|By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, August 06, 2001 - 11:59 pm: Edit Post|
Read the editorial from the Boston Globe:
Gaddi Vasquez - a Bad Choice for the Peace Corps
Bad choice for Peace Corps
THE PUBLIC HAS learned to shrug off the practice of both Democratic and Republican presidents who reward generous campaign contributors with plum ambassadorships, from Dublin to Rome. But a line should be drawn at handing out the top posts of important government agencies this way, especially when the nominee's public service experience was to help bankrupt his county.
The agency is the Peace Corps. Bush's nominee to run it is Gaddi Vasquez, who was last in the public eye back in the mid-1990s when he was a supervisor of Orange County, California. Because of bad investment practices, the county went bankrupt and Vasquez left office just ahead of a recall effort.
Since then he has done public relations for a utility. More to the point, he has kept his hand in Republican politics. In fact, he dipped his hand deep into his leftover campaign war chest and donated $100,000 to the GOP last year, which could not have escaped the attention of the Bush administration.
But the nomination might be more than just a payoff. Back in 1989, President Bush's father plucked Paul Coverdell from the obscurity of the Georgia state Senate and made him Peace Corps director. The publicity of his stint there from 1989-91, less time than most corps volunteers serve, helped boost him to a win as Georgia senator. The current Bush administration might be hoping that leading the Peace Corps will give Vasquez a similar boost for a reentry into California politics.
But Coverdell in 1989 had a far more impressive background than Vasquez has. After a grand jury investigation of the Orange County fiscal meltdown, Vasquez escaped prosecution because the only penalty was removal from office, and he was already gone. In 1996, the US Securities and Exchange Commission blasted Vasquez in a report accusing him of defrauding buyers of more than $2.1 billion in municipal securities.
There is nothing in Vasquez's background, certainly no international experience, that would qualify him to run a $275 million agency. His only elected service was a debacle. Senator Joseph Biden's Senate Foreign Relations Committee should reject Vasquez and tell Bush to come up with someone qualified.