Well, The New York Times is at it again, totally ripping the paper version of Unfair Park off for story ideas. Nearly a month to the day after our groundbreaking report on cockfighting, The Times trots out this little half-assed piece of journalism: "Richardson Is Running on a Resume Both Local and National." It's a story about New Mexico Governor and presidential wannabe Bill Richardson, and it seems Richardson's got a bit of a problem: cockfighting.
You see, Richardson was once the friend of the "cockers." When all those animal rights freaks in Santa Fe were trying to ban the bloodsport, Richardson more or less looked the other way. All sorts of theories abound as to why -- maybe it had something to do with his Hispanic heritage, maybe he didn't think it a big enough deal to piss off his cockfighting constituents -- but for whatever reason, he has now flip-flopped, in true presidential-hopeful fashion. Now he's leading the charge to outlaw cockfighting in his state, one of only two states where it's still legal.
''I believe the people of the state want to abolish it,'' Richardson told The Times last week. ''It's a bad image nationally. I'm putting my weight on it. It's going to make it pass, and it's the right thing to do.''
The story goes on to say: "Locally, no issue in recent years seems as volatile as cockfighting. State Senator Mary Jane Garcia, a Democrat who is sponsoring the bill, has tried to pass similar bills for nearly 20 years. But Ms. Garcia could never muster enough votes, largely because lawmakers were reluctant to provoke constituents, many of whom say the sport is rooted in the state's Hispanic culture. But this time is different. Mr. Richardson is running for president.
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'I asked him, 'Are you serious?' ' Ms. Garcia recalled. 'And he told me that he was ready to help, that it was the right thing to do, that it was the right thing for New Mexico.'" --Jesse Hyde