President Carter has told influential Senate Agriculture Committee members he intends to nominate Hugh Cadden to fill the vacancy on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
A protege of William Bagley, the CFTC's controversial first chairman, Cadden, 36, formerly directed the agency's division of trading and markets and now is special assistant to CFTC Chairman James Stone.
Cadden, a political independent, will be named to fill the five-year term formerly held by Republican Gary Seevers, acting chairman of the CFTC until he resigned in April.
Carter revealed his decision to appoint Cadden in phone calls this week to Sen. Walter Huddleston (D-Ky.) and Rep. Ed Jones (D-Tenn.), chairmen of the agriculture subcommittees that oversee the FCTC.
Huddleston, who held up the confirmation of Stone for several weeks, "has reservations" about the nomination of Cadden, aides said yesterday. "He's disappointed the president did not go outside the commission to find someone who would bring a new perspective and a degree of independence to the agency," one saide said.
Cadden's nomination will be the third CFTC appointment made by the Carter administration and the third to run into trouble on the Hill.
The first appointee, David Gartner, long-time aide to Hubert Humphrey, was approved quickly. Later it was learned his children had received gifts of about $50,000 worth of stock from Humphrey backer Duane Andreas, chairman of Archer-Daniels-Midland, a big grain company.
Carter asked Gartner to resign, but Gartner refused, survived a grilling by the Senate Agriculture Committee and has become the most independent member of the CFTC.
The controversy kept Gartner from becoming chairman of the agency, so the White House selected Stone, a former Massachusetts insurance commissioner with a reputation as a strong consumer advocate but no experience in the commodity field.
After sitting on Stone's nomination for weeks, the Agriculture Committee approved the appointment, but only after extracting a promise from the White House that someone more experienced in the field would fill the next vacancy.
Cadden's familarity with commodiates apparently is not an issue. A gradute of the University of California and its Hastings College of Law, Cadden has worked for the CFTC since 1975. Hired in the agency's West Coast regional office, he came to Washington in 1977 as deputy director of enforcement and last November was named director of trading and markets.
Cadden resigned from the CFTC last spring, saying he planned to enter private practice, then started on temporarily as special aide to Stone. Cadden could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The close relationship of Cadden and Stone -- who reportedly supported the nomination -- will be an issue raised in confirmation hearings, Senate Agriculture Committee staff members said.
The nomination is expected to be opposed by the grain trade and the commodity exchanges, which traditionally have had a loud voice in appointments. The exchanges and farm state congressmen reportedly favored several other candidates for the post, all of whom were rejected in favor of Cadden.
Another objection is that Cadden is the latest white, male nominee to the CFTC, which has never had a woman or a minority group member.
At least four women were considered for the appointment: Louise Luxinger, a professor at Texas Tech University; Sue Phillips, a professor at the University of Iowa business school; Ann Peck, a staff member of the Stanford University Food Institute, and Shirley Jackewicz, a Wall Street Journal reporter in Chicago. Others in the running included John Dunn, an Oklahoma cattleman; Jack Field, another CFTC official; and Victor Veysey, a former California congressman.