richardson withdraws commerce secretary nomination

This news ought to make a lot of people happy... New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announced yesterday that he is withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama's Secretary of Commerce, amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors won a lucrative state contract: Richardson withdraws as Commerce nominee.

A federal grand jury is investigating how a California company that contributed to Richardson's political activities won a New Mexico transportation contract worth more than $1 million. Though he insists he and his administration acted properly (I've heard that one before), he has decided to withdraw, rather than delaying confirmation hearings for the investigation.

As you know, Richardson was something of a controversial pick for the post, drawing criticism and protest from those who remember his significant role in the Wen Ho Lee debacle. To this day, Richardson refuses to acknowledge that he made serious errors in the case that falsely accused and imprisoned Lee for espionage. And concerned citizens were not going to let that go.

While Richardson's withdrawal doesn't have anything to do with the protests and petitions related to the Wen Ho Lee case, this has to feel pretty good for the large group of vocal (mostly Chinese American) activists who opposed the nomination -- myself included. More here: Bill Richardson Withdraws Commerce Secretary Nomination.

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