Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Little Something To Remember Us By

No conflicts of interest here. Now move along, please. NYTimes (05.16.07):
"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."

Bush Nominee to Get Payment From Old Job

"The lobbyist, Michael E. Baroody, wrote recently to the commission’s general counsel that the severance was an 'extraordinary payment' under a federal ethics rule, requiring him to remove himself from agency matters involving the association for two years. Under the rule, a payment is 'extraordinary' if an employer grants it after learning that the employee is being considered for a government position and it is not part of an established compensation or benefits program."

Notwithstanding that Mike will recuse himself from matters which directly involve his former employer, "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."

"Government ethics experts said people occasionally received a severance payment when they left the private sector for a government job, but it could be problematic when the person was going to a post whose mission was to regulate the former employer."

Gee. Ya think?



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