Lobbyists and financial services executives are heaping pressure on Hillary Clinton, urging her not to pick a progressive running mate.
Corporate-funded advocacy groups told The Hill in an article published Tuesday that Labor Secretary Tom Perez would be unpalatable to the managerial and executive classes. The outreach came a day after Politico ran a story featuring numerous Wall Street donors anonymously criticizing the idea of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as Vice President.
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“If she picks someone hostile to small businesses, that sends an alarming message to the business community,” said Jack Mozloom, a spokesperson for the National Federation of Independent Business, when asked by The Hill about Perez. “We wouldn’t regard this as a positive.”
Heather Greenway, executive director of the Workforce Fairness Institute, an anti-labor organization, told the paper that Perez “has pushed this ideological agenda since he stepped foot in that position.”
Perez has repeatedly clashed with industry groups during the rule-making process. The Labor Department’s fiduciary and overtime rules, in particular, have raised the ire of Corporate America.
The former would require financial advisers to disclose conflicts of interest, and is being challenged in court. The latter would double the dollar threshold of a major overtime exemption that hadn’t been adjusted in decades. Republican lawmakers are trying to block it with legislation. It is slated to take effect on Dec. 1.
The lobbyist outcry over the Perez rumors came a day after numerous Wall Street donors bashed the possibility of a Clinton-Warren ticket in a Politico feature.
“If Clinton picked Warren, her whole base on Wall Street would leave her,” one Clinton fundraiser said. “They would literally just say, ‘We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can’t trust you, you’ve killed it.'”
Progressives have their own qualms with the thought of Warren joining the Clinton administration.
“It’s already tough enough for this movement to make real change in America, and it’s only going to get tougher if one of our brightest leaders gets co-opted, and then ignored, by the center,” Shane Ryan wrote, for example, in Paste Magazine.
The left will have its own criticisms of a Perez pick, too: most notably, surrounding his work lobbying Congress, on behalf of the Obama administration, to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Clinton also boosted the deal, as President Obama’s top envoy. Despite this and her long history of supporting free trade agreements, she came out against the TPP at the start of the Democratic Primary.
Efforts to find out more about what Clinton said on the TPP as Secretary of State are being held up in the FOIA process. Department officials said earlier this month that they wouldn’t release Clinton’s emails on the trade deal until Nov. 31. The date is both after the election and non-existent.