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Monday, March 25, 2013
CNS Pushes Smears of Obama Nominee

Craig Bannister uses a March 18 blog post to uncritically repeat an allegation that Thomas Perez, President Obama's nominee for labor secretary, was involved in "a quid pro quo deal that potentially cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars," in which "Perez urged the City of St. Paul to drop a case it had before the Supreme Court in return for a Justice Department decision not to intervene in an unrelated False Claims Act case. That case had the potential to return over $180 million in damages to the U.S. treasury."

in fact, as Media Matters explains, there's no evidence that Perez did anything wrong, the St. Paul case was seen by conservatives as an opportunity to undermine the longstanding "disparate impact" doctrine of civil rights enforcement, and other civil rights activists encouraged St. Paul to drop the lawsuit.

Another March 18 CNS article by Fred Lucas front-loads allegedly scandalous allegations against Perez, such as "giving incomplete testimony on the controversial handling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case" and being "disqualified from running for Maryland state attorney general."

But those allegations fall apart once Lucas gets around to explaining some of the circumstances. For instance, Lucas ultimately admits that Perez was not with the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division when the DOJ dropped the New Black Panther case.

And the reason Perez was disqualified from his race for attorney general, Lucas eventually gets around to stating, is because "Perez did not meet the state constitutional requirement to have practiced law in the state of Maryland for 10 years to be eligible to run for attorney general." But that doesn't tell the whole story, which Lucas started off by suggesting corruption and flipping to suggesting incompetence. In fact, Maryland courts had ruled that Perez's experience as a lawyer for the federal government in Washington, D.C., did not count because he was not a member of the Maryland bar at the time.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 PM EDT

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