Republicans are closely watching every move Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray makes, waiting for him to either mess up, announce a bid for Ohio governor, or both.
In the latest development, according to an article in the Free Beacon by Joe Schoffstall, Cordray received a message on his government email address with an offer to help with his potential campaign for governor of Ohio, which Cordray then forwarded to a redacted address.
Under the Hatch Act, federal employees and cabinet members are prohibited from using their official position to influence an election.
From the article:
In the document obtained by the Free Beacon, an individual calling herself Debbie wrote to Cordray's government email account on July 21, two days after the Plain Dealer's article was published, and offered to provide any help she could if the rumors were true.
Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, viewed the email and said it raises questions over whether the handling of it using his official government email address is a potential violation of the Hatch Act.
"Simply receiving a partisan email and forwarding it to your own personal account is not a violation of the Act. In this case though, we do not know who Cordray forwarded the email to because of the redaction," added Arnold.
The article Debbie is referring to was about Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill saying a mutual friend told him that Cordray would run for Ohio governor.
And this isn’t the first time that article has been called into question.
Back in August, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas called for an investigation of Cordray for allegedly violating the Hatch Act.
In a letter sent to the Office of Special Counsel, Hensarling accused Cordray of potentially consenting to the call between O'Neill and the “mutual friend,” which could be a violation of the Hatch Act.
There is still no official word from Cordray on if he will plan to run. However, according to industry rumors, it could happen any day since that the bureau has published its payday lending rule.