Sunday, January 04, 2009

Richardson to Withdraw As Commerce Secretary


Richardson to withdraw as Commerce secretary
New Mexico governor cites pending investigation of business dealings

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 Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.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.

I always thought it was ' extracurricular' rumors that would get him.

1 comment:

Brian said...

This is what happens when you go with the same cast of characters.

As much as I like Richardson... he did the right thing by stepping aside.

But Obama hasn't learned... he is continuing with the foolishness.
In a surprise move, he chooses Panetta for the CIA. Another Clinton insider.... and he has no serious background in the Intelligence Community. Obama has the folks in the CIA scratching their heads.

Another illogical political appointment.

You never know which way Obama is going to go... He made excellent choices for Ag Secretary... Secretary of Energy, and Secretary of Labor....and probably National Security Adviser (we shall see)... but then he offsets that with off-the-wall choices for Secretary of HHS, Homeland Security, Commerce, Secretary of State, and now CIA... folks with no real background or expertise in the areas of government that will be under their care and control. It really makes you wonder...

I understand that many of these positions require good managers...rather than experts... (although some aren't even good managers... Clinton has never managed anything significant and she lacks the temperament for the job).... But there are certain positions, like CIA chief, where I think you should have at least some working knowledge about what the Hell is going on.

This almost smacks of the kind of cronyism we saw in the Bush Administration... Like Michael Brown running FEMA. I thought Obama was going to represent a departure from that?