Like a punch drunk fighter whose who thinks he's winning the fight even when he's lying bleeding on the mat, President Bush -- for the fourth time -- nominated Richard Stickler to head the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Stickler, you may recall, is the former mine industry official with less than sterling safety record who was rejected by the Senate and twice sent back to the White House only to be renominated again.
Stickler was finally put into the position last month by a recess appointement, which the President is able to do when Congress is out of session. The only problem is that a recess appointment only lasts one year -- hardly long enough to unpack the boxes.
Stickler was joined in the same announcement by the renomination of Wal-Mart attorney Paul DeCamp to head the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor. The only problem, as the AFL-CIO Today points out, is that DeCamp's record
includes urging the weakening of the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA’s) overtime pay and other protections. He even argues for changing the law to prevent millions of workers from becoming eligible for overtime pay. Strangely enough, he also said that it would not be “in the interest” of the workers to obtain overtime eligibility.Stickler and DeCamp join the other doomed nominees like John Bolton (recess appointed to UN Ambassador) and Ken Tomlinson to head the Broadcasting Board of Governors which oversees Voice of America and other American oversees radio networks. Tomlinson, who was first apponted to the Board in 2001, was found to have abused his position and effectively defrauded taxpayers. Tomlinson was was forced to resign from the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Corporation last year after he was found to have engaged in highly unethical behavior. Stickler's in good company.
As the AFL-CIO blog says, "this is a very puzzling and odd way to demonstrate bipartisanship. Isn’t it?"