03.14.2013 2

Rumored Obama Labor nominee has a truth problem

By Richard Manning — The timeless Washington, D.C. game of guess the Cabinet appointment has turned the town’s focus onto Thomas Perez, the current head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, as the likely replacement for former Secretary Hilda Solis.

But Perez’ path to Senate confirmation is anything but clear as a just released Justice Department Inspector General’s report sharply criticized both his leadership of the Civil Rights Division and his truthfulness in responding to allegations that political operatives were involved in the decision to not prosecute two New Black Panther Party leaders on voter intimidation charges leveled after the 2008 election.

Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government called on the Senate to reject Perez if he is nominated stating, “President Obama’s likely nominee for Labor Secretary Thomas Perez’s attempted cover up of the involvement of Obama political appointees in the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case makes him unfit to serve in any further capacity in this or any other Administration.

“Perez knowingly lied to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission when he insisted under questioning that political appointees were not involved in overturning the decision to not to prosecute two New Black Panther Party leaders who were caught on camera threatening voters at a Philadelphia polling place.

“Even U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton found in Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice that documents in the case, ‘appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’ testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision.’

“It is shocking that Obama would consider appointing someone who should be prosecuted for perjury rather than promoted to Labor Secretary.

“Sadly, that Perez is even being considered to be the nominee reveals a great deal about Obama’s arrogance and utter disregard for the constitutional advice and consent process that he would even consider, let alone offer up, someone as unfit as Perez .

“If it is left to the Senate, they must do their constitutional duty and reject Perez. At a time when our nation is in a jobs crisis, the public has a right to demand better than a political hack who has proven that he is willing to do or say anything regardless of truth.”

The Labor Department itself faces a scandal in its Job Corps program, where the Department is under congressional fire for overspending by $61 million, causing the number of program openings to be cut in half.

“Any incoming Secretary of Labor will have to confront the gross mismanagement of public funds that was allowed to occur under Hilda Solis.  To place someone, like Perez, into this position of trust who has already been excoriated by a federal court and the Justice Department Inspector General for choosing to lie to cover up potential political malfeasance hardly provides the public confidence that he could lead anything other than a typical administrative cover up,” Wilson concluded.

If Obama nominates Perez, it is expected that he will face a difficult confirmation process.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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