Policy: Labor

Obama labor nominee’s record makes strong case against confirmation

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger,Barack Obama,Senate,Labor

Thomas Perez, President Obama’s Secretary of Labor nominee, has an egregious record of flouting the law and Congress, most recently in an email scandal that rivals that of former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson, according to Quin Hillyer.

Perez illegally used private email for government business almost 1,200 times while serving as assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and has since ignored a congressional subpoena for the emails, according to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., as The Washington Examiner reported last week. He has also violated the federal records act at least 34 times, said Issa, who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Together, these should not only disqualify the “seriously ethically challenged” Perez from serving in any presidential cabinet, but subject him to a criminal investigation, argues Hillyer, who is a congressional staff veteran and former senior editorial writer for The Washington Examiner.

Hillyer also points out that Perez also ignored U.S. Commission on Civil Rights subpoenas, refusing to respond to 18 inquiries by the USCCR about his role in the Justice Department’s controversial settlement of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case in 2009. He has also misled the commission repeatedly with false testimony about the case, according to Hillyer.

Other points in Hillyer’s case against Perez include:

* The Obama nominee engaged in politically skewed hiring at the Justice Department, stacking the Civil Rights Division with employees who share his radical-liberal agenda.

* Perez pressured Fire Department of New York officials to hire applicants who failed the entrance test as a means of boosting the department’s minority ranks.

* Perez signed off on the Obama administration’s brief in the Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court case, which dealt with  government interference in church hiring, a brief that Hillyer viewed as hostile to religious freedom.

And that’s just the short list. Perez, who currently heads the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, has shown disregard for the law, justice and Congress throughout his career, Hillyer contends.

“He is the single worst cabinet nominee in our adult lifetimes; if he’s not worth blocking, then the Senate is no better than a hollow shell on nominations, pathetically subservient to a presidency to which the Senate itself forfeited imperial powers,” Hillyer wrote.

Perez faces the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the continuation of his confirmation process tomorrow, despite a request from Republicans to delay the hearing.

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