June 8th, 2007
08:35 PM ET
12 years ago

A political chapter in Paris Hilton saga

Paris Hilton appeared in court Friday in Los Angeles. The judge ordered her to return to jail after serving only three days behind bars.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN)—The ongoing legal saga that surrounds Paris Hilton even found its way into the political realm Friday. New Mexico Governor, and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, Bill Richardson, wrote a letter to the judge commending him for his actions.

“We are writing to congratulate you for holding Ms. Hilton accountable for her actions and ordering her to fulfill her sentence.” Richardson wrote, along with Chuck Hurley, CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Both men urged the judge to consider the benefits of mandatory interlock devices in future drunk driving cases.

“We believe this case underscores the importance and need for tough DWI laws.” The two wrote in the letter released by the governor’s press office. “We found in New Mexico that the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock is an invaluable law enforcement tool and worth consideration by your court in future cases. This interlock prevents a driver from operating a vehicle while under the influence.”

Richardson campaigned in Denver and Pueblo, Colorado on Friday.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Bill Richardson
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Jack of Diamonds

    Scooter Libby will become the Paris Hilton of Washington DC.

    June 8, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Mark, Littleton, CO

    I lived abroad for 15 years before moving back the US. Once I arrived back, one of my largest cultural shocks was the lax attitudes towards drunk driving.

    Comments such as:
    "Yeah, I've gotten very good at driving drunk."
    "I have three DUIs, my brother has four."
    "Man I drove home lastnight and don't remember it, man was I wasted."

    These attitudes need to change, people and the courts look the other way, and I don't know why.
    The hardest thing to do in this country, in my opinion, is to pass a law that restricts a person’s right to have a gun. But, I think the NRA sees that if you use a gun in an aggressive manor, you no longer have this right. WHY DON'T WE TREAT DRUNK DRIVER THE SAME WAY????

    June 8, 2007 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. Mike Fahy, Washington Pennsylvania

    I like to compare the treating of DUI's by their recipients to the treating of Detention's by students. "Yeah man i got 4 just this month!" is a common sentence. Washington needs to take action and enforce stricter DUI laws, along with bigger punishment to actually teach people a lesson, not encourage it.

    June 8, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  4. Jonathan, New York, NY

    Way to go Richardson for managing to get press for Paris Hilton's case!
    And he's not lying. Drunk-driving laws have become far more strict and have led to very positive results in NM since he began working as governor.

    June 8, 2007 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  5. Matt Orlando, FL

    What does Paris Hilton have to do with politics?

    June 9, 2007 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  6. M. Delano, New Paltz, NY

    Kudos to Bill Richardson and to the judge in the Hilton case. Americans have been waiting in vain for a very long time to see equal treatment under the law. In an age where money and celebrity buy the ability to be above the law, it is discouraging and demoralizing for the rest of the population to constantly see some serve hard time while those with money literally get away with murder. The issue here is not even that Ms. Hilton appears to be a spoiled scofflaw; it is that, driving while under the influence is an extremely serious offense that often results in the deaths of innocent people. It is not to be taken lightly, and to further flaunt the law by continuing to drive with a suspended license is reprehensible. People need to understand these things, and they need to understand that breaking the law repeatedly results in the loss of their privileges.

    June 9, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Paul, Chicago IL

    Why would Richardson congratulate the judge for doing his job? Judges seem to universally hate when people thank them for doing their job, the implication being that a judge doing his or her job is unusual.

    June 9, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Natalie, Raleigh, NC

    No one else is a bit perturbed by the fact that a man is the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving?

    June 9, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Glen

    Who cares about what happens to Paris Hilton. There are a lot more pressing matter in this country, like the ongoing covert push by the Trilaterial Commission for a North American Union, How often do you report on that?

    June 10, 2007 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  10. Steve Savage, okc, ok

    Very sneaky of Richardson, knowing that America obsesses with the adventures of the do-nothing daughter of a rich hotel magnate. Why not insert yourself into the news and get some free press.
    Paris Hilton is not news, normal people don't care if she's in jail.

    June 10, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  11. Bill Braun

    Thanks to the judge for sending miss High and Mighty back to jail where she belongs. Her Sherrif admirer should be fired. This country is too lax on laws and that is why our jails are so crowded. Our country has way too many Sheep and not enough Sheep Dogs.

    June 10, 2007 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  12. Tricia M Charlottetown, PEI Candaa

    Paris is a by-product of the negatives of wealth and fame. When you hear her mother's comments to reporters ie: her daughter should not be going to jail, it maybe gives one a sense of Paris' problems.

    Paris had made it clear to all viewers that her sense of responsibility and respect for her self and others was zero. But given her mother's comments on her DUI situation this might not be so difficult to understand.

    It is really unfortunate to think that such a popular. attractive, young lady with so much to offer, that could have been such a positive role model for so many young people, choose such a negative life style. However, I believe it should be a parent's responsibility to instill values in their children. So, I don't believe Paris should have to shoulder her cross alone. And I truly hope she will gain strength and insight from this chapter in her life and be better for it.

    June 11, 2007 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. DJ, Los Angeles, CA

    Stop the media insanity about Paris Hiltion...and please stop the massive ignorance.

    The laws are not too easy on drunk driving.

    People wake-up and realize that the Sheriff runs the jails.

    America has the largest prison/jail system in the world. Almost half the prisoner population is doing time for alcohol or drug related offenses.

    There is no room in the county jails. They are constantly faced with budget shortfalls despite sharp increases in the population and crime.

    Either pay more in taxes, donate money to build more jails, or quit your whining.

    Baca did the right thing. He is a good man and shows compassion towards his prisoners.

    June 11, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. David, Gilbert Arizona

    I lost a lot of respect for Richardson. He used a high profile celebrity case to get free press. As far as I'm concerned Richardson's efforts backfired.

    Lest we forget, it was the sheriff's office that sent Hilton home with a monitoring device. It was the sheriff's office that told Hilton she could participate in the hearing by phone. It is the sheriff's office that is giving Hilton special treatment. They are more to blame for this situation than Hilton is.

    June 11, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |