"I think he's going to be a very fine secretary of labor for us," says Michael Steele, former chair of the Republican National Committee who first met Perez when he was a member of the Montgomery County Council and Steele was Lt. Governor of Maryland. "He's honest, direct, approachable and willing to work hard to get it right."In the Senate, though, Oklahoma's Tom Coburn is upset because Perez supports translators for patients who don't speak English, Louisiana's David Vitter sees Perez's testimony about decisions that happened before he was in charge of the Justice Department's civil rights division as a chance to say "New Black Panther Party" (translation: scary black men) a whole lot, and Iowa's Chuck Grassley would have us believe that Perez was secretive and sneaky in a case where he actually consulted a series of ethics officers and experts for sign-off before making a final decision. Your basic set of trumped-up Republican monkey poo being flung at a dedicated and skilled public servant because he's and Obama nominee and a champion of people without power, in other words, as evidenced by the fact that Republicans outside Congress are so clear that Perez is conscientious and honorable.
Steele isn't the only Maryland Republican praising Perez. "He's just a trustworthy guy," says John Kane, a former chair of the Maryland GOP. "If I had to put a trust together to manage my affairs after I was gone, Tom would be one of the top three guys I would pick to do that, even though I disagree with him more than half the time."
Monday, John R. Dunne, a Republican who was head of the civil rights division during the George H.W. Bush administration, sent a letter to senators urging them to confirm Perez, calling him "an excellent lawyer," and "a dedicated public servant with a deep commitment to the common good." Dunne hired Perez during his Perez' first stint in the Justice Department.
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