NMFA’s fraudulent audit is a big deal

Comments

  1. EW-aif says:

    Heath reports: “Here’s a reminder of NMFA’s role in that scandal from Bloomberg News: …”  This is a 2006 article.  

    The conclusion of that investigation was the June conviction of three bit players in USA v. Carollo, where the big bosses got off by testifying against their underlings.  The June  21, 2012 article was written by Matt Taibbi and is titled “The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia.”  Here’s a link:  
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620.

    Several paragraphs were devoted to Richardson, culminating with “What we get from this is that CDR paid Bill Richardson $100,000 in contributions [to the “Moving America Forward” PAC] and got $1.5 million in public money in return.  …
    “To grasp the full insanity of these revelations, one must step back and consider all this information together: the bribes, yes, but also the industrywide, anti-competitive bid-rigging scheme. It turns into a kind of unbroken Möbius strip of corruption – the banks pay middlemen to rig auctions, the middlemen bribe politicians to win business, then the politicians choose the middlemen to run the auctions, leading right back to the banks bribing the middlemen to rig the bids.”

     Gee, and I was so thrilled to receive a $1,000 donation from Big Bill when I first ran for the legislature in 2006…

  2. Mick says:

    Good points, Skeptic. This is disgusting.

    One of the major points of the Progressive Movement, historically, has been the elimination of the Spoils System. For this to be successful we must have a strong and well led Civil Service that is supported by all parties. For those who are political appointees, we must also have high standards. [A strong, well led Civil Service, might actually lead to a smaller-sized government.]

    I was disappointed in Governor Richardson when, first upon taking office, he demanded the resignations of appointees from the previous administration whose terms had not expired, and, secondly, when he wanted a signed resignation letter in his pocket as a condition of appointment for new appointees. Bad Civics. I was pleased with Governor Richardson when he held the line against Redistricting out of sequence with the 10 Year Census, even though this likely would have helped my party, the Democrats. Good Civics.

    I am also disappointed when Representative Pearce calls career civil servants Talking Heads. This is insulting, especially in an environment where a civil servant may fear for his job if he crosses a powerful congressman. Bad Civics. I understand that Mr. Pearce and his office provide helpful constituent services, and that’s good Civics. [If you have time on your hands, search CSPAN for Mr. Pearce’s behavior during Committee when Government Employees are trying to answer his questions. [You can be the judge; Good Civics or Bad Civics?]

    In general, Good Civics is Good Government. A measure of character is how well the party in power practices what they preached when they were the party out of power. We the People, need to support our elected leaders and help them do the right thing. We should save our serious arguments for serious matters. There are some important issues that cause us to divide into parties, but principle should trump party. Is 31 votes on the Health Care good civics, or theatrics?

    And, back to the specific question at hand; let’s all support and encourage the State Auditor in his efforts to do his duty in this matter of the NMFA.

    Michael J. Flynn

     

  3. new_direction_2010 says:

    My only concern with Balderas is that Big Bill did appoint/annoint him to Auditor back in 2006…so there is some good ‘ol fashioned NM political patronage factors that will be difficult for him to transcend as he seeks higher office.

  4. Skeptic says:

    This is truly disgusting.

    The Abq Journal of Saturday has a good rundown.

    Despicable fraud number 2 by Richardson campaign contributor.

    Now the question is again whether quid pro quo is prosecutable.

    One can’t blame Democrats for Richardson’s acts, but it does go to philosophy –
    the more government programs there are, the more opportunity for people in governornment to
    be corrupted by the powers they have.

    I’m hoping there’s more outrage once people understand, but if the defrauding of
    $90 million from the state in the retirement fund scandal didn’t get people upset,
    I’m not sure the $100 or $200 ( who knows how much more at this point )  is going to matter.

    But it should, of course. When the big banks entered into unfathomable credit default swaps,
    and later cost society, people were outraged. Now that our own state government has done
    the same thing – where is the outrage?
     
    One thing that’s clear to me is that ALL the agencies and entities set up to avoid the legislature
    should once again be accountable to the legislature. That means the NMFA is dissolved and
    the SIC reverts back to the way it was.

    #@$!$$$! !!
     

  5. new_direction_2010 says:

    Hats off to Mr. Balderas for pursuing this….if he prevails I may actually be convinced to vote for him for governor (especially if emailgate continues it’s downward spiral against Susana).

    “Harris is still Executive VP of Finance and Administration at UNM with a very lucrative compensation package. Under Harris and former President, Schmidley, UNM has had its own share of controversy and scandal.”

    I completely agree with GFA…Harris needs to be investigated and put out to pasture once and for all.  He selfishly engineered his lofty feathered nest at UNM by concocting questionable tax payer funded mega-deals for Big Bill to position Richardson’s run for prez.  We all know where that one went…

  6. GFA says:

    Your mention of the NMFA’s history of scandal prompted my search for this item that appeared in a Feb. 2, 2009 article in the Albuquerque Journal on the NMFA:
     
    “J.P. Morgan, UBS and RBC were chosen in 2003 from among nine firms that had been prequalified by the New Mexico Finance Authority to handle bond underwriting for the state. The finance authority, which issues bonds for state and local projects, was headed at the time by David Harris, who previously served as Richardson’s deputy chief of staff. Harris organized the team of GRIP bond underwriters and advisers after the Legislature approved GRIP at a special session in November 2003, according to NMFA board meeting minutes. Harris also helped plan the financing for GRIP and shepherded the transportation package through the Legislature. Harris, who left the NMFA after the GRIP financing details were approved to become a University of New Mexico vice president, has declined comment. His lawyer says his client denies any wrongdoing. Harris’ successor, Bill Sisneros, said the nine firms in the NMFA underwriting pool had gone through a competitive process well in advance of the GRIP project and had been “ranked.” J.P. Morgan, UBS and RBC shared $5 million in underwriting fees with a fourth firm after GRIP bonds were sold in April 2004. In addition to underwriting, J.P. Morgan, UBS and RBC were among the five investment banks that entered into interest rate swaps with the state for $421 million of the GRIP financing package. CDR received $1.4 million for advising the state on the swap contracts and for handling related escrow services.”
     
    Harris is still Executive VP of Finance and Administration at UNM with a very lucrative compensation package. Under Harris and former President, Schmidley, UNM has had its own share of controversy and scandal.

  7. ched macquigg says:

    NMFA quickly announced that it had retained a law firm “to conduct a thorough investigation…

    and acting in whose interests, the people or the NMFA leadership.
     
    Why in the world would we waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on their self-investigation.  We’re already paying for the Auditor’s Office to investigate, and we will pay for the Attorney General to investigate; there’s no need for another (biased) investigation.

  8. Dr. J says:

    The State Auditor is also at fault here.  He goes out and audits all the Republicans, like Pat Lyons, but never audited Old Bill’s play-toys like the NMFA.  He should have been regularly auditing that, one of the largest and most prone to corruption departments in state government.  Where have you been all these years Hector?  Running for Senate?  Trying to politic your way to the next job?  Right.