Hilda Solis For Labor Secretary (UPDATED X2: Adm. Dennis Blair For DNI)


California Rep. Hilda Solis has been tapped to be the next Secretary of Labor:

A labor official says Rep. Hilda Solis of California will be nominated as labor secretary by President-elect Barack Obama.

The Democratic congresswoman was just elected to her fifth term representing heavily Hispanic portions of eastern Los Angeles County and east L.A. She is the daughter of Mexican and Nicaraguan immigrants and has been the only member of Congress of Central American descent.

Solis is the fifth woman and the third Hispanic to be nominated to Barack Obama’s cabinet. She is a strongly pro-union progressive who will be a welcome addition to the administration.

Steve Benen has more:

Seyward Darby notes, for example, that Holis has described herself as a “daughter of a union family,” co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act in the 110th Congress, and earned a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO last year.

For more, take a look at Holis’ EFCA speech on the House floor, and her position page on labor issues from her campaign website, which shows her taking a strong pro-union message on pretty much every issue important to labor.

I’ve been disappointed with the lack of progressives in Obama’s cabinet–particularly after Raul Grijalva was skipped over in favor of Ken Salazar for Interior–so this is definitely welcome news to me.

UPDATE: Here’s Rep. Solis’ speech in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act:

UPDATE II: It’s being rumored that Admiral Dennis Blair will be picked to become the next Director of National Intelligence.

Here’s Blair’s Wikipedia page.

Here’s more from Politico:

In addition to leading Pacific Command and filling several high-powered jobs within the military, Blair was the associate director of central intelligence for military support, coordinating intelligence and military operations during the Clinton administration. He retired from the Navy in 2002.

Blair receives high marks from those in the defense and intelligence communities.


But the picture isn’t entirely rosy.

From 2003 to 2007, Blair was the president of the Institute for Defense Analysis. And his time at IDA could provide fodder for a contentious confirmation hearing.

Blair worked on a report that helped the Air Force decide to pursue a multiyear contract for F-22 Raptor fighter jets. At the same time, he was on the board of EDO Corp., a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin on the F-22 project.

After news reports about the apparent conflict of interest, Blair resigned as the head of IDA and his board seat at EDO.

Sources familiar with his background said they don’t see the incident as an impediment to his confirmation. But the Project on Government Oversight, which investigated the incident, said it’s concerned.