John McCain wanted Christopher Cox fired as the George W. Bush-appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Los Angeles Times opined that Cox's chairmanship will be characterized by missing the signs that Wall Street was poised for a meltdown, noting the critics who said Cox's long-standing support of a deregulated market and friendliness to business made him "the wrong SEC chairman at the wrong time." Securities law professor Robert Hillman at UC Davis blasted Cox for being "slow to recognize the deteriorating position of brokerage firms. In that sense, he bears joint responsibility with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve chairman." In lambasting Cox's SEC tenure, Time magazine cited both his agency's response to the financial crisis and its failure to uncover Bernard Madoff's fraud.
Given that level of infamy, how are Republican power brokers marking Cox's return to Orange County? By throwing him a party Aug. 6 on a boat floating through Newport Harbor.
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Orange County Business Journal's Michael Lyster writes:
Early next month, a yacht with Republican supporters is setting sail around Newport Harbor in a floating welcome home party for former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox.
The former eight-term Republican congressman out of Newport Beach is returning to Orange County to join the Costa Mesa office of Boston-based Bingham McCutchen LLP as a partner and shareholder. The firm is sort of where out-of-the-limelight Republicans go to die, employing former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and ex-Governor Pete Wilson.
Among those setting sail on the SS Minnow for the Cox coming home, which will double as a GOP fund-raiser, will be Tom Phillips, National Conservative Campaign Fund political action committee chairman, and Tom Fuentes, the former OC Republican Central Committee chairman and current South Orange County Community College District trustee.