Hans von Spakovsky writes at today’s Morning Bell from the Heritage Foundation that Thomas Perez was supposed to get a confirmation vote today for his appointment as Obama’s new Labor Secretary. It was part of the agreement between Harry Reid and Republican senators in the filibuster fight.
But then “a surprising development on Wednesday has raised new questions about President Obama’s nominee to be the new Labor Secretary.”
Ann has been tracking Perez on this blog for years. He is a hard leftist, involved with CASA of Maryland and illegal immigrants, and with many questionable acts on his record. The archive of previous posts on Perez is here. The current problem with some background:
Perez has faced questions about his misleading congressional testimony about his involvement in a quid pro quo deal with the city of St. Paul, Minnesota, that resulted in the dismissal of a Supreme Court case and taxpayers giving up a claim worth almost $200 million. He has refused to turn over private emails that he used to conduct Justice Department business and has refused to testify before the House despite a congressional subpoena. But apparently, that’s not all.
Now, David Weber, a lawyer representing current and former employees of the Civil Rights Division, which Perez oversaw, has sent out a press release accusing Perez of “substantial misconduct.” The employees, who are claiming whistleblower status, met with the staffs of Republican and Democratic Senators and turned over evidence of “disparate impact discrimination under the leadership of Mr. Perez.” This is significant because “disparate impact” is Perez’s favored legal theory—he has used it to pursue numerous businesses and other defendants in federal discrimination lawsuits.
The whistleblowers claim that Perez and his senior staff “began a widespread campaign” of discriminatory treatment against disabled employees as well as other employees “based on race; gender; age; and/or parental status.” The employees who opposed this discrimination were “subjected to an exceptionally hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation.” The whistleblowers include African-American, Hispanic, and female employees.
What is most startling in the allegations is the reason given for the discrimination: “the Perez actions were directed at preserving the positions of political appointees who have ‘burrowed’ into [the] Civil Rights Division through Perez’s patronage.”
These are very serious claims, von Spakovsky points out. Weber, the lawyer, asked Congress to investigate and hold up the nomination pending the investigation.
Nevertheless, Reuters reported at 1:50 this afternoon that the Senate had confirmed Perez, 54-46, along party lines. (All Republicans voted against him.)
“Tom Perez is more than just some left-wing ideologue. He’s a left-wing ideologue who appears perfectly willing to bend the rules to achieve his ends,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said before voting against Perez.
He’ll get along perfectly with Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Kathleen Sibelius, and the other members of the administration to whom McConnell’s description also applies.