UPDATE, Nov 08: Baca has signaled he is not interested.
TUCSON -- Like many Americans, my family and I are anticipating brighter days for America starting next January. As part of contemplating a better future, I'm considering who should fill the important positions in our federal government which are in dire need of help after 8 years of Bush/Cheney corruption.
Working with public employees in the energy and environmental field, I deal a lot with US Interior Department agencies like the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Fish & Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management.
Caught in seemingly endless scandal during this administration, Interior is in very bad shape and desperately needs house cleaning and strong ethical leadership to restore public trust and employee morale.
Just as people are talking about who would be a good VP pick, on this Endangered Species Day I suggest two proven leaders from the west for Interior Secretary.
Jim Baca, New Mexico's Natural Resources Trustee, former BLM Director and Albuquerque Mayor.
Raul Grijalva, Congressman from Arizona and Chairman of the US House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
I expect Obama to be our next President, and both men are Obama supporters, but Clinton or McCain would also be wise to ask either Jim Baca or Raul Grijalva to serve our nation as Secretary of the Interior.
Grijalva is a great Congressman and he'd have to leave the House, which he understandably may not want to do. I would be sad to lose Grijalva as our Congressman, but excited about the progress he could help bring our nation and the world as America's top environmental steward.
Let me be clear that my recommendations here are pure speculation and wishful thinking. I'm not sure either one of them would want the job, but Baca or Grijalva as Interior Secretary would help restore the public interest to public natural resources.