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Michael E. Baroody

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Michael E. Baroody withdrew his nomination to head the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on May 23, 2007, "amid strong opposition from some Senate Democrats.” [1]

Baroody was nominated March 1, 2007, by President George W. Bush Baroody would have replaced Hal Stratton, who had served as Chairman since 2002 and resigned abruptly in July 2006.

Baroody is executive vice president at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a "K Street lobbying behemoth devoted to helping big manufacturers evade accountability for their wrongdoing." [2]

Baroody, who was recruited by Haley Barbour to be president of the National Policy Forum, is the son of William Baroody, Sr., who helped found and build the American Enterprise Institute. [3]

Severance Pay and Ethics Concerns

In May 2007, the New York Times reported that Baroody "will receive a $150,000 departing payment" from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) "when he takes his new government job, which involves enforcing consumer laws against members of the association." Baroody informed the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's general counsel of the "extraordinary payment" (as it's called under federal ethics rules), and will "remove himself from agency matters involving the association for two years." However, Baroody claimed he can immediately consider "matters involving individual companies that are members" of NAM -- "many of whom are defendants in agency proceedings over defective products or have other business before the commission" -- and matters involving smaller trade groups aligned with NAM. [4]

At NAM, Baroody lobbied to limit asbestos makers' liability and advocated against fire safety standards for cigarettes. Consumer groups, firefighters, lawyers and doctors oppose Baroody's nomination, as does Senator Bill Nelson. Senators John Kerry, Barbara Boxer and Mark Pryor "have raised concerns about the nomination." The American Academy of Pediatrics warned that Baroody has "led efforts to weaken the C.P.S.C. and opposed numerous initiatives to protect children and the public from unsafe products." Unnamed officials told the New York Times they "would not be surprised if Mr. Bush, as he has done for other nominees that Democrats have found objectionable, bypassed the Senate and appointed Mr. Baroody to the commission during a Congressional recess." [5]

Profiles

From 1990 to 1993, Baroody was the senior vice president for policy and communications, "when he left to become president of the Republican-oriented National Policy Forum. He returned to the NAM in August 1994, to help build the Association’s public affairs program, emphasizing greater involvement by NAM members in lobbying, policy and political activities inside and outside of Washington," his NAM profile states.

"Prior to joining the NAM in 1990, Baroody had been, since 1985, the assistant secretary for policy at the United States Department of Labor. From 1981 to 1985, he served on Ronald Reagan’s White House staff as deputy assistant to the President and director of public affairs. He was research director and later director of public affairs at the Republican National Committee from 1977 to 1980, where he also served as Editor-in-Chief of the 1980 Republican Platform." [6]

"Baroody began his career in 1970 in the Washington office of Nebraska Senator Roman Hruska. He then worked for Kansas Senator Bob Dole, first as his speech writer and press aide at the RNC, and later as the executive assistant in his Senate office.

"Baroody is a board member of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and was chair from 1997-2002. ... Baroody represents the NAM on the Executive Committee of BIPAC, the influential Business-Industry Political Action Committee." [7]

Baroody is a 1968 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served two years in the U.S. Navy. [8]

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