Excellent news on the consumer advocacy front! President Obama has finally gotten around to replacing Bush-appointee and industry chum, Nancy Nord as head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). He is also seeking a 71 percent budget increase for the troubled agency and naming an additional commissioner.
Obama’s choice to replace Nord is Inez Moore Tenenbaum, the former elected State Superintendent of Education in South Carolina. From what we can tell, this is a great choice and one consumer groups like Consumer Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, applaud. And while we don’t know that much about her views on, let’s say, the CPSIA, we do know she once ran against Senator Jim DeMint, who not only was one of only three Senators who voted against this landmark consumer protection law, but is now trying to change it!
Another thing we know about her is that the meticulously mustachioed civil justice hypocrite John Stossel attacked her a couple of years ago on 20/20—which we consider something of a badge of honor and a very good sign, indeed! As for the other new commissioner Obama is adding, it’s a wonderfully inspired pick—Robert S. Adler. Bob is a longtime consumer advocate with a stellar resume that, among other things, used to advise both the CPSC and Congress on consumer issues, and was elected six times to the board of directors of Consumers Union. Anyway, lots to be optimistic about…
Meanwhile, with respect to other CPSC news, the agency has granted a two-year CPSIA enforcement stay on youth model all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The groups opposing the CPSIA pushed hard for this, but are they happy? Of course not! They're still complaining, one of whom even called the move "Kafkaesque." It's not the consumer groups but the CPSIA-haters who argue that the enforcement stay violates the law. Talk about Kafkaesque! Memo to the Kafka crowd: the CPSC just did something that benefits you—you may want to button it before the agency decides to change its mind.
Also worth noting: the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, the same ATV advocacy group that originally lobbied for CPSIA-style regulation, is calling the agency’s enforcement stay “laudable,” but still demanding to be liberated from it. Here’s hoping the new CPSC leadership will put an end to this madness once and for all!