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With Attacks On Secretary Of Labor Nominee, GOP Latino Outreach Efforts End On Day One

Memo Pad Politics

With Attacks On Secretary Of Labor Nominee, GOP Latino Outreach Efforts End On Day One


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In the GOP’s “autopsy” of the 2012 election, the party’s problem with non-white voters is put in blunt terms: “Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country.”

On the same day the report was released, Republicans immediately freaked out at the president’s announcement of Thomas E. Perez — current assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s Civil Rights division — as his nominee to head the Department of Labor.

A longtime civil rights attorney, former staffer for Senator Ted Kennedy, member of the Clinton administration and former Secretary of Labor in Maryland, Perez has exactly the credentials you’d expect a Democratic president to look for in his labor secretary. The nomination was praised by groups like Jobs with Justice, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the AFL-CIO.

Just moments after the president introduced Perez as his nominee, Republican senator David Vitter of Louisiana put the nomination on hold. And the GOP wonders why minorities roll their eyes.

This overreaction from the right wasn’t a surprise. Republicans held up Perez’s nomination to the Department of Justice for seven months, but it is telling that even after Mitt Romney’s disastrous performance with Latinos in 2012, the GOP is intent on letting its ideological fringe continue to attack Latino leaders in a way that seems to purposely alienate minority voters.

As White House communications director Daniel Pfeiffer tweeted:

Why does the right oppose Perez? As the head of the Civil Rights division, he’s been relentless in fighting for… civil rights.

Perez fought capricious voter ID laws, put a new focus on defending members of the LGBT community and investigated the killing of Trayvon Martin and the strange activities of Sheriff Joe Arpaio — exactly the kind of stuff the GOP was afraid he was going to do.

Among the many charges the right has lobbed at Perez is that he’s discriminated against white people by enforcing the Voting Rights Act, which is designed to help minorities who have been historically prevented from voting. They’ve also accused him of being a member of an extremist group, which was actually a mainstream immigration rights group, and enabling Islamo-fascism by supporting non-discrimination policies at airports.

Perez in many ways activates the right’s “worst fears.” As the demographic realities that challenge the GOP as a national party become more real, he is a powerful, respected Latino who can use what is left of civil rights laws to prevent the right from waging its never-ending war on minority voters.

Nowhere in its “autopsy” was the right’s failed attack on the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor or the unprecedented voter suppression campaign that began in 2011 ever mentioned. But in these direct challenges to participation in our government, Republicans send their clearest message to the Latino community: You are not welcome here.


  1. Jeanne Rossi March 19, 2013

    Well, all I have to,say, is that these wing nuts have a year to get their act together.,,2014 is getting closer by the day. They are all the same ilk as ROMNEY. Say one thing and mean another. They simply cannot be trusted and they prove it every time they open their mouths.

  2. sigrid28 March 19, 2013

    The nomination of Thomas E. Perez is a two-for for Democrats. It represents an inspired choice for Secretary of Labor, while it could not have come at a better time to keep the fires of outrage against Republicans in Congress burning. What I find disturbing is that Democrats must spend all of their time and capital reminding the public again and again of how the Republicans in Congress are actively working to stop the functions of government altogether. You cannot drive away if your enemy sets your car on fire, but you can make it clear as day who it was who took this extreme measure to stop you in your tracks. Right now, while we cannot have the excellent program Thomas E. Perez would oversee, we have the task of showing the public the harm that holding up his nomination is doing. Once again we must spend our energy pointing out that Republicans have no governance of their own in mind, just the goal of running out the clock on the Obama administration.

    1. Dominick Vila March 19, 2013

      Sigrid, making sure President Obama cannot govern is, clearly, their latest priority. 2014 could not come soon enough!
      Clinton-Warren 2016

      1. Susan March 19, 2013

        It’s not just their latest priority, Dominick. As they said themselves after the 2008 election, it’s always been their number one priority. Why do the people who pay their salaries have to put up with this?

        1. Dominick Vila March 20, 2013

          Their number one priority was to make sure President Obama was not re-elected. Now that they failed

          1. Susan March 20, 2013

            Not to argue, Dominick, but I think making it impossible for him to govern during his first term, which they pretty much did, was part of their strategy for making him a one-term president.

      2. Grunge45 March 20, 2013

        More like their ONLY priority.

        1. Fern Woodfork March 20, 2013

          They Are The American Taliban Terrorizing People Is What They Do< Duh?? It's How They Roll!! If They Have Things Their Way They Will Poison The Whole Government!!! 🙁

          1. Joan Maurer March 21, 2013

            While I recognize that this is upsetting I do not think you do yourself or your cause any good by constantly referring to the GOP as The American Taliban.

          2. ococoob March 22, 2013

            That’s what they’ve become!

      3. Fern Woodfork March 20, 2013

        Like I Have Been Saying The GOP/Tea Party American Taliban Will NEVER Change, All This Re Brand Bullshit Is Just That BULLSHIT!!! I Too Will Be So Glad When 2014 Come So We Can Get Rid Of Some More Of These Low Life Lying Backstabbing KKK Members The Hell Out Of Office!!!

  3. jakenhyde March 19, 2013

    Vitter is the one who should be put under scrutiny. He’s a prostitute hound who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar….figuratively speaking. Here is a guy who has wronged his family and his constituents and is still in congress. He hasn’t a foot to stand on when it comes to criticizing Mr. Perez.

    This will be another boondoggle and waste of time the same as Paul’s filibuster of Hagel’s nomination. Perez will get approves and Vitter will look like an even bigger ass than he does now.

    1. Robert P. Robertson March 20, 2013

      You exactly right about David “Casthouse” Vitter. He was caught with his pants down, literally, and got out of it. He had violated the code of ethics and malfeasnace in office by using money from campaign finances to turn tricks and making call girl orders on the House telephone while Congress was in session. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, a close friend of Vitter, recused himself from following up with charges, Vitter apologized and snotted on camera, it went quiet for a while, and his large Republican constituency re-elected him. Amazingly, none of his opponents chastened him while he was running for re-election! He’s got it made in the shade now with all of the connections he’s made in office. It’s Louisiana who is suffering.

  4. Peoples425 March 19, 2013

    Given the continual persecution of minorities by the fringe elements of the right-wing and the absence of denial of the main-stay party of the GOP, it further alienates the minorities from them. The minorities that remain with the right are usually doing so under remuneration or don’t consider themselves within the minority population.

    The reaction to the nomination of Perez as well as the re-election of President Obama has illustrated the consistent lack of consideration for the minority perspective just as with the suggested “Ryan” budget that is now endorsed by Dr. Carl Benson, oddly enough with vigor reminding one of Herman Cain, Allen West and other similar “token” minorities.

  5. Bill March 19, 2013

    The GOP only gives lip service, but their actions speak louder than words.

  6. johninPCFL March 19, 2013

    Perez has the same problem Hagel had – he’s at the wrong end of the spectrum for the GOP. Hagel was a grunt, not a general, so he gets no respect. Perez defends the working man, not the plutocrats, so can’t possibly play a part in the rule-making game.

  7. suddencall March 19, 2013

    Any minority , especially a Latino who is listening to a republican is like a rabbit trying to bribe a snake.
    I was watching the Vatican Con Show on TV and it was sorrowful and discouraging to see so many childish and immature people still living in this world.No wonder the world is going to hell in a hand basket

    1. Michael Stoll March 19, 2013

      Ask the Blacks in the ghettos of America what their continued support for the Dem Party has gotten them over the last century ? Nada …and you think the Republicans are only paying lip service . Conservatism is a policy that is for the good of every American . Letting you rise or fail on your own merit . Democrat Socialism will give you a Govt tit to suck on and you can all stay in the Barrio Mahn

      1. Independent1 March 19, 2013

        Boy are you delusional!! ‘Conservatism is a policy that is for the good of every American???? Where did you come up with this crap??? Every conservative president since Eisenhower, has spent Amerian’s money like drunken sailors, doing nothing but stuffing the pockets of themselves and their 1% & 2% Masters. Every GOP president since Eisenhower has run up our deficits while every Dem president has inherited deficit spending and has actually reduced it – with Barak Obama leading the pack by reducing deficit spending faster than any president in American history.
        Do you realize that if CONSERVATIVES had their way, there would be NO Social Security, NO Medicare, No 401Ks, NO NOthing!! Do you have any idea, I know you don’t, how many million more Americans would be homeless in the streets today because they’d have no guaranteed income??? How much younger Americans would be dying because they wouldn’t have the income or resources to buy healthcare??? You have to be one of the most delusional people I’ve seen post on the National Memo.

        I could go on and on pointing out the terrible side of Conservatism if you need it. It’s disgusting!!!!

      2. charleo1 March 20, 2013

        Well, you’re not Black. So you don’t in fact know what their continued
        support of the Democratic Party has gotten them. Or, perhaps the Red
        Necks in Mississippi would know more about what the Republican Party
        has done for them. If they had had any decent schools to attend. Right?
        But, as to Conservatism. There’s actually two types of Conservatism.
        Conservatism that could not care less if the common man lives, or dies.
        And the other kind, that wouldn’t think of letting their crooked, Wall Street
        bankers, fail by their own merit. Haven’t you heard? Capitalism is dead
        at the top. They’re all Democrat Socialists now.

      3. suddencall March 20, 2013

        You are not even in the ball park so I will refrain from trying to teach you anything.

      4. idamag March 20, 2013

        We don’t have to ask the Blacks. We have history. History is what has happened. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, they also affect those who do study history. A Democrat President, Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act. There is also the Voting Rights Act that a right-wing (probably fascist) judge calls a minority entitlement. Scalia wants to dismantle it. Have you studied what the south was like before those laws?
        The south went from being Democrat to being Republican because of Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act.
        We shouldn’t have to have laws in order to be fair and decent, but we do.

    2. Michael Kollmorgen March 20, 2013

      Sad part about this is that, most minority groups are highly religious – Christian.

      All these minorities need to do is look at their native country’s religious history and notice how repressive their christian beliefs were in comparison to their pagan beliefs.

      The Republican Party will use religion as a way to gain inroads into minority voting trends. You watch and see.

      This was the way Prop 8 was defeated in CA, by swaying minority votes against the propositon using minority religious beliefs as a wedge to split the minority vote.

  8. Patricia Robertson March 19, 2013

    The republicans and teaparty are only doing this because they think it will make the president look bad and the american people turn against him. Not happening. The american people can see, hear and read for their ownselves and see just what the republicans are doing. It is no more of taking their word for it because when the electronic age and media coverage 24/7 the people get to see the truth for themselves and they are fighting back.
    The republicans are on the verge of losing their party with all their underhanded things that they do and give another and better party to be form. When they get the message that people no longer want a republican party and it won’t be going to the teaparty either, they both will be at each other throats worst than they are in now.
    It is sad that fear can turn to hate and cause so many people to want to get rid of a party that has no love for no one not even themselves. They can’t and won’t admit to any wrong doing even when it is brought out in black and white for all the world to see, they just live in this storybook world where they are still the best. The world will leave them behind and continue to go forward to a better life without them.

    1. Daniel Jones March 20, 2013

      In the late Roger Zelazny’s book Roadmarks, he has a man speaking with a retired Crusader knight who noted that the Crusades essentially were pointless as the Christians and Muslims wound up swapping territories.

      Considering where the Republicans got started and what they were like then, they and the Democrats have done the same with their ideologies.

      1. Michael Kollmorgen March 20, 2013

        Yes, both parties swapped ideologies in our nation’s history.

        However, the democratic Party has learned it’s lesson long ago. The Republicans have a long way to go to correct their errors.

  9. Dominick Vila March 19, 2013

    Mother Teresa would face face the Republican Inquisitors had she been nominated by President Obama for any office. Mr. Perez – alleged – “crime” is that he helped dismantle the ethnic minority disenfranchisement efforts attempted by George W. Bush’s nominees to the Civil Division of the Justice Department. The other charge is that he favored Latinos by empowering them at the expense of privileged white citizens with a subliminal right to do as they please.
    The GOP might as well forget their efforts to convince Latinos to join the GOP. Their treatment of a Hispanic whose only crime is to ensure justice for ALL will be in the minds of every ethnic minority in 2014, 2016 and beyond. In their zeal to make it as hard as possible for President Obama to govern, they shot themselves in the foot once again. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of idiots.

  10. Michael Kollmorgen March 19, 2013

    This is a Classic Republican Tactic; Do what i say, not as I do.

    It’s high time all minorities unite into one cohesive force to vote all these Republicans OUT OF OFFICE. The white race can’t do it totally on our own. The whites who are Democrat don’t have enough voting power to do it on our own..

    If voting can’t get these bastards out of office, I can only see one other alternative. It isn’t pretty either.

    You’re going to start to see all sorts of Republican Programs in minority communities to split their votes. I wonder how many minority votes they are going to get as a result. IF minorities vote for these crooks, and get screwed in the process, it will be their own faults.

    Don’t come crying to me, I vote Democrat.

  11. David W Sutton March 19, 2013

    Wow the Republicans are proving to the nation on how raciest they are!

  12. Michael Stoll March 19, 2013

    So this article seems to correla

    1. Michael Kollmorgen March 19, 2013

      I do not hate the military!

      It serves a valuable purpose. However, keeping out noses out of other peoples problems is our government’s and people in power Achilles Heel. When will we ever learn to mind our own dam business.

      We need to draw down our military at least in half. What the hell do we need so many Carrier Groups for? Why do we need so many foreign Military Bases operating? The simple answer is, it don’t serve “our” public interest. It does serve our Corporations Interest and the Military Industrial Complex’s interest.

      This country has never learned to operate under a “peace-orientated” economy and I doubt we ever will. When was the last time in our history a generation hasn’t experienced at least a war or police action? NEVER.

      And, we LOVE to kill! This is reflected in our some of our public’s mindset, a perverted need to buy as many guns as we possibly can.

      AND, it not the Democrats who cut funding to our soldiers welfare once they get back home. Federal funding for all levels of the VA have been gutted by the Republican need to downsize the federal government.

      1. Susan March 19, 2013

        One of the best ways to trim the military budget would be to close all the service academies. The waste in them is horrendous, and the students aren’t required to serve for long enough to justify their free tuition. West Point, Annapolis, etc. are some of the biggist welfare scams in the country. I know–I worked at one of them.

        1. Michael Kollmorgen March 20, 2013

          West Point, Annapolis are traditional academies to train our leaders of the Military on a adult level. Most of our famous generals graduated from these Academies. I wouldn’t close these down.

          I have a better idea, why not close down these Junior ROTC Programs in High Schools and Colleges? Most of these “Preppy” Military Academies should loose their federal funding also. Most of these Academies are really nothing more than bad boy schools for the Elite’s Brats.

          1. suddencall March 20, 2013

            I believe we would be better off with out these republican generals that are supporting war at any costs.

          2. Michael Kollmorgen March 20, 2013

            Not all Generals are Republican.

            If you notice even the top brass of our military didn’t like the idea of invading Iraq, nor Afganestan.

            They don’t make the policies. Our Congress, President and the supporting military complex does. They just carry out the orders they are given.

            Our politicians and people in power positions create these wars, not our military.

          3. idamag March 20, 2013

            To ask a general about a draw-down is counter productive. They make a bunch of money for being a war-time general. They are not objective.

          4. Michael Kollmorgen March 20, 2013

            Yes, many of them would still love to be “war time” generals. No doubt about that. Some of them have family roots going back generations being in the military.

            It’s been genetically implanted into their genes:)

            But, saying they’re making big bucks over being generals is a stretch of the imagination. Any long-term retiring politician would make a whole lot more on their pensions than any general would. The only exceptions I can think of was maybe Eisenhower or MacArthur. You’d have to be a 4 or 5-Star General to make that level of income, if at all.

            You have to remember, what even a one-term politician makes for his salary while being in office, he makes that afterwards for lite. And, that increases with each succeeding term in office.

          5. oldtack March 20, 2013

            A General retires on better than $100,000.00 per year for life plus cost of living adjustments. But, I suggest you peruse the longevity and retirement requirements and payments for Government Officials. It is based on years of service – the more years equate to a larger percentage of gross salary. Unless the rules have changed since I retired in 1996 the maximum amount a Government official can retire on is 80% after 40 years total service. A one term Politician does not draw that salary for life. The annuity for a one term politician would be marginal.

          6. Michael Kollmorgen March 21, 2013

            You may be right about the one-term politician’s retirement pay.

            But still, even a 100K plus bennies ain’t nuttin to some of these long-term politicians, then retiring. This don’t even include the monies they made off lobbyist, perks, etc. while in office.

          7. Susan March 20, 2013

            Yes, but they are training far too many “leaders” than are actually needed, and most of the graduates leave the military as soon as they have served five years, which is all it takes to pay off their free college education. Cutting the number of students in half and requiring 15 years of service would make them more productive and less wasteful.

          8. Michael Kollmorgen March 21, 2013

            There are probably very few who graduate out of West Point/Annapolis who only intend to serve just 5 years. Most of these people are career military. They’re in for the long haul.

            We could even say people who go into the regular army would only go in for the bennies, paid college and a secure salary and get out as soon as they are able. I know more than a few guys doing exactly that. But, they aren’t generally career orientated either and need to make a living somehow.

            I know one now who is in the national guard who just came home from Afganestan. He’s trying to get a job working on Helicopters which was his specialty in the Guard. But, here’s the kicker, he still might be called back to service per his contract with the Guard.

            As far as training too many, I don’t know one way or the other. I do know the military in general needs to get downsized a whole lot.

          9. Susan March 21, 2013

            I definitely agree with your last sentence. However, when I worked in a military academy (which will remain nameless) many of the students were pretty open about their plans to serve their five years and then get out. It seemed a good way to get a free college education. But that was before we invaded Iraq; perhaps they think differently now.

  13. Douglas Wahto March 19, 2013

    Republicans will continue to loose the respect of minorities. Yet another case of taking one of their AR-15s and pumping 30 rounds into their foot!

  14. Silence Dogood March 19, 2013

    Only you boobs are obsessed with race. Makes ya sick.

  15. charleo1 March 19, 2013

    Rance Priebus urged Republicans be more inclusive, and respectful of minorities.
    He told them, the Party was getting a reputation for being a bunch of stuffy old men.
    To which, Limbaugh, and Dick Cheney, told him to sit down, or they were going to
    throw him out onto the street!

  16. Grunge45 March 20, 2013

    Despite all their “branding” and “marketing”, the Republicans hate the Latinos, and just about any other minority group from the 20th century.

    1. suddencall March 20, 2013

      You bet they do and they will not change . Any minority that believes republican lies is in for a big let down.

  17. Robert P. Robertson March 20, 2013

    Like the snake said to the frog: What did you expect? I’m a snake.


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