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Richardson Adviser Worked for Firm Feds Probing

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - One of Gov. Bill Richardson's longtime
friends and political advisers worked as a consultant for the
California firm at the center a federal pay-to-play investigation
that derailed the Democratic governor's appointment as commerce
secretary.
A Denver-based firm operated by Mike Stratton was a consultant
for CDR Financial Products on business in New Mexico, including in
2004 when the company worked on bond deals with the New Mexico
Finance Authority that are part of the grand jury investigation. It
earned almost $1.5 million in fees for those transactions.
Stratton's work for CDR is significant because as a longtime,
close friend and adviser to Richardson he was in position to know
about the governor's fundraising machinery, including the
committees that received contributions from CDR.
CDR and its chief executive, David Rubin, contributed $110,000
to Richardson political committees in 2003-2005. Federal
investigators are looking at whether political contributions
influenced the decision to hire CDR.


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