This is an excerpt from the 2018 Steve Dustcircle book, Trump’s Cabinet: The Rise of Each Appointed Deplorable, available in ebook and paperback from Amazon.com. The book contains links to multiple references and citations.
ALEXANDER ACOSTA, SECRETARY OF LABOR
The United States Department of Labor is run by the Secretary of Labor and handles union-related laws and person-corporate relations. This department was formerly in union with the Department of Commerce but was one agency in 1913, the year before World War I started.
The current Trump-appointed Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao (Mitch McConnell’s wife), was Secretary of Labor from 2001-2009.
The secretary originally nominated by Trump was Hardee’s CEO and wife-batterer, Andrew Puzder, but he withdrew in February 2017 after both Democrats and Republicans attacked him on his business history and home life.
Next up to nomination is Alexander Acosta, one with very little personal, online presence, but the Internet does give some insight into who “R. Alex Acosta” is.
Acosta is the solo son of Cuban immgrants/refugees, and in the mid-1990s, Acosta served as legal clerk to far right-wing Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito. He then worked at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis and went on to teach at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Acosta was most recently a dean at Florida International University College of Law.
He is President Trump’s first and only Hispanic pick for the administration’s Cabinet, and was confirmed by mostly Republican congressmen, although eight Democrats and one Independent also voted for him.
Acosta is a former United States federal prosecutor of four years. It was here that he drew unwanted attention as possibly not being for workers’ rights, regarding a sketchy deal he made against labor unions. Even the AFL-CIO questions Acosta’s integrity for the position.
Acosta is most known for his prosecution of notorious GOP lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, who was found guilty of murder conspiracy and a $23 million wire fraud.
Newsweek had an eye-opening article about a billionaire—Jeffrey Epstein—who had junior high girls strip for him and massage him for money (prostitution, solicition). Since Acosta refused to file charges, Epstein received a lenient sex crime sentence of 18 months in prison. He served 13. Details of the case didn’t surface until 2015 when a civil lawsuit was filed.
President Trump is quoted from 2002: “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years, Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it—Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”
Acosta was appointed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by former Republican President George W. Bush and served in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
Allied Progress claims Acosta mid-managed the agency. In 2008, he was faulted for “failing to rein in a staffer who engaged in improper politicized hiring.”
He is notorious for supporting intimidating monitors standing guard at polling locations, possibly to scare off certain kinds of voters. Sadly, this was in black neighborhoods. For someone from a civil rights agency, this is unacceptable behavior in the “land of the free.”
Dennis Keller seemed surprised by Trump’s selection of Acosta, saying that Acosta is “well-known, careful and respected.” So far, the only thing we can be hopeful of is that he’s against Muslim-American discrimination, saying in 2011 that the “government would protect their rights.”
But when questioned by Senator Elizabeth Warren at the confirmation hearing, he dodged and ditched every question she gave him, few of them being difficult. “None of these were trick questions,” she scolded him. He would not say if he will stand up for American workers.
He is slippery and snaky, and we should keep an eye on him. Over all, even as a Harvard graduate, Acosta appears to be a disappointment. Being the only Hispanic in the Cabinet, it’s sad that he has an unfortunate history of skirting ethics laws.
Trivia: Acosta serves as the chairman of the board for U.S. Century Bank.