Who We Are

Kirk Victor

Kirk Victor is Associate Editor of FTCWatch.

Kirk Victor

Kirk was a staff correspondent at National Journal for more than 20 years during which he covered a range of beats, including the White House, the United States Senate, labor, lobbying and telecommunications.

Kirk covered the White House from the beginning of the Obama presidency until 2010 when he left National Journal. During that period, he wrote a range of articles that explored President Obama’s governing style, various policy initiatives, and the political implications of White House actions. He broke the story on the departure of Christina Romer as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Earlier in his tenure at National Journal, Kirk covered the Senate and was part of a team that won a first-place National Headliner Award for coverage of a major news event, “The State of Congress,” that highlighted the increasing dysfunction of Capitol Hill. He also covered a number of Senate campaigns.

Kirk also collaborated with former Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina on Hollings’ book, Making Government Work (2008).

Since leaving National Journal, Kirk has written about a range of issues for a variety of publications, including Washingtonian, in which he profiled David Addington, Vice President Cheney’s reclusive former chief of staff. He also has written for Governing, a monthly magazine, and The Fiscal Times, an online publication.

Before his career in journalism, Kirk earned a law degree from the Antioch School of Law. He practiced law in the Justice Department’s Civil Division, where he was in the Federal Programs Branch and litigated cases in federal court, defending federal agencies.

Kirk has a Master’s Degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and a BA from Williams College.

Kirk grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and is married to Linda Lance.

Claude R. Marx

Since joining the staff of FTCWatch in February 2013, Claude R. Marx has written about a range of subjects such as the implications of certain mergers on consumers, the regulation of advertising and attempts by Congress to overhaul the patent system.

As a reporter for the Credit Union Times, Claude covered the government’s rescue of some of the financially troubled wholesale credit unions, which had the potential to bring down the entire credit union system.

Prior to that, he was a political reporter for the Associated Press and wrote about economic policy and politics for Investor’s Business Daily.

Selected as one of four journalists for an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship, Claude spent a year learning about Capitol Hill while working as a House and Senate staff member.

Claude came to Washington after being a general assignment and political reporter for The Arkansas Democrat in Little Rock. There he covered the career of then-Governor Bill Clinton. He was on a team of reporters that won an Associated Press Managing Editors award for its coverage of Clinton’s last gubernatorial campaign.

He was also a reporter for the Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser and the Nashua (NH) Telegraph. Claude is currently writing a biography of William Howard Taft, whose administration prosecuted more antitrust cases in four years than Theodore Roosevelt’s Justice Department did in seven years.

Claude earned his BA from Washington University in St. Louis and did graduate work at Georgetown University.

Neil Averitt

Neil Averitt writes a column of analysis and commentary in each issue of FTCWatch.


Neil spent thirty-seven years at the Federal Trade Commission, during which he worked as attorney advisor to one of the commissioners, assistant to the chairman and acting head of the antitrust planning staff on two occasions for a year each.

Neil was instrumental in bringing about several important changes in trade regulation law.   He brought new clarity to the "unfairness" language in the FTC Act, drafting the Commission's formal policy statement on consumer unfairness, and writing proposed language for a parallel statement on competition unfairness. He helped move merger analysis away from a simple focus on price effects, writing many articles on the importance of nonprice competition, which helped to introduce the phrase "consumer choice" into the vocabulary.

He developed the previously-neglected law on "active supervision" in state action matters, culminating in the Supreme Court decision in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners, which held that the decisions of professional regulatory boards must be reviewed by disinterested parties elsewhere in the state government in order to have antitrust immunity.

Neil has degrees from Harvard College (B.A.), the London School of Economics (M.Sc.), and Harvard Law School (J.D.), where he was Note Editor on the Law Review.