Thursday, October 27, 2005

She's qualified because she has a Nokia phone

Remember how the pathetic performance of Michael "heck of a job" Brown in emergency management meant that Dubya wouldn't be nominating any more cronies for top jobs? Of course Harriet Miers already put that one to rest but he's still at it with Ambassadorships as well, although perhaps given the consequence of having cronies in really vital positions, maybe a foreign embassy is the safest place for them. Anyway, step forward the latest purchaser of a diplomatic slot:

The President intends to nominate Marilyn Ware, of Pennsylvania, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Finland. Ms. Ware currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for the Ware Family Office, which designs and initiates business ventures and investment opportunities. She previously served as Chairman of Board of American Water Works Company for 15 years.

It doesn't take long for the political contribution tracking sites to find her footprints. Fund Race finds $37,500 given to the Republican National Committee in the 2004 election cycle, and the C-Span site finds that contribution (broken in two, for some reason) along with numerous smaller contributions by her and a relative, all to Republican causes [Enter her surname and 3 digit zip 175 in either site].

In fact Google is a real treasure trove of information about her; it seems from this article that she is an operative for Big Water, a regulated industry that certainly would like to have America's corporatists on its side. But there's the perennial question with all those crony jobs -- how do they decide which country gets landed with them? Poor Finland.

UPDATE 28 OCT: We learn something about the limits of these embassy for sale jobs -- while Finland gets a crony, Iceland and Turkey get real ambassadors i.e. career foreign service officials.

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