board. \(Recess appointees serve out a session of Congress. Although the usual procedure is for a president to submit each appointee for approval after Congress reconvenes, Reagan has refused include: Ronald B. Frankum, a business consultant to six Fortune 100 companies specializing in aerospace, telecommunications, and weapons fields; and Albert Angrisani, whose accomplishments include a three-year term as Vice President of the Chase Manhattan Bank \(see With his unconfirmed appointments, Reagan is doing more than abusing his right to make them. He violates the spirit of the congressional specifications that the board be composed of poor people as well as lawyers, poor people representative of the client population. While there are many legal representatives on the board, only the very rich could consider any of the board members poor. Reagan assigned the “poor” seat in 1982 to Daniel Rathbun, a white college student attending a private university. When Rathbun left, the “poor” seat went to Frankum \(of Reagan has sent slates of prospective nominees \(other than his temporary Labor and Human Resources 18 names so far. But Congress cannot seriously, or even humorously, consider many of his suggested members. Like his appointees, they often boast considerable wealth, Jesse Helmsian Republican connections, and open hostility toward or ignorance of the Legal Services program. The result? Today the LSC operates with a five-member, handpicked, recess-appointed board. So much for checks and balances. In response to this obvious circumvention of congressional will, Congress attached a rider to the Legal Aid appropriation known as the “hold harmless clause.” It states that annual funding of existing grant programs must remain at 1983 levels unless action is taken prior to Jan. 1, 1984, by board members who have been confirmed. The rider does not hold the Reagan LSC board as harmless as one might hope. There is more than one way to skin a legal services corporation. The most bizarre action under the appointed board was the series of secret raids on regional Legal Aid offices in the summer of 1983. One morning men showed up in the nine regional offices from New York to Seattle, sealed the files, crated them up, and sent them off to Washington for a General Accounting member described the psychological effect of being raided by a formerly friendly, superior office: “Morale in the regional offices is atrocious. He also stated that operating an office without any files disrupts work “dramatically.” The GAO insists that the files remain sealed during their audit to insure that documents aren’t altered or destroyed. Nine months after the raids, the files are still in Washington. HE MOST SCANDALOUS of Reagan’s acts in his battle to dismantle the Legal Services Corporation has been his choices for recess appointments to and nominees for the LSC Board of Directors. As one Legal Aid lawyer put it, “At worst they are hostile to the program; at best they are ignorant of it.” The following people represent a sample of Reagan’s 31 unconfirmed selections: Michael B. Wallace, nominee. Wallace, a Justice Department employee, opposed the extension of the Voting Rights Act in 1982. That same year, he urged the Administration to side with segregated private schools in the celebrated Bob Jones Supreme Court case. He intervened to prevent the Justice Department from sending federal inspectors into local Mississippi jails. A fire in one of those jails later killed 27 inmates because flammable polyurethane padding spread toxic fumes throughout the jail. Legal Aid experience: 0. Occupation: Attorney. Ronald B. Frankum, appointee. In 1980, Frankum served on the Reagan-Bush Expenditure Control Task Force. He is now the Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Futures, Inc., a telecommunications business group. As a business consultant, his clients include six Fortune 100 companies in the aerospace, telecommunications, and weapons fields. Legal Aid experience: 0. Occupation: Businessman, business consultant. Henry Chavira, nominee. When he first heard of his nomination, he told an El Paso newspaper “I’m not real aware of what the board is . . . I know there’s eleven people on it. That’s about all I know right now.” Legal Aid experience: Applied and was rejected for legal assistance on the ground of financial ineligibility. Occupation: Sales representative. The GAO audits have unearthed what Reagan labels “illegal” use of federal funds. During the mad scramble after it became apparent that Reagan would be our next president, Legal Aid offices sent representatives to lobby legislators around the country for the continuation of Legal Services. They felt it was a matter of survival. The grant programs contend that such lobbying practices pushed the law to its limits but did not Robert F. Kane, nominee. Kane serves on the Board of Trustees of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative organization which has often opposed Legal Aid programs. PFL has represented landlords against rentcontrol ordinances and ind opposing federal minority e ment statutes. Legal Services 0* *A ence: Worked pro bond for on one occasion. Occupatiq ney. LeaAnne Bernstein, namin g Bernstein. while a student at the University of Indiana Law School i proclaimed herself a Libertarian ancIN opposed public support for ,roa schools, education, and other b i . public nstitutions. Because s presently the assistant to the pit* of LSC, her nomination is in viol LSC Act which states: “No member of th Board may participate in any decisign action, or recommendation d with,i spe to any matter which d’ benefits such member or oY specifically to any firm or o” n VA with which such member associated or has been ass* to7:Acr within a period of two years. Aid experience: 2 years. Occupation Assistant to the President, LSC. Robert Valois, nominee. V, is a recognized specialist in laborl who worked for J. P. Stevens in battle against the Amalgamated Cl ing & Textile Workers Union, and has represented industries in alleged civil rights violations. He was featured in a Southern Exposure article called “Union Busters: Who, When, Where, Why and How.” Legal Aid experience: On two occasions he’s defended industries against Legal Service clients in employment compensation cases. Occupation: Attorney. A.D 10 MARCH 23, 1984
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