Announcement of end of candidacy, Santa Fe, NM, Jan. 10, 2008.  [prepared remarks]
Announcement of candidacy, Los Angeles, CA, May 21, 2007.  [prepared remarks]

DNC Winter Meeting, Washington, DC, Feb. 3, 2007.  [transcript]
Exploratory announcement on website, Jan. 21, 2007.  [transcript]
IAFF Legislative Conference, Washington, DC, March 20, 2006.  [transcript]
Politics & Eggs, Bedford, NH, June 7, 2005.  [transcript]

Readings and Articles
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution. John Wiley & Sons, Inc..  October 2007.
"...he presents an integrated, comprehensive program to radically and quickly reduce America's oil dependence, create long-term energy security for the United States, and protect the world's climate."

with Michael Ruby. BETWEEN WORLDS: The Making of a Political LifePutnam Publishing Group.  November 2005.
"A rising star of the Democratic Party tells the fascinating story of the ways his multicultural heritage and political education have shaped his dreams for America and given him vital lessons in the art of successful negotiating."

Local newspapers provided some of the most detailed coverage of Richardson and his campaign. The Santa Fe New Mexican had a special page, "The Richardson File: Following the New Mexico governor's campaign," as did the Albuquerque Tribune with its "Bill Richardson's Quest: Bill Richardson's Road to the White House."  The Albuquerque Journal ran a five-part series, "High Ambition: Richardson Eyes the White House," on successive Sundays from Jan. 21 to Feb. 18, 2007.

Nov. 30, 2007 - DNC Fall Meeting.
Sept. 17, 2007 - SEIU Member Political Action Conference.
June 19, 2007 - AFSCME Democratic Presidential Forum.
June 2, 2007 - New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention in Concord, NH.

May 27, 2007 - After appearance on NBC News' "Meet the Press."
May 17, 2007 - New America Foundation forum.

March 28, 2007 - AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department presidential forum.
March 28, 2007 - "Preventing a Nuclear 9-11" speech at SAIS.
March 14, 2007 - IAFF 2008 Presidential Forum.
Feb. 27, 2007 - Latino Leaders Network luncheon.
Feb. 25, 2007 - AFGE Legislative Conference.
Feb. 3, 2007 - DNC Winter meeting.

Dec. 8, 2006 - One of several governors to speak at an event organized by the Apollo Alliance.

Dec. 6, 2006 - Democratic Governors Association press conference.
Aug. 17, 2006 - In Iowa.  [Courtesy of a Richardson aide].
March 20, 2006 - IAFF Legislative Conference.

Nov. 9, 2005 - Hailing the results of the elections with DNC Chair Howard Dean.

Feb. 28, 2005 - Democratic Governors Association press conference.

offices: IA, 2



Total Contributions
Total Receipts
Total Disbursements
Cash on Hand/Debts
Cycle to Date
l $1,000,000.00

$24,319,861.76 $24,319,203.24
May 2008
(Apr. 1-Apr. 30)
$62,718.32 $72,186.36 $658.52
April 2008
(Mar. 1-Mar. 31)
$64,163.70 $94,976.52 $10,126.56
Mar. 2008
(Feb. 1-Feb. 29)
$117,942.08 $902,892.96 $40,939.38
Feb. 2008
(Jan. 1-Jan. 31)
$404,006.47 $1,391,582.07 $825,890.26
Year End 2007
(Oct. 1-Dec. 31)
$3,898,226.60 l $1,000,000.00
$4,971,094.59 $8,979,216.55 $1,813,465.86
3rd Q 2007
(Jul. 1-Sep. 30)

2nd Q 2007 1
(Apr. 1-Jun.30)

1st Q 2007 1
(Jan. 1-Mar. 31)


On the Web
(May 21, 2007 grab-- launched)
(Jan. 21, 2007 grab-- launched)
(Dec. 5, 2006 grab)
(April 25, 2006 grab)

Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action