July 30, 2001 - Christian Science Monitor - Bush puts Friends in High Places

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2001: 01 to 07 January to July 2001 Peace Corps Headlines: July 30, 2001 - Christian Science Monitor - Bush puts Friends in High Places

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, July 31, 2001 - 4:31 pm: Edit Post

Christian Science Monitor - Bush puts Friends in High Places

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One controversial nominee is Gaddi
Vasquez, who Bush tapped last week to
head the Peace Corps. He gave $106,216 to
the Republican party in 1999 and 2000, most
of it from a campaign war chest left over
from his days on the Orange County
(California) Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Vasquez resigned from that board in
1995 after the county posted $2.1 billion in
investment losses. A 1996 Securities and
Exchange Commission probe concluded the
supervisors, including Vasquez, "failed to
disclose certain material information about
Orange County's financial condition...."

Calls to Vasquez's office were not returned.
But Stuart Mollrich, a political consultant
who worked with him, says of the Orange
County episode, "He was in the wrong place
at the wrong time." Vasquez, he says, "is a
terrific guy - a very good public speaker and
motivator." Vasquez has worked with Latino
leadership groups and serves on advisory
boards of Habitat for Humanity and the
Salvation Army.

But some Peace Corps veterans doubt his
ability to lead the agency. "It's part of the
beast" of politics today, says John Coyne,
editor of Peace Corps Writers, a website that
publishes volunteers' work. "You give
money and you get a position, but you'd at
least expect him to have some affinity or
connection with the Peace Corps."

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