Friday, November 02, 2007

More on Nord

Earlier this week I posted about the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is responsible for reviewing thousands of consumer products to look for potential health risks, and their acting chair Nancy Nord who wants less money, less staff, and less product safety rules.

Given recent events like, I don’t know, the plethora of Chinese-made toys with lead “issues”, one would think that the CPSC would want the opposite and chalk it up to Ms. Nord being yet another crony in a long line of Bush-appointed cronies.

Now with a Washington Post article today showing more questionable actions on her part, I’m going to come right out and say it; Ms. Nord needs to resign.

(Granted, so does Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gates, Petraeus and everyone else in the Bush(whacked) Administration, but let’s take it one at a time)

Today’s WaPo article;

“The chief of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and her predecessor have taken dozens of trips at the expense of the toy, appliance, and children's furniture industries and others they regulate.... Some of the trips were sponsored by lobbying groups and lawyers representing the makers of products linked to consumer hazards.”


My favorite? The $11,000 junket to China and Hong Kong that was sponsored by the “American Fireworks Standards Laboratory” who said the trip was above-board because, in their words, they didn’t have “pending regulatory requests.”

The Bush cronies that run the agency said all of the industry-financed trips are routine and happen all the time… but they don’t.

And before the trolls come out and shout that the head of the CPSC under Clinton did the same thing, consider this from the article;
“The agency's travel patterns during the Bush administration, detailed in internal agency documents, differ from those of the Clinton era. Ann Brown, who served as chairman from 1994 to 2001, traveled only at the expense of the agency or of media organizations that sponsored appearances where she announced product recalls, according to the documents provided.”

(Ahhhh… the Clinton years… Remember those? The economy was growing, the debt was disappearing, the tech world was growing, things were on the right track… and then an idiot was elected by the supreme court, regardless of the will of a majority of Americans, also known as the popular vote… sorry, I think I started daydreaming there – but I digress)So for those of you who have trouble figuring out the mathematics of this, during the Clinton years CSPC officials travel on regulated industries’ dime exactly zero times.

So much for the trips being “routine.”

There are many things to get upset with the CSPC about, things like the fact that 50% of their budget is earmarked for children's products but they only have a single toy tester.


But this, this should be the final straw. This isn’t complicated…. when a government agency is regulating an industry, that industry should not, I’ll say it again – should NOT pay for those regulators’ travel to exotic locales.

Has no one in these agencies heard of “appearance of impropriety”… or “conflict of interest”?

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) put it better when he responded to the news, saying;
“Now we know why Nancy Nord opposes efforts to give the Consumer Product Safety Commission more resources: Who needs more resources when the industries you regulate will pay your expenses for you? After taking dozens of trips on the industry dime, it is now time for Mrs. Nord to take a permanent vacation from her post.”
Couldn’t have said it any better myself Congressman…

No comments: