Saturday, February 05, 2005

Helping APAs Get Appointed

Here is what 80-20 did to induce the Bush Administration to make the cabinet appointments. You will see how 80-20 goes out of its way to help APA Republican Leaders.

In mid-Dec., 2000, African and Hispanic Americans had been appointed
to cabinet positions. In contrast, APA Republican leaders were having
trouble even seeing relatively low-level staff people involved in the appointment

Therefore, on 12/14/00, 80-20 decided to find a way to induce President
Bush to appoint an APA cabinet member . The task was given to S. B Woo.

In the next few days, S. B. called two noted Republican APA leaders,
Matt Fong and John Tsu, to coordinate efforts. Without reaching either,
he left messages offering to help.

Matt Fong called back. On that day, he and many other GOP APA
leaders were in Washington D.C. working on possible appointments.
S. B. asked how things were going for them. Matt said that the APA
GOP leaders were pooling their political assets to lobby for APA cabinet
and sub-cabinet appointments. He also stated that they were having
trouble getting to see the right people.

SB asked whom they wanted to see. Matt named two. One was
Andrew H. Card who was then the Chief of Staff of the Transition Team

(T.T.) headed by V. P. Cheney. Card later became Bush's Chief
of Staff. Another person was Clayton Johnson, III, Exec Director of T.T.
S. B. observed aloud that Card was not easy to get hold of. However,
not being able to see Johnson was NOT a good sign. Matt agreed.

SB then asked how 80-20 could be helpful to them? Matt expressed
the wish to generate public pressure to open the right doors. SB
promised to help create that pressure.

On 12/21/00, SB sent an e-mail to V.P.-elect Cheney who headed the Transition
Office. S. B. took the carrot approach, stating

" .... APAs as yet do not identify with either party; we are here ready for you to make a move to win us over. Asian Ams. reside mostly in CA, NY and NJ. These are states rich with electoral college votes that GOP could win in 2004. ...

I respectfully request that you consider appointing qualified Asian Pacific
Americans to policy-making positions in President Bush's Administration
soon, possibly including a cabinet position." For the complete e-mail, visit

On 12/27/00, not having heard back from Cheney, 80-20 went to its trump
card, sending an e-mail to its 230,000 supporters, urging them to send
e-mails to the Transition Team:

"Call for Action:

... APA political leaders in both parties are beginning to understand that 80-20's success induces both political parties to pay more attention to them -- a win-win
situation that is good for our community and our political leaders.

To illustrate, we request that YOU fax or e-mail Pres.-elect Bush urging him to include Asian American Republican leaders In his cabinet.

Fax (413) 460-2609 or email it to

A simple statement will suffice: " Dear Pres.-elect Bush: I urge you to include Asian Americans in your cabinet appointments. Respectfully yours, (your name and address)"

A helping hand from us NOW to get our APA Republican leaders appointed is more powerful than statements in the future saying that 80-20 works for the benefit of our community and is NOT a front for the Democratic Party.

"The only way to have a friend is to be one." -- Emerson


Although SB didn't ask the supporters to copy him in, hundreds of supporters
copied SB in while e-mailing President-elect Bush AND V.P.-elect Cheney.
80-20 estimated that at least 1000 e-mail went into the Transition Office
on the SAME day. For the complete 80-20 e-mail to its supporters sent on
12/27/00, visit

The next day, on 12/28/00, 80-20 used the tremendous and immediate response
from its supporters to lobby about 400 reporters to "call the Transition
Team to get its response" regarding the aspiration of the APA community.
80-20's e-mail said:

"Dear Media Friends:

Although 80-20's e-mail entitled "President Bush/.../Call for Action" has NOT yet reached 1/3 of its 430,000 supporters, a huge amount of e-mail form Asian Americans has apparently already poured into Bush's Transition Ofc. ....

Please consider calling the Transition Office to get its reaction to these e-mails from Asian Pacific Americans. Thank you.


Many reporters from the largest mainstream media did call the Transition Office. For the complete 80-20 e-mail to reporters, which includes e-mails from supporters responding to 80-20's call, visit
THE NEXT DAY, ON 12/29/00, the transition office responded positively. For the first time V.P.-elect CHENEY CONTACTED NORM MINETA, a Democrat, and inquired about his interest to serve in the Bush administration.

Inducing the Bush Adm. to make that critical first appointment was extremely important. IT MEANT that 80-20, through its various channels, had convinced the GOP that winning APA votes in 2004 would be of strategic importance. Other appointments would logically follow. THE REST WAS HISTORY.

In addition, expect other significant APA appointments shortly before Nov., 2004.
A little humor shouldn't hurt politics. Prior to Mineta's appointment, many APA GOP leaders publicly blamed 80-20's endorsement of Gore as the reason why Bush had not appointed an APA cabinet member. Now that there are TWO APA cabinet officers, was it all to 80-20's credit? :-)

Of course, not! We all share the same goal, though using different approaches. There is NO REASON that APA Democrats, Republicans, Independents and 80-20's leadership can't work together, whenever feasible. Winning equal justice and opportunity for the APA community should be the ONLY agenda.

Readers may also want to note that most of the 80-20's leaders have no personal political ambition at all. Some have even announced publicly not to run for election or accept any government appointment.