Ray LaHood?

That’s the latest rumor for SecDOT. I’m looking at his committee assignments from when he was in Congress, and see nothing to indicate any expertise or knowledge of transportation issues. The only relevance that the NYT points out is that he’s overseen pork transportation projects on the Appropriations Committee (my characterization, not theirs). And he’s a Republican. But he’s from Illinois. And he’s of Arabic (Christian) descent.

Is this just a token to show bipartisanship by the incoming administration? I have no idea what this implies (if anything) for space transportation regulation. I’d be willing to be that he’s never given it a moment’s thought, which can be both good and bad. It’s good in the sense that he won’t come in with any agenda, but he’ll have to be educated. I’d like to know if he has any natural tendencies when it comes to regulation in general.

[Thursday morning update]

Here’s more on LaHood. Apparently he does have some history in dealing with aviation/airport issues, but nothing about space or spaceports.

8 thoughts on “Ray LaHood?”

  1. Beats Oberstar.

    Yes, but as Jeff Foust has pointed out, Oberstar can actually do a lot more damage in his committee chairmanship than he could as a mere Secretary. It would be nice if we could promote him to somewhere else.

    Voted YES on promoting commercial human space flight industry. (Nov 2004)

    Thanks, Bob.

  2. I’m not sure I agree with jeff on that; he can do a great deal of harm in either position. It’d be nice if he could be Peter Principled to some entirely different job.

  3. LaHood took over Bob Michel’s seat in congress when Michel was essentially forced out by Gingrich & company in 93 – 94.

    LaHood got his seat the old fashioned way – he used to work for Michel. If you liked Denny Hastert & the Republican version of Illinois machine politics you’ll like LaHood. He’s an insider’s insider. Perfect fit for the Obama administration. Other than a life-long staffer or politician the closest LaHood has been to holding a real job early in his career when he was a teacher.

    Don’t expect change, vision or bold action. He’ll keep the seat warm and out of the front pages.

  4. I see also that Obama has appointed Arizona Governor Napolitano to be secretary of Homeland Security. I wonder how this will affect regulations on rocket propellant? Or security theater, especially in airports? Or disaster recovery? And who’s in charge of enforcement of ITAR?

    Lot of questions that I guess will get answered over the next few months.

Comments are closed.