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Well-known member
Aug 26, 2005
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This information is provided by Texans for Public Justice.

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Name Thomas C. Dorr
Appointed To Agriculture Undersecretary; Commodity Credit Corp. Board; Agriculture transition
Industry Other
Employer U.S. Department of Agriculture
Occupation Undersecretary for Rural Development
Address Marcus, IA
Status for 2000 Pledged to raise $100,000
Status for 2004 not listed
The U.S. Deparment of Agriculture (USDA) forced Thomas Dorr’s Dorr Pine Grove Farm in 1995 to return $17,000 in federal agricultural subsidies that it improperly obtained. President Bush nominated Dorr in 2001 as an undersecretary of the very department that his farm bilked six years earlier (Dorr farm operations received $466,673 in farm subsidies from 1995 through 2002, according to the Environmental Working Group). A USDA probe following the nomination—one of Bush’s most contentious to date—uncovered further violations that Dorr’s farm agreed to amend by paying another $17,000 in fines. With few Republicans supporting Dorr’s nomination, the Senate Agricultural Committee Chair from Dorr’s home state said in 2002, “Mr. Dorr lacks the judgment, outlook and temperament for this very important position.” Senator Tom Harkin added, “As the CEO of a corporation, Mr. Dorr, in filing false information with USDA, does not meet the standard set by President Bush when he signed a new law on corporate responsibility just last week.” After Congress went into recess during the summer of 2002, President Bush invoked temporary recess appointment powers from his Texas Ranch to install Dorr as a USDA undersecretary and as a board member of the Commodity Credit Corp. Bush had appointed Dorr in 2000 to his Agriculture Department transition team. The first controversy over Dorr’s federal nomination stemmed from comments he made on the Iowa State Board of Regents in 1999 that suggested that the Christian and European backgrounds of certain Iowa farmers “enabled them to succeed.” The remarks were especially controversial because that same year the USDA settled a class-action lawsuit by black farmers who accused the agency of discriminatory lending practices. Other groups opposed Dorr for advocating policies that they say favor agribusiness over family farms. At the same Iowa Regents meeting, Dorr praised North Carolina’s huge hog operations, which have polluted rivers and corrupted state politics (see David Miner).

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