Goldman Case Splits SEC Along Party Lines
Decision came after months of secret negotiations failed
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Apr 20, 2010 9:23 AM CDT
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Schapiro will face tough questions about the timing of the suit.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

(Newser) – The decision to go after Goldman split the SEC along party lines and came only after months of secret talks broke down. Though the commission generally aims for unanimity, they voted, 3-2, to proceed with the civil suit despite opposition from two Republican members. The tiebreaker was an Independent commissioner appointed by President Obama. Word of the rift threatens to politicize the case and widen the gulf between Dems and Republicans over the financial overhaul the White House is pushing, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Though Goldman insists the suit came as a surprise, the Washington Post claims the case came after months of secret talks with Goldman's lawyers. The SEC says they informed the bank they'd bring legal action last summer. The talks reached an impasse last month when Goldman refused to give ground or show contrition, the commission says.