Before being tabbed as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman in February 2003, William Donaldson was known as anything but liberal. After all, he worked in the Nixon administration and garnered his current position during the tenure of George W. Bush. But the way he has voted lately, it would be hard to differentiate him from the two Democratic SEC commissioners.

In a vote on whether hedge funds should be scrutinized more closely, the Commission’s two Democrats voted yes, while the two Republicans, predictably, voted no. Donaldson’s deciding vote – on line with the Democrats for stricter enforcement – marked the second time in less than a month that the five members voted that way. On June 23, Donaldson and the Dems outweighed the Republicans by the same score, making it mandatory for mutual fund boards to have independent chairmen.

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