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NFFC statement on Thomas Dorr's appointment as Special Advisor to USDA Secretary Veneman

(Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is from a news release:

George Naylor,
President of the National Family Farm Coalition
Member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

The defeat of Thomas Dorr's nomination as USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development is a victory for grassroots family farm and rural groups from all over the country. Since June 2001 more than 200 organizations, dedicated to promoting social, environmental and economic justice, objected to Thomas Dorr's support of corporate agriculture, his insensitive remarks on ethnic and religious diversity, and his violation of farm program payment limitations.

We appreciate the Senate's opposition to Dorr's flawed vision for the future of agriculture, and its recognition that Dorr lacked moral fitness for office. Under the leadership of Senator Tom Harkin, the Dorr nomination didn't pass muster in either the 2002 or the 2003 Senate.

The Bush Administration's appointment of Dorr as USDA Special Advisor this week ignores the voice of the people and disregards the Senate's role to advise and consent. In the end, it is not surprising that the fundraising chair of President Bush's 2002 Iowa Election Campaign (Thomas Dorr) would gain an administration office. However, to send the message that Dorr is fit for any USDA position is astonishing.