Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has passed on, ending the Clinton-era Democratic Party while a new radical socialist brand of Democrats has grabbed power to take over.
(Video Credit: KOAT)
Richardson was an old-school Democrat who surfaced politically in 1982. He went on to work with former President Bill Clinton and was a diplomat who won the release of numerous prisoners from US foreign enemies. The moderate policies such as free trade and bipartisanship that Democrats at that time were known for are now fading away and being replaced by something far worse than what was experienced under Clinton.
As the former governor and his legacy passes on, American politics has radically shifted and things are likely to get much worse before they ever get better, if they ever do. The new Democratic Guard is nothing like the old one once was.
Richardson was known for his willingness to work with others across the aisle. Something that is almost never seen anymore.
He was a friend of Clinton’s and shared his ideology. Richardson was instrumental in passing the NAFTA free-trade agreement and then he was tapped as UN ambassador. He was not untainted by scandal though. Richardson was accused of taking bribes and being involved with sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Hillary and I are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Governor Bill Richardson, a devoted public servant and skilled diplomat whose career improved countless lives in New Mexico, across America, and around the world. My full statement: https://t.co/tv05fJZHsh pic.twitter.com/DV5MTkuRnC
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) September 3, 2023
To get a feel for just how different Richardson was compared to today’s Democrats, one need only look at his economic record while governor of New Mexico.
“Richardson was governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011. He had the good fortune of succeeding Gary Johnson. You see, while New Mexico used to be a purple state on the national stage, its legislature was and has remained a stronghold of big-government Democrats. Johnson, known to many New Mexicans as ‘Governor No,’ was known for his prodigious use of the veto pen. As a libertarian-leaning Republican, he did this, in part, to keep a lid on government spending,” National Review reported.
“Johnson’s attempts to get tax cuts through the heavily Democratic New Mexico legislature proved fruitless, but when Richardson took over in 2003, he immediately pushed for significant tax reductions. He cut the state’s top income-tax rate from 8.2 percent to 4.9 percent and reduced capital-gains taxes dramatically,” the media outlet continued.
“He wasn’t just a tax-cutting Democrat. In his era, he was arguably the best tax-cutting governor in the nation. This paid off in strong job-creation numbers and personal-income growth, and New Mexico jumped from the 47th- to the 42nd-ranked state in personal incomes in just a few years. Pro-growth economic policy is no longer an element of Democratic politics,” National Review pointed out.
We lost an ambassador for freedom with the passing of Bill Richardson.
He was relentless in his quest to free American citizens and members of our military imprisoned by hostile countries.
His selfless advocacy was a blessing for many American families. He will be missed.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) September 2, 2023
Despite tax-cutting success in his state, Richardson’s conservatism pretty much ended there. He succumbed to the lure of Democrats “putting significant taxpayer resources into big-government boondoggles.”
And a lot of what he did was to pave the way for a possible presidential bid.
“It is worth noting that much of this (good and bad) was leading up to a run for the White House in 2008. As governor of a small, impoverished state with a low national profile, Richardson, who already had federal-government experience, believed that he needed a splashy track record of transforming New Mexico’s economy,” National Review noted.
“To that end, he created the Rail Runner commuter train, which began operation in 2006 and runs nearly 100 miles, from the south of Albuquerque to the state capital in Santa Fe. It cost more than a mind-blowing $1 billion to build (it needed 20 miles of brand-new track) and requires more than $20 million in annual taxpayer subsidies to operate. Despite running between two of New Mexico’s largest cities, much of the route is sparsely populated. As with so many transit systems in the Covid and post-Covid eras, it continues to lose what little ridership it had,” the media outlet stated.
Today, we mourn the loss of a remarkable political figure, Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, Secretary of Energy, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Member of Congress. The U.S. bids farewell to a notable leader, while the Iranian Resistance loses a devoted… pic.twitter.com/9hJXWNo2UA
— Alireza Jafarzadeh (@A_Jafarzadeh) September 3, 2023
Richardson also secured taxpayer funds for Spaceport America a decade ago. It was meant to be the “world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.” It has not been a raging success by any means.
He also backed personal-jet manufacturer Eclipse Aviation and solar-panel manufacturer Schott Solar. Both went belly-up.
“Finally, Richardson laid the groundwork for New Mexico’s costly film subsidies, which have helped the film industry while failing to more broadly develop New Mexico’s economy. The program, as Richardson designed it, led to New Mexico taxpayers reimbursing Hollywood film producers for up to 25 percent of their overall expenses for filming in the state,” National Review wrote.
“Highlighting his relative moderation, Richardson (gently) reproached Governor Lujan Grisham for her overly zealous and failed Covid lockdown strategy. He also (sagely) urged state legislators and Lujan Grisham to avoid raising taxes in the most recent legislative session. During this session, New Mexico had a $3.6 billion (42 percent) year-over-year budget surplus, yet Democrats in the legislature were seriously considering a number of tax hikes,” the outlet added, also noting they did not pass.
Last week, Bill Richardson was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless work to free hostages and political prisoners in other countries.
This morning, this very good man died.
Rest in peace, dear sir. Thank you for your service to our country. pic.twitter.com/4Wg3v8tfjx
— D. Earl Stephens (@EarlOfEnough) September 2, 2023
Overall, Richardson’s passing is one more reminder of what the Democratic Party used to be and is no longer. They have lurched so far to the left that politicians like Richardson would no longer be welcome in their radical midst. His willingness to be bipartisan and work with Republicans is something that is missing in the Democratic Party today and, many fear, is not likely to return anytime soon.
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