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Now that President Obama has nominated former Washington Gov Gary Locke to head the Department of Commerce, PaperTrail (and probably Obama himself) wonders if three times will be the charm. The prez’s first pick for the job, New Mexico Gov Bill Richardson, stepped aside due to ethics questions and his second attempt to fill the position turned sour when GOP Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire changed his mind about taking the job.

With financial questions having already torpedoed Richardson and other Obama picks, we scoured through Locke’s most recent personal financial affairs statements, from 2004 to 2008. Locke continued to file the statements even after he left office in 2005 as a board trustee of the Life Sciences Discovery Fund, created by the State of Washington to promote bio-science.

The documents reveal that, post-governorship, Locke has been working as a partner in the big law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP The handwritten form was changed to note that the firm received payments from not “hundreds of customers,” but “thousands.” He also serves on the corporate board of Safeco Insurance Company.

Locke reported a modest number of trips — mostly to political events and paid for by various Democratic political committees — but none appear too unusual.

The former governor’s financial holdings include stock worth at least $468,000: in Amgen (at least $75,000 worth), Associated Bank (at least $30,000), Conseco (at least $30,000), Costco (at least $75,000), Esterline Technologies (at least $75,000), Getty Images (at least $3,000), Microsoft (at least $75,000), Starbucks (at least $75,000), and Washington Mutual (at least $30,000) — clearly favoring investments in companies based in his home state.

Assuming there are no surprises, Obama can focus now on the vacancy at Health and Human Services, and hope to avoid having to go for a hat trick there, as well.

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