Sunday, 30 April, 2017

Puzder Returning to Job as Fast-Food CEO After Failed Labor Bid

Andrew Puzder Nomination in Peril After Oprah Turns in Footage of Ex-Wife Detailing Spousal Abuse An old episode of Oprah comes back to haunt Trump labor nominee
Darrell Mcdonald | 17 February, 2017, 00:45

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced Florida International University College of Law Dean R. Alexander Acosta as his next nominee to oversee the US Department of Labor. He was assistant attorney general for the civil rights division under President George W Bush.

Less than 24 hours after Andrew Puzder, a fast food executive whom both Republican and Democratic senators opposed, withdrew his nomination for labor secretary, President Trump has named his replacement.

"I also thank my family and my many supporters - employees, businesses, friends and people who have voiced their praise and hopeful optimism for the policies and new thinking I would have brought to America as Secretary of Labor".

Acosta, a lawyer from Florida, is the first Latino in Trump's cabinet.

Four GOP senators have expressed reservations about Puzder's nomination, and no Dems are expected to give him a nod, the political web site reports.

Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which runs Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast food chains, had been under fire on several fronts: Opposing a minimum wage increase, hiring an undocumented immigrant to work as his housekeeper and making such sexist statements as "I like handsome women eating burgers in bikinis", which he told Entrepreneur magazine in reference to his company's TV ads.

Puzder had been due to appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for a confirmation hearing on Thursday. Puzder said he had employed - and belatedly paid taxes on - a housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States. "We will schedule a hearing promptly after his nomination papers arrive in the Senate, and I look forward to exploring his views on how American workers can best adjust to the rapidly changing workplace".

Acosta, the only son of Cuban immigrants, gradually reconnected with Miami and cultivated strong relationships in the legal and law enforcement community to build up the USA attorney's office in his image.

Fierstein later recanted her accusations, and has defended Puzder's nomination.

Puzder's past had been called into question over the last few days, after Politico published a 1990 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" where Puzder's ex-wife, Lisa Fierstein, accused him of domestic abuse.

The withdrawal comes after a week of scrutiny of decades-old abuse allegations from Puzder's ex-wife, which she has since retracted.

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