US lawmaker lobbies for next Ambassador to India
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Last Updated: Saturday, September 03, 2011, 19:51
Washington: Congressman Brad Sherman, an influential Democratic lawmaker from California, is lobbying for a former Californian Lt Governor to be made the next US Ambassador to India.

"We write to support our friend, former Lieutenant Governor of California, Cruz Bustamante for the position of United States Ambassador to India," Sherman wrote in a letter he is planning to send to Obama, reported The Cable, an online blog of The Foreign Policy magazine.

Sherman circulated the letter to all California Democratic offices, urging others to support his endeavour.

"Mr Bustamante has proven himself to be a capable, hard-working and dedicated civil servant. Given his long career of public service and his extensive work on issues of international trade and economic development, we are confident that Mr. Bustamante's appointment would bring strong leadership to the relationship between the United States and India," Sherman said.

Sherman, who recently received endorsement of Bustamante for his re-election bid, said that the former Californian Lt Governor "has a wealth of experience and an extensive knowledge of Indian culture, politics and business".

The Cable said Sherman is currently in need of high-powered California endorsements because he is running against another well-liked incumbent Democrat -- House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Howard Berman.

Drawn together into a newly created district in the Los Angeles area, Sherman and Berman will have to run against each other.

This is shaping up to be a highly competitive and costly race.

Sherman's chief of staff Don MacDonald told The Cable today that there's no linkage between Bustamante's endorsement and Sherman's letter recommending him for the India post.

"As to any suggestion that Sherman is doing this in return for some political benefit, Sherman actually urged that Bustamante seek this position well before redistricting, and a likely very tough race, came into focus.

"The endorsement came months after Sherman first mentioned the ambassadorship to him, well after Sherman had decided to undertake these efforts," MacDonald was quoted as saying.


First Published: Saturday, September 03, 2011, 19:51

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