The Saga of the Tom Perez Nomination

Richard Faulknor at Blue Ridge Forum and Ann Corcoran at the Potomac Tea Party Report have raised issues about the fitness of Tom Perez to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division given his dubious association with CASA de Maryland. Mr. Perez’s involvement in the decision by the Civil Rights Division to not press for civil or criminal sanctions against the antics of King Samir Shabazz, of “kill some cracker babies” fame, and the New Black Panther Party is inexplicable and now the subject of an investigation by the US Civil Rights Commission, and hopefully by Darrell Issa when he assumes chairmanship of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

They also raise the issue about the role of two prominent Marylanders in Mr. Perez’s confirmation: Mr. John Kane, former Maryland GOP Chair and husband of Bob Ehrlich’s running mate Mary Kane, and House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell. To me these are separate cases.

John Kane, when he wrote his letter of support, was a private citizen. He had no official capacity and his letter should not be used as a reason to impute his views to his wife and it certainly did not have the endorsement of the Maryland GOP. I understand that Mr. Kane and Mr. Perez are personal friends and from that view point I understand his support.

The case of Minority Leader O’Donnell is much more troubling. His letter is hardly a rousing endorsement and may be considered a professional courtesy to a former colleague who had, by all accounts, a reputation for collegiality. Regardless of his professional or personal relationship with Mr. Perez, Mr. O’Donnell had a duty to evaluate what he knew of Mr. Perez’s history with CASA de Maryland — or, alternatively, discover that history if he wasn’t familiar with it — before giving his endorsement. CASA de Maryland’s history of flouting US immigration laws should, in my view, have been a more than adequate reason for Mr. O’Donnell to refuse his endorsement as those actions speak volumes for the policies Mr. Perez would… and has… pursued at the Department of Justice.

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This kind of go-along-get-along, log-rolling, mutual back scratching is what has relegated the Maryland GOP to a virtual joke. Our leaders suffer from some variety of the Stockholm Syndrome where they sympathize with and curry the favor of people who will neither like nor respect them. Ever. In the process they demoralize activists, discourage the base, and continue to rule in their own tiny ghetto.

This behavior has to stop.

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