WASHINGTON- Linda Chavez today abandoned her bid to become Secretary of Labor under President-elect George W. Bush.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential conservatives in the country, issued the following statement concerning the Chavez controversy:

"Today is a sad day for those of us who know Linda Chavez and those of us who wish to create a truly colorblind society with equal opportunity for all.

"Linda Chavez is the epitome of a compassionate conservative.  She often took in less fortunate individuals to help them back to their feet.  She is being persecuted for doing right by those less fortunate than she because the liberal elitists in Washington, DC don’t like her politics.

"Clearly, Linda Chavez is a victim of the politics of personal destruction and it is very unfortunate.

"Linda Chavez is a woman of integrity.  Ms. Chavez has stated she took this woman, Marta Mercado, into her home as an act of charity.  This is consistent with other stories I have heard of Linda taking battered women into her home and providing them shelter until they could get back on their feet.

"I would suggest to anyone who’d listen that Linda Chavez is, unequivocally, one of the truly good people in this town."