December 12, 2001 - Agence France-Presse: Senate committee confirms appointment of Peace Corps director

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By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 4:23 pm: Edit Post

Senate committee confirms appointment of Peace Corps director

Read and comment on the story that was filed by Agence France-Presse on the Senate Committee vote on Gaddi Vasquez at:

Senate committee confirms appointment of Peace Corps director*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Senate committee confirms appointment of Peace Corps director

Copyright 2001 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet) / Wed, 12 Dec 2001 16:40:05 PST

WASHINGTON, Dec 12 (AFP) - The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Gaddi Vasquez to head the Peace Corps in a 14-4 vote, despite reservations expressed by some of his supporters.

"He has the strong support of minorities, he has the strong support of Latinos... he knows what it was like to be poor," said California Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Some 163,000 volunteers have committed to two-year stints with the Peace Corps "to work with people in developing countries to help them take charge of their own futures," according to the agency's website.

The agency currently works in 70 countries, in places as diverse as Honduras, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Romania and Zimbabwe.

Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd, himself a returned Peace Corps volunteer, said Vasquez's lack of experience both as an elected official and in foreign affairs was "troublesome," but expressed his willingness to give the former Orange County, California county supervisor "a chance."

"Even though it is risky to do so," Dodd told the committee, adding he "trusted the judgement" of Boxer and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who also supported Vasquez's nomination.

Deputy Peace Corps director Josephine Olson, who has worked extensively with the organization, was confirmed in a voice vote.

Controversy has swirled around Vasquez's nomination to lead the international volunteer organization founded in 1960 by president John F. Kennedy, Dodd admitted, brandishing a sheaf of e-mails sent by returned volunteers opposing it.

During Vasquez's tenure as Orange County supervisor, a wealthy, conservative region in central California, the county was bankrupted after fraudulent investments were made on which Vasquez had signed off. He was exonerated of all charges, but resigned his position before a recall campaign was organized.

Answering Boxer's charges that the campaign to thwart Vasquez's appointment to head the 275 million-dollar-a-year operation was "very cruel and unfair," West Virginia Democrat John Rockefeller insisted the debate was "not about the person... that's not what is at stake."

"The Peace Corps is at stake," said one of the four dissenters to Vasquez's nomination, joining Wisconsin's Russell Feingold, Minnesota's Paul Wellstone and Maryland's Paul Sarbanes, all Democrats. The full Senate must now confirm Vasquez's appointment.

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By OAP ( on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 7:15 pm: Edit Post


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