Posted by: Ann Corcoran | July 5, 2010

Why did Maryland GOP leaders endorse Thomas Perez to head US Justice Department division?

Update July 23rd: More on why the Kanes might be soft on illegal immigration at Blue Ridge Forum, here.

Update: Lots more on Perez here.

This post will likely contain more questions then answers and I wouldn’t even be writing it today if it hadn’t been for the fact that Bob Ehrlich, a Republican primary candidate for governor of Maryland,  picked Mary Kane for his running mate.  That decision has opened a can of very slimy worms.

Seemingly within hours of the announcement the Maryland Democratic Party pounced on Mary’s husband John Kane’s legal problems that now involve the US Justice Department.   See my post Saturday here, and note the biggest shocker of all—Kane, former chairman of the Maryland GOP, wrote a chummy letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the appointment of Thomas Perez, Labor Secretary in the O’Malley administration and former Casa de Maryland Board Member (some reports say Perez was Chairman of the board!), to head the Civil Rights Division in the Obama Justice Department.

For new readers and others not following the open borders movement in Maryland, Casa de Maryland is partially funded by taxpayers and is the chief proponent of amnesty for illegal aliens in Maryland, indeed in the US.

First question:  surely in his capacity as O’Malley’s Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez would have known the details of the Kane family legal problems, right?  Who sent the case information immediately to the Democratic Party after Ehrlich’s announcement on July 1?  Then here is another question for serious investigators that jumps immediately to mind, who brought the original case in 2007, was it an immigrant laborer who claimed that Kane played fast and loose with wages?  Indeed I suppose there was a possibility that Kane was set up?  Do the Democrats now have Ehrlich and Kane by the short hairs?  All important questions for another day.  Today I only have one major question.

Before I get to my original question, let’s go back to Perez for a moment.   Thomas Perez has a lengthy biography that appears to offer just what this White House wanted in the person to head the Civil Rights branch at Justice.  Notice however that Perez’s affiliation with Casa de Maryland has been removed from his bio, here.  In fact, because of that connection Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation says that Perez should recuse himself from any issue involving immigration at the Justice Department.

Obama’s political appointee, Thomas Perez, has an obvious conflict of interest that prevents him from providing objective advice to the President and the Attorney General on any issue involving illegal aliens. Prior to his nomination to Justice, Perez served as the president of Casa de Maryland, an extreme advocacy organization that opposes enforcement of our immigration laws.

Not only is he not recusing himself, he is deep in the middle of the decision to sue Arizona over its recent passage of a bill to control illegal immigration in that state.    An Arizona-like bill will be considered in Maryland during the next legislative session.

Perez has also been connected to the recent New Black Panthers case dismissal that is making headlines.

So, you have the picture, for Tea Partiers and conservatives generally Thomas Perez is very bad news!

In fact, US Senator Jeff Sessions raised his concerns about Perez’s affiliation with Casa during Senate confirmation hearings.  The left-leaning American Prospect, calling Perez “a progressive’s dream appointment,” offered this explanation as one of the reasons why Perez’s nomination had been held up for 6 months.

Senate Republicans have also expressed concern about Perez’s affiliation with what they see as “radical groups” — namely CASA de Maryland, whose work on behalf of immigrants is seen by conservatives as controversial. During Perez’s Senate hearings, Sen. Jeff Sessions accused the group of “promoting illegal immigration” because they published a pamphlet informing undocumented immigrants about their legal rights if they are caught in an immigration raid.

O.K. so we have US Senator Jeff Sessions, one of several Senate Republicans making a valiant effort to hold up the “progressives dream appointment”  of Thomas Perez,  and lo and behold, along comes John Kane, former chairman of the MD GOP and none-other than Minority leader of the Maryland House of Delegates, Tony O’Donnell (here), sending glowing letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Perez. Did Sessions feel double-crossed by his own fellow Republicans? I don’t know the answer to that, but I would have.

Our colleague Richard Falknor, Blue Ridge Forum, reported all this last fall, but readers (including me) didn’t pay much attention to the issue until now, when former Governor (and would-be) nominee for governor this year, Bob Ehrlich, picked Mary Kane (a friend of Perez judging by the tone of  her husband’s letter) to be his running mate.

So now, here is the big question:

What could Mr. O’Donnell and Mr. Kane hope to gain for the Maryland GOP or for their own policy objectives by supporting Mr. Perez?***

Until I get a plausible explanation from Kane and O’Donnell, all of this indicates to me that the Maryland Republican establishment is too entangled with open borders advocates like Perez (and Obama),  and that Ehrlich (if he can even get elected in light of the Kane mess) will never be strong on immigration issues and Maryland will continue its dubious distinction as a sanctuary state.

*** If you know the answer, please comment to this post or write to me privately,

Off topic (sort of), but it’s something I’ve been pondering.  Do you remember when Republicans were about to choose John McCain as our candidate for President and some commentators (I remember Rush Limbaugh saying this repeatedly) said that the Democrats and the Democratic controlled media helped select our candidate because they knew who they wanted to run against?  And, even if he won, he (McCain) would be a manageable President from their perspective because he wasn’t very different than some Democrats.  I’ve wondered if the same strategy is being applied here in Maryland—Governor Bob is an easy mark and even if he should slip into office, he would be controllable.


  1. All great stuff, Ann, but I’m in the dark about your final comment. In what way are the media helping to select Bob Ehrlich? They’re not exactly hiding the weaknesses of Mary Kane as a candidate, are they?

    • Judy, maybe that last bit was just the result of rambling thoughts before the first cup of coffee. I certainly didn’t want to leave the impression that the mainstream media actually supported Ehrlich over O’Malley, however, I’m told the Washington Post did endorse Ehrlich in 2006. What I am trying, apparently not so clearly, to say is that the powers that be, in the media and elsewhere have already set up this race as an O’Malley vs. Ehrlich contest, I think because those are the ‘devils they know’ leaving out the fact that both until recently had, or in Ehrlich’s case still have, primary opponents. Ehrlich will be better than O’Malley from our perspective, but not enormously better. This case with Perez shows there isn’t a bit of difference between the Democrats and Republicans on illegal immigration (the issue I think is right up with over-spending as the top issue in the state).

      Remember when we were told that McCain was the best we could do in the election year climate that saw Obama come to power. McCain early on was the media darling (or they pretended to make him so). And, of course, they all turned on him when the “maverick” picked Sarah Palin—no longer was McCain the devil they knew.

      So, I wonder if the mainstream media, and the powers that be, are doing the same thing in the Governor’s race here—helping guide us to their preferred candidates?

      I haven’t seriously looked today, but is the media going after Mary Kane (other than the couple of articles I cited)?

  2. I think you’ll find that in most races the media focuses on the best-known candidates. Primary challengers to incumbents aren’t usually given much chance — of course, this year is different but the media are lazy and most aren’t going to research the opposition until something happens to make them think there is a credible challenge. As for Ehrlich, he’s obviously the “big” candidate because he’s been governor. I don’t think there’s any Machiavellian thinking behind it at this point.

  3. […] Perez and Kane, too close for comfort? Update July 5th: There is more, here! […]

  4. […] confirmation. Blue Ridge Forum revealed these letters last October 7.  They have been no secret. The Potomac Tea Party Report is also right on the […]

  5. […] and its law that seeks to curtail illegal immigration in that state.   Regular readers know that we have written about Thomas Perez, a former board member of the notorious Casa de Maryland.  Now comes a blast from investigator, […]

  6. […] here.   For readers who happen to live in Maryland, you can read more about what I’m doing here.  Right now I’m organizing this meeting on illegal […]

  7. […] Readers in Maryland, take note that establishment Republican leaders in Maryland have signaled their squishiness on the issue by supporting their buddy, Thomas Perez, to be the policeman for civil rights in the Obama Justice Department, here. […]

  8. […] of Thomas Perez, friend of the Kanes, for the civil rights division at the Justice Department here.   Apologies for not catching the name differences.  So to College Republican, James Kane is no […]

  9. […] Afterall, that isn’t so far-fetched when you know that Tony O’Donnell, Maryland Republican leader in the House of Delegates, supported uber-Leftist and former Casa de Maryland board member, Thomas Perez, for the Obama Justice Department, here. […]

  10. […] are myriad other grants from places like the Justice Department (funny, isn’t that where Casa’s Perez […]

  11. […] Readers may recall that Perez, a former Casa de Maryland board member, was ENDORSED for his present job by prominant Republicans in Maryland—John Kane (husband of Ehrlich’s Lt. Gov. candidate, Mary Kane) and Tony O’Donnell (minority leader of the House of Delegates).   We’ve been told it is because they are “friends.”     Of course it’s O.K. to have friends who don’t share your political views, but this is what is wrong with the Maryland Republican Party (or at least its leaders), they are not guided by any set of policy principles, instead, it appears they are guided merely by the cronies they golf with! […]

  12. […] gonna keep asking the same question I asked here.  Did two bright leaders of the MD GOP think they would somehow benefit from endorsing Perez for […]

  13. […] our previous posts on Kane and O’Donnell here and […]

  14. […] and that her husband John Kane endorsed the now scourge of the US Justice Department, Thomas Perez here.    Also, she told the Baltimore Sun recently that she expected Maryland would not have a […]

  15. […] Jeff Sessions who was trying to hold up Perez’s nomination to the Justice Department.  See here and here (Byron York calls Perez the […]

  16. […] of Perez’s nomination and an attempt by US Senator Jeff Sessions to hold up the nomination here.   It’s a terrible shame that just as Sessions (a Republican!) was attempting to stymie  […]

  17. […] appointment to the Justice Department and how two Maryland Republicans helped him get the job, here.   A little payback now for Alabama from Perez? GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

  18. […] Leader Tony O’Donnell and former head of the Maryland GOP, John Kane (husband of Mary), here.    I’ll continue to harp on this point until those two publicly explain why they undercut […]

  19. […] is because Maryland is the home of the Department of Justice’s chief “attack dog” Thomas Perez (in addition to being the focus of one of the largest upcoming battles on illegal […]

  20. Did Tony O’Donnell ever renounce or retract his statement of support for Perez? He is now running for US congress as a republican. How does he stand now on the issue of the Perez endorsement?

    • I have never seen any statement from O’Donnell saying he made a stupid mistake. If you see that, let me know.

      • Anne:
        I’ll definately raise the issue at the candidate forum he is scheduled to attend in College Park on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

        If you live long enough, everyone racks up a few “stupid mistakes” The test of character is not the “mistake” but the ability to admit, learn from it, and move on. Let’s see if there is a chapter in Profiles in Courage that Tony can fit into. (One thing I admire about politicians, is when they have enough self-confidence to admit to a mistake; without that ability, anyone is a danger and threat in an office of public trust).

      • Yes, Lee, that is a good idea and I definitely agree—it is how one handles the mistakes made in the past. Be sure you follow links back and read his letter to the US Senate. There is no reason any MD Republican had to get involved with Perez’s nomination process.

        Let me know what he says!

      • Anne,
        I have copied the congressional senate record with his letter right there. So, we’ll do a little “fact check” on Wednesday as a place to begin Tony’s long way back to sanity — should he decide to accept the challenge. You think there should be a “politics annonymus”? Seems to work for other bad addictive habits. We are all recovering addicts of one sort or another; or simply in denial.

  21. […] gift to the Obama Administration’ has done for the nation.  Longtime readers know that two prominent Maryland REPUBLICANS endorsed him for the […]

  22. […] why he (in his official capacity as Minority Leader of the House of Delegates!) felt compelled to go on record and support that menace Thomas Perez to be Eric Holder’s right hand man in the US Justice Department.   What sort of deal did […]

  23. […] I’ve written many posts on these pages about  Asst. Attorney General for Civil Rights and former CASA de Maryland honcho, Thomas Perez-–this is our archive on Perez, and if you have time to read only one post, read this one. […]

  24. […] You must go to Main Justice and read this.  It’s copyrighted and so I can’t snip it to give you a flavor of the letter that general council James Schultz of PA Governor Tom Corbett’s office sent late last month to Asst. Attorney General Thomas Perez.  You know, that Thomas Perez, Maryland’s gift to Obama. […]

  25. […] J. Christian Adams at PJ Media has all the juicy news. (Hat tip: Judy).  I’m taking a break from writing here regularly, but I couldn’t resist telling you about this story especially since we have an extensive archive (we have 56 previous posts) on Asst. Attorney General Thomas Perez who was heartily endorsed for that position by two prominent Maryland REPUBLICANS (read all about it here)! […]

  26. […] de Maryland.  His nomination for the US Justice Department gig was held up back in 2009 until two prominent Maryland REPUBLICANS sent glowing letters of support for his nomination.  The question then (and now!) is:  what was in it for […]

  27. […] The Saga of the Tom Perez Nomination Richard Faulknor at Blue Ridge Forum and Ann Corcoran at the Potomac Tea Party Report have raised issues about the fitness of Tom Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil […]

  28. […] of the Maryland House of Delegates, Tony O’Donnell and former MDGOP Chairman John Kane) endorsed him for the position with […]

  29. […] Faulknor at Blue Ridge Forum and Ann Corcoran at the Potomac Tea Party Report have raised issues about the fitness of Tom Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil […]

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