Wednesday, February 4, 2009

326. Obama's Nomination for Secretary of Commerce

Well, the reports were wrong. Not John Thompson or Padrasmee Warrior, but Judd Gregg.

Photo from Getty Images

I don't like this nomination much myself. He's got a poor track record on environmental issues, and scores a puny 43% approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters 2006 scorecard. The LCV is fairly middle-of-the-road among environmentalists. For example, they approved the nomination of Ken Salazar for Department of Interior Secretary (after giving him only a 71% approval rating on his 2006 scorecard) while many wilderness organizations were disappointed. If the League gives a poor approval rating, there are definitely reasons to be concerned.

Gregg is a staunch Republican and as a U.S. Senator, has voted more than 77% of the time with the Republicans.

No doubt, President Obama selected him to undermine Republican opposition to his economic policies. But on the environmental front, it looks bad.

On January 8, 2009, he co-sponsored a bill with Senator Inouye about acquiring coastal resources to "protect them" and after a quick glance at the bill, I think it seems fine. But Senator Inouye is strongly aligned with Wespac, and I wonder if I'm missing something! I hope that someone with more knowledge will comment on this.

And this is likely to be our new Commerce Secretary, the one who will have some important voice in the creation of our Monument plan, starting with having to approve nominations to the advisory council.

He, himself, once tried to kill the Commerce Department, voting for its abolishment in 1995, according to this article. It doesn't seem like he would be all that chuffed about our Governor nominating Wespac-influenced opponents of the Monument to the new Monument Advisory Council.

And if all that weren't enough to cause concern, Wendy notes in her recent blog post that Kevin Koonce, one of the men somewhat ensnared in the Abramoff scandal net, worked as Legislative director for him at one point.


wendy said...


i think this will be an appointment to regret.

excelsior said...

I heard this long supposition on NPR recently:

IF Franken wins Minnesota;
IF Gregg is confirmed; and
IF the Democratic governor of NH appoints a Democrat to replace Gregg in the Senate...
The Dems will have a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate.

In a seemingly bipartisan act (naming a Republican) Obama will also accomplish a very partisan goal. Those were NPR's words.

Saipan Writer said...

Interesting, excelsior.