Friday, July 08, 2005

Are you one of the chosen 140?

Santa Fe New Mexican - July 7, 2005

Richardson vs Wen Ho Lee

. . . . . . . . . In the Wen Ho Lee decision, Appeals Judge David Sentelle singled out the names of Richardson, Acting Director of DOE, Intelligence & Counterintelligence Notra Trulock and Edward Curran, former direct of the DOE Office of Counterintelligence.

“These three individuals in particular have been identified as likely sources of the leaks, but were unable (or unwilling) to identify the leaker(s).”

. . . . . Chris Garcia, New Mexico political science professor said, “ . . . such a revelation would have to be considered negative. But I think there would be a tremendous damage control measures” Garcia said. “The governor and his staff are pretty good at that.”

“The bad news for Richardson is that it would be an unpleasant episode for him, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center of Politics. “Some of his former colleagues, like Bill Clinton, might be unhappy with him.”

“The good news (for Richardson) is that besides you and me there are probably only 140 in the country who remember Wen Ho Lee. Someone like Bill Richardson has overcome a lot of obstacles. He could overcome this.”

When "Equal Justice Under Law" is a memory (is it fading today?), what does a pension matter? Ask the Russian pensioners.
A comparison between Bill Richardson and a lizard would be insulting to the lizard.
This will help expose Richardson for the arrogant jerk that he is.
Maybe he meant 10^4, which would be closer but still far from the right number. Most scientists remember. Many educated asian-americans remember. Most political junkies remember. The combined set of those three is pretty big, surely over 1% of the US population, or at least 3 million people.

Richardson is a moron with no future in politics outside NM. It would be easy to turn a NYTimes headline and a video of Lee in chains into a pretty nasty ad.
While I agree that Richardson is less than a lizard, and is not more than a moron, WHL was not innocent either.
Two facts:

Richardson is a self-serving jerk.

Wen Ho Lee willfully violated security regulations by copying classified material and removing it from a classified area. His termination by LANL was justified. Had the FBI and DOE not intervened, he would have been terminated a year earlier. They wanted to keep him on board to "gather more evidence." In the end, the FBI made such a mess of things that all but one of the charges were dismissed.
I'm fairly certain that someone with more than two brain cells has informed Bill Richardson that this has the potential to be a negative mark on his '08 run for office (whether that's for another blow for NM as Gov. or for a Nat'l debacle as Pres/VP) since I'm convinced that he can't safely draw many conclusions himself.

BR's staff is probably twice as capable to handle damage control as Chris Garcia implies since they have to double their efforts due to the Gov's innate ability to bungle things twice as badly by attempting to address or fix them and then adding to the mess by trying to be his own PR spokesperson and coming off as a sebaceous disingenuous gladhander who speaks from both sides of his mouth.

We can only hope that NM is the last stop for BR's political aspirations and the outfall from his incompetence for public service here at home (NM or US). I will give him credit for his history with int'l negotiations with the understanding that there probably is a valuable use for the double-speak and disingenuous babble in which he excels.

I thought Bill Richardson was going to help NM, namely that he was going to take our abysmal education system, improve it beyond our imagination and use it as a model for success for the whole US, thus creating a marketable platfrom on which to run a Presidential campaign. 3 years into his term and is there any progress toward anything impressive enough to claim as a success on any topic, education or otherwise?

There should at least be one segment of the population that should be squarely opposed to voting BR into any office - all who were impacted by the sequence of events beginning with the Wen Ho Lee fiasco.

As for BR's former colleagues, Clinton is much more clever and has charisma and personal presence, unlike BR, which carries him forward regardless of any character gaps, lapses in judgement or tainted associations. He also has Hillary who either compels him or competes with him for power. Regardless, BR may be hoping for a rekindling of the power-connection but Clinton will probably have a memory loss if/when BR seeks his endorsement if there is mud on BR's hands as implied in this article. I hope he doesn't 'overcome' this, I hope this overwhelms him politically (among the many other things that SHOULD neuter his plans).
Note that a LANL manager, Lillian Montoya Rael, community relations director, is on the short list for Bill Richardson's pick for the state's first higher education secretary according to the story at though I don't recall seeing anything firsthand that this particular manager has done or at least nothing that's been attributed to her. I have heard from others that she is sharp and genuinely concerned about people.
To note 7/10/2005 10:25:02 PM: The position is for higher education secretary, where does Lillian Montoya-Rael fit in this title. Just because she works at the LAB does not mean she knows a thing about high education, others on the short-list are at least involved in higher education.
[from 7/10/2005 10:25:02]

I don't know what her resume holds so I'm not sure what qualifications may have gotten her onto the short list. Hopefully there will be an honest review of the qualifications of each candidate before a selection is made and that the appointee will truly bring something worthwhile to the table and advance higher education in New Mexico to significantly improved levels.
3:12 - Isn't that pretty much the same as having Bill Richardson as Secy of Energy?
Honest review by Richardson is impossible, Montoya-Rael is a political choice doesn't matter if she knows anything or not. As for Richardson as Sec. of Energy, history shows that wasn't a good choice either.
Ah, then perhaps the real value we can hope to see is history will be useful in preventing future failure by having more than 140 people watching and listening to the details of this case.

Personally, I would trade my disdain for WHL's actions and hold him up as a demi-hero, albeit tainted and coincidental, if this current action prevents BR from attaining any more political clout or being able to fill any more political offices.
7/12/2005 08:54:24 PM AMEN to your second paragraph.
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