December 5, 2001 - Santa Barbara News Press: Letter to the Editor: Nominee for Peace Corps a poor choice

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By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 7:28 pm: Edit Post

Read this letter to the editor of the Santa Barbara News Press at:

Nominee for Peace Corps a poor choice

Nominee for Peace Corps a poor choice

There are many private, often partisan, agendas currently being advanced under the guise of contributing to America's national security or riding the popularity coattails of a president who is telling most Americans what they want to hear.

One example is the White House's ill-considered nomination of Gaddi Vasquez, a Republican Party warhorse, to head the U.S. Peace Corps. Currently an official with Southern California Edison, Mr. Vasquez's only claim to dubious political achievement was to be on the Board of Supervisors that plunged Orange County into bankruptcy in the 1990s, an economic disaster that shook Santa Barbara County, too.

Despite the fact that Mr. Vasquez has no experience in international affairs or running large agencies, he wants to take charge of the lives of some 7,300 Peace Corps volunteers working in 71 different nations who are recruited, trained and maintained in the field by an organization with a budget of more than one-quarter billion dollars.

What is wrong with this picture?

In his first appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Vasquez was asked about his previous votes against HIV-AIDS education programs in Orange County. He did not choose to explain, much less retract, those positions, implying to me that he still holds them.

Guess what is one of Peace Corps' largest health-education programs in Africa? That's right, it's to try to help prevent the spread of AIDS.

This would be the wrong man in the wrong leadership position, especially now. Please write California's senators to protest Mr. Vasquez's pending appointment.

Vic Cox


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