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Fits in with the rest of the USDA corporate yes men

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Today 7/21/2005 12:05:00 PM

Cattle Update: Harkin on Dorr Nomination

"In my 20 years in the Senate, I have never before opposed an Iowan for an appointment, regardless of their political affiliation or philosophy. But I cannot support this nominee.

"By his own admission, Thomas Dorr setup his farm operations in a manner which evaded the law and then knowingly misrepresented this arrangement to the government.

"What is worse, it appears that additional money—perhaps more than $70,000—is still owed to USDA. Both Mr. Dorr and the Administration consistently and steadfastly refuse to provide Congress with any documentation to clear this very serious matter up.

"Today—after four years of questioning and examination of this nomination—he finally acknowledged and apologized for these actions. This eleventh hour apology and public admission of wrong doing may be significant, but that is not enough to reward him with a top job at USDA."

Opposition to Thomas Dorr is based on his support of corporate-controlled agriculture, opposition to sustainable agriculture and his view that ethnic diversity is an impediment to economic development. In a letter to Harkin read during his nomination hearing, Dorr revealed his disdain for rural residents who utilize government programs, the very people he will serve as Undersecretary for Rural Development.

In addition, Thomas Dorr admitted he structured his farming operations to "quite frankly avoid minimum payment limitations." Dorr and Dorr family trusts were forced to repay $34,000 for two separate violations. Harkin revealed last Thursday that two Dorr family trusts received $65,000 in farm program payments from 1988 through 1993 and could fall under the same circumstances. However, the USDA continues to withhold further Dorr farming operation records from the public and Senate.

"We will continue to pursue the lawsuit against the USDA to force the release of all Dorr operation farming documents," said Dena Hoff, Montana farmer and North Plains Resource Council member. "Then everyone will know that Dorr is not qualified to represent family farmers or serve in public office."

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