President Barack Obama has settled on a train-wreck of a nominee for Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). On Tuesday, the Senate, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved Ronald Sims in a voice vote. They did so despite having credible information indicating financial mismanagement and ethical transgressions, including two egregious abuses of a state freedom of information law.
Obama probably concluded that Sims' transgressions during his tenure as King County Executive would not derail his appointment. Judging by the results of the voice vote, it looks like he was right. But Sims' disregard for transparency should make us question whether Obama's vocal commitment to transparency is anything more than just that -- a vocal commitment.