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Obama Holdover Richard Cordray “Evasive” On Political Plans, Finalizing New Anti-Biz Regs

Richard Cordray was blasted for refusing to answer relatively simple questions about his widely rumored run for Ohio governor and how it will impact his current job.

This week, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling blasted Richard Cordray, the Obama holdover and director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), for refusing to answer fairly simple questions about his widely rumored run for Ohio governor and how that might impact imminent rulemaking out of the CFPB.

Hensarling did not mince words about Cordray’s refusal to answer questions about his political plans, which Reuters called “evasive”:

“I am disappointed by Director Cordray’s steadfast refusal to be transparent with the public about his intentions. If he intends to serve his full term, there is no reason not to say so,” said Hensarling in a statement to Reuters. “The only reasonable conclusion is that he therefore harbors partisan political ambitions, which calls into question the propriety of all of his recent and future actions as CFPB Director.”

Cordray is currently scheduled to headline the annual AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic this coming Monday in Cincinnati – a major political event for Ohio Democrats – where it has been strongly speculated he will announce his campaign for governor. Cordray has kept up a heavy schedule of trips back to Ohio since becoming director – 24 according to FOIA records obtained from his office – and he has multiplespeaking events scheduled there for the next several weeks, leading to more questions about using his official office to position for a political campaign.

What makes the questions about whether Cordray is plotting a political campaign from his taxpayer-funded job even more pressing is the fact that Cordray’s CFPB is simultaneously finalizing controversial new regulations on lending, which the Wall Street Journal and others have called a gift to Democrats’ trial lawyers supporters:

“Mr. Cordray is expected to step down after Labor Day, though not before finalizing a new punitive regulation on payday lenders. The CFPB also recently completed a rule essentially banning mandatory arbitration in financial contracts, which allow parties to settle disputes without the time and expense of heading to court. The point is to steer business toward Mr. Cordray’s friends in the plaintiffs bar. Lawyers grab about $1 million on average from class-action lawsuits—which are the main alternative to arbitration – while the actual litigants take home about $30.”

The CFPB has been called “the brainchild of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren,” who actively recruited Cordray to the agency in 2010.