Bill Richardson

Bill Richardson

Infobox Governor
name = Bill Richardson

imagesize = 180px
caption = Governor Bill Richardson in Kensington, New Hampshire, 2006
order = 30th
office = Governor of New Mexico
term_start = January 1, 2003
term_end =
lieutenant = Diane Denish
predecessor = Gary E. Johnson
successor = Incumbent
order3 = 22nd
order2 = 9th United States Secretary of Energy
predecessor2 = Federico Peña
successor2 = Spencer Abraham
president2 = Bill Clinton
term_start2 = August 18, 1998
term_end2 = January 20, 2001
ambassador_from3=United States
country3= the United Nations
term_start3= January 21, 1997
term_end3= August 18, 1998
president3= Bill Clinton
predecessor3= Madeleine Albright
successor3= Richard Holbrooke
state4 = New Mexico
district4 = 3rd
predecessor4 = N/A (newly created district)
successor4 = William T. Redmond
term_start4 = January 3, 1983
term_end4 = February 13, 1997
birth_date = birth date and age|1947|11|15
birth_place = Pasadena, California, USA
residence= Santa Fe, New Mexico
alma_mater =Tufts University
spouse = Barbara Richardson
alma_mater = Tufts University
party = Democratic
religion = Roman Catholic
occupation= Diplomat, Business Consultant
website = [ Welcome to the New Mexico Office of the Governor, Bill Richardson]

William Blaine "Bill" Richardson III (born November 15, 1947) is the current Governor of New Mexico and was a candidate for the 2008 Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States. He was involved in several diplomatic efforts as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and afterwards. He emphasized foreign policy issues during his Presidential run. He has previously served as a U.S. Representative, Ambassador to the United Nations, and as the U.S. Secretary of Energy. [cite web |url= |title=Richardson, William Blaine: Biographical Information |publisher=Library of Congress ] He was chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention as well as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association in 2005 and 2006, overseeing the Democrats' re-capturing of a majority of the country's governorships. Richardson has been recognized for negotiating the release of hostages, American servicemen, and political prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, and Cuba.

Early life and education

Bill Richardson was born at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California to María Luisa López-Collada Márquez (born in Mexico City in 1914cite web |url= |title=Ancestry of Bill Richardson|publisher=WARGS (William Addams Reitweisner Geneaological Services)] ) and William Blaine Richardson Jr. (1891–1972), a Nicaragua-born Citibank executive who lived and worked in Mexico City for decades. It was his mother who largely took care of him during his youth. He has a younger sister, Vesta. Just before Richardson was born, his mother was sent to California, where her husband's sister lived, to give birth because, as Richardson explained, "My father had a complex about not having been born in the United States."cite news|url= |title=The Pro-Familia Candidate |author=Joel Achenbach |publisher="Washington Post" |date=2007-05-27 |accessdate=2008-01-01] Three of his four grandparents were Mexican citizens, and he identifies himself as Hispanic. Richardson, a U.S. citizen by birthright, was raised during his childhood in Mexico City. At age 13, Richardson's parents sent him to Massachusetts to attend a Boston-area preparatory school, Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, where he played baseball as a pitcher. He entered Tufts University in 1966 where he continued to play baseball.

Richardson's original biographies stated that he had been drafted by the Kansas City Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers to play professional baseball, but a 2005 Albuquerque Journal investigation revealed that he never was on any official draft. Richardson acknowledged the error which he claimed was unintentional, saying that he had been scouted by several teams and told that he "would or could" be drafted, but was mistaken in saying that he was actually drafted. [cite news |url= |title=Richardson backs off baseball claim |publisher=Associated Press |date=2005-11-25 |accessdate=2008-01-01]

In 1967 he pitched in the amateur Cape Cod Baseball League for the Cotuit Kettleers in Cotuit, Massachusetts. A Kettleers program included the words "Drafted by K.C." The information which according to the investigation was generally provided by the players or their college coaches. Richardson said::"When I saw that program in 1967, I was convinced I was drafted...And it stayed with me all these years." [ [ Four decades later, Richardson acknowledges he wasn't drafted by pro baseball team] - Associated Press - November 24, 2005 (via]

He earned a Bachelor's degree at Tufts in 1970, majoring in French and political science and was a brother and president of Delta Tau Delta. He went on to earn a master's degree in international affairs from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1971. While still in high school, he met his future wife, Barbara Flavin. They married in 1972 and have no children.

Early political career

After college, Richardson worked for Republican Congressman F. Bradford Morse from Massachusetts. He was later a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Richardson worked on congressional relations for the Henry Kissinger State Department during the Nixon Administration. In 1978, he moved to Santa Fe and ran for Congress in 1980 as a Democrat, losing narrowly to longtime 1st District congressman and future United States Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan (R). Two years later, Richardson was elected to New Mexico's newly created third district, taking in most of the northern part of the state.

U.S. Congressman

Richardson spent a little more than 14 years in Congress. As a congressman, he kept his interest in foreign relations. He visited Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, India, North Korea, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Sudan to represent U.S. interests.

Richardson served as Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in the 98th Congress (1983–1985) and as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Native American Affairs in the 103rd Congress (1993–1994). While in the House, Richardson sponsored bills such as the Indian Tribal Justice Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments, the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act, the American Indian Agricultural Resource Management Act, the Indian Dams Safety Act, the Tribal Self-Governance Act, the Indian Tribal Jurisdiction Bill (commonly known as the “Duro Fix”) and the Jicarilla Apache Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act.

In 1996, he traveled to Baghdad with Peter Bourne and engaged in lengthy one-on-one negotiations with Saddam Hussein to secure the release of two American aerospace workers who had been captured by the Iraqis after wandering over the Kuwaiti border. He became a member of the Democratic leadership, where he worked closely with Bill Clinton on several issues.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

In 1997, Clinton appointed Richardson as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. As ambassador, he represented the United States in UN proceedings regarding the Palestinian National Authority and the State of Israel, [ [!OpenDocument Yearbook of the United Nations 1997] ] the completion of negotiations that strengthened the role and mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme regarding ecologically sustainable development, [ [ "1997ndash Nairobi Declaration redefines and strengthens UNEP's role and mandate"] . United Nations Environment Programme.] as well as other duties of an ambassador to the UN. Richardson served there until 1998, when he was appointed U.S. Secretary of Energy, a post that he held for the remainder of the Clinton administration. According to his autobiography, Richardson was asked by the White House in 1997 to interview Monica Lewinsky for a job on his staff at the UN. Richardson did so, and offered her a position, which she declined. [Irvine, Reed and Cliff Kincaid. [ "Bill Richardson Caught In Clinton Undertow"] . "Media Monitor". August 21, 1998.]

U.S. Secretary of Energy

The Senate confirmed Richardson to be Clinton's Secretary of Energy on July 31, 1998. His tenure at the Department of Energy was marred by the Wen Ho Lee nuclear espionage scandal. Richardson was also criticized by the Senate for his handling of the espionage inquiry by not testifying in front of Congress sooner. Richardson justified his response by saying that he was waiting to uncover more information before speaking to Congress.Christopher McCaleb, Ian, [ "Richardson says FBI has determined drives did not leave Los Alamos"] , "CNN", June 21, 2000]

Richardson created the Director for Native American Affairs position in the Department in 1998, and in January 2000 oversaw the largest return of federal lands, 84,000 acres (340 km²) to an Indian Tribe (the Northern Ute Tribe of Utah) in more than 100 years. CNN staffs and wire reports, [ "U.S. land transfer to Utah tribe would be largest in 100 years"] , "CNN", January 14, 2000] Richardson also directed the overhaul of the Department's consultation policy with Native American tribes and established the Tribal Energy Program.

Educational and corporate positions

With the end of the Clinton administration in January 2001, Richardson took on a number of different positions. He was an adjunct professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and a lecturer at the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West.Pickler, Nedra, [, "Richardson declares presidential campaign"] , "The Denver Post", May 22, 2007] In 2000, Bill Richardson was awarded a United States Institute of Peace Senior Fellowship. He spent the next year researching and writing on the negotiations with North Korea and the energy dimensions of U.S. relations.

Richardson also joined Kissinger McLarty Associates, a "strategic advisory firm" headed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Clinton White House chief of staff Mack McLarty, as Senior Managing Director. [ [ Fundación Consejo España-EEUU Bio] ] He also served on the corporate boards of several energy companies, including Valero Energy Corporation and Diamond Offshore Drilling. He withdrew from these boards after being nominated by the Democratic Party for governor of New Mexico, but retained considerable stock holdings in Valero and Diamond Offshore.Worden, Nat, [, "Big Oil Ties Could Muck Up Richardson's Bid"] , "", June 11, 2007] He would later sell these stocks during his campaign for President in 2007, saying he was "getting questions" about the propriety of these holdings, especially given his past as energy secretary, and that it had become a "distraction."Associated Press, [,2933,277154,00.html, "Bill Richardson Sells Stock in Valero Energy Corp. Amid Questions"] , "Fox News", June 1, 2007]

Governor of New Mexico

Richardson was elected governor of New Mexico in November 2002, having defeated the Republican candidate, John Sanchez, 56–39 percent. He succeeded a two-term Republican governor, Gary E. Johnson. He took office in January 2003 as the only Hispanic Governor in the United States, other than then-Governor Sila María Calderón of Puerto Rico. In his first year, Richardson proposed "tax cuts to promote growth and investment" and passed a broad personal income tax cut and won a statewide special election to transfer money from the state's Permanent Fund to meet current expenses and projects. In early 2005, Richardson made New Mexico the first state in the nation to provide $400,000 in life insurance coverage for New Mexico National Guardsmen who serve on active duty. Thirty-five states have since followed suit.

Working with the legislature, he formed Governor Richardson's Investment Partnership (GRIP) in 2003. The partnership has been used to fund large-scale public infrastructure projects throughout New Mexico, including, through the use of highway funds, a brand new commuter rail line (the Railrunner) that runs between Belen, Albuquerque, and Bernalillo. He supported LGBT rights in his career as governor; he added sexual orientation and gender identity to New Mexico's list of civil rights categories. During the summer of 2003, he met with a delegation from North Korea at their request to discuss concerns over that country's use of nuclear energy. At the request of the White House, he also flew to North Korea in 2005, and met with another North Korean delegation in 2006. On December 7, 2006, Richardson was named as the "Special Envoy for Hemispheric Affairs" for the Secretary General of the Organization of American States with the mandate to "promote dialogue on issues of importance to the region, such as immigration and free trade." [ [ Press Releases ] ]

He was named Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and announced a desire to increase the role of Democratic governors in deciding the future of their party.

In 2003, Richardson backed and signed legislation creating a permit system for New Mexicans to carry concealed handguns. He applied for and received a concealed weapons permit, though by his own admission he seldom carries a gun. [ [ Concord Monitor, "Richardson stands out as pro-gun Democrat", 2008] ]

As discussed frequently on CNN, Richardson supported the New Mexico policy of giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.Fact|date=May 2008

In 2006, "Forbes" credited Richardson's reforms in naming Albuquerque, New Mexico the best city in the U.S. for business and careers. The Cato Institute, meanwhile, has consistently rated Richardson as one of the most fiscally responsible Democratic governors in the nation.

In December 2005, Richardson announced the intention of New Mexico to partner with billionaire Richard Branson to bring space tourism to the proposed Spaceport America located near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

In March 2006, Richardson vetoed legislation that would ban the use of eminent domain to transfer property to private developers, as allowed by the Supreme Court's 2005 decision in "Kelo v. City of New London". [ [ "Governor vetoes eminent domain legislation"] Santa Fe New Mexican, March 8, 2006] He promised to work with the legislature to draft new legislation addressing the issue in the 2007 legislative session.

On September 7, 2006, Richardson flew to Sudan to meet Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and successfully negotiated the release of imprisoned journalist Paul Salopek. Salopek had been charged by the Sudanese with espionage on August 26, 2006, while on a "National Geographic" assignment.

Richardson won his second term as Governor of New Mexico on November 7, 2006, 68–32 percent against former New Mexico Republican Party Chairman John Dendahl. Richardson received the highest percentage of votes in any gubernatorial election in the state's history. [ [ "Council Members: Governor Bill Richardson"] New Mexico State Investment Council. "See also New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2006".]

In December 2006, Richardson announced that he would support a ban on cockfighting in New Mexico. [ [ "Governor will support a ban on cockfighting"] Santa Fe New Mexican, December 27, 2006] On March 12, 2007, Richardson signed into law a bill that would ban cockfighting in New Mexico. Puerto Rico is now the only part of the United States where cockfighting is legal. [ [ "Cockfighting outlawed"] KRQE News 13, March 12, 2007]

In January 2007, at the request of the Save Darfur Coalition, he brokered a 60-day cease fire between al-Bashir and leaders of several rebel factions in Darfur, the western Sudanese region. The cease-fire never became effective, however, with allegations of breaches on all sides. [ [ U.S. Governor Brokers Truce For Darfur] "The New York Times", January 11, 2007.]

During New Mexico's most recent legislative session, Richardson signed a bill into law that made New Mexico the 12th state to legalize marijuana for medical reasons. When asked if this would hurt him in a Presidential election, he stated that it did not matter, as it was "the right thing to do." [ [ "Richardson says supporting medical marijuana 'is right thing to do'"] ]

Richardson's current term in office ends in 2011 and he is term-limited from a third term as governor. [citation
title=Constitutional and statutory provisions for number of consecutive terms of elected state officials
publisher=National Governors Association

2008 presidential campaign

Richardson was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential election but dropped out on January 10, 2008 after lackluster showings in the first primary and caucus contests. Despite his long history with the Clinton family, Richardson endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination on March 21, 2008. [ [ "Richardson: 'I am very loyal to the Clintons' "] ] Commentator and Clinton ally James Carville famously compared Richardson to Judas Iscariot for the move. [ [ First a Tense Talk With Clinton, Then Richardson Backs Obama - New York Times ] ] Richardson responded in a "Washington Post" article, feeling "compelled to defend [himself] against character assassination and baseless allegations." [citation
title=Loyalty to My Country
author=Bill Richardson
date=April 1, 2008
publisher=The WashingtonPost

Richardson was a rumored Vice Presidential candidate for Senator and Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama and was fully vetted by the Obama campaign, [ [ NYTimes story about vetting process] . Accessed August 24, 2008.] before Obama chose Joe Biden on August 23, 2008. [ [ CNN story about 20 possible veep nominees] . Accessed August 21, 2008.]


Richardson has authored two books:
*"Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life" autobiography, published March 2007
*"Leading by Example: How We Can Inspire an Energy and Security Revolution" released October 2007

Electoral history



* Brooke, James (December 14, 1996). "Traveling Troubleshooter Is Ready to Settle Down, at the U.N.: THE SECOND TERM: The New Lineup William Blaine Richardson". "The New York Times", pp. 11.
* Rankin, Adam (July 10, 2005). [ "Richardson Named As Likely Source of Wen Ho Lee Leak"] . "Albuquerque Journal". Retrieved on 2007-03-01.

External links

;Official sites
* [ Bill Richardson for President official presidential campaign website]
* [ Governor Bill Richardson's official website]
* [ Final Report of the Attorney General's Review Team on the Handling of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Investigation] aka "The Bellows Report", May 2000

;Databases and topic pages
* [ About.comndash Bill Richardson]
* [ FECndash Bill Richardson] campaign finance disclosure
* [ FollowTheMoneyndash Bill Richardson] campaign contributions (Governor)
* [ OnTheIssuesndash Bill Richardson] issue positions and quotes
* [ OpenSecrets.orgndash Bill Richardson] campaign contributions (President)
* [ Project Vote Smartndash Governor Bill Richardson (NM)] includes bio, campaign finances, voting record, issue positions
* [ USAElectionPollsndash Bill Richardson Poll Results] summarized presidential election polls
* [ Genealogy of Bill Richardson]
* [ Governor Richardson Answers Candidate Questions!] Governor Richardson answers questions regarding disability issues
* [ Bill Richardson shares his ideas on clean energy, global warming and energy independence] Set America Free Coalition presents "Primary Energy: '08" with 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson
* [ Biography and issue positions] at

;Media coverage
* [ Video of Richardson endorsing Obama for president] , "The Huffinton Post", March 21, 2008
* [ "Richardson Enters the 2008 Race"] "ABC News" "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" television interview, January 21, 2007
* [ "NM Governor Richardson Calls Special Legislative Session to Investigate Price Gouging and Energy Cost"] "Democracy Now!"
* [ "Richardson's Run"] "Heath Haussamen on New Mexico Politics"
* [ "Bill Richardson News"] "The New York Times" news and commentary archive
* [ Richardson's comment that the Democratic race will be over in January 2008 after the first 4 state contests]
* [ "Annals of Diplomacy Backfire"] "The New Yorker", Carl Nagin
* [ Vote 2008: Bill Richardson] , The Online NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
* [ "The Richardson File"] "The Santa Fe New Mexican" comprehensive news and archive index
* [ "See Bill Run"] "Santa Fe Reporter" news archive
* [,8599,1653552,00.html?cnn=yes "Richardson walks fine line on Immigration"] CNN.
* [ Video of Richardson weighing Clinton Obama endorsement at UCLA] , "UCLA Newsroom", March 11, 2008

;2006 New Mexico gubernatorial campaign
* [ Governor Richardson's Campaign website]
** [ Governor Richardson's Campaign blogndash "The Plaza"]

###@@@KEY@@@###succession box
before= Federico Pena
title=United States Secretary of Energy
Under President Bill Clinton
years=August 18, 1998–January 20, 2001
after=Spencer Abraham
succession box
before= Gary E. Johnson
title=Governor of New Mexico
years=January 1, 2003 - present
succession box
before= Martin Chavez
title=Democratic Party nominee for Governor of New Mexico
years=2002, 2006
after=Most recent
succession box
before= Terry McAuliffe
title=Permanent Chairman of the Democratic National Convention
after=Nancy Pelosi
succession box
before= ?
title=Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association
after=Joe Manchin

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