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Friday, June 06, 2008

Russo's Right About Heavily Vetting Veep: Cincy's Lesson Today On Background Checks

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Tim Russo, who knows a thing or two about skeletons and closets, says resumes and candor seldom mix, and too many people conceal things that would chase them from applicant pools. He contends even Hillary Clinton needs to be closely vetted by the Obama camp if she is considered for the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket. Russo is absolutely correct to demand such screening. Why? So there are no surprises. None. This morning, Cincinnatians woke up to huge headlines disclosing that one of the candidates to replace Rosa Blackwell (Ken Blackwell's wife) as the city's school superintendent was caught in a long and grinding legal battle over sexual harassment allegations. He did not disclose the scandal to a search and consulting firm hired to scour the nation for Blackwell's successor.

Of course, Googler's and Yahooligans quickly found the details of the scandal on the Internet, which raises questions about why professional headhunters did not. Russo, writing on his Website Wednesday, knew nothing of this when he said vetting and screening is a crucial part of the selection process for Veep. He said too many people have things to hide:

"It has not been a small issue with me that so many people in high positions; businessmen, lawyers, doctors, politicians, media, and their staff members; manage to hold their positions, salaries, and lives while carrying with them baggage that if disclosed on an employment application, would immediately remove their resume from the applicant pool. Marc Dann, and his entire staff leap to mind."

Right on, Tim. You can now add Earl Watkins to your list -- the chief of the Jackson (Miss.) Public Schools was quickly scrubbed from the semi-finalist list in Cincinnati after the revelations. He won't be in town for interviews next week.


  1. Thanks Bill. It's nice to see someone else noticing the hypocrisy.

    The event I detail on my blog are literally the tip of the iceberg. I can't tell you how many employers fail in their basic responsibility to vet, and when the shit hits the fan, are shocked.

    There are many other issues here, too, like the fairness of such vetting excluding so many people from society based on old, well-disclosed mistakes. But that's my battle, not yours.

  2. Tim --

    I do think that sins, or failures, or mistakes should not be hung around someone's neck forever. You are right about that, too. But I would like to know as much as possible about Veep and presidential candidates. I would like to have seen a psychological test on Cheney -- the kind they give submarine commanders who are placed in command of nuclear weapons.