Seneca has the latest on the recent appointments that President Bush has made in the last days of his presidency.
George W. Bush is virtually out the door, but he still retains the power to make some appointments primarily to boards and commissions. W announced this past week that he would make a score or more of appointments including three known Latinos: Secretary Of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez of Michigan to a six year appointment to the Board overseeing the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; he also named Israel (Izzy) Hernandez of Texas, current Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Commerce and the Director General of the Foreign Commercial Service (also widely known as the former babysitter in Texas for the Bush twins, Barbara and Jenna), to a five year stint to the Advisory Commission for Trade Policy and Negotiations; and lastly, President Bush announced his appointment of Grace Flores Hughes (formerly of Texas) now of Virginia to the Federal Service Impasses Panel for a five year period (she was already appointed by W to this panel before). Grace is well-known in Hispanic Washington circles for having been one of the handful of Latinos on a panel during the Nixon days to come up with the designation for the Spanish-Speaking population as Hispanic. Many consider the use of “Hispanic” by the Census Bureau to label Latinos as inappropriate or not agreed by the Latino community.
It never is too late for any President to make appointments even in the midst of issuing pardons to felons and/or would be felons in the waning days of the Administration. One would hope that some ‘paying’ appointments to such boards of Fannie Mae or the U.S Postal Service Board will include Latinos. The sub-cabinet and third and fourth tier Obama appointments will not be known until after the New Year. Several Latinos (like Tino Cuellar, Frank Sanchez, Dan Restrepo et al) are reportedly in that churn. Also, the latest reports indicate that Governor Bill Richardson may have a rougher ride in the confirmation process due to some questionable contracts to financial supporters. Hopefully that will pass. Certainly after the Governor Blago madcap affair and some other minor niggling questions, Bill Richardson will look like an easy approval.