Obama taps democrat party activist as envoy to south africa (40236)

Feb. 19 (GIN) – Patrick Gaspard, a campaign operative for Pres. Obama, former union chief with the Service Employees International Union and campaign aide to NYC Mayor David Dinkins, is President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to South Africa, it was announced this week.

Gaspard, with long Democratic party credentials, including executive director of the Democratic National Committee, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Haitian parents. He worked on the campaigns of Howard Dean and the Rev. Jesse Jackson and was field director for a national voter registration group.

The New Republic outlined his achievements and some disappointments. He organized successful ground operations for Obama in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. However campaign finance laws were broken under his watch at America Coming Together, a voter registration body. The group was fined $775,000, the third largest penalty of the Federal Election Commission in its three decade history.

“Irrespective of what your calling is in life, there is some intersection with government, and therefore with politics, and it behooves all of us to have a toe in the pool of political action,” Gaspard told theGrio. “But more than most, I think because of the unique history that African Americans have in this country, we can ill afford to be in a position where others are determining the fate of our community, whilst we’re on the outside looking in.”