The Note: Wait Till You See That Sunshine Place

The New York Times' Steve Labaton looks at Rep. Christopher Cox's future as top securities regulator through the eyes of his past – "a devoted student of Ayn Rand, the high priestess of unfettered capitalism — (he) has a long record in the House of promoting the agenda of business interests that are a cornerstone of the Republican Party's political and financial support." LINK

"A major recipient of contributions from business groups, the accounting profession and Silicon Valley, he has fought against accounting rules that would give less favorable treatment to corporate mergers and executive stock options. He opposes taxes on dividends and capital gains. And he helped to steer through the House a bill making investor lawsuits more difficult. That measure, which Congress adopted over President Bill Clinton's veto, was hailed by business groups, which say it has reduced costly and frivolous cases."

"Mr. Cox may end up being more regulatory-minded than his backers expect," a trio of Wall Street Journal writers report.

The Journal's editorial page doesn't think so. "We assume the appointment marks the end of the era of post-Enron regulatory overkill."

The Washington Post's Carrie Johnson takes a closer look at President Bush's nomination of Cox to be the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commision. LINK

Jonathan Peterson and Richard Simon of the Los Angeles Times take a look at Cox and his relationship to business, and the mixed reception his nomination has thus far received. LINK

Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein calls Cox's nomination a sign of "the return to pliant directors, misleading financial statements, disenfranchised shareholders and runaway executive salaries. Cox's philosophy of corporate governance is that investors who don't like how a company is run should simply sell their shares and put their money somewhere else." LINK

Jean Pasco of the Los Angeles Times looks at the contenders to fill Cox's seat. LINK

Dean's Democrats:

Dan Balz of the Washington Post was at the Take Back America conference yesterday, where DNC Chairman Howard Dean threw a few handfuls of Blue meat to the crowd when he accused President Bush of failing to protect Americans' pensions and sideswiped Republicans when talking about election reform. In between pithy one-liners, however, Dean did manage to squeeze in a suggestion to make pensions portable (for which Balz slaps him). Former Sen. John Edwards also addressed the group, going after the president's budget and saying that Democrats need to stand up for what they believe in. LINK

Jill Lawrence of USA Today writes that Dean started strong by talking about his 50-state strategy, then didn't exactly create a welcoming environment for moderate GOP crossovers with his comment that a lot of Republicans "have never made an honest living in their lives." LINK

"Dean's remark was the latest in a string of provocative comments that Democratic strategists say fire up activists but complicate the job of expanding the party. 'He's got a lot of pluses, and he fires off the occasional errant missile,' consultant David Axelrod said."

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