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The New Mr. SBA?

President George W. Bush has finally nominated a new chief for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Hector V. Barreto Jr., owner of a 10-employee insurance and financial-services outfit in Los Angeles, served as co-chairman of the President's California campaign--even delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention, where he stumped for Bush's program of tax cuts and regulatory reform. "George Bush es mi amigo," Barreto said. "And he's also a friend of small business." Should the Senate confirm the nomination, Barreto could face a rough road ahead. The SBA has endured sharp criticism for poor management, and Bush's budget cuts the SBA by 40%. For Barreto, a highly placed amigo could come in handy.

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