This is re-goddamn-diculous. From the New York Times (emphasis ours):
A senior lobbyist at the National Association of Manufacturers nominated by President Bush to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission will receive a $150,000 departing payment from the association when he takes his new government job, which involves enforcing consumer laws against members of the association.
This guy has no business being the head of the CPSC. The reason there is a Consumer Products Safety Commission in the first place is so that there is something to keep tabs on people like Michael Baroody and the companies he represents.
Mr. Baroody said in the letter that the payment would not prevent him from considering matters involving individual companies that are members of the manufacturers’ association, many of whom are defendants in agency proceedings over defective products or have other business before the commission. Nor would it preclude him from involvement with smaller trade groups like those representing makers of home appliances and children’s products that have alliances with the association.
Oh no, $150k won’t influence his opinion. It doesn’t need to, his opinions are already known. He’s a lobbyist, for pete’s sake.
Incidentally, lest you think that the money is a pittance to Baroody, his salary is $154,600. —MEGHANN MARCO