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Linda Chavez

Linda ChavezBorn: 17-Jun-1947
Birthplace: Albuquerque, NM

Gender: Female
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Activist, Pundit, Government
Party Affiliation: Republican [1]

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Neoconservative activist, pundit

In 1986 conservative pundit Linda Chavez ran for an open U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, against Democrat Barbara Mikulski. Chavez apparently expended a lot of effort on hinting that her opponent was a dyke, inviting "San Francisco-style Democrat" Mikulski "to come out of the closet and debate the issues important to the people of Maryland." Chavez lost big.

In January 2001, Chavez was tapped to be George W. Bush's Secretary of Labor. But she had to withdraw less than a week later after she became politically untenable; apparently, the Labor Secretary aspirant had hired an undocumented alien as a housekeeper. A few days after, Chavez lamented to Wolf Blitzer:

"I think organized labor -- I think quite mistakenly -- somehow thought that I was going to be their worst nemesis. I had a very nice talk with John Sweeney this morning, by the way, and I don't think [...] that would have been the case. I think I would have actually been very helpful in trying to bridge a gap that exists between the Republican Party and organized labor."

Fundraising letter, two years later:

My name is Linda Chavez. You may remember me as President George W. Bush's original choice for Secretary of Labor. Big Labor Bosses like the AFL-CIO's John Sweeney pulled out all the stops to defeat my nomination. After all, members of the media were calling me "Big Labor's Worst Nightmare." And they were right! I'm completely opposed to the special privileges given to Big Labor unions [...] powers that no other private organizations have. [...] We can cripple liberal politics in this country by passing the Workers' Freedom of Choice Act. If we stop now, the terrorists win.

That's right, she said it: unless we politically cripple the liberals, the terrorists win.

During a June 2004 discussion with Dennis Miller about the federal minimum wage, the former Labor Secretary nominee categorically argued against any increase in the wage. But during the interview Chavez revealed her ignorance of a simple fact: the current amount of the federal minimum wage: "You know, I don't know what it is. It's $5-something -- $5.65, something like that -- an hour." Turns out it was actually $5.15, just as it was when she was the Secretary of Labor nominee, just as it had been for 4 years before that.

[1] Switched from Democrat to Republican in 1985.

Father: Rudy Chavez (d. 1978)
Mother: Velma McKenna
Brother: Dickie (half-brother)
Brother: Michael (half-brother)
Sister: Pamela (half-sister, d. 1952)
Sister: Wendy (b. 1952)
Christopher Gersten (m. 15-Jun-1967, Jewish)
Son: David Gersten
Son: Pablo Chavez Gersten
Son: Rudy Gersten

    High School: St. John's Cathedral High School, Denver, CO
    University: BA English, University of Colorado (1970)
    University: University of California at Los Angeles
    University: University of Maryland

    Center for Equal Opportunity President and Founder
    USA Today Columnist
    American Educator Editor (1977-83)
    Crisis Contributing Editor
    Member of the Board of ABM Industries (1997-)
    Member of the Board of Greyhound (1995-)
    Member of the Board of Pilgrim's Pride (2004-)
    American Civil Rights Union Policy Board
    Bruin Alumni Association Advisory Board Member
    Capital Research Center
    Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Board of Advisors
    Center of the American Experiment Board of Advisors
    Center for Military Readiness Board of Advisors
    Council on Foreign Relations
    Federalist Society
    George W. Bush for President
    Independent Women's Forum Board of Advisors
    Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Research Fellow (1989-84)
    National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Board of Directors
    Project for the New American Century
    Stop Union Political Abuse
    US English President (1987-88, resigned)
    American Federation of Teachers
    Congress of Racial Equality
    Library of Congress Living Legend 2000
    Irish Ancestry Maternal
    Mexican Ancestry Paternal

    To The Contrary

Official Website:

Author of books:
Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation (1991, nonfiction)
An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal (2002, memoir)
Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics (2004, nonfiction)

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