WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s nominee for Commerce secretary will take a pay cut should he get the job. Gary Locke’s income topped $1 million over the past year, according to a report released Thursday.
The former Washington governor earned $533,000 in salary from the Seattle law firm Davis Wright Tremaine from January 2008 to the present and a state pension of about $121,000. He also received $101,000 in director’s fees from Seattle-based Safeco Insurance Co., $467,000 from deferred Safeco fees and a stock cashout, $15,000 in director’s fees from Key Technology in Walla Walla, Wash., and $19,250 from consulting work for Waggener Edstrom, a Bellevue, Wash., public relations firm.
Cabinet secretaries earn $196,700 a year. The Senate Commerce Committee unanimously approved Locke’s nomination on Thursday.
Locke listed bank accounts and other assets worth a total of about $1.5 million to $5.4 million. Cabinet nominees are allowed to give assets’ values in broad ranges rather than specific figures.
His major holdings include $100,000 to $250,000 in stock in Microsoft, the software giant that was also among Locke’s legal clients. He holds $50,000 to $100,000 each in the Costco Wholesale Group and Esterline Technologies Corp., and $15,000 to $50,000 in coffee outlet Starbucks.
Most of Locke’s investments are in the $1,000 to $15,000 range. Those include stock in dozens of well-known companies, such as computer company Apple; online retailer Amazon.com; pharmaceutical maker Bristol Myers Squibb; oil company Chevron; General Electric Co.; Internet company Google Inc.; Kraft Foods; toymaker Mattel; and telecommunications company AT&T.
Locke serves on the board of Chinese-based telecommunications software firm mInfo and has $50,000 to $100,000 in stock. Should the Senate confirm him as Commerce secretary as expected, Locke will exercise his vested mInfo stock options and divest the stock, and forfeit any unvested stock options.
Locke plans to keep his account in Davis Wright Tremaine’s retirement plan, but neither he nor the firm would contribute anything more to it.
Locke has served as an adviser to several companies, including Blue Marble Energy, General Biodiesel and technology company Eden Rock, all in Washington state, and Q Tires Inc., a tire company based in Greenville, S.C. If he becomes Commerce secretary, he will divest his vested stock in Eden Rock and forfeit unvested stock; keep his stock options in Blue Marble Energy; and exercise vested stock options in General Biodiesel and then divest them. He also will exercise vested stock options in Q Tires, his financial disclosure report says.
Locke became Obama’s third pick for Commerce secretary after two previous nominees withdrew. The Commerce Department has a broad array of responsibilities, including the 2010 census, many aspects of international trade, oceans policy, weather forecasts, the nation’s transition to digital television and expanding rural broadband Internet service.