President Bush today named California congressman Christopher Cox as the White House nomination for the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cox, a Republican in the House of Representatives for Orange County, has long been involved with technology, venture capital and tax issues.
Cox’s nomination follows the resignation of current SEC chairman William Donaldson.
Early in his pre-congressional career, Cox was an attorney in the Orange County office of law firm Latham & Watkins, where he “specialized in venture capital and corporate finance”, according to his official biography.
In congress, Cox has championed issues of interest to his district’s high-tech and biotech industries. In 2003, he authored legislation that would make permanent a temporary ban on Internet commerce taxes.
Cox, 52, has been a chief advocate for lowering taxes on capital gains and dividends. He has also been a major force behind efforts to end the estate tax in the US.
Cox’s interest in technology extends to national security issues. He is the author of the well known Cox Report, released in 1999, which claimed that citizens of mainland China were active in Silicon Valley technology startups and engaged in the transfer of sensitive technology back to China.
Donaldson’s tenure at the SEC was marked by the implementation of the Sarbanes Oxley Act as well as the decision to require hedge funds to register with the commission. Both policy moves have been criticised by some in the private equity community as being overly burdensome on small businesses.