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Michael Baroody, the senior lobbyist at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) nominated by President Bush to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), will receive a $150,000.00 payment from NAM when he takes his new government job; a job that involves enforcing consumer laws against members of the association. Sounds like payola to me. Even Baroody characterized the severance as an “extraordinary payment” which was not part of his compensation or benefits program. NAM often has issues before the CPSC, and recently prevailed on the CPSC to relax the requirements for when companies must notify the agency about defective products.

Baroody’s salary as chairman of the CPSC will be $154,600.00. He earned $344,607.00 as a lobbyist for NAM. I guess NAM figures he’ll need the extra $150,000.00. Mr. Baroody’s nomination hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee takes place next week. He is opposed by consumer groups, trial lawyers, firefighters, and pediatricians, all of whom cite his repeated actions on behalf of manufacturers that have made products less safe. According to the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics:

Mr. Baroody “not only represented the interests of the nation’s manufacturing firms-often in direct opposition to the interests of consumers-but led efforts to weaken the CPSC and opposed numerous initiatives to protect children and the public from unsafe products.”

Contact your Senators and oppose this blatant cronyism.

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