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Perez Heavily Involved In Obama Transition

Thomas E. Perez, the O'Malley administration's secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, has been playing a significant role in Barack Obama's presidential transition efforts.

Perez is leading one of seven teams that for some months have been quietly overseeing transition efforts at a cluster of agencies, according to a source familiar with Perez's role, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the assignment has not been publicly announced.

The 13 agencies for which Perez has responsibility include the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs and the Federal Election Commission, according to the source.

Perez's role is likely to heighten speculation that he will be among several O'Malley administration figures to depart for the Obama administration in coming weeks.

Perez, a former Montgomery County Council member, was Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights during the Clinton Administration. He maintains close relationships with many from the Clinton administration, including John Podesta, a former chief of staff to Clinton and president of the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank. Podesta is a co-chair of Obma's transition team.

Perez was tapped by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) for a state Cabinet post in early 2007. O'Malley was an early supporter of the presidential bid of Hillary Clinton.

In his current position, Perez has helped O'Malley usher in the legalization of slot-machine gambling and launch programs to stem the tide of home foreclosures in Maryland.

At a news conference on foreclosures this afternoon, O'Malley called Perez "a man who has done a tremendous job for us."

By John Wagner  |  November 7, 2008; 3:26 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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This is terrible!

As a former president of CASA of Maryland, Mr Perez doubtless remains closely associated with them.

CASA of Maryland, lest anyone forget, has received millions of dollars from Venzuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, funneled through the state-owned CITGO oil corporation.

Despite the lack of direct and obvious linkages -- which isn't how espionage works, anyway -- between Perez and CASA and thus between Perez and Chavez, the arguable violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act ( due to lobbying of Maryland's state and local governents by unregistered agents of foreign powers will now become more clear-cut a violation.

Having someone with deep associations with an organization largely funded by a hostile foreign power, actively working on the Transition, should strike deep fear into anyone who remembers the Cold War and the FBI's Hanson case.

Why doesn't the _Post_ even notice this?

Posted by: thardman | November 9, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

The good news is that if Perez moves to a federal govenment position, we'll finally be rid of him at the county and the state level in Maryland.

Posted by: postisarag | November 10, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Montgomery County taxpayers have Perez to thank for the huge influx of illegal Hispanics and their minor children into the county--killing innocents, double-digit increases in thefts, hobo camps in wooded areas, bankrupted schools and hospitals, govt. services reallocated from Americans to the children of illegal aliens. Yes, this is what we need nationwide.

Posted by: mclovin | November 10, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

mclovin, I don't want Perez's policies to be spread nationwide, but I'm tired on so much trash from El Salvador being dumped in Maryland, largely due to the complacency of Maryland citizens. The nation as a whole has not been so complacent so we can just hope that Perez will be sucked away from Maryland and then dumped within a few months of making a fool of himself and of the Obama administration.

Posted by: postisarag | November 10, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, now that anti-black bigotry is going out of style, anti-Latino bigotry seems to be alive and well judging from these comments. Making wacky personal associations, calling immigrants "trash", and holding Mr Perez responsible for the national immigration problem because he has a hispanic surname is irresponsible and tasteless. Perez has been a national leader on slowing foreclosures in Maryland, prosecuting hate crimes under Clinton, and cracking down on loan sharks in Montgomery Co. Of course, none of this would matter to people with a racist point of view.... I hope the Post does a better job in the future screening some of these posts.

Posted by: pgflashlight | November 13, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

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