As per the letter sent from the CHC Chair to the HELP Committee on the day of Tom Perez’s hearing, “we urge you to immediately confirm Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor. He is eminently qualified and there is no doubt that under his watch, every American worker’s civil and constitutional rights will be protected – no matter their race, sex, disability, religion, familial status or national origin.”
by Paul West – “Thomas E. Perez, Obama’s pick for the Cabinet post, has been criticized by conservatives, but the two-hour hearing before the Senate labor panel was more perfunctory than contentious.”
“For a party that is trying to overcome racially insensitive comments and engage the Hispanic community, I would suggest not smearing a highly qualified Latino cabinet nominee. While Republicans are blocking a skilled public servant only for their own partisan purposes, real problems concerning the rights of our workforce and the quality of life for our working families are still awaiting solutions.”
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15)
An editorial in the Baltimore Sun defended Thomas Perez against the “flimsy” attacks of critics.
“What Republicans are really upset about in the nomination of Mr. Perez is that he worked hard to enforce voting rights laws at a time when GOP officials in states across the country were seeking to make it harder for people — particularly the poor and minorities — to register and vote. They don’t like that as labor secretary in Maryland, he stood against predatory lending practices and in favor of enforcing fair pay laws. And many can’t stomach his record of treating immigrants — legal or not — as human beings. Mr. Perez is energetic and smart, with clear eyes and a good heart. He’s exactly the kind of person America’s workers need looking out for them.”
The Buffalo News editorial board says that Thomas Perez has “empowered the powerless.”
“As soon as President Obama announced his choice for labor secretary, it became clear that Snyder native Thomas E. Perez had become the latest target of today’s toxic political environment.
“Indeed, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, as News Washington bureau chief Jerry Zremski reported. But Perez, who has fought more than his share of battles representing the downtrodden and disenfranchised, will surely be up to the tough task ahead.”
Mother Jones reporter Adam Serwer writes that landlords in St. Paul, MN were using the “disparate impact” standard to avoid apartment maintenance requirements.
“Republicans are expected to fiercely oppose President Barack Obama’s nomination of Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights and one of the more prominent progressives in his administration, to head the Labor Department. Already, Perez’s GOP foes have accused him of corruption concerning a deal he helped forge in the Justice Department. This agreement prevented an unusual Minnesota housing discrimination case from going to the Supreme Court, and the full backstory—which Perez’s critics haven’t acknowledged—is a bizarre tale of legal complexities in which landlords tried to use a major civil rights law to protect themselves from city regulations meant to improve living conditions for low-income residents.”