Saturday, February 05, 2005

Readers Write

Nuns and Ham-handed Questions

This comment comes from Jeff Raimundo, longtime political consultant in Sacramento:

"I have to disagree with you in part about your take on "bags of swag."

"Clearly, (Robert) Klein himself would have trouble getting past CIRM's

"'Might your income or investments present an 'appearance' of a
conflict of interest? Yes or no. Is there anything in your background
that could embarrass us? Yes or no.' -- Ya think!?

"If Klein can answer those questions in the negative, what applicant is going to think any differently? Those are the kinds of questions I think ARE entirely appropriate for later interviews, for the reasons you outlined. At the front end, however, they are imprecise, ham-handed and hypocritical.

"CIRM has great promise and probably should be excused for early
glitches on its maiden voyage. But such a public display of
holier-than-thou attitude by bosses who can't pass the test themselves
sets CIRM up as a too-easy target for critics."

The following comes from retired historian Tom Hall of Berkeley:

"The Bags of Swag is a nice piece that raises all kinds of interesting
questions about the realism of public expectations. Abe Lincoln would
never been elected president if he had to submit to such a test prior to
being nominated. The only ones who could pass the test are cloistered
nuns, and I'm not so sure they could."

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