Morning Business: Solis Is In

Posted February 24, 2009 at 6:22pm

Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), the daughter of a Teamsters Union member and an assembly-line worker, was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as Labor secretary.

[IMGCAP(1)]Senators voted 80-17.

Despite the overwhelming vote, Solis’ confirmation was drawn out for weeks because of her affiliation with a pro-labor advocacy group and her support for legislation that would loosen labor-organizing rules.

Her nomination also hit some hiccups after it was revealed that her husband paid $6,400 to settle tax liens against his business that had been outstanding for 16 years.

Solis’ move to the Obama administration now sets off a special election for her reliably Democratic Congressional seat in California’s San Gabriel Valley. That contest is expected to be scheduled for May 19.

Off to Denver.The Election Assistance Commission announced Tuesday that Commissioner Rosemary Rodriguez is resigning from the EAC in order to return to Denver to become state director for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

Bennet was appointed earlier this year to fill the seat vacated by new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Bennet is widely expected to run for re-election in 2010.

Rodriguez is a former chairwoman of the EAC, an independent commission that was created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

The EAC serves as a national clearinghouse and resource for information regarding election administration.

It is also charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, among other things.

“I urge my colleagues to continue directing resources to the federal government’s first voting system certification program,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “Conducting thorough reviews of voting systems and holding program participants accountable is more important than ever, and we must properly fund and support these efforts.”