Vivid mix of politics and investments explode

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By Sherry Robinson

  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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