GOP Slams Obama Nominee ... Over Old Flame?

Mari Carmen Aponte's ex had possible Cuban ties
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2011 1:40 PM CST
Senate Republicans Aim to Block Obama Appointee Aponte Over Ex-Boyfriend
Mari Carmen Aponte, the temporary US ambassador to El Salvador, shakes hand with El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes in San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday Sept. 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Luis Romero)

Senate Republicans have already gone too far in opposing President Obama's appointees, argues Gail Collins in the New York Times—but blocking someone over a boyfriend she had 20 years ago? Yes, Senate Republicans want to stop Mari Carmen Aponte from becoming ambassador to El Salvador because of a guy she once dated. Collins explains: "A defecting Cuban intelligence agent claimed in 1993 that Fidel Castro’s spies were trying to recruit Aponte" through her then-boyfriend, Roberto Tamayo.

Only problem: A former US spy says Tamayo was actually an FBI informant. "This sounds like a complicated boyfriend," Collins writes. "However, who of us does not have a difficult significant other in the distant past?" Collins suggests a 10-year moratorium on all sketchy exes. She also expresses amazement over Republicans' increasingly die-hard desire to block Obama appointees, especially Richard Cordray, would-be head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—because conservatives oppose the very powers of the bureau, "which the Senate approved, with some Republican support, a year and a half ago." (More President Obama stories.)

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