OVERNIGHT TECH: Locke to succeed Huntsman as China ambassador

BREAKING: President Obama will choose Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to succeed Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China, according to ABC News.

ABC NEWS REPORTS: "Locke is the first Chinese-American to be Secretary of Commerce. The former two-term governor of Washington state, Locke’s father and maternal grandfather emigrated from China to Seattle.  As a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Locke co-chaired the firm's China practice."

FROM THE ADMIN, per ABC News: “The president asked him to take this job because Locke had the experience and relationships necessary to take on this key post,” a senior administration official tells ABC News. “With more than two decades of experience dealing with China, Gary Locke has forged important relationships with China’s top political leadership. There is simply no one better positioned to advocate for American interests there and build on a bilateral relationship critical for the 21st century.”
 

More: http://abcn.ws/genVMy

TECH-PRESIDENT: On Tuesday, Obama joins the latter half of the of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, at TechBoston Academy in Boston, Mass., where he will reiterate his call for the U.S. to out-educate the rest of the world and win the future. 

UPSTAGER OF THE WEEK: Wednesday is circled on the schedules of telecom observers (and six lucky witnesses) as a much-anticipated net neutrality hearing draws near.

GOP INVITES FREE PRESS TO TESTIFY: The witnesses are an attention-grabbing bunch, but when it comes to interesting participants, one name stands out: Derek Turner, research director at Free Press. Rather unexpectedly, Turner is the invite of House Republicans, not the Dems. The minority witness is Robin Chase, CEO of Buzzcar, a startup that thrived because of the Internet. 

GOP ALLYING WITH FREE PRESS? No. Free Press has recently berated Speaker Boehner for "parroting talking points from industry lobbyists,  front groups and intentionally misleading the public." The group rarely (if ever?) has had a nice word to say about the free market, so it's pretty clear the invite is something other than an olive branch.

WHY FREE PRESS? THEORY I: Observers say the GOP may have included Free Press in order to highlight how industry and the FCC interacted during the net neutrality rulemaking process. The FCC held stakeholder meetings with top broadband providers regarding its rules. At the time, Free Press denounced the discussions as secret meetings. Meanwhile, House Republicans have questioned why AT&T and NCTA have not vocally opposed the rules. So, discontent about industry's role in the process is one thing Turner and House Republicans may see eye-to-eye on——but that's about it. 

WHY FREE PRESS? THEORY II: Another observer rather disparagingly said Republicans may have invited Free Press to the hearing in order to make pro-net neutrality forces "look like lunatics." Free Press is known as one of the most extreme net-neutrality groups in the D.C. The organization said the FCC's rules do not go far enough. 

Enough net neutrality for today. What else to watch for tomorrow:

TAXES DEBATED TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY: The Senate Finance Committee will convene a panel of academics to discuss the efficiency of the tax code and how it impacts the economy. The Senate Budget Committee raises similar questions the next day.

TECH INDUSTRY WEIGHS IN: Members of the TechNet association are on the Hill in part to discuss tax reform on Tuesday. More: http://bit.ly/hmcBqW.

PCAST TO CONVENE TUESDAY: The President's Council on Science and Technology meets Tuesday morning. Topics include a discussion of reports on advanced manufacturing as well math and science education. 

ICYMI, CELL TAXES ARE HIGH: Per On the Money's Bernie Becker, "Residents of nine states pay an average state and local tax rate of at least 13 percent on their cell phones, a new map from the Tax Foundation shows." More: http://bit.ly/i7oUc5.