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V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 2, January 9, 2011, Article 13

ON U.S. MINT DIRECTOR TENURES

Scott Barman submitted these thoughts on the tenure of U.S. Mint Directors. -Editor

While catching up with my reading, I was reading the December 26 E-Sylum and found an example of a generalization that drives me crazy. In the note about U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy's resignation, David Ganz was quoted as saying, "If you look back 50 years, there's no Mint director that has served a full term when there has been a change of administration." There was something about this statement that bothered me, so I looked back to the last 50 years and found:

- Eva Adams, appointed by Kennedy in 1961, was reappointed by Johnson in 1966, and resigned in August 1969 after Nixon was in the White House.

- Mary Brooks was appointed by Nixon in 1969, reappointed by Ford in 1974 (Nixon had resigned by then), and served until February 1977 after Carter took office.

- Stella Sims was appointed by Carter and resigned in April 1981 under Reagan.

- Donna Pope was appointed by Reagan in April 1981, confirmed in July 1981, and reappointed by Reagan in 1986. Pope served her full second term leaving office August 1991 under the administration of George H.W. Bush.

- David J. Ryder was nominated by George H.W. Bush in July 1991 but was not confirmed until September 1992. Ryder served until November 1993 while Clinton was in office. Ganz can explain why the confirmation was help up since he was the attorney representing PNG at the hearing.

- Jay Johnson was appointed by Clinton in May 2000 and served under Bush 43 until August 2001.

While it may be fair to say that Brooks, Sims, Ryder, and Johnson resigned on the change of administrations, it is clear that Adams and Pope did not.

The Coinage Act of 1873 set the term of the U.S. Mint Director to five years. The law does not require the director to resign on the change of administration. On the contrary, the reason for setting the term to five years is to purposely span administrations and "try" to keep politics out of the process.

Not including cabinet secretaries, it is more common for appointed directors and commissioners of bureaus to serve across presidential terms. For example, Doug Shulman, the current commissioner of the IRS who also serves a five-year term, was appointed by George W. Bush and confirmed in March 2008.

I love David Ganz's writing, but he should reconsider his use of generalizations.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: U.S. MINT DIRECTOR ED MOY RESIGNS (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n52a13.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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