Orson Swindle, a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission for the last 7 1/2 years, submitted his resignation yesterday. The resignation is effective June 30 or earlier if a replacement is found before then.
Swindle did not specify a reason for his departure but called his time at the FTC an “enormous privilege.”
Swindle, who was appointed Dec. 18, 1997, as a Republican commissioner celebrated his 68th birthday in March. During his tenure, Swindle was deeply involved in the debate over, and eventual implementation of, two of the most significant consumer initiatives from the FTC in the past two decades – the national no-call list and the CAN-SPAM Act.
In 2004, an FTC official said it was a telemarketing call to Swindle that sparked the FTC's first enforcement action under the no-call list, against National Consumer Council, Santa Clara, CA. The credit-counseling firm eventually shut down as a result of the FTC's enforcement action.
In 2003, Swindle helped preside over a raucous spam forum hosted by the FTC. He helped break up a confrontation between Mark Felstein, director and chief counsel of eMarketersAmerica.org, and anti-spammer Adam Brower after Felstein served Brower with a lawsuit during a lunch break.
He served in the Reagan administration in the 1980s and was active in conservative causes during the 1990s. In 1994 and 1996 he ran as a Republican candidate for Congress in Hawaii, but lost both times.
Swindle had a long military career, retiring in 1979 as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1966, while serving as a Marine aviator in Vietnam, Swindle was shot down during his last combat mission and spent the next six years and four months as a prisoner of war in Hanoi.
Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters