Getting Started with the Petition

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez: The Gaddi Vasquez Nomination to Peace Corps Director: Sign the Gaddi Vasquez Petition: Getting Started with the Petition
By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 5:10 pm: Edit Post

Read this primer on How to Run a Petition Drive. This is part of the very good Take Action series that the National Wildlife Federation has on the web which is equally applicble to what we are doing. Getting a petition going is a good way for us to get started. We have a petition to work with courtesy of John Coyne, the founder and editor of "Peace Corps Writers" whose web site is at

John served in Ethiopia from 1962 to 1964 and was an Associate Peace Corps Director in Ethiopia and the Regional Manager of the New York Peace Corps Office. He is the author and editor of 23 books including Living On The Edge: Fiction by Peace Corps Writers. In 1989 he founded (with Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64) RPCV Writers & Readers, a newsletter for and about Peace Corps writers.

Keep in mind that a petition is a good way to get your senator's attention. A petition shows that you had the dedication and did the work to get the petition printed, signed, and mailed off. It shows that you aren't just speaking for yourself but have mobilized support - votes - that support your position. It is hard for a politician or a newspaper to ignore a well reasoned petition that has lots of signatures on it - the more signatures the better. Take a look at the petition that John Coyne has put together and print a copy to get started:

Print the Petition

You will need Adobe Acrobat to read and print this file. If you don't have it already you can download it free of charge off the Adobe site at:

Download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader

Once you have Adobe Acrobat you can print the document. The instructions on what to do with the petition are on the last page of the petition. After you have completed getting signatures for the Petition, post the names of people who have signed it to the following link:

Post the Signatures you have collected

That way we can keep a running tally of where we stand. After you get the petitions signed, the instructions will tell you where to mail them.

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 9:06 am: Edit Post

Here's an email we received from an rpcv this morning



By John N Smart (jnsmart) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 9:14 am: Edit Post

Does anyone know when this nomination will be brought before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee? How can we find that out?

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 9:46 am: Edit Post

I just talked to Gabriel on the phone at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Of course, the Senate is in recess right now and will be back on Tuesday, September 4..

He said the schedule has not yet been set for Gaddi Vasquez's hearing.

He said he will be able to tell us next Wednesday, September 5, if Mr. Vasquez is on the schedule for the following week of September 10 - 14. He said that he doesn't see Mr. Vasquez on the tentative schedule for that week - but he couldn't promise me that that wouldn't change.

The bottom line - we have the rest of this week and all of next week to get something going. We don't want to let ourselves get blindsided like we did on the Coverdell vote with no time to do anything - so we need to get moving now.

The Foreign Relations Committee also posts their hearing schedule on the web but it is better to call:

I will keep on top of this and post the latest info to this site.

By Mark Murphy (mareko) on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 1:52 pm: Edit Post

Some of you hippies can't fathom the fact that a conservative Texan is President. Not all RPCVs are in the boat with your editors. The PC is as diverse politically as it is racially and socially. Go W!
Mark Murphy
Western Samoa '87-90

By Mariana Bornholdt on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 4:55 pm: Edit Post

I agree with the objections to Gaddi's nomination. I am from Orange County, and his reputation here is malodorous!

By Pete Helgen on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 12:42 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for the heads up on the nomination. Although not a "hippie" and as someone who voted for "W", this nomination is about as ill advised as was the tax cut (in light of huge debt). Even Presidents get bad advise and make bad decisions. I'll call my Senators and let them know how I feel.

Again, it is this kind of info I need from the Peace Corps and RPCV's.

By Anonymous on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 7:41 pm: Edit Post

Hippie schmippie!! Fiscal irresponsibility (ie the guy singlehandedly sank Orange Country); lack of international experience; buying your way into positions you are unqualified for...I could go on. Bush is definitely sending a message of contempt.

I knew we had some yahoos in the RPCV ranks, but I at least thought they were thinking ones...

I was in the Peace Corps in Honduras - a hot spot - during the end of the Reagan Administration and the beginning of the elder Bush admin. Not even those idiots proposed unqualified, irresponsible nominees. I liked our national director, dispite a differing political orientation. So bucko, do your homework before you spout more nonsense.

By Malcolm Aste on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 9:50 am: Edit Post

If wanting to see the Peace Corps under robust, competent leadership, preferably by an RPCV, makes me a "hippie," then I am a hippie.
If opposing Gaddi Vasquez because his previous experience demonstrates a clear unsuitability for this position makes me a "hippie," then I am a hippie.
As for "racial and social" diversity in the Peace Corps, I am not sure what that means. Is that code for do not oppose Gaddi Vasquez's nomination because he is Hispanic? If minority status is a requirement for this job, I am sure we can find someone who fits that description AND has the demonstrated expertise to assume the responsibilities of the position. There are plenty of RPCV's who fit that description. They might even be hippies.

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 12:19 pm: Edit Post

Update on the Nomination Schedule

Following are my notes from the phone conversation I had with a staffer in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning. This is basically verbatim from what was said. It is a good way to get an insight into the legislative process.

1. I asked them if Gaddi Vasquez is on the schedule for his confirmation hearings for Peace Corps Director?

They said he has not yet been scheduled.

2. I asked if they could give me an earliest date that his hearings would begin?

They said there are at least 25 people ahead of him for hearings.

Anyway his application was sent back to the White House.

3. I asked why it was sent back to the White House?

They said that what happens before a long recess like the one we had in August is that there is a motion of unanimous consent to keep the applications active through the recess.

However, the minority members of the Committee asked that all the active applications be sent back to their agencies. Apparently there were some nominees in the group who had to have some additional paperwork done on their applications, so the applications had to be sent back to their agencies to complete the paperwork. In Gaddi Vasquez's case, this meant his application was sent back to the White House. The minority members of the Committee asked that all of the nominees be sent back not just Mr. Vasquez.

Some applications have already come back to the Committee. Some came in yesterday. But Mr. Vasquez's has not come back yet and it probably won't come back for a while because they don't think Mr. Vasquez is in any hurry to get to the front of the line.

They said there are some "serious" nominations that the Committee has to do first before him anyway.

They thought that the earliest that his nomination would come up would be three weeks from now.

4. I asked if his FBI background investigation had been completed?

They told me they would look in his file. When They looked they said it wasn't there - so apparently the FBI investigation has not been completed yet.

They said that the way things run at the committee, it was unlikely that anything would come up to move Mr. Vasquez's hearings up, but that I should just check back once a week.

So according to our best information there are three more weeks (counting this week) before the nomination comes up for the hearings so it sounds like it will be after the 40th.

If anybody needs a clarification on anything posted here, call the Senate Foreign Relations Committee office at 202-224-4651 and the staff will be glad to answer your questions. If you find out anything new, make a posting to this thread. I will be checking with the FR Office next week.

By LAvenilla on Wednesday, September 05, 2001 - 1:10 pm: Edit Post

Louis Avenilla
10796 Arabella Place
Cerritos, CA. 90703
Poland 90-92

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, September 06, 2001 - 7:10 pm: Edit Post

Senate Democrats say Nominees could lose confirmation battles

Interesting story in today's Washington Post on nominees facing confirmation in the senate that confirms what I was told yesterday by a staffer in the Foreign Relations Committee about the nominations:

1) that all the nominations were sent back to their agencies before the August recess:

"The White House is showing no indication of shying from confirmation fights. As a result of an unusual parliamentary maneuver by Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) before Congress began its break, the Senate returned all of the pending nominations to the White House. On Tuesday, the White House sent them back, including Reich and Schregardus."

Note: I was told on Wednesday that Gaddi Vasquez's nomination had not been sent back yet from the White House and that his FBI investigation was not yet complete.

2) that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is reviewing several nominations ahead of Gaddi Vasquez which they consider more "serious."

"At least two of President Bush's nominees for senior administrative posts -- Donald Schregardus at the Environmental Protection Agency and Otto J. Reich at the State Department -- are at serious risk of losing confirmation battles, according to Senate Democrats.

Senate sources said there is little chance that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing this fall on Reich, a conservative Cuban American who has drawn criticism for his role in the Reagan administration's campaign on behalf of the Nicaraguan contras. Senators also are questioning whether Reich, a Cuban American, has conflicts of interest from his positions with anti-Castro organizations and his lobbying firm.

Senate sources said Democrats -- led by Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) and John F. Kerry (Mass.) -- planned to step up their investigation of Reich, a longtime advocate of a hard-line policy toward Cuba.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) has indicated agreement with the strategy. Reich "is viewed as something of an extremist," a Biden aide said. "That's not the kind of person we need in a post like this."

The senators already had planned to flood the administration with demands for classified documents concerning Reich's Reagan administration role building support for the Nicaraguan contras, sharply criticized in subsequent congressional investigations, and his later tenure as U.S. ambassador to Venezuela. They have also questioned financial disclosure documents from Reich that even some sympathetic Republican sources have described as "unusual."

In a July 13 letter to the State Department outlining his plans to avoid potential conflicts of interest, Reich said he would resign from senior paid and unpaid positions in anti-Castro and other organizations. He also said he would sell the assets of his Arlington-based company, RMA International, while retaining the company as an inactive entity. The lobbying firm's biggest client is spirits manufacturer Bacardi Martini Inc., whose Cuban exile founders have advocated a tough policy against Cuban President Fidel Castro.

The State Department's legal office and the Office of Government Ethics approved Reich's proposal to transfer RMA's clients to "another Virginia corporation" in exchange for a percentage of future fees from those clients to be paid to him over the next four years. Under this payment arrangement, Reich said, he would recuse himself from matters involving the clients in which his impartiality could be questioned.

Yesterday, after a reporter's request for additional details about the arrangement, the State Department informed the Foreign Relations Committee that Reich's letter of "ethics undertakings" was "outdated" and that a new one was being prepared, a senior department official said.

"The financial arrangements are changing, and so we are preparing a new letter," said the official, who declined to specify the changes being made. Reich did not return a telephone call to his Virginia office."

Read the full story here:

Bottom Line: There is nothing in the story that contradicts anything I was told by the FR Committee on Wednesday that I included in my previous post.

By Hayward Allen Ethiopia 62-64 on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 3:47 pm: Edit Post

At this time of extreme caution and vigilance, putting an ignorant man, with invalid qualifications, in the director's chair of the Peace Corps, is stretching political cronyism to its limits. Promises to one man are not equal to promises to the Peace Corps, volunteers returned or in active service. That we RPCVs should have to petition our government to have them change their minds indicates one of two things: 1) the Peace Corps is adjunctive and fundamentally unimportment as a gesture of American goodwill or an experience for American citizens serving the nation and bringing a message home; 2) the longheld political tradition of appointing political "friends" to titular posts continues in one of the most intimate and intrinsic commitments American citizens make to the world.

By Charles McNamara on Friday, October 05, 2001 - 1:25 pm: Edit Post

For the Republicans out there: Loret Miller Ruppe and even Paul Coverdell were beneficial Republican supporters of PC. Unfortunately, Vasquez is just a hack with a lot of money who is being parked in a spot the administration considers of low importance. I trust that Biden and Dodd will demonstrate how wrong they are.

If a person who hasn't in the past promoted the goals of the agency is to become director, he or she should bring another skill of value as Coverdell did (fiscal management improved under his tenure). Vasquez has no skills relevant to this position. He should not be offered as a candidate by the administration at all.

By Colleen Clark on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 11:34 am: Edit Post

The post of Peace Corps director is far too
important ever to be left to the usual process
of political appointment. The events of the
past month have highlighted the value of
Americans working around the world learning
and teaching. Has anybody a rough count of
how many former PCV's are in jobs in academia,
government, NGO's that are relevant to our
understanding of Islam, terrorism, Central and
South Asian politics etc etc?
The nomination of Gaddi Vasquez is scary.
He is a person with no relevant experience, an
involvement in a major case of government
malfeasance and irresponsibility if not
downright felonious activity, no reported
agenda or vision for the Peace Corps, and whose
sole qualifications seem to be a major donation
to President Bush's campaign last year and
perhaps his Hispanic background.
How can anybody, much less former PCV's,
support his nomination or be indifferent to it?
Don't all the American people deserve a higher
quality of Federal appointees?
Colleen Clark, Turkey 1964-66

By Anna Prow on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 1:31 pm: Edit Post

Please add my name to the petition. (and thanks for maintaining it)

I oppose the nomination of Gaddi Vasquez to serve as director of Peace Corps. Peace Corps is too special and too significant to used as a token reward for an unqualified cronie.

By Elizabeth Ryan on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 3:08 pm: Edit Post

Elizabeth Ryan
1615 South Ave.
Rochester, NY 14620

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