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Political Appointments

The Senate voted 33 to 1 Thursday to approve a bill that would give it power to remove any public appointee who falsifies qualifications during confirmation hearings. The bill was introduced by Sen. Gary K. Hart (D-Santa Barbara) after The Times revealed in December that California State University Chairwoman Marianthi Lansdale of Huntington Beach falsely claimed during her nomination process to have earned an associate of arts degree in 1959 from Long Beach City College.
December 11, 2013 | Christi Parsons
With his popularity flagging and his healthcare law at risk, President Obama has uncharacteristically reached outside his tightknit core of advisors to bring into the White House a veteran Democratic strategist who helped guide President Clinton through the darkest days of his presidency. The appointment of John Podesta, who was the White House chief of staff during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment proceedings in Congress, is an acknowledgment by Obama of the extent of the problems that have dogged the first year of his second term.
July 25, 2000 | From Associated Press
Georgia's Democratic former Gov. Zell Miller was appointed Monday to the late Republican Paul Coverdell's Senate seat and said he will run for the remaining four years of the term in November. Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat, officially announced the appointment Monday evening, saying Miller, 68, is the best-qualified person from either party. "The one who didn't want it was the one who had to take it," he said. "It used to take seniority to get things done in the United States Senate.
September 26, 2013 | By John Horn
Many years ago, a longtime friend started working at 20th Century Fox. In one of his first meetings in his new job, he was introduced to Tom Sherak, who at the time was senior vice president of Fox Filmed Entertainment, where he worked in marketing and distribution. “He's like the mayor of Hollywood,” the friend said of the gregarious executive. PHOTOS: Highest-paid media executives of 2012 Nearly two decades later, Sherak more or less has become that person.
August 1, 1993 | Xandra Kayden, Xandra Kayden is a visiting scholar at the Center for Politics and Policy at the Claremont Colleges and author of "Surviving Power" (Free Press)
Mayor Richard Riordan has done the right thing in striving for ethnic and gender diversity in his appointments. He has also done the political thing, rewarding residents of the San Fernando Valley, which overwhelmingly voted for him, with a larger share of commission appointments than they have recently enjoyed. Unhappily, ethnicity, gender and geographic representation seem the primary measures we use these days to judge the wisdom of political choices.
As if anticipating the inevitable rumors and whisperings that would accompany her appointment as the first woman prime minister of France, Edith Cresson complained in an interview published last week that "not one woman is elected without the explanation being heard that she really got the post because she slept with so-and-so or so-and-so. Unfortunately, we are still there."
August 4, 2005 | Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer
Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation. Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay rights activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work.
July 19, 1989
The Senate brushed aside complaints that President Bush is packing the ranks of the nation's envoys with unqualified political cronies and defeated a bid to restrict political appointments to 15% of the diplomatic corps. The vote rejecting an amendment by Sen. Albert Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.) was 79 to 20. Gore said he would try again today and offered an amendment to hold to 30% the number of ambassadors and senior State Department officials nominated for their political contributions. But Sen.
One of every four judges appointed by Gov. Pete Wilson contributed to his gubernatorial campaign in amounts as high as $4,000 before being named, a Times review of Wilson's campaign records shows. Altogether, 17 of the 65 men and women whom Wilson placed on the bench or elevated to a higher court through April gave him campaign money, according to the records.
May 30, 1991 | MARY HELEN BERG
If Councilman William G. Steiner wins his bid for the 67th Assembly District seat sometime this fall, City Council members will be asked to fill a council vacancy for the second time in less than a year. But some residents would rather select a new representative themselves, and want the city to call a special election.
October 2, 2010 | Peter Nicholas and Lisa Mascaro
Many of the unpleasant little tasks that a White House confronts ? nudging an aide out the door, perhaps, or helping a senator find someone a job ? tend to wind up on Pete Rouse's desk. Rouse, 64, a low-key troubleshooter and consummate backroom player whose work is seldom publicized, is being elevated to a post in which he may lose some of his cherished anonymity: White House chief of staff. Rouse will succeed Rahm Emanuel, who is leaving to run for mayor of Chicago. It's an interim appointment, although White House aides say Rouse could end up getting the post on a permanent basis.
May 11, 2010 | James Oliphant
The White House during President Clinton's second term was a combustible, ambitious place. While to the public it appeared that the chief executive was spending most of his time embroiled in scandal, a small group of staffers worked behind the scenes to pursue an aggressive policy agenda. Elena Kagan was one of them. She had come to the Clinton domestic policy shop in 1997 after serving as an administration lawyer. By the time she left two years later, she had put her stamp on the office, a unit that took on tobacco and gun industries, advocated campaign finance reform, backed affirmative action and worked to preserve abortion rights.
April 12, 2010 | By Andrew Zajac
A pair of key Senate Republicans urged President Obama on Sunday to pick someone from the judicial mainstream to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, and downplayed -- but did not rule out -- a filibuster to block a nominee they opposed. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said a filibuster would be in the offing only if Obama picked "a nominee that evidences a philosophy of 'judges know best,' that they can amend the Constitution by saying it has evolved . . . then we're going to have a big fight about that because the American people don't want that."
February 13, 2010 | By Anthony York
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday backed off his threat of a court fight over his choice to fill the vacant lieutenant governor job, asking the state Assembly to vote again on whether to confirm state Sen. Abel Maldonado for the post. The governor said he would withdraw and resubmit Maldonado's nomination "to avoid wasting time and energy on litigation that should be spent passing a jobs package that will get Californians back to work." The maneuver resets the 90-day clock for lawmakers to approve or reject Maldonado, a moderate Republican from Santa Maria who was approved by the state Senate.
January 24, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, whose reconfirmation has become surprisingly jeopardized, received a bipartisan boost Saturday from two key senators who reiterated their support for him and predicted he would win a second four-year term. Senate banking committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), who also serves on the committee, took the unusual step of issuing a weekend statement on Bernanke's behalf. The move came a day after two Democratic senators, Barbara Boxer of California and Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, announced their opposition to Bernanke's renomination as head of the central bank, fueling speculation that his confirmation could be scuttled.
January 21, 2010 | By Mark Silva
Erroll Southers, President Obama's choice to head the Transportation Security Administration, withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday, dealing a setback to an agency still grappling with the security failures that led to an alleged attempted airliner bombing on Christmas Day. Southers, whose nomination had been blocked by Republican opposition, complained in a statement Wednesday that he had become a political lightning rod. ...
May 11, 1990 | Michael Flagg, Times staff writer
Building Blocs: Your average new city in south Orange County usually starts life with the bare minimum in the way of municipal government: Dana Point, for instance, housed its city manager in a trailer for the first few months of its municipal existence. Now the Orange County chapter of the American Institute of Architects wants to offer its members' expertise to municipal design review boards and planning commissions.
July 24, 2007 | Maeve Reston, Times Staff Writer
A longtime Republican activist credited with helping revitalize the GOP in San Bernardino County was appointed to a judgeship by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in May even though he was rated "not qualified" by a state bar committee, the bar announced Monday. But a spokeswoman for the State Bar of California said the organization and members of the judicial evaluating commission were legally prohibited from explaining why San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Elia Pirozzi was deemed unqualified.
January 10, 2010 | By Laura King
President Hamid Karzai snubbed two prominent warlord figures in a new Cabinet lineup unveiled Saturday but unexpectedly offered a ministerial spot to the leader of a party linked to a Pakistan-based insurgent commander. The list of 16 Cabinet nominees also includes three women, one of them a prominent activist chosen as minister of women's affairs. Karzai had been sharply criticized when his previous lineup had only one woman. The Afghan parliament on Jan. 2 rejected 17 of the 23 prospective ministers that Karzai initially put forth, including former militia commander Ismail Khan and three nominees associated with another former commander, Rashid Dostum.
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