ALG Urges Senate Republicans to Block Unanimous Consent Resolution on 14 Obama Nominees

August 4th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson called upon 40 Senate Republicans to block a unanimous consent resolution on 14 controversial nominations by Barack Obama that Wilson said “do not deserve the unqualified support of the U.S. Senate.”

“Barack Obama has made some of the most radical appointments in U.S. history, and these 14 nominations in particular should be subject to a recorded vote at a minimum,” said Wilson, adding that “Some of the nominees have serious conflicts of interest or are otherwise unqualified for the position they are expected to serve in.”

Americans for Limited Government has published a brief background on each of the 14 nominees stating the organization’s objections, some of which include:

• Cass Sunstein (Admin. Off. Of Information and Reg. Affairs, OMB): Favors giving animals right to sue, favors limits First and Second Amendment limits, and “would like another Bill of Rights to guarantee employment, food, clothing, shelter, education, recreation, and health care.”

• Arturo Valenzuela (Asst. Sec. for Western Hemisphere Affairs): Has defended Hugo Chavez’s suppression of the free press in Venezuela, favored better relations with Cuba, and supported Obama Administration policy against Honduras.

• John Fernandez (Asst. Sec. of Commerce for Economic Development) “John Fernandez approved the spending of $1 million of taxpayers’ money for the demolition of a building on private property. He later took a job with the property’s owner.”

• Karen Kornbluh (Perm. Rep. of the U.S. to OECD): Authored the 2008 Democrat Party platform and her husband works for a firm that lobbies the State Department.

• Julia A. Clark (General Counsel for Federal Labor Relations Authority): “Julia Clark profited from her time at the Anti-Trust Division by immediately joining an antitrust law firm upon leaving the Justice Department.”

• Patricia Smith (Solicitor for Labor Dept.): “Designed a program in NY to use community activist groups to enforce wage and hour laws…” deputizing union officials “to shake down employers that are organizing targets of the union.”

• John Sullivan (Commission for FEC): Was a longtime union counsel in election cases. According to the background, “FEC regulations already strongly favor unions compared to other entities and such concern exists about how he would push the FEC regulations as regards issues such as ‘member communications,’ a loophole that unfairly benefits unions while muzzling other entities.”

“The American people have a right to know where each of their Senators stands on the appointment of these controversial nominees,” said Wilson, adding, “Many of them are quite radical, and these conflicts of interest have not been properly vetted by Senate committees.”

“As it stands now, these 14 contentious nominees will fly through via unanimous consent, which is Harry Reid’s way of bulldozing each of the nominees through without any debate nor any vote,” Wilson said.

According to the U.S. Senate website, a unanimous consent agreement is a “unanimous consent request setting terms for the consideration of a specified bill or other measure. These agreements are usually proposed by the Majority Leader or floor manager of the measure, and reflect negotiations among Senators interested in the measure. Many are ‘time agreements,’ which limit the time available for debate and specify who will control that time. Many also permit only a list of specified amendments, or require amendments to be to the measure. Many also contain other provisions, such as empowering the Majority Leader to call up the measure at will or specifying when consideration will begin or end.”

“While Barack Obama and Harry Reid may wish that these 14 controversial appointments not be given too much attention, it is in the American people’s interests that those appointed to the public trust not have conflicts of interest, radical affiliations, or otherwise lack experience,” Wilson concluded.

Background on 14 Obama nominees, Americans for Limited Government, July 2009.

Interview Availability: Please contact Alex Rosenwald at (703)383-0880 or at to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

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