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Official: Richardson to be commerce secretary

 
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 02:25 pm
Official: Richardson to be commerce secretary

By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer Beth Fouhy, Associated Press Writer " Sun Nov 23, 12:13 pm ET
NEW YORK " President-elect Barack Obama has chosen New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary, adding a prominent Hispanic and one-time Democratic rival to his expanding Cabinet.

Obama planned to announce the nomination after Thanksgiving, according to a Democratic official familiar with the discussions. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations and did so on condition of anonymity.

Richardson, 61, had a distinguished and visible career in Washington before returning to New Mexico, where he was elected governor in 2002. Richardson served as U.N. ambassador under President Bill Clinton and later as energy secretary. He was in the House from 1983 to 1997.

Clinton sent Richardson on several high-level diplomatic missions while he was in Congress, including direct talks with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 1,337 • Replies: 19
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 02:34 pm
What does the commerce secretary do? I think he'd be best used in a position where he can work in international circles.
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 12:55 am
@littlek,
I should think commerce would involce a lot of meetings and communicating internationally...after all we trade all over the world..
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 01:33 am
@littlek,
Maybe they didn't trust him with that. In his term as energy secretary, lots of stuff went missing from Los Alamos, and ended up in China.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 10:25 am
I sort of hate to see Richardson vacate governor of New Mexico. He has been a good govenor.

BBB
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 12:31 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Not up to Gary Johnson standards.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 01:12 pm
Not any longer....He's recused himself under the cloud of yet another Democratic scandal.

Evidently, Richardson and CDR Financial Products decided that, since nothing could be pinned on Cheney and Halliburton over 8 years, they could engage in the same activities with impunity. Remains to be seen if prosecutors will have any more success convicting Democrats.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 01:27 pm
Richardson to withdraw as Commerce secretary
New Mexico governor cites pending investigation of business dealings
BREAKING NEWS
NBC News
updated 10:56 a.m. PT, Sun., Jan. 4, 2009
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.

"Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact," he said Sunday in a report by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell. "But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process."

A federal grand jury is investigating how a California company that contributed to Richardson's political activities won a lucrative New Mexico state contract.

A person familiar with the proceedings has told The Associated Press that the grand jury is looking into possible "pay-to-play" dealings between CDR Financial Products and someone in a position to push the contract through with the state of New Mexico.

Richardson said he plans to continue in his role as governor. "I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country."

Obama said Sunday he accepted Richardson's decision to withdraw with 'deep regret.'

"Governor Richardson is an outstanding public servant and would have brought to the job of Commerce Secretary and our economic team great insights accumulated through an extraordinary career in federal and state office," Obama said.

Richardson, 61, was United Nations ambassador and energy secretary during the Clinton administration, and he is in his second term as New Mexico's governor. He also served seven terms in the House of Representatives.

If he had been confirmed by the Senate as secretary of Commerce, he would have taken over a sprawling department that oversees the National Weather Service, the Census Bureau, economic development programs and more.

One of the nation's most prominent Hispanic politicians, Richardson had pledged at the time of his nomination " in English and Spanish " to work to renew the economy.

Obama on Sunday gave no indication whom he might name to replace Richardson as the nominee but said "we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson's decision."


URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28493919/
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 02:00 pm
No such appointment is "official" unless and until the Senate approves the appointment.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 02:04 pm
I don't know enough facts to have an opinion if Richardson is guilty or not, but if he is, let the wheels of justice roll.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 02:15 pm
@edgarblythe,
Some details here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aL0GGUluJeT8&refer=us
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 05:29 pm
Obama transition team quick to throw Richardson under the bus...presumably to deflect criticism about their much-vaunted vetting process...source

Probably would be good to point out the many times we heard Dems decrying the ineptness of McCain's vetting process when he selected Palin. I presume those voices will be silent now, considering that Richardson's ethics investigation was well known months ago. He's not the only one on Obama's cabinet with ethics issues...Holder, Browner, and Emanuel may still go down in flames as well.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 05:32 pm
@slkshock7,
I've no idea who is throwing him under a bus but if he belongs under a bus then so be it.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 05:58 pm
@slkshock7,
From your link:

Obama Team Feels Richardson Wasn't Forthcoming About Investigation Before Being Offered Commerce
January 04, 2009 4:15 PM

Sources tell ABC News that officials on the Obama Transition Team feel that before he was formally offered the job of commerce secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was not forthcoming with them about the federal investigation that is looking into whether the governor steered a state contract towards a major financial contributor.

Once the investigation became more widely known through national media reports last month, sources tell ABC News, the Obama Transition Team realized the FBI would not be able to give Richardson a clean political bill of health before the new administration is ready to send his nomination up to the Senate for confirmation.

Which is it? If the source says that Richardson wasn't forthcoming last month before he was formerly offered the Secretary of Commerce job how is it that sources then say the Obama transition team knew last month that the FBI would not be able to give Richardson a clean bill of health before his confirmation? These two above paragraphs contradict each other.


The Richardson camp says the governor was forthcoming, with sources close to the governor noting that there had been reports about the controversy in local media such as the Albuquerque Journal as far back as August 2008. The governor discussed the investigation with the Obama team, they say, and believes that he and his administration have done nothing wrong.

Sounds like the source for the first paragraph of the story was making assumptions not based on any knowledge of the facts.

From 2004 to 2005, CDR Financial Products, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company founded and run by David Rubin, received nearly $1.5 million through the New Mexico Finance Authority for advising the state in a complex highway funding project pushed by Richardson. In roughly that same time period, CDR and Rubin gave approximately $100,000 to political organizations run by Richardson, including one that paid for his and his staff's expenses at the 2004 Democratic convention. Neither the grand jury nor the FBI has interviewed Richardson.

President-elect Obama did not ask Richardson to withdraw his name from consideration, sources from both camps say, but the fact that the confirmation seemed untenable in the short term was apparent to everyone involved.

According to the above paragraph, there's no one being thrown under a bus.

There were some discussions about whether the confirmation process could be delayed a few months until the investigation concluded, sources say, but it became clear that wouldn't happen any time soon, and no one wanted to be seen as pressuring law enforcement officials to wrap up their investigation.

The governor spoke with the president-elect several times over the weekend, their last conversation being Saturday, when Richardson told Obama he was withdrawing his name from consideration


There is a problem with Jack Tapper's source for his first paragraph and not the vetting process. Sounds like the problem is a matter of timing and the investigation process to clear Richardson not being completed before the confirmation hearing. Makes perfect sense to me that Richardson would withdraw rather than have his unfinished business cause problems in the confirmation hearing.

roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 06:06 pm
@Butrflynet,
Oh? What I'm seeing is that the transition team felt he was not being forthcoming on the issue before he was offered the job, so they offered the job anyway.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 06:15 pm
@roger,
From what I have seen, Richardson is somewhat a clown and a braggart, who is wrong on a number of issues. For instance, during his campaign to be the Dem nominee, he said he opposed a fence between Mexico and the USA, and, upon becoming president, would tear down any fence built.
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 07:50 pm
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:
Which is it? If the source says that Richardson wasn't forthcoming last month before he was formerly offered the Secretary of Commerce job how is it that sources then say the Obama transition team knew last month that the FBI would not be able to give Richardson a clean bill of health before his confirmation? These two above paragraphs contradict each other.


I'd say its a problem with timing....t would appear that Richardson originally indicated to Obama's team that this scandal was merely a "flash in the pan" and would be cleared up long before his nomination hit Congress. The team accepted Richardson's word at face value (or at least without fully looking into it), so now that Richardson admits that it is unlikely to be done in time, the team feels misled. The team can also be easily accused of failing to vet Ricardson and the full implications of the scandal sufficiently.

Butrflynet wrote:
President-elect Obama did not ask Richardson to withdraw his name from consideration, sources from both camps say, but the fact that the confirmation seemed untenable in the short term was apparent to everyone involved.

According to the above paragraph, there's no one being thrown under a bus.


Did you really expect Obama or his team to admit to "throwing anyone under the bus"? However the fact that they are casting blame on Richardson's "forthcoming-ness" is an obvious attempt to avoid blame being laid at the feet of Obama's team. If they really wished to preserve Richardson's good name, they would not be disparaging his honesty in their vetting proess. This constitutes throwing Richardson under the bus, in my book.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 08:52 pm
@slkshock7,
Quote:

Probably would be good to point out the many times we heard Dems decrying the ineptness of McCain's vetting process when he selected Palin.


That was largely an issue of competence. But competence makes no nevermind to Republicans, witness, Reagan, Bush, Palin, MCCain, ...
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 10:20 pm


Richardson Withdraws Nomination
0 Replies
 
slkshock7
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jan, 2009 10:25 pm
@JTT,
No...I'm talking about the competence of the vetting team, not Palin...

There were many folks toward the end of the campaign, after relevations of her husbands DUI arrest, daughter's pregnancy, and the firing of the state trooper (ahhh...an unrecognized scandal....sound familiar?) who questioned the vetting process Palin had undergone. They suggested that McCain and/or his team had somehow screwed up in the process and may not have selected her had her whole history been known and understood.

Do a quick Google search on "vetting of Palin"...and you'll find dozens of historical hits from the LA Times, CBS news, HuffPo, UPI, etc...all excitedly reporting on the hasty, inadequate vetting job that the McCain team had done on Palin. Will be interesting over the next few days if the MSM challenges the competence of Obama's team just as quickly as they did McCain's. I suspect not but one can always hope for some semblance of objectivity and fairness on the part of the MSM.

0 Replies
 
 

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