Just like the IRS targeted conservative organizations, the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department under Thomas Perez also targeted conservatives. While in charge of the division, Thomas Perez turned something as basic to government transparency as FOIA requests into a political issue.
“Eric Holder’s Justice Department has even politicized compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. According to documents I have obtained, FOIA requests from liberals or politically connected civil rights groups are often given same day turn-around by the DOJ. But requests from conservatives or Republicans face long delays, if they are fulfilled at all.
The documents show a pattern of politicized compliance within the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. In particular, I have obtained FOIA logs that demonstrate as of August 2010, the most transparent administration in history is anything but. The logs provide the index number of the information request, the date of the request, the requestor, and the date of compliance.”
The rest of the article went on to detail repeated incidents where information was turned over quickly to liberal organizations but FOIA requests from conservative organizations were ignored.
What was President Obama’s response to Thomas Perez’s actions? He has decided to promote him and make him secretary of the Department of Labor. There seems to be a growing pattern within the Obama Administration of targeting their political enemies for at best unequal treatment and at worse harassment and abuse. Compounding the issue is the administrations propensity for promoting those who commit these acts.
The fact that the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division which is charged with upholding the nation’s elections was at the heart of this controversy is chilling at best.
Between the coercive power of the IRS and the legal capacity of the Justice Department to change election outcomes through the approval or disapproval of voting districts, these revelations that politically motivated targeting occurred strikes to the heart of underlying assumption that elections are fairly fought with big government sitting on the sidelines.
In fact, this assumption is the basis of our nation’s civil service laws which prohibit the politicization of those who work in the bureaucracy.
The advent of public employee unions and their massive involvement in elections has wounded this assumption, but the natural outgrowth of the increased involvement in the political system through a union is for those very activists to not blink an eye when the opportunity comes to use their official duties to promote the favored candidate.
As Congress investigates the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal, it is encouraged to look at the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division as well.
The first step is to demand that the current nominee for Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez, be forced to answer questions about his role in this scandal. Given his propensity for bending the rule of law, this is just one more reason that the Senate should reject his nomination.
Willie Deutsch is Editor-in-Chief for NetRightDaily.com, and Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government. You can follow him on twitter @williedeutsch.