Fox in the Henhouse, redux
In yet another example of Bush cynicism, the President has nominated the number two lobbyist of the National Association of Manufacturers to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The NAM is frequently "at odds" with the CPSC, according to media accounts of the appointment, and recently lobbied the Federal government to relax the requirements governing when a company must notify the CPSC of a defective product. The American Academy of Pediatrics criticized the appointment, noting that the appointee, Michael Baroody, had a history of acting "in opposition to the interest of consumers"...and "opposed numerous initiatives to protect children and the public from unsafe products".
Now, it will be Baroody's job to spearhead the CPSC's efforts to protect us. To assure that he is inclined not to embark too aggressively on this new role, his former employer, the NAM, wrote him a $150,000.00 bonus as a departing gift, on top of his $380,000.00+ salary. Baroody reported this "bonus" to the White House, as he is required to do (since it was negotiated after his appointment was announced), however, neither he nor the White House would provide his notification or his "severance agreement" from NAM to the media.
Other notable examples of Mr. Baroody's work include efforts to limit the liability of asbestos manufacturers and an effort to persuade Governor Pataki of New York to veto legislation intended to reduce the fire risk associated with cigarettes.