Senator Judd Gregg will be joining the Obama Administration today as the new Commerce Secretary. This is to be announced today, about an hour from now.
Gregg is a Republican from New Hampshire. By choosing Gregg, the Republicans in the Senate will now be down to 40, assuming that Minnesota seats the comedian, Al Franken.
Gregg is widely considered a genius on the budget committee which is makes him a good pick for Obama. However, does anyone really think that the President will follow Gregg's advice? Obama is the most liberal man in Washington. Gregg is a very strong conservative. They have diametrically opposing viewpoints.
Apparently, one of the conditions for Gregg to become the Commerce Secretary was that the Democrat Governor of New Hampshire would appoint a Republican to replace Gregg. That seat is up for election in 2010. Gregg would have been a shoo in to be re-elected. I doubt his replacement will have the same advantage.
In Illinois, Governor Blagojevich was recently impeached and removed from office for pay to play in naming a replacement for Obama when he was elected President. Charges by the Justice Department are still pending on this very issue concerning Blagojevich.
How is a promise from Obama to replace Gregg with a Republican not pay for play in naming Gregg to be Commerce Secretary? How is Obama not guilty of this and how is Gregg not guilty of the same pay to play and how is the Governor of New Hampshire not guilty of pay to play?
It seems that Governor Lynch of New Hampshire is not a favorite of the Democrats in Washington. They consider him too moderate for them. He may have made the decision to replace Gregg with a Republican (although probably more moderate than Gregg) anyway.
This is just another in a list of nominations by the new President that has a problem. Remember, Gregg was not the first choice for Commerce Secretary. That first pick was the Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. Richardson had a Grand Jury problem though. It seems he's accused of ...you guessed it...pay to play where it concerns his political donors. Then there was the nomination of Eric Holder for Attorney General who was involved in the pardon of Mark Rich during the Clinton years, in addition to some other issues.
Next was the nomination of the Treasury Secretary, Geithner who is now head of the IRS despite not having paid taxes until he was caught as he was named the nominee for Treasury Secretary. This week, it was discovered that former Senator Tom Daschle also failed to pay over $140,000 in taxes. He's been nominated as Health and Human Services Secretary. He admitted his "mistake" when he was caught and has been apologizing all over Washington since it was discovered last Friday. It's very clear that these weren't honest mistakes. The only "mistake" was that they were caught.
Who can forget Caroline Kennedy who toured New York trying to drum up support to replace Hillary Clinton as the Senator from New York. She too had to drop out due to a "tax problem", issues with her marriage and a nanny problem. Of course, this run on tax problems for elected officials started with Representative Charlie Rangel of New York who "forgot" to pay his taxes on some rental property.
Obama has been President for three weeks. He's had a problem a week with people he's chosen, or those that have been chosen to succeed him in Illinois. It's ironic that the Tax And Spend liberals are the ones having the trouble with paying taxes. They've written the laws, voted on the laws implementing taxes, but can't seem to figure out or remember to pay their own taxes.
There have been problems with replacements for Senators. Clinton, Obama, Gregg and now a former Senator, Daschle who lost re-election several years ago. Not to mention the new Obama rule of no lobbyists, of which Daschle is a part of the problem as well. Of course, who can forget that Al Franken "discovered" he didn't pay over $70,000 in taxes just he began his run for the Senate and now, as I was writing this it's been announced that Nancy Killefer has dropped from consideration for "Chief Performance Officer" due to a "tax problem". Killefer was assistant Treasury Secretary for Management in the Clinton administration and her husband is an economics professor.
This underscores that the problems are created by government. Blago accused of pay to play in replacing Obama. Hints of pay to play with Governor Patterson of New York in the Kennedy situation replacing Clinton, but that was put on the back burner due to taxes, marriage and nannies; now a promise to replace a Republican with a Republican so that the replaced Republican can join the Obama administration. The pay to play could be eradicated by not allowing Governors to replace a departing Senator and instead, put it into the people's hands by holding a special election.
Three weeks and all of these problems. There are 208 weeks in Obama's term. At this rate, that's a lot of problems over 208 weeks.