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Nader Chides New Mexico Governor for Driving 110 mph in a State Car

September 22, 2003

According to the Associated Press, Ralph Nader chided Gov. Bill Richardson for riding in a state car that reached 110 mph earlier this month. State police attributed the high speeds to security concerns. Speaking by phone on September 18 from his office in Washington, DC, the consumer advocate and 2000 presidential candidate, said he wrote a letter to the governor asking him to set a better example. He had read about the Sept. 4 trip in an account by Washington Post reporter, Mark Liebovich. Liebovich rode along as the governor traveled in his official car to a debate among Democratic presidential candidates in Albuquerque. He reported that the governor urged the police driver to speed up, and that the driver wove in and out of traffic, tailgating and using the siren. ``They were caught with their throttle down,'' said Nader, who gained fame with the 1965 expose ``Unsafe at Any Speed'.” ``If he will do this with a reporter in the car, what will they do when there's no reporter in the car? That's why there's a high suspicion that it's chronic.'' Richardson referred questions to Public Safety Secretary John Denko, whose department oversees state police. Denko said the driver was speeding because intelligence reports had raised security concerns that day. He declined to give details. “What we do, why we do it, how we do it, we don't talk about,'' Denko said. ``I sanction what happened that night and I think the driver acted appropriately.'' Nader rejected Denko's explanation, saying Richardson was rushing from one political event to another. “It's an insecurity pattern of behavior, for the people in the car and for traffic and pedestrians. It's a safety issue,” Nader said.
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