Interior Department Mogul
High-Powered California Couple
Accused of Looting Family Trust
|A high Interior Department official, active in federal efforts to impose harsh water rules on Fallon farmers, is being accused of looting a California family trust to illegally fund political campaigns for himself and his wife.|
a copyrighted story by former Sacramento Union
editor Joseph Farah, the new Internet paper World Net Daily names both Deputy Secretary of
the U.S. Department of Interior John Garamendi and his
wife, Associate Peace Corps director Patricia Wilkinson
Garamendi, as subjects of the charges.
After Bill and Hillary, the political-appointee Garamendis are the highest-ranking husband-and-wife team in the Clinton administration.
John Garamendi, nominated to his current post by Clinton in 1995, is a former California insurance commissioner and was an unsuccessful candidate for the 1994 Democratic nomination for governor.
Patricia, or "Patti," Garamendi, an unsuccessful candidate for both the California legislature and the U.S. Congress, was appointed by Clinton in 1993 to be Administrative Director of Volunteer Recruitment for the Peace Corps.
The accusations against the Garamendis, according to Farah's report, come from William Freitas, current president and executive director of Bankers Community Performance Concerns, Inc.
Formerly Freitas was
president and chief executive officer of the Bank of
Lodi, in Lodi, California.
"operating criteria and procedures," or OCAPS
-- strike most non-federal observers as not only
counter-productive, but also needlessly punitive.
Farah's World Net Daily
story, the diversion of trust funds to campaign expenses
"came at a time when Patti Garamendi was being
defeated by Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, in a bid for a
congressional seat, and John Garamendi was conducting an
unsuccessful race to be governor of California."
a key operator in Hillary Clinton's Health Care Task Force and head of several committees, was a former Garamendi aide. Garamendi, said the Post, "is credited with convincing Bill Clinton early in the campaign to support" the particular model of health care that eventually emerged. That model called for "the formation of giant agencies -- called health insurance purchasing cooperatives (HIPCs) - that would oversee approved health plans." Garamendi himself had already made a very similar proposal. According to an analysis prepared for the conservative Heritage Foundation, the plan would have put at risk about 6.6 million small business jobs, or about 10 percent of all small business employment.
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