President Bush has appointed an Iowan to a top job in the U-S-D-A. Sixteen months ago, Bush nominated Tom Dorr of Marcus to be Undersecretary of Agriculture for rural development. Some labeled Dorr a racist because he said some Iowa counties were successful because residents had a common ethnic and religious heritage. Others questioned Dorr’s personal finances.The Senate Ag Committee last week sent Dorr’s nomination to the full Senate for consideration, but without the committee’s endorsement. Ag Committee chairman Tom Harkin said when government’s asking corporations to be more responsible, it’s wrong to appoint someone like Dorr to a key post. Harkin said Dorr “knowingly and consciously jiggled” his corporate records to get around federal farm payment limits. But President Bush last night used his authority to put people in jobs when the Senate’s not meeting and named Dorr an Undersecretary of Agriculture. It’s called a recess appointment. Deputy Ag Secretary Jim Mosley says Dorr was cleared by an inspector general who examined the finances of Dorr’s family farm corporations.Mosley says he has no concerns about Dorr’s finances.Mosley says Dorr’s nomination languished for a year, and it’s time to get Dorr in the job. Dorr’s been working as a U-S-D-A consultant for the past year, and says Dorr could get briefings and make recommendations, but could not make any direct decisions.Mosley says it’ll make his own job easier, as he had to do some of the administrative decision-making Dorr was unable to do as a consultant.
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