Richardson mulls gentleman rancher role

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First Lady says she and Bill plan to remain our neighbors

By Jay Miller

“I want to remain in New Mexico and become a gentleman rancher.” That is Gov. Bill Richardson’s latest life-after-governor pronouncement.
It occurred recently as part of remarks the governor made thanking the Governor’s Mansion Foundation for its efforts in furnishing the public areas of our governor’s mansion.
First Lady Barbara Richardson also expressed thanks  and ended her remarks saying the couple plans to remain our neighbors, perhaps within a few blocks of the mansion.
There go all my uneducated guesses  about both of them having New Mexico in their rear view mirror.  Of course, this may not be the final word but it came less than a month from their moving out date.
We heard Gov. Richardson say for years that he had no interest in running for president or vice president. But maybe he is closer to the truth this time.
Richardson loves to ride and hunt. He can do that while serving on corporate boards and accepting speaking engagements, which bring in a nice income. He recently re-expressed his lack of interest in heading the Motion Picture Association.
If Richardson decides to remain in Santa Fe, he will join former govs. Jerry Apodaca and Toney Anaya as Santa Fe residents. Bruce King always went back to the ranch in Stanley. Gary Johnson never cared for Santa Fe. He now bases out of the Taos Ski Valley. Garrey Carruthers moved back to Las Cruces and Dave Cargo lives in Albuquerque.
The Mansion Foundation is an interesting political phenomenon. I’ve mentioned it before but here’s a little more background. The condition of the governor’s residence isn’t exactly a high priority of the legislature.
Neither is the governor’s suite of offices on the top floor of the state Capitol Building. Many governors and their staff have complained about the poor service they get from the landlord, the Legislative Council Service.
In the early 1980s, after Gov. Toney Anaya vetoed the legislature’s appropriation for its own expenses. Lawmakers responded by evicting the governor’s office from the Capitol Building. Guess that shows who’s boss.
The same tension exists between the Legislature and the first family. Why does the governor’s house need a grand piano? What do you mean, it needs tuning? Why do they need all that silver, china and crystal?
Governors always have furnished their private quarters but none have ever had sufficient furniture for the public areas of the house. And when they did use their own furniture and paintings, they often weren’t a New Mexican decor.
So First Lady Kathy Carruthers came up with the idea for a private foundation that would raise the funds and work with the first family on the decor and upkeep of the public areas of the mansion.
The incoming first family is likely to especially appreciate the help of the foundation in keeping up the residence. This will be the first time New Mexico has had a first gentleman and unless Chuck Franco has some special talents he has yet to reveal, he may appreciate the help.
A star is born:
New Mexico’s “Mine That Bird,” is about to become a movie star. Mine That Bird astounded the world of racing with its stretch drive to win the Kentucky Derby last year.
His story, up through the Derby win, was a rags to riches tear jerker that Hollywood loves.
Evidently Mine That Bird put every thing he had into that victory because he never won again. He finished second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont and continued fading in the big races.
We got to watch him, with Roswell’s Mike Smith aboard, in the Breeders Cup a few weeks ago in which he finished 10th out of 13.
After the race, his owners said he will be retired.
That should give him plenty of time to play himself in the movie, much of which will be filmed in New Mexico.

Jay Miller