THE DYSFUNCTIONAL NOMINATING PROCESS, CONT’D…. John McHugh’s nomination to be Secretary of the Army was held up for foolish reasons. So was Robert Perciasepe’s nomination to be deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. And David Hayes’ nomination to be deputy secretary of the Interior Department. Harold Koh’s, Dawn Johnsen’s, and Thomas Perez’s nominations have also all been held up for petty, partisan reasons.
And now we can add Alan Solomont’s name to the list.
Byron York reports that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is blocking the all-important nomination of Alan Solomont, the president’s nominee for ambassador to Spain. The reason: “retaliation for what Grassley says is the administration’s stonewalling of Congress over documents relating to the firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin.”
York sums up the Walpin case in his article; the gist is that Walpin, a Bush appointee, was fired after recommending action against the Democratic mayor of Sacramento. AmericaCorps claims Walpin was failing to perform his job; Grassley has demanded proof that the firing wasn’t political. And so as he performs a pivotal role in health care negotiations, Grassley is shooting overhead at the administration.
For crying out loud, Grassley’s still hung up on the Walpin story? Wasn’t this thoroughly debunked back in July?
Zachary Roth noted at the time, “You’ve got to assume that this mass of evidence has put to rest once and for all the line that this was a politicized firing — and indeed, the conservative outrage seems to have receded recently.”
It receded, of course, because the “story,” which was all the rage in conservative circles for a short while, was found to be completely baseless, and White House detractors were forced to move on.
And yet, Grassley won’t even let the Senate vote on a would-be ambassador to Spain over this?