Senator Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) has asked to have his nomination to Commerce Secretary withdrawn from consideration.
A number of reasons have been floated for why this is happening, but my guess is that it has to do with the move by the White House to take direct control of the Census Bureau, which one WTOP commentator pegged at one-third of the function of the Department of Commerce (Other major activities being the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Standards). Of the many functions, the Census Bureau is a Constitutional Requirement--although the Department of Commerce itself is not.
The upcoming Census will be important, as it could likely shift a number of House of Representatives seats as well as determine the allocation of millions of Federal Dollars. A cynic might refer to the next Census as the Tsongas Early Retirement Action (TERA), as she may be the member of the Federal Delegation Beacon Hill decides to throw under the bus if we are cut from 10 members in the lower house to nine.
While I may be a registered Republican, I can see how that would not be good for the Commonwealth and not good for Lowell. We need someone who is grounded in the Greater Lowell area in the State Delegation to DC. While I am not looking for a John Murtha replica, we do need someone who knows us to forcefully represent us in Washington.
Every Census has disputed data. There is an article on the WTOP Webpage on the current Census Controversy. While not mentioned in the article, at about 6:00 PM a WTOP commentator quoted White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as saying that every Census has problems and the 2010 Census will have problems on steroids.
I am going with the Census Bureau as being at the heart of this; that and the muscular Mr Emanuel's interest in keeping the Census under control.
Here is a comment on this issue from Byron York of the DC Examiner.
Regards -- Cliff