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Every Single One: The Politicized Hiring of Eric Holder’s Housing Section

All 11 new hires to the Justice Department's Housing Section have far-left resumes — which were only released following a PJMedia lawsuit. (This is the eighth of a series of articles about the Justice Department's hiring practices since President Obama took office. Read parts one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven.)

by
J. Christian Adams

Bio

August 30, 2011 - 12:00 am
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PJMedia’s “Every Single One” series has been exposing the politicized hiring practices of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under Attorney General Eric Holder.  Obtained only after a bitter Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the resumes discussed in the articles reveal a crusade to pack the Civil Rights Division with an ideologically and politically loyal core that will help advance a taxpayer-funded leftist agenda for years to come.

Today we turn to the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, a litigation shop with enormous power over American businesses. This Section, which is headed by the infamous Steve Rosenbaum — the same individual who (along with Loretta King) ordered the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party lawsuit — is responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, among others. The Section has an undercover operation designed to spy on American businesses to determine if racial discrimination is taking place. They also have a unit designed to ensure banks keep the spigot of mortgage loans open to borrowers with marginal credit.

If that sounds like behavior which contributed to the economic crisis, you’re right. Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez has promised to unleash the Section’s attorneys on communities across the country to pursue unprecedented numbers of discrimination lawsuits against mortgage lenders, apartment complexes, and even restaurants.

At this point in the series, it is little surprise that every single one of the new career attorneys hired into the Housing Section passed an ideological or political litmus test. The same is true, of course, with each of the other six sections that have been chronicled so far — the Voting Section, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, the Special Litigation Section, the Education Section, the Employment Litigation Section, and the Coordination and Compliance and Section.

But this series is about more than skewed hiring practices. It is about more than broken Obama campaign promises to “restore” attorney hiring integrity at Justice — much more.

The series is also about a political culture that bears false witness without hesitation. The series exposes a culture so unmoored from objective standards that, in Washington, one side can charge a political opponent with behavior which they themselves intend to deploy in exponentially greater degree than the original charge, once they obtain political power — which they did in 2009.

Worse yet, the partisan rot the series has exposed is not confined to only federal government institutions. Journalists won awards repeating the Left’s allegations about Bush administration hiring practices, but now defend the new administration.

More than mere hiring practices, the series is about elastic standards and foggy values in Washington.  When, as we shall see today, 87 new DOJ lawyers are unambiguous leftists or partisan Democrats, and precisely zero are anything else, the former accusers have the audacity to argue such views are now part of the job description at DOJ.

Had an employer hired 87 whites and no minorities, this very same Justice Department would push aside that pre-textual curtain to search out a violation of federal law. When a government agency is populated, stem to stern, with people who obtained power, in some small part, by charging the prior administration with behavior they themselves would eventually adopt, Americans of every political stripe should care. When media institutions, not content to savor past prizes for attacking the prior administration, actually enlist as advance pickets for the new administration on the same issues, Americans should worry.

This series is about far more than partisan and ideological hiring practices at Obama’s Justice Department. It is about a system that rewards falsehood, hypocrisy, and duplicity.

Eleven new career attorneys have been hired into the Housing Section. As described below, their backgrounds all have a common theme.

Eric Halperin: Mr. Halperin was hired as the Division’s new special counsel for fair lending, a position in which he helps supervise the Housing Section. Although this is a leadership position in the front office, it is also a career slot, offering him all the protections of the federal civil service. This means he cannot be cut loose easily in 2013 absent a broad reduction in force. Before joining the Division, he was the director of the Washington office of the Center for Responsible Lending (“CRL”), an advocacy organization funded by labor union SEIU and predatory lending kingpins Herbert and Marion Sandler. The organization coerces lenders to increase their underwriting in poor neighborhoods where borrowers are less likely to be able to pay back mortgages. Last year, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government media site undertook an exhaustive analysis of the shenanigans that CRL engages in, and discovered that while CRL is heavily focused on redistribution of wealth, it cares little about the financial safety and soundness of the banks it targets. The articles are must-reads.

Prior to his work at CRL, Mr. Halperin interned at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, where he helped promote racial preferences in law enforcement hiring. Incidentally, the Democrat apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His father was a political appointee (deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for tax policy) under President Jimmy Carter.

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