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Will twin West Chester investors derail Obama's FERC boss pick?

Math-based traders Rich and Kevin Gates vs enforcement chief Norman Bay

Some of President Obama's fellow Democrats are balking at the chief executive's selection of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission enforcement chief Norman Bay to head the agency, on the eve of Senate hearings to review and confirm or reject the appointment (see Hill and Journal links below).

One factor: a campaign by brothers Kevin and Richard Gates, quantitiative investors and mutual fund managers based in West Chester, against Bay's appointment. The Gateses are fighting a FERC inquiry into late 2000s trading by their Powhatan fund, which they contend was legal and above-board, but which Bay's office has been investigating as if they were enriching traders at public expense.

The Gates, a bit ironically, are themselves Democrats: "All our donations have been blue," Rich Gates tells me. More on Gates' campaign in my March item here, and in my April review of Michael Lewis' latest book featuring the Gateses here; also recently in The HIll here and the Wall St. Journal (subscription) here and here.