by Tom Fitton
Last week, I alerted you about Thomas Perez, the scandal-ridden Department of Justice (DOJ) official who is now officially President Obama’s pick to head the Department of Labor. The Inspector General (IG) had just come out with a disturbing report proving what Judicial Watch has said all along, that Perez and Holder lied to Congress and have instigated a divisive and bitter race war inside the DOJ.
Without rehashing all of the details – you can read the post here – in summary, Judicial Watch demonstrated through documented evidence (and a U.S. District Court ruling) that Perez (and later Holder) lied in a congressional hearing when he said no political appointees were involved in the decision by the Obama DOJ to drop its voter intimidation lawsuit against the Black Panthers (New Black Panther Party), stemming from an incident that took place at a Philadelphia polling station in 2008.
(As I noted last week, The DOJ’s IG report, entitled, “A Review of the Operations of the Voting Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division,” confirms JW’s findings: “We believe that these facts evidence ‘involvement’ in the decision by political appointees within the ordinary meaning of that word,” and that Perez’s statements, “did not capture the full extent of that involvement.” The report also documents that Perez does not believe in the race neutral application of certain civil rights laws.)
Judicial Watch has also been able to demonstrate that Perez has been a key official inside a DOJ that is flagrantly racist in its application of the rule of law, failing to respond to acts of discrimination perpetrated against non-minorities (to read, white people). Moreover, Holder and Perez were involved in the attempt by the DOJ to corrupt the voting process by attacking states that tried to implement voter integrity measures.
Of course, none of this is evidently seen by President Obama as reason to exclude Perez from consideration. Quite the contrary, says The New York Times:
Mr. Obama’s nomination of Thomas E. Perez, who has racked up record discrimination and housing claims as head of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, generated criticism from some Senate Republicans who called him a divisive and political choice. But after pushing through other disputed nominees, most notably Chuck Hagel, the defense secretary, Mr. Obama calculated he could win another fight. It might even be a fight that he wants to have.
Some say this is a “risky” fight for Republicans, in part because Perez was confirmed in 2009 for his post at the DOJ. But that vote came before the Black Panthers’ scandal, and before the accusations of racism inside the DOJ, and before that damning IG report.
And no matter the “risk” for politicians involved, this is a fight worth having, as I made clear in my press statement in response to the nomination:
During his time as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Thomas Perez has shown a glaring inability to tell the truth and dispassionately apply the basic constitutional tenet of “equal justice under law.”
Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has exposed Mr. Perez’s repeated attempts to undermine those seeking to assure that the laws of the land are applied equally to those of all races. Mr. Perez’s attacks on election integrity measures such as voter ID were so far off base that he helped the DOJ earn a reputation as a partisan campaign arm for the Obama reelection campaign.
As Secretary of Labor, Mr. Perez would be in a position to push policies which broadly discriminate against American workers who failed to meet his own, thoroughly racialist worldview. Furthermore, based upon his relentless record both in and out of government, there can be little doubt that he would continue to put his personal preference for illegal immigrants above the rights of all workers of any race to equal employment opportunity.
Mr. Perez is a terrible, hyper-partisan choice for Labor Secretary. Honest Democrats and Republicans who want the Labor Department to be run well should look skeptically at his nomination.
Now the flap over racism inside the DOJ and Perez’s false testimony is serious enough to merit not only his removal from consideration for the Labor post, but also his resignation. But this isn’t the only Perez scandal that the committee is likely to investigate.
In 2012, Judicial Watch discovered that Perez may have colluded with St. Paul, Minnesota, officials to persuade the city to take the extraordinary step of withdrawing its cert. petition from the Supreme Court docket in a case involving “disparate impact” discrimination. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Minnesota Data Practices Act showed that St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing arranged a meeting between Perez and Mayor Chris Coleman a week before the city’s withdrawal from the case, captioned Magner v. Gallagher. Following Perez’s visit, the city withdrew its case and thanked DOJ and officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for their involvement.
Documents and a staff briefing with the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform revealed in September 2012 that, in exchange for St. Paul dropping its case before the high court, DOJ stopped two whistleblower claims against the city with the power to restore $180 million in violated HUD grants to the U.S. taxpayer. The Wall Street Journal confirmed Judicial Watch’s concerns in an investigation of its own and noted that the issues are “likely to get high billing” at Perez’s confirmation proceedings.
More from Perez’s resume: He is a former president of the board of the radicalist Central American Solidarity Association de Maryland, CASA de Maryland, a group whose recent filings with the IRS describe its chief goals as helping all people “participate and benefit fully” in American society, “regardless of their immigration status.” In opposing the Perez nomination, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions (R-AL), described CASA as “a fringe advocacy group that has instructed illegal immigrants on how to escape detection, and also promoted illegal labor sites and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.” (CASA even received funding from Hugo Chavez. Accuracy in Media has an excellent report on that group, which we are continuing to investigate here. Judicial Watch’s friend and litigation partner J. Christian Adams, who witnessed some of Perez’s misconduct directly at DOJ, had a nice summary piece of the concerns about Perez over at Breitbart.com.)
Only in Washington could a race-baiting politician – who lied to Congress – be given an opportunity for a promotion. It is important that you share any concerns you might have with the U.S. Senate, especially the senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) who will initially consider the Perez nomination. The committee is led by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). The ranking minority leader is Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Senator Harkin’s DC phone number is (202) 224-3254. Senator Alexander’s number is (202) 224-4944. If you care about fighting corruption in government and holding this administration accountable for its lawlessness, then activism on the Perez nomination is a must.
JW and MDPetitions.com Ask Court for Revote on Ballot Question 5, Maryland’s Gerrymandered District Map
You’ve no doubt heard of an election “recount.” Well, Judicial Watch and its client MDPetitions.com is now attempting to do something very rare but necessary – convince a court to order a “re-vote” on Question 5 in Maryland, a referendum on the state’s gerrymandered congressional redistricting plan voted on last November.
Earlier this week, we filed an appeal with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals on behalf of MDPetitions.com against Maryland Secretary of State John McDonough and the State Board of Elections asking the appellate court to order a new vote on Question 5.
In our lawsuit, we allege that the ballot language certified by Secretary of State McDonough was “misleading and insufficient as a matter of law.” With this misleading ballot language, the referendum passed with the support of 64% of the voters. But it wasn’t a fair vote, and the people of Maryland deserve better.
In our complaint filed last year on behalf of MDPetitions.com, we argue:
The ballot language gave the voters of Maryland no idea they were being asked to approve some of the most gerrymandered districts in the United States. The language (and therefore, the vote) was illegal and in violation of the Maryland Constitution because it failed to apprise voters of the true nature of the redistricting, and because it failed to inform voters of the broad scope of the changes to the existing congressional districts.
Judicial Watch and MDPetitions.com asked the Court of Appeals to reverse a September 2012 Circuit Court decision upholding the ballot language and remand the case to the Circuit Court with instructions to order a new election on Question 5. “The only sufficient remedy for this illegality,” the appeal argues, “is voiding the referendum results and ordering a new election using ballot language that informs voters of the true nature of Senate Bill 1,” the legislation authorizing ballot Question 5.
In other words, back to the drawing board on the language and then back to the voters for a fair vote.
By way of review, on October 20, 2011, the Maryland General Assembly passed and Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law Senate Bill 1 to redistrict Maryland’s eight congressional districts. In August 2012, Judicial Watch and MDPetitions.com successfully defended the placement of the Congressional Districting Plan on the 2012 ballot when Maryland’s highest court denied an attempt by the state Democratic Party to prevent a referendum.
On August 30, 2012, Judicial Watch filed a complaint in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County alleging that the Question 5 ballot language certified by the Secretary of State was legally insufficient. It noted that the ballot, “is a mere 23 words and omits any reference to the fact that Senate Bill 1 makes material changes to existing congressional districts … remov[ing] 1.6 million Marylanders from their previous congressional district.” On September 6, 2012, the Circuit Court ruled in favor of the state, prompting this week’s action in the Special Court of Appeals.
To this point, the people of Maryland have been effectively denied their constitutional right to choose their own representation in Congress. As our lawsuit makes clear, the gerrymandered map undermines the accountability of Maryland’s congressional representatives to the voters by both reducing competitive congressional races and dividing communities to prevent unified opinions about representatives. Voters were purposefully misled by the ballot language when they voted on the issue last November.
Now, MDPetitions.com is not alone in criticizing Maryland’s gerrymandered district map. At the time of the Question 5 referendum, voters were urged to vote “No” on Question 5 by the editorial boards of the Baltimore Sun, the Annapolis Capital Gazette, the Carroll County Times, the Gazette, the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, and Washington Jewish Week.
The Washington Post editorialized: “The map … mocks the idea that voting districts should be compact or easily navigable. The eight districts respect neither jurisdictional boundaries nor communities of interest. To protect incumbents and for partisan advantage, the map has been sliced, diced, shuffled and shattered, making districts resemble studies in cubism.”
But criticisms of the map notwithstanding, if the people of Maryland, with full understanding, vote to endorse the map, so be it. But full understanding requires clear ballot language. And that is what we’re after.
By the way, this litigation is one of the reasons I love Judicial Watch’s work (subjectively speaking, of course!). Our lawsuit for MDPetitions.com raises a substantial question of law, seeks to protect basic rights of citizens, and uses our courts to seek redress against government corruption and dishonesty. Your support allows Judicial Watch to initiate and persist in these types of legal battles so we are certainly most grateful for you standing with us!
HPV Vaccine Injuries and Deaths: Is the Government Compensating Victims?
Judicial Watch has led a comprehensive investigation into the dangers of the vaccine for human papillomavirus vaccines (HPV), which has been linked to serious complications and numerous deaths. And according to documents recently uncovered by JW, while the government has in place a program to compensate victims of the HPV vaccine, most cases have been ignored.
The records, obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reveal that its National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) has awarded $5,877,710 dollars to 49 victims in claims made against the highly controversial HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. To date 200 claims have been filed with VICP, with barely half adjudicated.
This new information confirms our long-held safety concerns about Gardasil (the most widely known HPV vaccine). The fact that the federal government is paying out on claims related to HPV vaccines, is confirmation that the vaccine is potentially dangerous and deadly.
We obtained these documents in response to a February 28, 2013, Judicial Watch lawsuit against HHS to force the department to comply with a November 1, 2012, Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. On March 12, 2013, The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of HHS, provided Judicial Watch with documents. And here’s what our investigators report on what these previously secret document show:
Only 49 of the 200 claims filed have been compensated for injury or death caused from the (HPV) vaccine. Of the 49 compensated claims 47 were for injury caused from (HPV) vaccine – the additional 2 claims were for death caused due to the vaccine.
92 (nearly half) of the total 200 claims filed are still pending. Of those pending claims 87 of the claims against (HPV) vaccine were filed for injury, the remaining 5 claims were filed for death.
59 claims have been dismissed outright by VICP. The alleged victims were not compensated for their claims against the HPV vaccine. Of the claims dismissed, 57 were for injuries, 2 were for deaths allegedly caused by the HPV vaccine.
The amount awarded to the 49 claims compensated totaled 5,877,710.87 dollars. This amounts to approximately $120,000 per claim.
VICP is a Health and Human Services program that compensates patients who have been adversely affected by certain vaccines. The HHS web site describes the program as a “no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system,” and it covers 16 specific classes of vaccines, including HPV vaccines which were added in 2007.
From its inception, the use of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases has been hotly disputed. According to the Annals of Medicine: “At present there are no significant data showing that either Gardasil or Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline) can prevent any type of cervical cancer since the testing period employed was too short to evaluate long-term benefits of HPV vaccination.”
This new information from the government shows that the serious safety concerns about the use of Gardasil have been well-founded. Public health officials should stop pushing Gardasil on children.
As I say, JW has been most aggressive in its pursuit of the truth about the HPV vaccines, including Gardasil, which was fast-tracked by the Clinton administration after a furious lobbying campaign by the drug manufacturer Merck. If you want more background information, you can check out some of the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) records we’ve obtained related to Gardasil. Be forewarned, though, that these reports are graphic.
You might also want to check out our special report published in 2008 detailing Gardasil’s approval process, side effects, safety concerns and marketing practices.
Tom Fitton – President