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          Front Page




Richardson Collects $33,000 in March for Presidential Campaign

By Barry Massey/
Associated Press
      SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson's presidential campaign owed debts of about $369,000 at the end of March and had a cash balance of about $10,000, according to the latest federal campaign finance report.
    Richardson collected $33,095 in contributions in March to help retire his campaign debts but refunded about $9,600 of that.
    The largest contributor was a political action committee affiliated with the National Education Association, a union representing teachers, $5,000. James Parkey, an Irving, Texas architect, contributed $2,300 — the maximum allowed for the primary election campaign.
    Richardson's campaign reported total receipts of $64,164, which included the contributions and $31,069 from sales of campaign equipment and refunds or rebates of previously paid services, such as utilities and taxes.
    The campaign had operating expenditures of $85,327, including for travel, utilities, telephone service and consulting.
    The campaign reported a balance of $10,127 at the end of last month.
    Richardson's campaign debts of $369,076 range from consulting and Web site development to telephone service and copier rental.
    The campaign's debts for travel included $26,362 owed to the Branch law firm in Albuquerque and $203,850 owed to Lea King LLC.
    Richardson used private aircraft for travel during the campaign, including one owned by the law firm affiliated with Turner Branch of Albuquerque.
    Lea King was organized by Hobbs businessmen Johnny Cope and Harry Teague, according to state corporation records. The corporation is the registered owner of two Cessna jet planes, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
    Teague, a former Lea County Commissioner, is running for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. Cope, a longtime political fundraiser for Richardson, serves on the state Highway Commission.
    Richardson launched his presidential bid in early 2007 and raised about $24.2 million for his campaign through the end of March.


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