Hmm: Obama nominates Justice official to lead the Labor Department

posted at 6:41 pm on March 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

On Monday morning, President Obama announced his pick to replace outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis at the Labor Department: Thomas Perez, an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

National Journal offers a bit of a backgrounder on Perez’s resume:

He was behind many of the big Justice Department cases of the last four years. Perez worked closely with Attorney General Eric Holder on several civil-rights cases in the president’s first term. Holder hopes to make accomplishments on civil rights part of his legacy at Justice. Perez’s Civil Rights Division oversaw the Justice Department objection to two similar laws that required voters to show a photo ID in Texas and South Carolina, saying the states did not adequately prove the laws comply with the Voting Rights Act. Both states filed lawsuits against the Justice Department in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to restore their laws. The court agreed with the department’s objection to the Texas law, while it upheld South Carolina’s law, ruling, however, that it cannot go into effect until this year.

Labor loves him. Perez, a Harvard Law graduate, has a long history of working on labor issues. From 2007 to 2009, he served as the Maryland labor secretary under Gov. Martin O’Malley, before he was tapped for his current position at Justice. During his tenure, he helped write a reform package that was aimed at addressing the state’s foreclosure crisis. Perez has specialized in civil-rights law throughout his career, serving as a Justice Department attorney and a special counsel to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. He also held two civil-rights positions in the Clinton administration.

Republicans, however, are quickly raising red flags about Perez’s spotty record. Sen. David Vitter promised to block Perez’s nomination until Congress gets some answers about a DOJ lawsuit against Louisiana that alleges the state agencies violated federal law by not providing voter registration forms to low-income voters, a case overseen by Perez, as well as concerning Perez’s role in the high-profile New Black Panther voter intimidation case:

“Thomas Perez’s record should be met with great suspicion by my colleagues for his spotty work related to the New Black Panther case, but Louisianians most certainly should have cause for concern about this nomination,” said U.S. Sen. David Vitter. “Perez was greatly involved in the DOJ’s partisan full court press to pressure Louisiana’s Secretary of State to only enforce one side of the law – the side that specifically benefits the politics of the president and his administration at the expense of identity security of each and every Louisianian on the voter rolls.”

In the 2011 letter, Vitter asked the DOJ to be consistent in their efforts to enforce the National Voter Registration Act. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Vitter highlighted that DOJ filed a lawsuit against Louisiana alleging the state has not complied with Section 7 of NVRA, yet has done nothing to enforce Section 8 in other states. Thomas Perez is specifically named in the letter…

And Sen. Chuck Grassley was not particularly impressed with Obama’s choice, either, via Katrina Trinko:

“Nominating somebody who is in the middle of a congressional investigation shows me that the President isn’t very serious about working together,” said Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) in a statement. “It appears that Mr. Perez may be at the heart of a decision by the Justice Department to make a quid pro quo deal with the city of St. Paul, Minnesota that ultimately led to the American taxpayer potentially losing hundreds of millions of dollars by declining to intervene in a False Claims Act case that career attorneys had signed off on. I’m looking forward to hearing his testimony, because there are a lot of tough questions he should answer for the American people, including those regarding St. Paul.”

In a September letter to attorney general Eric Holder, Grassley, then-chairman of the Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R., Texas), Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), and then-chairman of the Subcommittee on TARP, Financial Services and Bailouts of Public and Private Programs Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.) outlined why they believed Perez had been involved in a quid pro quo deal. The city of St. Paul was set to argue before the Supreme Court that its enforcement of the city’s housing code, which disproportionately affected minorities, did not violate discrimination laws — but abruptly decided not to do so, possibly because of a deal engineered by Perez.

The Obama administration might be trying to foist a bigger immigration-related role onto the Labor Department as that debate progresses (who knows what they’ll think of next with all of that “prosecutorial discretion”), and it’s looking likely that the minimum-wage battle is getting ready to intensify; I wouldn’t expect Republicans to let this one through without a pretty tough confirmation process.


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Bureaucrats at that level? Interchangeable.

Experience? Qualifications? Meh.

Purpose, that’s what matters.

Logus on March 18, 2013 at 6:47 PM

This guy is bad news.

tom daschle concerned on March 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Second look at Obama is the devil?

rbj on March 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Does this surprise anyone ?

Predictably moronic.

FlaMurph on March 18, 2013 at 6:49 PM

I believe that bho/jarrett(who has the ear or whatever of bho) looks far and wide to find the most horrible, anti-American they can find that fits bho’s vision of the US!

NOT to fear, our wonderful, get along senate r’s will see to it this person will get confirmed?
L

letget on March 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

NOT to fear, our wonderful, get along senate r’s will see to it this person will get confirmed?

letget on March 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

What’s your problem with the Senate R’s? It’s the sheep you should have a problem with, not the shepherds.

Archivarix on March 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

^ I should have said not ALL in the senate will vote for this person, but enough will to make bho happy?

Sorry to our wonderful senate conservatives who have our Republic utmost in their minds and do what we elected them to do!
L

letget on March 18, 2013 at 6:54 PM

The only qualifier to become an Obama appointee is, are you a rabid leftist? Please leave the rest of your resume blank.

antipc on March 18, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Perez is a corrupt, unethical, racist political hack who has made a career championing the “rights” of illegal aliens to vote in U.S. elections, take U.S. jobs, and suck up U.S. taxpayer-funded benefits.

On a related note, the Obama administration is having the USDA lay off meat inspectors in the U.S., but they’re continuing to fund the multi-million-dollar U.S.-Mexico “partnership” to advertise the availability of U.S. food stamps to illegal aliens. Priorities, folks.

If you don’t yet feel completely screwed over by this corrupt, anti-American administration, you’re not paying attention.

AZCoyote on March 18, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I wouldn’t expect Republicans to let this one through without a pretty tough confirmation process

Like Chuck Hagel? I wouldn’t count on Repubs. You think they will mount an effective filibuster? Me neither.

antisocial on March 18, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Should make for another bracing confirmation fight. Let’s air out Mr. Perez’s full record for the American people. The racialist policies he had at DOJ, deliberately abandoning the voter intimidation case against the Black Panthers despite the clear-cut video evidence/witnesses/and the Panthers not even contesting the case. The targeting of J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates for retaliation when they insisted on enforcing the law in a color-blind fashion. Pathetic choice by a crony-supporting president.

Jill1066 on March 18, 2013 at 7:01 PM

McCain and his stooge will vote for him after lecturing Conservatives about compromise and bipartisanship.

joekenha on March 18, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Perez supposedly is one of the farthest left and most radical of the Obama team, which says a lot.

The GOP members of the Senate will be unlikely to put up much of a fight as: 1) they’re gutless; and 2) the RNC wants to play nicey-nicey with Hispanics.

bw222 on March 18, 2013 at 7:05 PM

It’s been a while since a sitting Cabinet Secretary was indicted (wasn’t the last one Ray Donovan @ Labor? – who was acquited). What with the investigations on-going over Perez’ involvement in many flaps over at Justice, he could very well be the next; and join Albert Fall as one who goes to prison.

Another Drew on March 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Hmm: Obama nominates Justice official to lead the Labor Department

Elections have consequences, to those 7 to 8 million Republican voters who stayed home rather than vote for Mitt Romney, this is what those consequences look like. Thank you for allowing the Fifth Column Treasonous Media deceive you and do your thinking for you. Karl Rove may well be a ba$tard, but at least he voted.

SWalker on March 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Da!! Comrade Obama picks fellow communist Perez to lead the purge!!!

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2488

In March 2013, the American Spectator reported that “Perez has overseen most of the unprecedentedly naked politicization of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division,” as evidenced by the fact that “every one” of the 113 people his CRD had hired for supposedly non-political civil-service positions were “demonstrably liberal activists.” Moreover, said the report, Perez had “insisted on personally approving each of these new hires.”

redguy on March 18, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Perez has been quoted as calling citizens who want border enforcement as nothing more than “xenophobes”.

tom daschle concerned on March 18, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Did he live in the People’s Republic of Takoma Park, Md.? That’s where the Communists dwell. I know, it’s hard to to tell them apart in Maryland.

Another ultra-leftist in the Obama regime who wants open borders and welfare for all illegals.

Philly on March 18, 2013 at 7:16 PM

I wouldn’t expect Republicans to let this one through without a pretty tough confirmation process

I’m with you. I expect a good bit of viewing with alarm, chin pulling, gesturing, tut tutting and maybe even a snort or two. They’re going to savage this guy before he is rather easily confirmed. That will show those Democrats what-for.

Mason on March 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

The guy is an outright socialist. His last job before joining the criminals in this administration was working on behalf of the illegals living in Maryland getting their free college tuition, voter cards, and “dignity” in the corrupt world we call American society.

I heard a Univeristy of Maryland law professeor predict that he would end up as confirmed as Van Jones or Elizabeth Warren. In short, this is a token gift to the radicals of the Democrat party. He puts Chuck Hagel’s hatred of Jews and gays to shame. There will be a fight. And if not, the GOP is dead to me.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 7:27 PM

Tin-foil hat on: Why did Solis leave?

OldEnglish on March 18, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Senator Vitter has said he will not allow this nomination to proceed. Here’s hoping he will not back down and let this commie enter the Cabinet.

honsy on March 18, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Republicans, however, are quickly raising red flags about Perez’s spotty record.

Erm, what exactly is spotty about his record?

The guy is eminently qualified, has a long and distinguished career in public service, and appears to be a fine American. Unless someone has a legitimate gripe about his record (read: a gripe other than the fact that he’s a Democrat who worked for Holder) I’m not sure why we should be wasting time and political capital whining about his nomination.

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Another incompetent moving up.

GarandFan on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

righty45 should be called lefty45! SHEEESH! Read up on this commie before defending him!

honsy on March 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

The guy is eminently qualified, has a long and distinguished career in public service, and appears to be a fine American. Unless someone has a legitimate gripe about his record (read: a gripe other than the fact that he’s a Democrat who worked for Holder) I’m not sure why we should be wasting time and political capital whining about his nomination.

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I must have missed your sarc tag.

This is the guy that refused to convict the armed thugs that intimidated white voters. After all that was required was the government to file a piece of paper.

That alone should be reason to deny the filthy commie a cabinet position.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Erm, what exactly is spotty about his record?

The guy is eminently qualified, has a long and distinguished career in public service, and appears to be a fine American. Unless someone has a legitimate gripe about his record (read: a gripe other than the fact that he’s a Democrat who worked for Holder) I’m not sure why we should be wasting time and political capital whining about his nomination.

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Start here.

Perez didn’t just arrive on planet Earth, he has a long record of being wrong on everything he has been involved with.

tom daschle concerned on March 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

righty45 should be called lefty45! SHEEESH! Read up on this commie before defending him!

honsy on March 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Honsy,

Since you purport to be more informed on the subject, can you please explain (using specific, concrete examples) why you believe Tom Perez is not qualified to serve as the United States Secretary of Labor? In your examples, can you please try to avoid using objections based solely on your general partisan disagreement with the Democratic Party’s views, or Obama Justice Department’s policy? If not, can you please explain why such general partisan objections should not be used against future Republican cabinet nominees?

Finally, can you please explain (again, using specific, concrete examples) why you believe Tom Perez is a “commie”?

Thanks.

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Start here.

Perez didn’t just arrive on planet Earth, he has a long record of being wrong on everything he has been involved with.

tom daschle concerned on March 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Well it’s unsurprising you think he’s been “wrong on everything he has been involved with” because you’re likely a fairly conservative-minded individual, and Tom Perez is a fairly liberal-minded individual. I’m not sure why you think that’s a basis for opposing his nomination to a Democratic President’s cabinet.

I should add that your assertion that Perez been wrong on “everything” is pretty sweeping and itself uniformed. Was he wrong to successfully prosecute Charles Cannon, Michael McLaughlin, and Brian Kerstetter? If so, why?

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 8:06 PM

45 –

Just read up on the above link provided by tom daschle and you’ll find your answer, Mr. Alinsky.

honsy on March 18, 2013 at 8:07 PM

More info from Accuracy in Media – re: Tom Perez’s Casa De Maryland.

CASA de Maryland has enormous influence in state politics. But it also has disproportionate influence at the White House. Two former CASA Board members, the current Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Thomas Perez, and the aforementioned Cecilia Muñoz, have powerful positions within the Obama administration and have used their positions to assist CASA.

Maryland is a secure base of operations for field-testing a new kind of community organization. In discussing his New Americans Initiative, CASA Director Gustavo Torres recently said:

“My goal is to build 200,000 members in the next five years”… [And to someday] “build a powerful … movement of immigrants and other minorities including the African American community to fight for justice—and they decide what justice means.” (Emphasis added.)27

tom daschle concerned on March 18, 2013 at 8:11 PM

We won’t be hearing much more from lefty45 now that he has been offered unassailable proof that he is soooooo wrooooong!

honsy on March 18, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I’m with you. I expect a good bit of viewing with alarm, chin pulling, gesturing, tut tutting and maybe even a snort or two. They’re going to savage this guy before he is rather easily confirmed. That will show those Democrats what-for.

Mason on March 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Yes, they are furiously looking through their thesauruses trying to find as many versions of the word “disappointed” for their crossly worded letters as they can.

jnelchef on March 18, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Folks don’t bother with righty45.

A concern troll employed by the left. I don’t recall a post from this name before which means it comes from the left’s bank of personas whenever there is open registration. Ignore it and it wil go away.

Happy Nomad on March 18, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Honsy,

Thanks for the tip, but I’m still unconvinced. The link generally points to the fact that Perez has worked for liberals and has supported liberal causes. I’m puzzled as to why holding liberal views or working for liberals would disqualify someone from serving in a Democratic President’s cabinet.

I think it’s worth noting that a large part of the author’s problem with Perez is based on Perez spearheading a suit challenging Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070. That criticism appears to be unfounded now, since the Supreme Court agreed with Perez and held that SB 1070 was unconstitutional. Do you support unconstitutional laws, honsy? Do you have any other objections to Perez? If so, can you please articulate them yourself rather than pointing me to a link?

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Finally, can you please explain (again, using specific, concrete examples) why you believe Tom Perez is a “commie”?

Thanks.

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/matthew-vadum/tom-perez-obamas-radical-labor-secretary-nominee/

Perez graduated from Harvard Law School, long a hotbed of radical leftist activity. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently irritated left-wingers when an old speech of his surfaced in which he pointed out that Harvard Law is filled with what he called “communists.”

Cruz, of course, was correct. Harvard Law is bursting with adherents of “Critical Legal Studies” which is a crude legal theory derived from Marxism.

Obama’s Nominee for Secretary of (Illegal Alien) Labor
http://michellemalkin.com/2013/03/13/obamas-nominee-for-secretary-of-illegal-alien-labor/

redguy on March 18, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Nice try, Mr. Alinsky but I won’t engage with an obvious leftist troll any more. Good night!

honsy on March 18, 2013 at 8:24 PM

whose sock is it?

tom daschle concerned on March 18, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Sorry to hear that honsy. Have a good night.

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 8:27 PM

We might need another memorial wall in DC.

wolly4321 on March 18, 2013 at 8:38 PM

(read: a gripe other than the fact that he’s a Democrat who worked for Holder) I’m not sure why we should be wasting time and political capital whining about his nomination.

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Works for me. Anyone who worked for Holder longer than a day should have their skull trepanned.

Bishop on March 18, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Welcome back jimbo3.

tom daschle concerned on March 18, 2013 at 8:45 PM

I’ll be the one of seven that drew the blank. Even though my shoulder is sore.

wolly4321 on March 18, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Is anyone remembering that the Inspector General just issued a scathing report on the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ that Perez led? Ignoring civil rights violations against white voters cause they weren’t the traditional class of people the section was formed to protect.

keioki on March 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM

here

Cleombrotus on March 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Notice that if Perez took of his glasses, he’d look just like Lenin.
Coincidence?

GarandFan on March 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM

The Perez nomination is going to slip under the radar when it, in fact, should raise hackles. Perez epitomizes the racialist bent of the Holder DoJ.
http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2013/03/18/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-labor-nominee-tom-perez-but-were-afraid-to-ask/

onlineanalyst on March 18, 2013 at 10:49 PM

The IG’s report on Holder’s racialist DoJ in which Perez plays a large role:
http://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2013/03/12/breaking-inspector-general-report-on-racialist-disfunction-inside-doj/?singlepage=true

onlineanalyst on March 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Perez is a quota king and possible perjurer.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/03/obama-seeks-to-add-quota-king-and-probable-perjurer-to-cabinet.php

onlineanalyst on March 18, 2013 at 11:00 PM

I wouldn’t expect Republicans to let this one through without a pretty tough confirmation process.

-Erika Johnsen

LOL! Seriously babe, you need to go back to school. If I missed some sarcasm there, then I’ll eat Werner Herzog’s shoe. But I don’t think I did. Hot Air badly needs real writers. I mean this website really sucks. This is the only website where all the writers are dumber than Joe Biden. If this blog were any worse, it would be just slightly worse than it is now, because it couldn’t possibly suck any more.

sartana on March 19, 2013 at 1:07 AM

Labor loves him.

Duh. He’s a racialist socialist. Of course labor loves him.

sartana on March 19, 2013 at 1:07 AM

Well, I think with that comment you definitely made it suck a little more. Why are you here again?

GWB on March 19, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Why do these creepy leftist look so… well… creepy?

And of course, Obama has to re-check the latino box left empty by Solis’s departure. So predictable.

Common Sense Floridian on March 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Was he wrong to successfully prosecute Charles Cannon, Michael McLaughlin, and Brian Kerstetter? If so, why?

righty45 on March 18, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Yes. Because no one should be prosecuted for their thoughts in reference to a crime. They should have been convicted for exactly what they did – beat a man – and nothing more.

GWB on March 19, 2013 at 1:13 PM