Reactions to Salazar, Vilsack

Political people pipe up about Obama's latest two appointments.

By Thomas Schaller
December 17, 2008 11:13PM (UTC)
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Some reactions to the nominations of Ken Salazar and Tom Vilsack, respectively, to secretary of the interior and secretary of agriculture  ...

Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is happy about Salazar:

"As a fifth-generation Coloradan, Senator Salazar is intimately familiar with some of America's most important historic and cultural treasures including the National Park Service's Hovenweep National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, and the Bureau of Land Management's Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Senator Salazar has demonstrated an outstanding record of preserving historic and cultural resources on public lands as the co-leader of the National Landscape Conservation System Act. This hallmark legislation will Congressionally establish the Bureau of Land Management's 26 million acre Conservation System to conserve, protect and restore nationally significant landscapes recognized for their outstanding cultural, ecological and scientific values. We look forward to working with him in his new position in the Administration."

Kieran Suckling (what a name!), of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of 150 enviro organizations that co-signed a letter calling upon Barack Obama to tap Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, is not:


 "Ken Salazar is very closely tied to ranching and mining and very traditional, old-time, Western, extraction industries. We were promised that an Obama presidency would bring change."

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is happy about Vilsack:

"Tom Vilsack is an excellent choice for the next Secretary of Agriculture. He was an outstanding Governor dedicated to improving the quality of life for Iowans. Governor Vilsack worked to strengthen Iowa's economy and create high-paying jobs, expertise that will serve the next administration well during these difficult economic times. He is a champion for America's farmers, an authority on natural resources, and thoroughly experienced in agricultural issues. We are extremely pleased that Governor Vilsack is embarking upon his next chapter of service to the American people."

The organic food buyers are not:

"Vilsack is a noted proponent of unsustainable and dangerous genetically engineered crops. Even the biggest biotechnology industry group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, named Vilsack Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership. Organic farming does not allow for the use of genetically engineered crops. The Organic Consumers Association is opposed to genetic engineering and supports mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods."

Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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