Bill Richardson, New Mexico's Governor, has given up his nomination to be commerce secretary just revealed today. He believed an ongoing federal investigation into a business relationship his state's administration had with a company in California that won municipal bond business there (after making donations to various causes championed by Richardson) would slow down his confirmation as Obama's Commerce Secretary. The Governor is quoted as saying,"I do so with great sorrow. But a pending investigation of a company that has done business with New Mexico state government promises to extend for several weeks or, perhaps, even months. Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact. But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process. Given the gravity of the economic situation the nation is facing, I could not in good conscience ask the President-elect and his Administration to delay for one day the important work that needs to be done." Obama accepted the withdrawal 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's statement read. "It is a measure of his willingness to put the nation first that he has removed himself as a candidate for the Cabinet in order to avoid any delay in filling this important economic post at this critical time. Although we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson's decision, I look forward to his future service to our country and in my administration." (source:cnn.com)
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