Zappala's Senate hearings
|Straight co-founders Melvin Sembler and Joseph Zappala were major contributors to George Bush's presidential campaign in 1988 and in return President Bush
nominated them for ambassadorships. In this link Maryland's
Democrat Senator Paul Sarbanes acknowledges the importance of the up-coming Barcelona Summer Olympics. Despite Senator Sarbanes protest, Zappala became ambassador to Spain, and Roy Spear, owner of Home Shopping Network and another Straight board member, got the concessions to the Barcelona Olympics. Also in this link Senator Sarbanes points out that at one place in their application forms the two
men filled in almost identical answers to one of the questions asked
resulting in Senator Sarbanes questioning
whether the two can be trusted to enter into dialogue with their host governments, if they, apparently, cannot be trusted to write a few lines on their own
This link shows Zappala's 1988 political contributions (exclusive of $100,000 in soft money) as reported in Senator Pell's Committee on Foreign Relations report dated August 1, 1989.
This link is also from Senator Pell's report on nominee Zappala. Here we learn that our would-be ambassador to Spain is a high school graduate, with no published written works, who does not even speak Spanish. And we also see that Mr. Zappala states that he has been with Straight from 1979 to 1989, and that he is a co-founder of Straight, Inc.
This link shows Straight's original articles of incorporation on April 22, 1976. It even lists the 15 original directors, and a 16th name is given--Raymond Bourgholtzer, secretary/treasurer. These names represent officially, I would think, Straight's original 16 co-founders in 1976. But Joe Zappala's name is not among them! Zappala, himself, told the Senate that he had been with Straight since 1979 (not 1976 when it was founded), and extensive research seems to support this; i.e. his name does not show up, as far as this researcher has been able to find, on any newspaper articles or Straight letter heads until around the time that he states he became associated with Straight. If you read the Zappala endorsements by Senators during the Senate hearings you will see that Zappala was not plugged for giving Republican causes a lot of money, but rather for being a savvy businessman and a great humanitarian who co-founded Straight and who has helped retarded kids.
Joseph Zappala told the Senate that he was a Straight co-founder and that he has been with Straight since 1979, but Straight was founded in 1976 and Joe Zappala's name is not on the articles of incorporation.