An Iowa native won the approval of the U.S. Senate Ag Committee Wednesday for a top post at U-S-D-A, but Iowa Senator Tom Harkin vows to stall the nomination before the full Senate. Marcus native Tom Dorr has been controversial for comments he’s made which some interpreted as racist, and for his financial dealings. Harkin called Dorr a liar and a cheat. Harkin says Dorr was caught falsifying documents to the Department of Agriculture and was caught on tape saying he did so to get around the limitation on federal payments. Harkin initially said he’d filibuster on the Senate floor to kill Dorr’s nomination, but he’s backed off that threat, though still says the delaying tactic is a possibility. Harkin says he’ll discuss it with fellow democrats, and he really wants another hearing on Dorr. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, supported Dorr’s nomination in the Senate Ag Committee. President Bush temporarily appointed Dorr to his post of Undersecretary of Agriculture for Rural Development in August when Congress was in recess. Harkin, a Democrat, says Dorr needs to be brought before Senators again and questioned in a formal hearing setting. He says he finds it odd that many members on the committee are new and have never had a hearing on Dorr. He says Dorr has never answered a number of questions he asked of him. Some labeled Dorr a racist after he said some Iowa counties were successful because residents had a common ethnic and religious heritage. He also violated U-S-D-A subsidy rules and had to pay 17-thousand dollars.
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