Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Despite Alleged Conflicts, Bersin Gets Border Post on Interim Basis
San Diegan Alan Bersin is one of 15 appointees that President Obama today (March 27) said would be named to their posts, bypassing Senate confirmation votes. Bersin was earlier named by Obama to be commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection division of the Department of Homeland Security.The New York Times reported that one day after Congress left for spring recession, Obama, flexing his muscles, said he would bypass the Senate and install the 15. It was the first time Obama had exercised his constitutional authority to fill vacant positions by making recess appointments, said the Times. Republicans have been raising questions about Bersin's suitability for the border czar job. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said Bersin was answering questions about "what appeared to be conflicting information about his documentation and disclosure" of household employees. The questions were "directly relevant" to the appointment, the Times quoted Grassley as saying.
The Reader's Matt Potter has been pointing out for some time Bersin's long-time involvement in border businesses, such as a note on a Mexicali industrial park and a note on a San Ysidro travel insurance business. It's not known if Bersin still holds those notes.