The truth behind why the White House pulled the name of Diana Taylor, superintendent of the New York State Banking Department, as a potential nominee to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. may never be known, but that hasn't stopped the political guessing games.

A Senate Banking Committee spokesman confirmed that the White House's nomination for Taylor, the long-time girlfriend of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would not be forthcoming. "It is our understanding that her nomination is not going to be submitted to the Senate," he says. The committee requests nominees to fill out a questionnaire and set an interview date, which Taylor has not been asked to do, though she did complete the paperwork and has been vetted by a White House background check. "We don't speculate on personnel matters," says a White House spokeswoman.

The tabloid newspapers in New York City, however, are not above speculation-or spin-on the subject. The National Rifle Association denied reports that it quashed the proposed nomination to send a message to Bloomberg, who recently announced plans to get tougher on gun control. All the papers cited unnamed Senate sources.

"It's not true," says Andrew

Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman. "We don't agree with [Bloomberg's] policies, but we wouldn't have done this to the mayor's girlfriend."

The nomination of Taylor had been seen as a slam-dunk for the job at the FDIC, which has been vacant since Donald Powell resigned in the fall to lead federal efforts in post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding in the Gulf area. "It's a process that we just don't own and we never have," says Jim Fuchs, a spokesman for the New York State Banking Department. "Comments have to be left to who controls that process: The White House." (c) 2006 U.S. Banker and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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