Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bad Day for Bill Weld

Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld's campaign for New York's governorship has hit a few bumps in the past few days (via political wire). First, Weld has lost the support of Michael Long, the chairman of the state Conservative Party, who has endorsed former Assemblyman John Faso. This is actually quite a big deal since no statewide Republican candidate in New York has won an election without the Conservative Party's endorsement in the past thirty years. New York has a fusion ballot, so it will be obvious to every voter whether the GOP candidate has the support of the Conservatives. Weld is welcome to still try for the party's endorsement, but without the support of its chair, it will be a much tougher sell for someone known as a social liberal from his time here in Massachusetts.

Not only that, but according to the Times article, Weld actually end up being a target of investigations into the shenanigans that resulted in the bankruptcy of Decker College in Kentucky, just weeks after he left as its chief executive. Weld had earlier claimed that he was not a target of these investigations, but those actually doing the investigating had this to say:

Marisa Ford, the chief of the criminal division of the United States attorney's office in Louisville, said in an interview on Tuesday that "nobody in my office, in the western district of Kentucky, has had conversations with him about whether or not [Weld] was a target."

"The investigation is in such early stages that it's premature to even try to make target designations," she added.
Weld claims that his lawyers told him he would not be a target of the ongoing fraud investigations and acknowledged that maybe they meant he wasn't one "at that time," and that didn't mean he would never be investigated. The Decker College scandal does not seem to be going away for Weld and should he end up being a target of the fraud probe, keeping it in the news, it could sink his candidacy.