That would be Mrs. Phil Gramm he’s talking about:
As George H. Painter was preparing to retire recently as one of two administrative law judges presiding over investor complaints at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, he issued an extraordinary request:
In a notice recently released by the CFTC, Painter said Judge Bruce Levine, his longtime colleague, had a secret agreement with a former Republican chairwoman of the agency to stand in the way of investors filing complaints with the agency.
“On Judge Levine’s first week on the job, nearly twenty years ago, he came into my office and stated that he had promised Wendy Gramm, then Chairwoman of the Commission, that we would never rule in a complainant’s favor,” Painter wrote. “A review of his rulings will confirm that he fulfilled his vow,” Painter wrote.
Painter continued: “Judge Levine, in the cynical guise of enforcing the rules, forces pro se complainants to run a hostile procedural gauntlet until they lose hope, and either withdraw their complaint or settle for a pittance, regardless of the merits of the case.”
The CFTC oversees trading of the nation’s most important commodities, including oil, gold and cotton. The agency’s administrative law judges handle cases in which investors allege that trading professionals or financial firms violated the rules.
Asked to address Painter’s notice, a CFTC spokesman declined to comment because, he said, the issue was a personnel matter.
An attorney adviser to Levine, Thaddeus Glotfelty, said that the official position of the CFTC press office was to decline comment and that “Judge Levine has determined to go along with that.”
In his notice about his impending retirement, Painter said he could not “in good conscience” simply leave his seven reparation cases to Levine, and he recommended that the CFTC try to enlist another administrative judge from elsewhere in the federal government. The notice was written in mid-September, but released by the CFTC weeks later.