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March 10, 2009

Baltimore's Gary Gensler: Caught in the Maw

Add the name of Baltimore's Gary Gensler to the list of Obama administration nominees from the critical financial sector who are s-l-o-w-l-y making their way through the Senate confirmation process.

It's been almost two weeks since the confirmation hearing for Gensler, nominated to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the nomination has yet to make it out of committee, much less to the Senate floor for a final vote.

A spokeswoman for the Agriculture Committee said Gensler's name was "still pending" before the panel. There's "no holdup," said Kate Cyrul, the committee's press secretary.

It's "just a scheduling thing," she insisted, after explaining that it wouldn't even be necessary for the committee to meet for a vote to take place that would move the nomination along.

That action could come as early as this week, she added.

Gensler's nomination was controversial because of his background as an official of the Clinton administration during the period when the foundation for today's financial mess was being laid. But senators from both parties have insisted that he'll get confirmed. Eventually.

Gensler is a bigtime Democratic money man and once served as treasurer of the Maryland Democratic Party. He was a leading supporter and fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign before switching his allegiance to Barack Obama after he defeated her in the primaries.

Posted by Paul West at 11:24 AM | | Comments (1)


Gary Gensler, who spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, proactively lobbied to deregulate credit default swaps. So he was a key player in the mortgage crisis, AIG debacle, etc. He is the LAST person we want "regulating" our financial system! I call on Sens. Mikulski and Cardin to block his nomination. I hope you'll join me.

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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