Vazquez nomination causing upheaval

WASHINGTON: Gaddi H. Vasquez, the former division VP of public

affairs of the Southern California Edison Company, has had his

nomination to head the Peace Corps slammed by volunteers and others in a

vociferous smear campaign.

A dissenting group is pressuring the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

(FRC) to oppose the nomination, claiming Vasquez doesn't have the

necessary foreign-service experience.

These former volunteers have been calling and sending e-mails to members

of the FRC, particularly Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), a former Peace

Corps volunteer who now chairs a subcommittee that deals with the


In addition, a print ad from the Committee for the Future of the Peace

Corps headlines that Vasquez is "the wrong choice" for the job. That

group claims it is composed of "concerned Americans, including former

Peace Corps directors, returned Peace Corps volunteers, former Peace

Corps staff, and foreign policy experts in the foreign affairs, public

policy, and public service arenas."

The ad, which appeared in The Hill newspaper, claims, "Mr. Vasquez has

no foreign-policy experience, no international program-management

experience, no demonstrated financial-management experience, and no

experience managing a large agency. As a member of the Orange County

(CA) Board of Supervisors, he resigned in disgrace in 1995 following his

county's spectacular bankruptcy costing taxpayers $1.7 billion,

which the SEC blamed on the improper investment of public funds and a

disastrous failure of oversight by Mr. Vasquez and his fellow


Vasquez told PRWeek: "I am honored to have been nominated and, if

confirmed, look forward to serving. Beyond that, I have no comment until

after the nomination process."

An FRC vote on Vasquez's nomination is expected in December. If

confirmed by the committee, the nomination goes to the full Senate for


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