Stop Michael Baroody

A campaign to stop Michael Baroody from getting nominated as head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission sprung up at While Baroody was Executive Vice President of NAM, the manufacturer’s lobby:

• Fought to allow a higher level of arsenic in drinking water
• Opposed attempts to ban tobacco billboards near schools
• Lobbied to keep manufacturers from having to publicly disclose how much lead they were producing.

And this is the guy who is supposed to head the commission on consumer product safety?

The site provides forms and tools for sending letters to the Senate and to newspaper editors, and ways to connect with other activists. — BEN POPKEN

Stop Baroody [Official Site] (Thanks to Fred!)


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  1. mantari says:

    Holy conflict of interests!

    I hate to make one of those left-right comments, but I think I’m starting to notice a pattern. The Repubulicans — do they make a habit of putting the people previously being regulated in charge of the regulating agencies?

  2. JDAC says:

    I hear he likes to torture cute little kittens too, the bastard.

    Seriously, how corrupt do you have to be to get so anti-human?

  3. jaewon223 says:

    What kind of legacy is Bush leaving behind? This is democracy at its worst.

  4. Am I the biggest dork on the planet because I recognize that backdrop from The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS? I think I might be.

  5. FLConsumer says:

    Oh, c’mon now…

    Arsenic is all-natural. It’s not like he wants to put industrial waste, CFCs, or other things into the environment. Mercury (Hg) and Fluoride (x-F) appear in our water, are all natural, and in some cases, people insist on putting this stuff in our water and claim it’s good for you! All Natural!

    What’s wrong with cigarette adverts near schools? It’s called reaching your target audience. The tobacco companies are just responding to consumer demand. It starts at an early age with pacifiers and nipples… then goes on to thumbs, pens, cigarettes, food, and anything else people can put in their mouths.

    We all know better than to eat the lead paint…so who cares how much lead is being produced? Rather than waste energy on production, why not go after those companies which USE lead rather than produce it? The “War on Drugs” has taught us so well that going after the producers works, right?

  6. FLConsumer says:

    The next thing you know, they’re going to tell us that babies drinking from bottles is bad as well.

  7. yahonza says:

    I can’t say I know anything about Baroody, maybe he is indeed the anti christ, I don’t know.

    But this sounds like a one sided smear job on him. Just looking at the bullet points, there MIGHT be legitimate reasons why any one of them might actually be reasonable.

    And looking at the web site, it LOOKS like a smear job, in that there doesn’t seem to be any links to additional information, just bold scary conclusory statements.

    In my experience, you do that to cover up weak arguments and evidence. So, I am not convinced.

  8. oldhat says:

    @yahonza: Let me make this real simple for you:

    The commission is supposed to police and monitor companies. It’s supposed to be antagonistic. It have to balance out the extreme position of the industry, which is to make money and damn the public.

    We don’t want the commission to be corrupted and infiltrated by the industry that they are supposed to regulate. Otherwise terrible things happen. Sky is falling type of things.

    I don’t know why people freak out over just this, though. The FCC, FDA, FAA are all corrupted by industry forces.

    Did you know the FAA still has the written mandate to “promote” air travel? How can you be responsible for promoting airlines and police them at the same time?

    Can’t make this shit up…

  9. yahonza says:

    I am not arguing in favor of Baroody, I am just pointing out that the web site is an obvious smear job.

    And when confronted with an obvious smear job, its very rational to take it with a huge grain of salt. My personal rule of thumb is to assume that the opposite of the smear job is probably true. So baroody is probably the best man for the job, based on my limited information.

    If you want to argue for or against anything or anyone, try to elevate the argument above polemics.

  10. ne0shell says:

    In case people haven’t gotten the memo yet – the US Govt is now so damn corrupt that they put the worst possible criminal in charge of whatever regulatory body applies. Regulate corporate safety? Make the head of the reg. body a guy who lobbies for complete de-regulation. War on prostitution? Bring on a guy who frequents DC Out Call Girls. I could give you example after example. This is how things are done now – control and own the person at the top of the pyramid, make him someone who has the philosophy you need to bypass things and you have now circumvented the public interest. Bravo big govt, can’t wait to see who the democrats choose to replace the Bushiite New World Order chronies with.

  11. quantum-shaman says:

    not to side with The Decider, but this has absolutely nothing to do with the bush administration. there has been a shameless revolving door of self-serving double-dealing between the FDA and various trade associations and/or chemical companies for YEARS (e.g., monsanto general counsel takes a job as FDA big kahuna)… that’s how aspartame got carte blanche approval regardless of the faked test results and demonstrated toxicity. if it happens at the FDA, one should expect it’s going to happen at the CPSC too…

  12. oldhat says:

    @yahonza: You’re silly.

    My first response is” “Hmm, very interesting, time to do more research because this guy seems shady.”

    Not: “Golly, that must mean this guy is a saint, quick, hire him for anything! Damn those smear jobbers, always trying to warn me about things! Oooh, look, a turtle! I like turtles!”

  13. Henri says:

    @yahonza: A couple of minutes with a search engine and you would have much information available on Baroody. Yes, these things MIGHT be as he says and tobacco MIGHT be safe to smoke. The simple fact is that this is not a “smear job”. The website has no obligation to point out all of the facts in the man’s life or even these issues but only to highlight why they think this is an inappropriate choice.

    As a labor activist, I know that Baroody has had a long (and very Republican) career. He has also accomplished many things that are beneficial to society but listing them does not change that he has demonstrated loyalties that make him a bad choice for this job. Not a bad person, not a monster, just the wrong man for this job.

    For you to decide that he is “the best man for the job” based on the information that you have – which is apparently that you don’t like the website of one group opposed to him – is not a very tenable position.

    Oh and “oldhat”: The FAA and Congress have consistently maintained that the best way to promote air travel was to assure that it was safe and affordable. What is the conflict? You are confusing the concept of air travel with the corporations that supply the service – something that the FAA DOES need to be reminded of from time to time.

  14. JustThisGuy says:

    so: i understand the logic in fully investigating the facts behind a so-called smear job. however, could someone kindly explain the twisted logic behind how allowing a higher level of arsenic in drinking water is beneficial?

  15. JustThisGuy says:

    so: i understand the notion that one should investigate the facts behind any so-called smear campaign. however, could someone kindly explain how allowing a higher level of arsenic in drinking water is beneficial?

  16. jaewon223 says:

    I think yahonza’s point was that the website doesn’t offer facts that let the reader come to his or her own conclusion. The website highlights the most negative aspects of this man, without context and thus appears to be a “smear job”. Much like all political TV ads. I always favor the ones that promote themselves rather than degrade their opponents.

    Anyway, all I can say is how does someone with his record become even considered for such a position. The answer is all too obvious. Bush’s low rating isn’t going to get any higher so he might as well do whatever interests him most rather than the public.

  17. oldhat says:

    @Henri: So that’s a reasonable explanation for the really outrageous conflict of interest.

    But tell me why they have the conflict of interest again? I don’t want or need them to “promote air travel” at all. I want them to regulate and enforce and protect the public from corporation who care only about profits.

    Praying that corporations will do the right thing because eventually their profits will suffer if they don’t is unacceptable. People die in the meantime.

    (for the record, the FAA does a better job than, say, the FDA, I think. Not that I blame the poor FDA inspectors…scum floats to the top.)

  18. SteveD1of1 says:

    Come on people — send an e-mail to your senators and keep this nasty creep from getting confirmed and trashing the few laws that keep consumers protected.

    It can’t be that difficult to figure out who your U.S. senators are and to copy and paste this posting into an e-mail.

    If you don’t make your voices known, you get what you deserve!

    It takes less than 5 minutes to cut and paste this article into a blank email to your U.S. Senators.

  19. TomFigel says:

    May 23, 2007

    My wife and I have been friends with Mike Baroody for more than 40 years, ever since trying to keep up with him in college. Yes, he is an easy target in a political environment that lets good governance be subsumed in a constant warfare of parties. But if you consider the man, the man and his intelligence, his integrity – rather than the wish to score points for one of the political teams – you can see that this thoughtful, competent person is the type of leader we need in many parts of government.

    Tom Figel