Mike Thompson to join Eisenhower Memorial panel

WASHINGTON (AP) - A California congressman is joining the Eisenhower Memorial Commission to fill a vacancy as the planned memorial's future is debated in Washington.

The commission announced Thursday that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed California Rep. Mike Thompson to serve on the commission. He replaces former Democratic Iowa Rep. Leonard Boswell.

In a written statement, Thompson says the memorial is an important national project to honor Eisenhower's legacy.

The bi-partisan memorial commission includes 12 members responsible for building the 14-year-old project. There are four from the Senate, four from the House and four appointed by the president.

Los Angeles-based architect Frank Gehry's design for the memorial has drawn criticism from Eisenhower's family. But it has won preliminary approvals from one panel that oversees civic art and architecture in the nation's capital.