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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Examining Acosta

This morning Trump announced Dean Alex Acosta of Florida International University as his pick for Labor Secretary now that the Puzder aka Moribund the Burgermeister withdrew his name after allegations of his wife-beating past arose.

Acosta actually seems like a nice guy. He's had a stellar career defending the rights of Muslim-Americans, was confirmed by the Senate three times in the past for various positions in the George W. Bush Administration.

And he's likely to be a shoe-in for this appointment.

But is it the right fit? If he had been nominated for Attorney General, he'd probably receive 90 votes in his confirmation hearing. He served as the Deputy AG under Alberto Gonzalez and headed up the Civil Rights division. Yes, there were some controversial politics-first choices made under his leadership, but he is still a Republican, so that's to be expected. But he'd still undoubtedly be a much better AG than Gonzalez or Sessions. Picture a more-moderate version of John Ashcroft. Again though, how does this translate to Labor?

As it turns out, he was part of Bush's NLRB team that made some disastrous moves against American workers.  Among other regressive moves, the Bush NLRB dialed back Weingarten Rights for non-union workers which meant that they could be subjected to unfair labor practices without being councilled by an outside union observer.  Acosta was on the Board for less than 9 months, but claims authorship of 125 of the 251 decisions reached by the Board over that time period.

To get a better idea of what kind of a Labor Secretary Alex Acosta will be, you don't have to look any further than the NLRB that he was a part of:

All things considered, it could have been far worse. He will be leagues better than Puzder. Think about it as being grazed by a bullet instead of taking it between the eyes. It still may hurt, but we'll pull through.

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