Bush to remove all but one Clinton appointee from HIV/AIDS panel
President Bush is expected before the end of the month to notify seven of the eight remaining Clinton appointees to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS that they will not be reappointed to the council when their terms expire in January, The Washington Blade reports. White House sources say HIV-positive and openly gay AIDS activist Brent Minor is expected to be the only Clinton appointee to be reappointed by Bush. Some activists are concerned that the new appointees will be conservative ideologues who will oppose programs that support condom use, instead favoring programs that stress only abstinence and monogamy to prevent HIV infections. Nearly all of the Clinton holdovers on the panel are gay and have pushed for comprehensive safer-sex programs. One of the replacements is expected to be gay Republican activist David Greer, the former president of the Philadelphia chapter of the group Log Cabin Republicans and a current member of the board of the Human Rights Campaign.
Bush has already named 26 members to the council, including right-wing antigay former Oklahoma congressman Tom Colburn as the group's cochair. Bush also appointed conservative activist Patricia Ware to the council. Ware has ties to several antigay religious organizations and is an opponent of condom use. Louis Sullivan, Health and Human Services secretary under the first Bush administration, was named as the other cochair.
"No one should take offense or be surprised about this," said Bill Pierce, a spokesperson for HHS secretary Tommy Thompson. "It's standard practice for any new administration to bring in its own people for positions like this." Thompson is expected to play a key role in selecting the new council members.
The Clinton appointees that reportedly will not be reappointed are Stuart Burden of San Francisco, Phil Burgess of D.C., Joseph Cristina of Los Angeles, Ingrid Duran of D.C., Cynthia Gomez of San Francisco, Caya Lewis of D.C., and John Perez of Los Angeles.