Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Does LaHood choice offer insights into future USPTO director?

In an earlier post titled Possibilities for USPTO director, IPBiz mentioned some of the names for Director-nominee that were making the rounds. President-elect Obama made an interesting choice for DOE in Chu, but on the other side was LaHood, who has virtually no experience in transportation.

One blog combined this issue with quotes from plagiarist (and politician) Glenn Poshard:

The first time I read the Journal Star’s breaking news article on retiring Congressman Ray LaHood being chosen by President-elect Obama for U.S. Secretary of Transportation, it was all about LaHood being a “moderate” Republican, able to reach across the aisle, yada yada yada, and his being a personal friend of Rahm Emanuel. Conspicuously absent from the article: anything on LaHood’s knowledge of or position on transportation issues.

Now the article has been changed considerably. Gone is any reference to Rahm Emanuel. Included now are quotes from Phil Hare and Glenn Poshard on what a hard worker LaHood is, and how he’s so non-partisan. The only comment about LaHood’s transportation prowess comes from Poshard, who is summarized as saying “LaHood has a comprehensive grasp of the needs of the state and need for a massive infrastructure overhaul nationwide.”

Oh really? (...)

Perhaps as much as a grasp as Poshard had on "background" for his Ph.D. thesis, which background he copied from a book onto page 54 of Poshard's thesis.

One commenter wrote:

Ray LaHood didn’t get the job for his opinions, expertise, experience, or history regarding transportation. Don’t try to figure out what kind of job he will do based on what he’s done in the past. LaHood got the job because Daley couldn’t give it directly to Lipinksi, and the R-LaHood provides great cover for all the money flowing from Obama’s big infrastructure spending plans. There’s lots of money in the Depts of Education and Transportation, especially these days and there will be a lot more soon. With two Daley yes men perfectly in place, and another cutting the budget deals as Chief of Staff.

Welcome to the new style of Chicago politics. Same as the old, suckers.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss [?]

***Separately, of Bill Richardson, who would be Commerce Secretary (and on top of the USPTO), the LA Times reported:

New Mexico's Gov. Bill Richardson, who is the Commerce secretary nominee in Obama's Cabinet, is being investigated by a federal grand jury in his home state for possibly steering state bond business from the New Mexico Finance Authority toward David Rubin, a significant campaign contributor, according to an NBC News report, among others.

Two former state officials, according to NBC, have recently been questioned about allegations that Richardson or aides pushed state business worth nearly $1.5 million in fees toward CDR Financial Products in 2004. The company is headquartered in Beverly Hills.

This was about the same time that CDR's founder, Rubin, donated $100,000 to two of Richardson's political action committees; mainly it appears to cover expenses of the governor and his staff at the Democratic National Convention in Boston that summer.


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