Interview with Al Zuck

Abstract

Interview with Al Zuck presents, in his own words, the personal reflections and reactions of a respected twenty-three year career official in the Department of Labor during the 1980 Presidential transition. Confronted with an incoming Secretary of Labor who was embroiled in (and later acquitted of) accusations of corruption in his private life, Zuck relates how he was pressured to approve a contract with the Secretary's political crony. The interview sheds light on the obligations of career officials and how to exercise those obligations in dignified and honorable ways.

The case produces a sober discussion about a career official's obligation to serve political officials, and to "educate" and protect them from acting inappropriately. The story the protagonist relates also invites exploration of campaign dynamics, ideological influences, staff pressures and relationships, as well as common assumptions one group makes about the other.

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