November 8, 2001 - Media Advisory: Former Peace Corps Volunteers Oppose Vasquez Nomination as Director

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By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, November 08, 2001 - 12:28 pm: Edit Post

This media advisory was sent out to 2400 news outlets on November 8.

The Committee for the Future of the Peace Corps

Media Advisory

Former Peace Corps Volunteers Oppose Vasquez Nomination as Director

Former Peace Corps Volunteers, former Peace Corps Directors and friends of the Peace Corps from all across America are mounting a strong national grassroots effort to stop the nomination of Gaddi Vasquez to become the next Director of the Peace Corps.

Senate hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, November 14 on Vasquez, the former Orange County (CA) Supervisor who resigned in disgrace in 1995 following his county’s spectacular bankruptcy costing taxpayers $1.7 billion. He also denied much needed services to HIV/AIDS patients in the county during his tenure. Please call members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to voice your opposition to Gaddi Vasquez for director of the Peace Corps. Senators Biden, Dodd, Boxer, Rockefeller, Sarbanes, Feingold, Wellstone, Torricelli, Nelson, and Kerry. Also go to for details on how you can help stop the nomination.

The Committee for the Future of the Peace Corps (a group of concerned Americans including former Peace Corps Directors, returned Volunteers and former Peace Corps staff) has bombarded Capitol Hill with its emphatic objections to the Vasquez nominations. The group also intends to purchase a full-page newspaper ad (to appear the morning of the hearings) making its case against Vasquez. Here are excerpts from the ad:

“In the aftermath of September 11, the mission of the Peace Corps is more urgent than ever, and more difficult. To carry out this mission, the Peace Corps needs a visionary and idealistic leader… Sadly, Gaddi Vasquez is not that person.” “Consider Mr. Vasquez `credentials’. He has no international program-management experience. He has no foreign policy experience. He has no experience managing a large agency.” “170,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have lived and worked in over 135 countries over the last 40 years. In an age of terrorists, these are men and women who have worked for peace. They deserve a director worthy of their efforts.”

Former Peace Corps Director Jack Hood Vaughn who served as Director and Ambassador to Columbia under President Nixon is scheduled to testify in opposition to Vasquez.

Contact: Barbara Ferris 202/530-0563 John Coyne 914/654-5281

By josh stevens on Friday, November 09, 2001 - 5:11 am: Edit Post

People may differ in opinion about Mr. Vasquez. We must trust the confidence of our President to nominate Mr. Vasquez. With the Help Of God...Mr. Vasquez can do the job. Let's support and pray for Him. Who among us is really prepared for any job.

By Steve Ares on Friday, November 09, 2001 - 8:14 pm: Edit Post

I agree with Josh Stevens. One year ago, many considered President Bush unqualified and lacking in experience to lead our Country - the events of September 11th have shown that many were mistaken.

President Bush has shown growing strength, vision, and leadership under extreme and unique circumstances, and I’m confident that President Bush believes that Mr. Vasquez has the fortitude to do so as well, both for the benefit of the Peace Corps and our Country.

By Colin Gallagher on Sunday, November 11, 2001 - 4:22 am: Edit Post

The fact that none of us were really prepared for Peace Corps didn't stop us from making it through and learning from our experiences. However, the fact that Mr. Vasquez is unquestionably unqualified can not possibly be used as a reason to promote his candidacy for the position of Peace Corps Director!
It is absolutely critical that in this, our new cultural context of post-September 11, we have leadership with international experience.

It is hard to imagine any President under more difficult circumstances, with the exception of Lincoln and Washington. Mr. Bush's response, while consistent, has not shown vision. I challenge anyone to logically claim that the use of cluster bombs (a violation of international law) on Afghan villages is a visionary solution to a Saudi problem. The Bush family's financial ties to the bin Laden family, being widely publicized, must give us pause as we analyze and decide what kind of leadership we will select for our future.

Whatever happens, Peace Corps must remain strong. We, as the RPCV community, must stand united against the forces of oppression throughout the world, regardless of the ideology or politics that such forces hide behind. Indiscriminate in criticism and relentless in our pursuit of justice, our revolution will not be televised. It will remain, as it should be, out of the reach of politicians, bankers, and media moguls. Peace Corps belongs to the world. Let's keep it that way.

By Joan Borsten on Tuesday, November 13, 2001 - 8:48 am: Edit Post

Dear John, Steve and Colin:
It's not about lack of experience, it's about lack of moral authority. Vasquez as a public official did something that was wrong. When an investigation began into his conduct, and the conduct of his fellow supervisors, he figured out that the only punishment the investigators could mete out was firing him from the job. So he quit and let his fellow supervisors take the rap. Then he made a large contribution to the Republic Party of what was left of his political war chest and got nominated for PC Director.

The PC is about having moral authority. You have to form a cooperative and teach people not to take from the communal "pot" what is not theirs. You have to teach people in the former USSR ethical business practices when corrupt government officials are robbing that same country blind.

The PC has succeeded time and again because they bring with them "moral authority." That's why the head of the PC can't be like the government officials in some of the countries where the PC serves.

Joan Borsten
RCPV Panama

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