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Eye Opener: Obama's Hispanic Nominees

By Ed O'Keefe

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Urban Affairs Director Adolfo Carrion Jr. are three of dozens of Hispanics working in the Obama administration.

Eye Opener

Updated 10:11 a.m. ET

Happy Wednesday! Flacks at the Democratic National Committee circulated an Arizona Republic article on Tuesday that reports "President Barack Obama has appointed more Hispanics to high office than any president ever has during the first year in office, reflecting the growing political clout of the nation's largest minority group. The 43 appointments since Inauguration Day also reflect Obama's debt to the Hispanic community, which helped propel him into the White House."

Reporter Erin Kelly also notes that "Those appointments represent 14 percent of the 304 Obama nominees the Senate has confirmed." Her count includes newly minted Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

But a note of caution: The Republic's count of 43 Hispanic nominees and a total of 304 total nominees confirmed differs from The Post's figures, which currently stand at 27 Hispanic nominees among a total of 234 confirmed by the Senate, according to The Post's Head Count.

So where's the difference? The Post does not include U.S. attorneys or ambassadors in our count, while it appears the Republic does. (UPDATE: The Eye obtained a list from the White House with the 43 names, which you can see below.)

Still, Obama has appointed several Hispanics to top positions, including Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. He's also hired several Hispanics for non-confirmed positions, including Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz and Director of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrion Jr.. (He also wanted Bill Richardson for commerce secretary, but we all remember how that went.)

Has Obama appointed enough Hispanics to his administration? Too many? Has he appointed enough minorities generally? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Cabinet and Staff News: The McChrystal report gets delivered to Obama today. A wig-wearer was part of the Ben Bernanke ID theft ring. Politics never played a role in elevating terror alert level, Tom Ridge says -- again. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner previews the G-20 finance ministers meeting today while Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visits Saginaw, Mich. for a clean energy economy forum.



Name Position
Rolena Adorno Member of the National Council on the Humanities
Edward Avalos Agriculture Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
Rafael Borras Homeland Security Undersecretary for Management
Friendship Heights Washington, D.C.
Lorelei Boylan Labor Department Wage and Hour Administrator
Michael Connor Director of Bureau of Reclamation
Lou De Baca State Department Director of Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking of Persons
Marisa Demeo Judge, D.C. Superior Court
Miguel Diaz Ambassador to Vatican City
Jimmy Esquea Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Legislation
John Fernandez Commerce Department Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and EDA Administrator
Alberto Fernandez Ambassador to Republic of Equatorial Guinea
Jose Fernandez State Department Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs (EEB)
Juan Garcia Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Manpower and Reserve Affairs
Joe Garcia Energy Department Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact
Alexander Garza Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer
Gabriella "Gaby" Gomez Education Department Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Congressional Affairs
Mercedes Marquez Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development
Capricia Marshall State Department Chief of Protocol
Kathleen "Kathy" Martinez Labor Department Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
Vilma Martinez Ambassador to Argentina
Alejandro Mayorkas Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana Education Department Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education
Victor Mendez Administrator of Federal Highway Administration
Ignacia Moreno Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources Division
Carmen Nazario Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Children and Families
Maria Otero State Department Undersecretary for Global Affairs
Carlos Pascual Ambassador to Mexico
Thomas Perez Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
Jose Riojas Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary of Operations, Security, and Preparedness
Rosa Rios Treasurer of the United States
Ken Salazar Interior Secretary
Francisco Sanchez Commerce Department Undersecretary for International Trade
John Sepulveda Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary for Human Resources
Richard Serino FEMA Deputy Administrator
Peter Silva EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water
Hilda Solis Labor Secretary
Sonia Sotomayor Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Nancy Sutley Chairman of the President's Council on Environmental Quality
John Trasvina Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
Ines Triay Energy Department Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management
Gloria Mendivil Valencia-Weber Board Member, Legal Services Corporation
Arturo Valenzuela State Department Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere
Joe Westphal Undersecretary of the Army

Source: The White House

In other news...

U.S. Embassy Guards Accused of Lewd Behavior in Afghanistan: Private security contractors have engaged in lewd behavior and hazed subordinates, demoralizing the undermanned force and posing a "significant threat" to security at time when the Taliban is intensifying attacks in the Afghan capital.

Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Afghanistan: As of March this year, contractors made up 57 percent of the Pentagon’s force in Afghanistan, and if the figure is averaged over the past two years, it is 65 percent, according to the report by the Congressional Research Service.

CIA Resists Disclosure of Records on Detention: Among the documents the agency is trying to keep classified are President George W. Bush’s Sept. 2001 authorization for it to begin secretly holding terrorism suspects; cables between CIA officers in the secret prisons and their bosses in Washington; and assessments by agency lawyers about the legality of the detention program.

"Clunkers" Helped Some Automakers: Ford Motor Co. said its U.S. sales of light vehicles were up 17 percent in August over last year. Honda Motor Co. also saw a rise, with its U.S. sales up 9.9 percent in the month to 161,439. And Hyundai Motor Co. said its U.S. results hit a record in the month. (Thanks in part perhaps to The Eye's "Clunkers"-inspired purchase of a new Santa Fe?)

NTSB Urges Operational Changes for Emergency Medical Helicopters: The agency approved recommendations for the FAA to require operators of helicopters flown for emergency medical services to, among other things, install automatic pilots, terrain awareness monitors and night-vision systems.

Energy, Treasury Announce First Clean Energy Project Awards: The 12 projects in eight states, which otherwise would have qualified for tax credits, will receive cash in lieu of the tax breaks.

IG Faults FEMA Procurement Capabilities During Emergencies: The report was released Sept. 1, just a few days after the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which exposed deep flaws in FEMA’s disaster response preparedness in 2005.

At White House-Backed Conference, University Presidents Sound Guarded: Obama administration officials offered support and new programs, but they also challenged the educators to do more toward providing their students with a quality higher education.

Astronauts Embark on 1st Spacewalk of Mission: It got underway shortly after the International Space Station got a new $5 million treadmill named after TV comedian Stephen Colbert.

Telework, Transportation Top Issues for BRAC: More Defense Information Systems Agency employees are planning on making the trip to Ft. Meade, Md., when the agency moves there starting in October 2010. But almost a third of the 4,300 person workforce remains undecided about the move.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | September 2, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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I don't believe that obama "As" appointed enough Hispanics, and I don't believe that he "Has" appointed too many. I think that he should be looking for the right person for the job, but admittedly he has no personal knowledge of who is everyone that he appoints. And as everyone should know and expect, he must pay off the constituents who helped him get elected.

Posted by: familynet | September 2, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

direct from bum fr** egypt

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | September 2, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama tipped his hand some time ago. We will soon have 20-30 million more "new citizens" when the blanket amnesty plan is approved.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | September 2, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Obama has not appointed enough Hispanics to his administration until he appoints some to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Hispanics have been under repesented in the civil service for over 15 years and even when these cases come before the Board they still find no fault with the agencies that have qualified Hispanics applicants that they fail to advance.

Posted by: grandma51 | September 2, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

blanket amnesty...
now there's a big issue

border state here..minutemen on the border.
think it will sit well with them.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | September 2, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

How many people of German or English or Polish extraction have been appointed? This constsnt scrutiny of Hispanic appointments is just a snide way of showing how many positions were stolen by undeserving "others" from entitled "whites".

Posted by: ed2house | September 2, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

obama hardly made a dent in his appointees of Latinos to what IS "high office," I just three.

Posted by: sabestu | September 2, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Appointees should be chosen for their abilities and competence regardless of everything else.

Posted by: migueldart | September 3, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

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