In Memoriam Governor Bill Richardson - Part Two
Air Dates: September 16-18, 2023
"Being governor was the best job I ever had. Even though I had some very good jobs at the UN, the Congress, I loved it... being governor, you run the show. I liked the power, but to do the right thing, and I liked the bi-partisanship. So, to answer your question, what did I like the most…. That we were able to do things together – Republicans and Democrats."
-- Governor Bill Richardson
Sept. 13, 2023 -- This week, REPORT FROM SANTA FE continues to mourn the passing of Governor Bill Richardson, New Mexico's popular former governor who died on September 1, 2023.
REPORT FROM SANTA FE presents Part 2 of a two-part, in-depth interview conducted earlier this year, now presented as “In Memoriam Governor Bill Richardson," In this program, Richardson shares special back-story details, and elaborates on his many well-recognized state, national, and international endeavors.
Focusing on some of his major accomplishments like the passage and signing of the medical marijuana bill, ending the death penalty in NM (with special thanks to Rep. Gail Chasey for her efforts to get this accomplished), establishing the Rail Runner and the Spaceport, enhancing the Film Commission, passing the first gay rights legislation, Richardson also savored some smaller political accolades like holding the Guinness World Record for the number of handshakes in eight hours by a politician.
The Governor had a long and deep relationship with Native Americans. In his capacity as Energy Secretary under Clinton, he was able to facilitate the largest transfer of land back to a tribe, and his foundation championed obtaining Covid assistance for the Navajo Nation. He also made a deal with Nike for tennis shoes for kids in the chapter houses.
Bill Richardson was a great New Mexican, an epic statesman and diplomat, and a treasured friend who enriched the lives of many individuals, New Mexicans, Americans, and the international community. As a former UN Ambassador, he understood the intricacies of international relations, and his great charm and sense of humor enhanced his communications with everyone - from world leaders to common folk.
Through his foundation, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, he worked tirelessly to secure the release of Americans detained abroad and conducted other humanitarian missions. His devotion to the cause of Americans who were being held hostage, or whom he believed were being wrongfully detained overseas, earned him two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. Richardson lived a life of dedicated public service. With Bill Richardson's passing the world has lost a visionary, brilliant, and compassionate leader.