via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.
CQ adds president
of National Black Farmers Assn. as among Ag Secretary possibilities
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John Boyd, president of the National Black
Farmers Association, is among those being vetted for Agriculture secretary
in the Obama Cabinet, an individual with knowledge of the transition process
said Thursday, according to Congressional Quarterly (CQ), a publication
which earlier this week signaled the likely USDA Secretary would be former
Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Earlier this week the Washington Post called
Vilsack a "near shoo-in."
Congressional Black Caucus members are backing Boyd,
a fourth-generation farmer and civil rights activist, who ran unsuccessfully
in 2000 for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District seat against
then-independent Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., now a Republican.
CQ also reported that Boyd’s name also has been floated
as a potential assistant Agriculture secretary for civil rights, where
he could help ensure that the department complies with equal opportunity
Boyd talks. Boyd said Tuesday that he would be happy
to help Obama implement agriculture policy from inside or outside the
administration. Like Obama, he supports tighter caps on farmer subsidies.
“USDA needs a breath of fresh air,” he said. “I think
there can be improvement with farm lending, outreach and technical assistance
to small and mid-scale producers. . . . small producers really haven’t
been a part of the American fabric at USDA under the Bush administration.”
At an Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing in
May, Boyd condemned the actions of an Agriculture official who allegedly
sent an e-mail message to colleagues encouraging them to oppose a
farm bill provision that would compensate black farmers for past discrimination.
Comments: This is, indeed,
a parlor game. Other names will likely surface for the Agriculture spot,
as are names for other Cabinet posts. For example, NBC News reported
last evening that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) was in the running to
be President-elect Barack Obama's Secretary of State (Clinton is reportedly
in Chicago today for a possible "interview"). Other wow-type
candidate possibilities for other posts include former Secretary of State
Colin Powell for Obama's Education Secretary.
Meanwhile, members of various transition teams, including agriculture
and trade, have been announced. I never get very excited about
these "thank you for helping in the campaign" lists, because
it is the actual Cabinet and key post-Cabinet nominees that are important,
and that is why I will not waste my or your time commenting or even
listing the transition names. Frankly, not many on those on transition
teams actually end up with positions in an administration.
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