(CNN)On Thursday, President Donald Trump held a bizarre news conference in which he railed against the media, Senate Democrats, and the intelligence community. He insisted his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, had done nothing wrong. He falsely asserted that he had “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” Oh, and he named his new nominee for secretary of labor, Alexander Acosta. That was supposedly his reason for holding the press conference, yet it took only a few sentences out of about 80 minutes.
On the positive side, Alexander Acosta does not have any particularly scandalous or partisan positions in his personal history. He has won support from a range of Latino advocacy groups
, both now and in the past.
The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce called him an “outstanding choice” for labor secretary. The Hispanic National Bar Association
congratulated Acosta on his nomination, noting that he “understands that our nation’s diversity is our strength.”
Back when he was named to head the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, the National Council of La Raza called him
a “bridge-builder” and “someone who will listen and act in a fair manner.” With his strong labor and education background and potential support from Latino civic groups, Acosta’s nomination could put Democratic senators in the awkward position of voting against a qualified Hispanic nominee — to show their opposition to Trump.
True, Acosta is not perfect. His time at Justice was marked by
a politicization of the Civil Rights Division. In 2007, McClatchy DC
reported that, while serving as assistant attorney general, Acosta did not take issue with Ohio Republicans challenging 23,000 predominantly African-American voter registrations. We do not know his views on equal pay for equal work, or raising the minimum wage. And he is apparently willing to step into an administration that is widely viewed as hostile to Latinos and immigrants — not to mention truth itself.
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There is no doubt that Acosta will be of service to Trump and the country. He will be an important voice for Latinos in the Cabinet. It remains to be seen, however, whether he can bring some integrity to this flailing, chaotic administration.
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/opinions/acosta-nomination-trump-flailing-reyes-opinion/index.html