Rep. John D. Dingell wants House Speaker Newt Gingrich to know that he's a gentleman.

In a letter to Rep. Gingrich, the House Commerce Committee's top Democrat wrote that the Georgia Republican was "operating under a mistaken impression" when he warned Commerce Chairman Thomas J. Bliley to resist efforts by the panel's minority to encroach on House Banking's Glass- Steagall jurisdiction through the "back door."

"In matters of jurisdiction, I always used the front door, not the back, and only after knocking politely and requesting permission to enter," the former commerce committee chairman wrote.

Rep. Dingell added that he was looking forward to working with House Banking Committee Chairman Jim Leach, R-Iowa, and Rep. Bliley on the "very difficult and important issues" surrounding the Glass-Steagall legislation.

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David Cavicke has been tapped as finance counsel for the House Commerce Committee. Mr. Cavicke comes to the panel from the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he was a banking and securities lawyer.

He will replace Stephen A. Blumenthal, who will be joining the Washington Research Group, which does economic and political analysis for the institutional brokerage firm Lynch, Jones & Ryan here.

Nevertheless, Mr. Blumenthal will be sticking around at the commerce committee until July 1 to finish up with some final details.

"I had to help get the Glass-Steagall bill finished before I leave; otherwise I'd leave the committee in the lurch," Mr. Blumenthal said.

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After nearly 18 months without a quorum, the Federal Housing Finance Board is finally able to write new rules.

Former Rep. Bruce A. Morrison, D-Conn., and lobbyist J. Timothy O'Neill were sworn in to the board last Thursday. Mr. Morrison will serve as chairman of the board, which oversees the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

Mr. Morrison and Mr. O'Neill join members Nicolas P. Retsinas, who is the Department of Housing and Urban Development's representative, and Lawrence U. Costiglio.

Both of the new members were confirmed by the Senate late last month.

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The House Banking Committee staff has expanded in the last few weeks.

Natalie D. Nguyen joined as counsel. Ms. Nguyen, who most recently was a lawyer here, will dedicate most of her time to the financial institutions subcommittee.

R. Stephen Ganis, who worked in the Securities and Exchange Commission general counsel's office, is a new counsel for the capital markets subcommittee. Joining the panel as a senior professional staff member is Amos T. "Ted" Beason, a 30-year veteran of the investment and banking industry.

David Horne is the new senior counsel at the Housing subcommittee. He was formerly with the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Jim Phillips joins the general oversight subcommittee as an investigator. Prior to this, Mr. Phillips worked as an investigator for Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah.

Finally, Deborah Maffie joined the domestic and international monetary policy subcommittee as a legislative fellow. The legislative fellow program allows mid-level executive branch workers to learn how Congress works.

Ms. Maffie comes to the subcommittee from the National Security Agency.

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John Hamilton, president of Advance Federal Savings and Loan Association of Baltimore, has been elected chairman of the American League of Financial Institutions. The Washington-based trade association for minority savings institutions also has chosen a new executive director, Dina Nichelsen, formerly its director of conferences and publications.

The league's new vice chairman is Thomas L. Clark Jr., president of Carver Federal Savings Bank of New York City, while its secretary-treasurer is Paul Hudson, president of Broadway Federal Savings and Loan Association in Los Angeles.

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