Paul Pennington paid $1000 to get Debbie Wasseman-Schultz elected in 2008. For that he got the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at the behest of the same Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to force pools to use his company's product.
Ever since Congress passed the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in a rush to do something over lead content in toys, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has had to preside over a mess of nonsensical rules that needlessly burden small business. Today, the Commission will make an unpleasant splash of its own, with a vote that could force community and municipal pools to make unnecessary and expensive fixes to their drains.
Under the 2008 law, the Commission was required to come up with a standard to make pool drains "unblockable," preventing paddling tots from getting their legs or arms stuck in the suction system. Last year, the commission voted 3-2 in favor of allowing pools to use a plastic mechanism that could be fastened over existing drains to avoid potential accidents. Problem solved.
Or so it seemed until Commissioner Bob Adler, who voted in favor of the drain cover 18 months ago, inexplicably changed his mind. Today, the Commission will hold a revote on the issue, which may now require all community pools to revamp their drainage systems, or padlock the gates. With many pools unable to afford the thousands of dollars in new equipment and retrofitting, the latter may be the only choice.
Democrats like Henry Waxman and Florida's Debbie Wasserman Schultz have been in favor of requiring new safety mechanisms on drainage systems for a while, and one of the main potential beneficiaries of the change, Vac-Alert Industries President Paul Pennington, said in a CPSC hearing in April that he helped Ms. Wasserman Schultz write the original legislation. In a letter to the CPSC earlier this month, Mr. Pennington urged the CPSC to reconsider its requirements for an "unblockable" drain.
Aren't you glad to know that toddlers won't be sucked into pool drains any more. Oh, you have never heard of a toddler being sucked into a pool drain? Never mind.