Scandal-clouded New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is no longer going to be Barack Obama‘s Secretary of Commerce, giving Obama a chance to call ‘mulligans’ on the whole ‘There are no high profile gays and lesbians in my cabinet’ thing. Grassroots group Equal Rep is pushing Fred Hochberg, dean of Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy as a candidate. In his favor: he was one of Hillary’s big fundraisers and Hochberg is a member of Obama’s transition team. Working against him: The fact that an openly-gay person has never been appointed to a Cabinet-level position. Let’s all get our hopes up so they can be dashed again!

Pink News UK reports on why Hochberg should get the position:

“Equal Rep, “a grassroots political organisation committed to full representation of GLBT-identified people in all facets of government,” has urged the President-elect to nominate Fred Kochberg.

“In more than 200 years, the United States Cabinet has never included an openly gay member,” the group said in a statement.

“Growing national focus on GLBT civil rights has therefore made the Secretary of Commerce appointment a national issue in the struggle for equal representation.

“Fred Hochberg is the most qualified candidate for the job.

“Mr Hochberg has more than 25 years of experience in business, government, civil rights activities, and philanthropy.

“From 1998 through 2000, he served as deputy then acting administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), an agency elevated to Cabinet rank by President Bill Clinton.

“At the SBA, he directed the delivery of a comprehensive set of financial and business development programmes for entrepreneurs, with particular outreach to women and minorities.

“He also served on President Clinton’s Management Council.”

Equal Rep is urging Americans to contact the Barack Obama transition team and express support for Mr Hockberg.”

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