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State Investment Officer Gary Bland is the latest fall guy in the unraveling cloak of connections and contracts. It wasn’t exactly a surprise.
The surprise is that Bland lasted this long.
His was a political appointment that didn’t compute. A total unknown, Bland had managed a pension fund for Boeing. Suddenly he was responsible for New Mexico’s Permanent Funds, one of the nation’s biggest trust funds. Even though he’d peaked as a vice president for his last 16 years with Boeing, the governor called Bland “a leader who will take the office in a new direction.”
I always wondered how Bland ended up here. We now know he was close to the governor’s pal Anthony Correa, who is in the news a lot lately.
It didn’t take Bland long to stumble. An advisory group failed to do its homework on the first two investments to be made directly into companies under a new program. Bland and the equally inexperienced Economic Development Secretary Rick Homans walked away with black eyes. The program chose a new advisor, Fort Washington Capital Partners.
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