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By law, two of the five commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission can't be from the president's party. To fill those two slots, the president normally defers to senior leaders of the opposition party. In the senate that would be Mitch McConnell, and for one of the two GOP positions McConnell has recommended one of his own former staffers: Scott O'Malia, the Republican clerk of the Senate Energy and Water Development subcommittee.
But before he worked for the Senate, O'Malia was a lobbyist. And not just any lobbyist: back in the early 2000s he worked for Mirant, a company engaged in Enron-like misconduct that pushed relentlessly for deregulation of energy trading. Now, though, O'Malia says the Enron debacle opened his eyes to the problems caused by exactly the kind of deregulation his former employer championed.
Maybe so. But surely the Republican Party can find someone who's been a little more dedicated to regulation all along? David Corn and Daniel Schulman have the full story here.