In last week’s primary in Ohio, Richard Cordray, who directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under President Obama, easily defeated former Cleveland Mayor and Congressman Dennis Kucinich to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for Governor. In the general election in November, Cordray faces Mike DeWine (R).
The CFPB itself, the chief item on Cordray’s resume, is a new and quite controversial agency. During his time there, Cordray was investigated for alleged violations of the Hatch Act (the law designed to keep most executive branch employees nonpartisan).
The investigation into Hatch Act allegations ended in Cordray’s favor. In October 2017 the Office of Special Counsel sent him a letter acknowledging that it had “found no evidence” of violations. “We are closing our file without further action,” it said.
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Beyond the criticisms specific to Cordray’s tenure, Republicans have argued that the structure of the CFPB is faulty, it is too much of a one-man show, controlled by a “single individual who cannot be fired for poor performance.”