Wapo, NYT Omit Obama Nominee's Radical Past

On Monday, President Obama tapped Thomas Perez, currently the head of the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, to take the helm at the Department of Labor, replacing outgoing Secretary Hilda Solis.  This will be the third controversial Cabinet appointment after Brennan and Hagel.  In covering the story, Peter Baker of the New York Times mentioned Republican opposition to his nomination, but failed to mention Perez’s radical past preceding his service in the Obama administration, much less his controversial actions while at Justice.

According to Investors Business Daily, Perez was involved in the following:

• The Black Panthers voter intimidation case — where goons from that hate group were filmed with truncheons at the polls to intimidate voters into voting for their candidate. Perez's DOJ dropped the case.

• The Obama administration's lawsuit to stop Florida from purging its voter rolls of 182,000 non-citizens — a move so outrageous it was thrown out by a Clinton-appointed federal judge in June 2012.

• Race-baiting lawsuits against municipalities to force them to scrap written tests for police and firefighters for affirmative action hiring. According to the American Spectator's Quin Hillyer, Perez argued that black firefighter applicants who flunked 70% of their entrance exams should get a free pass to the New York firefighters academy, public safety be damned.

• Military ballots — and the federal efforts to delay those serving in harm's way overseas from exercising their right to vote — more of Perez's handiwork.

• The civil rights harassment suits against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose only "crime" was trying to enforce existing U.S. immigration law — again, Perez's work.

That’s not all, the Times omitted, but IBD reported on Perez’s radical ties to the left-wing advocacy group CASA de Maryland, which: 

…counsels illegal immigrants in ways to evade U.S. law and whose officers have ties to leftist guerrillas in El Salvador, Nicaragua and possibly Colombia. In 2008, CASA took a $1.5 million grant from the government of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, putting the group in Chavez's debt.

And there's also the matter of CASA being funded by left-wing mega-donor George Soros.  The media are always eager to hunt down conservative ties to top-dollar conservative and libertarian donors like the Koch Brothers, but Soros ties seem to cause the liberal media to stifle yawns.

Perez also has a proclivity to avoid holding himself accountable, as “a damning 250-page report released this week by Obama's inspector general found that the DOJ under Perez was a rat's nest of racial enmity, "with several incidents in which deep ideological polarization fueled disputes and mistrust that harmed the functioning of the Voting Section."  

Yet, the area that some on the right are going to converge on rests with this development that:

Perez himself was found to have lied to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission about the involvement of political players in the DOJ's otherwise odd decision to drop the case against the Black Panthers. He got somewhat exonerated with claims that he didn't know, which again raise questions about his accountability.

Perjury?  That’s what landed Bill Clinton an impeachment proceeding, but Sean Higgins wrote for the Washington Examiner that this isn’t the case:

Perez was not actually at the Justice Department when the action happened in the Black Panther case. The decision to drop the prosecutions was made by career Justice Department officials on May 15, 2009, according to the inspector general's report. Perez was not confirmed by the Senate to join the Justice Department until Oct. 9 of that year, about five months later.

Perez's main involvement in this controversy came after the fact. In testimony before the US Commission on Civil Rights and the House Judiciary Committee, he said that the decision to drop charges was not influenced by political appointees. As the OIG reported, that wasn't correct. Political appointees had in fact set "clear outer limits" on what the decision would be. Last year, an Appeals Court also came to the same conclusion in a Freedom of Information Act case related to the decision.

It's possible Perez was being evasive with his testimony, or he may just have not been fully informed on the issue. Given that it had all happened before he came to Justice, he would have had to rely on what others told him. In either case, it's not nearly as clear-cut as some would have it. It would be nearly impossible to prove that he "perjured" himself, as some on the Right have argue

Additionally, Sari Horwitz and Lena H. Sun of the Washington Post also omitted Perez's radical past.

So, Perez was part of a Soros-funded organization that had ties to Marxist guerillas, and leads a “rat’s nest” of “racial enmity” within his Civil Rights Division.  He’s a fighter, a radical, and an ideologue.  No wonder why Obama, and Big Labor, love this guy – and why the New York Times was apt to omit his sordid history, and focus more of Republican opposition.