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Newsday, Thursday, July 12, 2001
Copyright Newsday Inc., 2001


Joan Claybrook, John Lander, Steven Ronai, Dave Clark, Robert A. Cerro, Gerald Albert, Beverly Mann, Mire A. Kelly, James O'Brien, Peter Maniscalco

John Graham's Nomination

Phineas Fiske's column supporting John Graham's nomination to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is woefully uninformed ["White House Should Give This Nomination A Push," Viewpoints, June 20].

Fiske's discussion of the cost of regulation is misleading. A 2000 survey by OMB found regulatory costs are outweighed by benefits like cleaner air and water by $25 billion to $1.65 trillion of net benefits annually. And Graham was not vocal about air-bag risks until he announced on television in 1997 that passenger air bags were not worth the cost. Later peer review forced him to admit that they are cost-effective.

Public Citizen opposed Graham after a lengthy investigation, joining many organizations and members of Congress concerned that he puts corporate profits before human and environmental concerns.

Letters to Congress from more than 70 university professors and former regulators also question Graham's history of advocacy for huge corporate funders like Philip Morris and Exxon.

Contrary to Fiske's assertions, Public Citizen discloses funding sources on our Web page by posting our 990 tax forms. Unlike Graham, we take no government or corporate funds.

Graham's long record of fronting for corporate opposition to protective regulation renders him unfit for a job overseeing our health, safety and environment.

Joan Claybrook
Editor's Note: The writer is president of Public Citizen.
Washington, D.C.

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