News & Politics

CFPB Chief Cordray Urged to Run for Ohio Governor

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Richard Cordray, the current head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), might run for governor of Ohio. With the new administration pressing forward with its operations, Cordray might decide to follow the lead of other Obama appointees and move on. The Ohio governor’s mansion could be one option, as current Ohio Governor Kasich faces term limits and will not be in the campaign mix. In other words, the governor’s race is wide open.

The Cordray CFPB has been mired in controversy. The structure of the CFPB was ruled unconstitutional late last year by a federal appeals court. Let’s hope the Trump administration puts this nightmare out of its misery.

Republicans have long argued that, at the very least, the agency should be structured similar to regulatory agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  Last year’s major Dodd-Frank reform legislation, the Financial CHOICE Act, included a provision to convert the CFPB to a commission.

In any case, the agency will probably not survive into the next administration in its current form.

Regardless of whether one believes in the mission of the CFPB (and there are plenty reasons to doubt it’s a wise one), the single director model for such an agency was a bad idea.  Under that framework, any newly elected President could install a new CFPB director and undo his predecessor’s policies.

With the possibility of unemployment on the horizon, Corday is being urged to run for governor of Ohio by his supporters, according to a recent report.

But one Democratic source confirmed that the new Twitter account is the work of his supporters. And State Rep. David Leland of the Columbus area told cleveland.com Friday that he “would be happy to help” a Cordray campaign.

“I would strongly encourage Rich to run for governor of Ohio,” said Leland, a former Ohio Democratic Party chairman. “I think far and away he would be the strongest candidate.”

Even the folks at DailyKos are hoping Cordray will toss his hat in the ring.

In Ohio, we need your help.  Rich Cordray has been a tremendous public servant, being elected both Treasurer and Attorney General.  As Attorney General, Rich went after banks that exploited and scammed the working class.  By the end of his term, Rich had won more than $2 billion in damages for Ohioans.  His work was noticed by then-Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren who drafted him to help create and establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Cordray and Warren laid the groundwork for this revolutionary organization that would fight for the average American against the greed and overreach of big banks and in 2013, the Senate confirmed Cordray as the bureau’s first director.

That’s one side of it. The other side suggests Cordray would be dragging a lot of baggage back to Ohio with him.

Forbes describes Cordray’s CFPB:

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been one of the most controversial components of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.  It has issued contentious rules, tortured data to make other rules, engaged in an extravagant spending spree, and even found itself blasted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for employment discrimination.

Are the people of Ohio ready for some more of that?

And it gets worse.  The Daily Caller published an extensive investigation of Cordray’s professional communications on private devices while at the agency. The response from the agency to a query about Cordray’s communications indicated “there were no records on any ‘CFPB issued or CFPB reimbursed devices’ for any text messages sent or received associated with Cordray.” Using a private device isn’t necessarily against the rules, as long as protocol is followed. The employee must copy “an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee in the original creation or transmission of the record,” or forward “a complete copy of the record to an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee not later than 20 days after the original creation or transmission of the record.”

This doesn’t sound like the background of a viable gubernatorial candidate to me. Can’t Ohio do better than this?