Despite all of the claims on the left that Congressman Keith Ellison is being smeared during his bid to become the next Chairman of the DNC, he’s clearly in trouble. The “smearing” mostly consists of people rudely pointing out things he actually said and did, such as his regular support for the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan, along with his rather blatant antisemitic comments. While he tries to put it in the past, as he did when he was asked about Farrakhan on Morning Joe today, the fact is that as recently as this summer he was telling people that his participation in the 1995 Million Man March was, “one of the best things I ever did.”

That’s made some Democrats nervous enough to look at other alternatives and right now the next contestant seems to be Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. (Washington Post)

Labor Secretary Tom Perez will launch a campaign to be Democratic National Committee chairman this week, becoming the first serious challenger to Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) for a lead role in rebuilding a shellshocked party.

According to two sources familiar with Perez’s thinking, he will announce his candidacy Thursday, a day after a planned rally for Ellison with the American Federation of Teachers and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The announcement would come after weeks of quiet pressure on Perez to give Democrats another alternative to the Minneapolis congressman.

While it’s true that Tom Perez wouldn’t come with the same brand of baggage that Ellison is dragging along behind him, it’s worth taking a moment to remember just what a train wreck this guy has been during his tenure as Obama’s Secretary of Labor. He is so deep in the pockets of the unions and so quick to put a thumb on the scales against both employers and rank and file workers that many of his own attempts at regulating the labor landscape have been rejected by both the courts and Congress.

He was the one who moved to implement the Fiduciary Rule, a plan which would handicap financial advisers and limit the options of workers seeking investment help. That one was beaten up in the courts and Congress eventually passed a bill to block it entirely, but couldn’t override Barack Obama’s veto of it. He also forced through the Home Care Rule, which a federal judge kicked out for being “arbitrary and capricious.” (Sadly, it was later reinstated in a protracted court battle.) Perez also attempted to force through the appropriately ominous sounding “Persuader Rule” which would have crippled employers engaging in union organizational talks. That one was fortunately killed off in the courts, described as being blatantly in violation of the First Amendment.

There are more examples which show Perez to be a “champion of labor” while being an opponent of expanded opportunity and workers’ rights, but those are enough for now. The Workforce Fairness Institute jumped into the discussion this week, issuing the following statement.

Washington, D.C. – Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI) spokesperson Heather Greenaway today released the following statement in response to a report in The New York Times stating U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has told various individuals he intends to seek the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC):

“After spending years advancing policies that reward Big Labor at the expense of hardworking employees and employers, it is of little surprise to read that Secretary Perez is now seeking to become a party boss. Whether it’s the overtime rule that has injected uncertainty among businesses across the country and was ultimately blocked by a federal judge, or advancing an aggressive anti-business regulatory agenda while lifting reporting and transparency requirements on union bosses, Perez has proven politics has always been at the center of policymaking within the Obama Administration to the detriment of American workers and businesses.”

That sounds about right. I’m not sure if we should be more alarmed about the prospect of this guy taking control of the Democratic Party or excited about the idea that they might turn over the controls to someone who will obviously champion policies which most Americans have widely rejected. Either way, if the DNC wants him they’re welcome to him as far as I’m concerned.

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