A senior official at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has been identified as the author of several controversial blog posts dating back 14 years, where he claimed that most hate crimes were hoaxes and questioned whether using a racial slur was inherently racist.
Eric Blankenstein, who is the Policy Director for Supervision, Enforcement, and Fair Lending at the BCFP, allegedly wrote the posts under a pen name back in 2004 after he graduated from the University of Virginia. Blankenstein, who started working at the BCFP earlier this year following nearly a decade in private practice, is one of the highest-paid workers in the federal government, earning nearly $260,000 per year.
Blankenstein confirmed the writings were his, but said they have little bearing on his work at the bureau today.
“The insight to be gained about how I perform my job today – by reading snippets of 14 year old blog posts that have nothing to do with consumer protection law — is exactly zero,” he said, in a published report. “Any attempt to do so is a naked exercise in bad faith, and represents another nail in the coffin of civil discourse and the ability to reasonably disagree over questions of law and policy. The need to dig up statements I wrote as a 25 year old shows that in the eyes of my critics I am not guilty of a legal infraction or neglect of my duties, but rather just governing while conservative.”
In one of his posts, Blankenstein called a proposal at the University of Virginia to impose harsher penalties for acts of intolerance “racial idiocy.” This is the first time that the posts have been linked to Blankenstein, according to the report. The blog was published in partnership with two other anonymous individuals.