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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:53 AM
Original message
Bush nominee for product safety panel coming under fire
Source: ChicagoTrib

Works for group pushing products he would regulate

WASHINGTON -- Amid growing scrutiny of the government's consumer safety record, lawmakers are focusing their fire on President Bush's nominee to run the Consumer Product Safety Commission: A Washington-based lobbyist for the nation's biggest manufacturers' association, whose members produce many of the items the commission regulates.

That criticism intensified Wednesday with news that Michael Baroody, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, will collect $150,000 in severance pay from the association if he accepts the new government regulatory post.

As the Senate Commerce Committee prepares for a confirmation hearing on Baroody's appointment next week, a member of that committee is blocking the confirmation and calling on the Bush administration to find a replacement to serve as chairman of the commission, a $154,600-a-year post with a seven-year term.

"If you want to guard the interests of the hens, you don't put the fox in charge of the henhouse," said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who has placed an official "hold" on Baroody's appointment, ensuring it cannot move forward without his approval.

Read more:
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waiting for hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Another example of
failed Leadership from the Bush Crime Family.....ENOUGH!
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Felix Mala Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. Bush behind Baroody 100% and if he can't be confirmed, already has someone lined up:

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. "lessons learned" is not in the WH vocabulary!
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-17-07 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. Dem. Senator puts hold on nomination & refuses FOUR WH requests to meet.
Hooray for Senator Nelson (Dem Florida) for simply refusing White House requests to meet to discuss the hold Nelson has put on the nomination! If the WH game is arrogance, give it right back to them!
Here's more from the OP link:

"Bill Brock, a former secretary of labor in the Reagan administration and senator from Tennessee, said Baroody carries sterling credentials for the consumer regulatory post. "He is intellectually brilliant, but he is also very focused on the public interest," Brock said. "He engages, he cares, he commits himself.

"I saw where some of the consumer groups were opposing him, and I just laughed," Brock added. "They have to understand that manufacturers wouldn't be in business if they weren't focused on the consumers' well-being The government does have a role in making sure we have standards and regulations and policies that are in the national interest. My experience with Mike is that's what comes first with him He has extraordinary integrity."

Some consumer activists in Washington see it differently. "He's a totally inappropriate candidate for the job," said Laura MacCleery, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch. "He's a corporate insider who has worked at an organization with a lot of business before the CPSC (His association) has been involved in attempting to water down the CPSC's authority on product hazards and he doesn't have any other consumer safety qualifications."

With Durbin and others calling for a probe into the role the CPSC has played in scrutiny of products such as the toy magnets that were the subject of the Tribune investigation, some say the nomination of Baroody bespeaks a larger problem. "I am concerned about previous members and chairmen being too close to the industries whose products they are supposed to regulate," Nelson told the Tribune. "Then you add on to that this guy's background and all this stuff about the severance package."

The Senate Commerce Committee's hearing next week does not include a vote of confirmation. The White House has sought four meetings with Nelson, one official complains, and hasn't had any response. With the confirmation on hold, Nelson hopes a vote is never taken. "That's sending a message that you need to start finding someone else," Nelson said. "Put somebody who is going to look out for the interests of the consumers, because, after all, this is the Consumer Product Safety Commission."

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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 02:52 AM
Response to Original message
5. NYT: Bush Asked to Reconsider Safety Nominee
Published: May 18, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 17 Senate Democrats urged President Bush on Thursday to withdraw his nomination of a top lobbyist from the National Association of Manufacturers to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission, saying the candidate was unqualified and the appointment posed insurmountable conflicts of interest.

The criticism was a preview of what is certain to be a confrontational confirmation hearing for the nominee, Michael E. Baroody, before the Senate Commerce Committee next week.

In a letter to President Bush, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, both Democrats, said Mr. Baroody cannot escape a serious conflict of interest because he will receive a $150,000 departing payment from the association. They asked Mr. Bush to withdraw the nomination.

In a separate letter to the head of the Commerce Committee, Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, said, Leading the nations premier product safety commission is too important a responsibility to put in the hands of someone who owes his career to the same companies whose products he is supposed to judge.

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NastyRiffraff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 04:25 AM
Response to Original message
6. Is ANYONE surprised at this?
Conflict of interest seems to be a job requirement for this mis-administration.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 06:55 AM
Response to Original message
7. Really. This is the crime syndicate in action, yet again. . (wait.. correction..
make that STILL)

Unless and until they can be brought under the rule of law, their crimes will go on as usual.
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Tyler Durden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-18-07 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
8. Wait until the recess...then....

Instant recess appointment.
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