Obama Has Trouble Restocking His Cabinet
What will a record of workplace harassment, lying and alleged corruption get you? A promotion--if you're a member of the Obama Justice Department. It seems the more checkered your past, the greater your chances for advancement. That's certainly the case with Thomas Perez, the head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division--now nominated for Secretary of Labor.
One of the most controversial figures on the President's payroll, Perez's conduct has been so questionable that the White House's own Inspector General called his character on the carpet in a 258-page report just released this week. Among other things, the IG accuses Perez of "deep ideological polarization" and a "disappointing lack of professionalism" in his current capacity. He's also the subject of an ongoing investigation launched by the House Oversight Committee for shady dealings in a local Minnesota discrimination lawsuit.
Using his position as leverage, he is said to have brokered secret deals that helped withdraw two cases before they could be heard by the Supreme Court. Together with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the House is subpoenaing Perez's personal emails to get a grasp on any collusion between the two offices. The President's pick has denied covering-up his involvement, but as a man with a history of lying under oath, few are likely to believe him. Before his latest scandal, Perez put his agency on the map in states like Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida, where he tried to overturn voter ID laws, raid voters' personal information, and fight for non-citizens to vote.
Perez has also raised the ire of several judges for his outrageous prosecution of peaceful pro-life demonstrators. At the DOJ, Perez has made it his mission to antagonize pro-lifers, routinely bringing the full weight of the Justice Department against harmless pro-life protestors and sidewalk counselors. In 2012, a Florida court rebuked Perez for letting his extreme ideology cloud his judgment. "The Court is at a loss as to why the Government chose to prosecute this particular case in the first place..." In 2011, a Kansas judge had a similar reaction, insisting that Perez's vendetta against pro-life demonstrators "continued to have an unlawful chilling effect on the defendant's and others' right to free speech and free exercise of religion."
Perez is also a "hate crimes" and ENDA activist with no affinity for religious liberty. During the Hosanna-Tabor case in the Supreme Court, the President's nominee signed on to a brief that dismissed churches' rights to pick their own leaders--a position unanimously rejected by all nine justices. Of course, the President had plenty of clues about Perez's ideology before he was confirmed to the DOJ.
As President of Casa De Maryland, the future DOJ leader encouraged illegal immigrants to break the law. "It is stunning," writes John Fund, "that someone [with]... such contempt for federal law would even be nominated, let alone confirmed, as the nation's top civil-rights law-enforcement officer... If nominated as Labor Secretary, Perez would be in a position to hamstring the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws as regards the labor force."
If Republicans get their way, the fireworks at Chuck Hagel's nomination hearing will look like child's play on Thursday during Perez's Senate debut. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), one of Perez's most outspoken opponents, stopped by "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" yesterday to talk about his plans for blocking the nomination. Click here to listen. Also, check out FRC's special backgrounder on Thomas Perez--and use it to encourage your senators to vote NO on the President's Cabinet pick!
A Clean Slate for Polygamy?
What could homosexuals possibly want after same-sex "marriage"? The answer is: a whole lot. In a candid look at the Left's real agenda, Slate columnist Jillian Keenan does conservatives a big favor. Her article, "Legalize Polygamy!" proves our point that the slippery slope on marriage isn't coming--it's here. In a piece so shocking it landed on Drudge Report, Keenan comes clean on the fact that homosexual "marriage" is just the warm-up act to an even more shocking agenda. "Let's not forget that the fight doesn't end with same-sex marriage," she writes. "We need to legalize polygamy too. Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families."
Throughout this debate, the American media and liberal activists have laughed off groups like FRC who have warned that redefining marriage is just a stepping stone to a far broader agenda. Turns out, we were right. Conservatives are not the only ones looking down the aisle. Keenan could not be more blunt about the future: "The definition of marriage is plastic. Just like heterosexual marriage is no better or worse than homosexual marriage, marriage between two consenting adults is not inherently more or less 'correct' than marriage among three (or four, or six) consenting adults... So let's fight for marriage equality until it extends to every same-sex couple in the United States--and then let's keep fighting. We're not done yet." And that's exactly what Americans should be concerned about.
RNC Works on its Social Skills
The Republican Party can rebrand itself without redefining itself. That was the overwhelming opinion of the Republican National Committee members, who voted late last week to reject the RNC's "softer" tone on social issues. By a unanimous vote, the members of the RNC reaffirmed the pro-family planks of the GOP platform. We "can certainly be welcoming without compromising on marriage and the definition of marriage," said A.J. Spiker, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party. We commend the RNC for maintaining its opposition to same-sex "marriage," and passing similar resolutions in favor of California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act--both of which are currently before the Supreme Court.
For now, conservatives will have to wait and see if the GOP Leadership, which is dominated by Establishment Republicans, also steps back from the brink of political irrelevance and affirms its support for the consensus priorities of Republican voters. Until they show their unequivocal support, I encourage you to give directly to solid conservative candidates vetted by organizations like FRC Action. Another place to send money is your state party, if it's on the right track.
Vatican Explores 'Cardinal' Rules of Stem Cell Research
If you were in Rome last week, you might have recognized at least one familiar face. FRC's Dr. David Prentice was in Vatican City for the International Adult Stem Cell (ASC) Conference, sponsored by the Catholic Church and Neostem (an ASC company). Over two and a half days, several speakers relied on Dr. Prentice's expertise to present on the current state of adult stem cell treatments, the overall science and ethics of stem cells, and the successful legislation to create the Kansas Adult Stem Cell Center. To hear more about the event and Dr. Prentice's role, tune in at 5:00 p.m. (ET) to today's edition of "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins."
Pro-Lifers Lose a Legend, Gain a Legacy
Lost amidst all the tragedy yesterday was the news that the pro-life movement had lost one of its greatest pioneers. Barbara Willke, who, together with her husband Jack, founded the National Right to Life Committee and presided over several pro-life organizations, slipped away Sunday evening after complications from a severe fall. A fixture in the Ohio community, 90-year-old Barbara was widely considered the matriarch of the pro-life movement. The Willkes, who were married for almost 65 years, co-authored 12 books on abortion and human sexuality which have since become required reading for the global life movement. As a trailblazer, wife, mother, grandmother, and nurse, Barbara will be sorely missed. Please join us in praying for the Willke family, as we celebrate the legacy she built for the world's most vulnerable.
** World magazine, which has provided outstanding coverage of the Kermit Gosnell trial, published an op-ed earlier this afternoon by our own Ken Blackwell. Don't miss "The Media and President Obama's View through a Gosnell Lens," available here.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.