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January 15th, 2009
Confirmation of Transportation Secretary nominee in question

The confirmation of President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for Transportation Secretary was delayed just before the hearing was to begin. Former Congressman Ray LaHood (R., IL) had his confirmation hearing postponed until at least next week as the Senate Commerce Committee is still waiting to get some background paperwork from the President-elect’s transition team – information that is traditionally provided on nominees.

Already, the incoming administration has had some difficulty with confirming its nominees.

For the position of Commerce Secretary, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew from consideration after the FBI flagged an ongoing grand jury investigation that is looking at the governor’s office role in the hiring of a bond adviser and Richardson donor.

For the position of Treasury Secretary, New York Federal Reserve President Timothy F. Geithner has had his hearing rescheduled due to errors he made in reporting and paying his income taxes.

Supposedly, Rep. LaHood has close ties to a Republican power broker, William F. Cellini Sr., who was indicted in the scandal that also led to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s recent arrest. What is more, the Washington Post reported Rep. LaHood also sponsored $60 million in congressional earmarks in 2008.

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