GOP bashes Perez’s bid to lead Democratic Party

Republicans are welcoming Labor Secretary Tom Perez’s bid for Democratic National Committee chair with sharp criticism, looking to blunt his Thursday announcement that could shake up the race to lead the party. 
The Republican National Committee hammered Perez in a blast to reporters the day before his announcement, chiding him as a “radical on immigration … and race related issues.” 
For evidence, the party points to Perez suing Border Patrol agents for alleged misconduct, accusing him of not supporting them. It also criticizes Perez for backing disparate impact theory, which says actions can be discriminatory based solely on their impact, not necessarily their intent. 
{mosads}”Left-wing radical Perez would put the DNC even further out of touch with average Americans,” the release said. 

American Rising, the conservative opposition-research group, is also raising Perez’s use of private email during his time at the Justice Department, an issue that became a flash point during his 2013 Labor confirmation hearing. Republican lawmakers subpoenaed Perez’s emails during the confirmation process, but he was ultimately given the stamp of approval with help from Democrats and a few Republicans.
“After the fiasco of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Democrats are seriously considering for party chair someone who used private email for government work thousands of times and refused bipartisan congressional requests to release them? Have Democrats learned nothing from 2016?” Colin Reed, American Rising’s executive director, told The Hill.
The knives are out on the Republican side as they look to frustrate Democrats’ attempts to rebuild after Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the presidential election. While Democrats remained largely mum on the GOP’s selection process to replace outgoing chair Reince Priebus — a decision effectively left to Trump, who tapped Michigan party chair Ronna Romney McDaniel — Republicans have sought to complicate the Democrats’ open tryout. 
Republicans have also criticized Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), another candidate for DNC chair, for past remarks they say are anti-Semitic, some of which have drawn a rebuke from the Anti-Defamation League. 
A spokesman for Perez’s campaign did not return a request for comment about the GOP’s accusations. But Bruce Poole, the Maryland Democratic Party chairman who supports Perez, brushed aside the concerns as meddling from Republicans who are scared of what Perez could do as chair. 
“The only baggage that Tom Perez carries is that Republicans are going to hate him like they’ve never hated a Democratic Party chair because he’s going to knock them on their backs every time and that’s what we want,” Poole told The Hill. 
“The only controversies coming out of Tom Perez are that he’s doing his job too well. The Republicans were furious at him with his efforts in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department.”
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