TSA nominee withdraws from consideration

Just a day after the Republicans’ upset US Senate victory in Massachusetts, President Barack Obama’s choice to lead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) withdrew from consideration.

Erroll Southers said on Jan. 20 that he was dropping out because his nomination had become a political lightning rod. President Obama nominated Southers, a former FBI agent with experience in counter-terrorism, for the TSA spot in September 2009.

Southers’ nomination had been blocked by Sen James DeMint, R-SC, who says he believed Southers hoped to carry out an Obama pledge to give TSA employees collective bargaining rights and allow them to join unions.

Southers also came under criticism for ordering criminal background checks on the boyfriend of his estranged wife. He was censured by the FBI for that action.

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