Revolving door from CFTC to lobbying firm


A former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner has gone through the revolving door to the law and lobbying firm firm Patton Boggs, where he'll work as a senior policy advisor, the firm announced Tuesday.

"Regulatory agencies should be accessible to the businesses and industries they regulate," said Michael Dunn, the former commissioner, in a statement today. "I am excited to join the firm, and I look forward to helping clients navigate complex regulatory processes and agencies."

Appointed to the CFTC by former President George W. Bush, Dunn specialized in agricultural issues at the agency. His new employer is  a lobbying powerhouse that reported $36.7 million in lobbying income in 2011 alone. Patton Boggs has sent representatives to at least 30 meetings at federal financial agencies–24 of them at the CFTC–to lobby on the Dodd-Frank financial law, according to the Sunlight Foundation's Dodd-Frank meeting tracker.

Among Patton Boggs' recent meetings were several on behalf of the Wholesale Market Brokers Association, Americas, and its member groups. The organization faciliates swaps of derivatives, and considers itself a model for new entities, Swap Execution Facilities, created under Dodd-Frank to bring transparency to such transactions. 

Dunn himself does not appear in agency meeting logs on implementation of the Dodd-Frank law, which seems curious since he was at the commission through last October. A query to the CFTC press office about this issue was not returned by the time of this posting.

UPDATE, 8 February, 2:45 p.m.: A CFTC spokesperson writes: "The posting of external meetings involving Dodd-Frank rulemakings is not required under the APA; however, the Chairman, in an effort to increase transparency and openness, started posting his meetings and directed Commission staff to do the same.  Individual Commissioners may also elect to post their outside Dodd Frank meetings…it is their choice.   Commissioner Dunn apparently decided not to post his outside meetings."

"Commissioner Dunn enhances the overall advisory capacity at Patton Boggs and expands the firm's deep bench of former senior officials from federal regulatory agencies," the firm said in a statement about his hire. "He will bring extensive experience and insight on effectively and constructively dealing with federal regulators, both in the rule-making process and in compliance and oversight, to his work at the firm."