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WASHINGTON-In November 2003, U.S. Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Gilbert Gonzalez withdrew his name from consideration for the NCUA Board after months of waiting. Since that time, former Federal Housing Finance Board Member Timothy O’Neill’s name has been tossed around as a potential candidate for the seat being vacated by NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar. Missouri Credit Union Association CEO Rosie Holub and Texas Credit Union League Vice President of Staff and Public Relations Troy Stang are credit union association officials whose names have also been circulated. Though the White House has promised Dollar that appointing his successor is a top priority, the second round of vetting is reaching the `months’ length. So what is everyone waiting on? On the White House Web site (www.whitehouse.gov), President George W. Bush has this statement posted: “The success of the Bush-Cheney administration will depend on the quality appointees we choose to join us to lead this nation in the years ahead. I will look for people who are willing to work hard to do what is best for America, who examine the facts and do what is right whether or not it is popular. I will look for people from across the country and from every walk of life. I welcome all who are ready for this great challenge to apply.” While filling Dollar’s seat on the board, which expired last April, may be heading toward becoming the bane of the administration’s appointments-next to a handful of its judicial nominations-the nomination process has always been lengthy. Dollar often points out that it took six months from the time his name was floated until he took his seat at the NCUA boardroom table. One might note that the process for NCUA Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson and Board Member Debbie Matz was a bit quicker. However, it must also be pointed out that then-NCUA Board Member Geoff Bacino was a recess appointee who could not stick around beyond his recess appointment and then-NCUA Board Member Yolanda Wheat was a few months beyond her term on the board. Additionally, there was a changing of the guard in the White House as Democratic President Bill Clinton termed out and Republican George W. Bush was sworn in, which led to a number of ousters. The NCUA Board appointees are among those required to receive confirmation by the Senate, in addition to cabinet and subcabinet members, other regulatory commissions, ambassadorships, judgeships, and members of several advisory boards, according to the White House Web site. The site warns that serving in the Bush-Cheney administration requires long hours at an intense pace. There will be a lot of public and media scrutiny, as well as a full FBI background check into an applicant’s history, including employment, personal history, travel, medical history, financial and legal history, and military and education backgrounds. Financial holdings and income must be disclosed. Finally, appointees’ dealings with the federal government during and for a time after their service will be restricted in the interest of preventing potential conflicts. An application, including an online version, is available at www.whitehouse.gov. It requests several pieces of typical personal information like address and Social Security number. It also goes on to ask for veteran status and the position desired. A rsum can also be attached. Pretty standard stuff. Once an application has been submitted, the applicant is notified that it was received and the information is kept on file the entire time the president is in office. If a candidate is considered for a specific position, the applicant will have to submit a Personal Data Statement for the White House to review. At this time, according to www.whitehouse.gov, the applicant is asked to disclose anything that could cause embarrassment to the president or the applicant-including associations belonged to, speeches given, and all aspects of the applicant’s personal and professional life-if chosen for a position. Then the applicant must submit FBI and financial disclosure forms for review and approval. Financial disclosures are often required on an annual basis. Finally, the applicant is referred to the appropriate Senate committee, which may ask additional questions. In the case of NCUA Board candidates, this is the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Assume that all information provided during the process could be subject to public disclosure, the Web site cautions. If recommended by the committee, the candidate is then considered by the entire Senate. [email protected]

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