First, happy New Year and thanks to Deepak for inviting me to take part in the Consumer Law & Policy blog! I am a consumer rights attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I publish a blog of my own, Caveat Emptor. I have also guest blogged at Consumerist a few times. I look forward to contributing here at CL&P Blog.
Yesterday's post on 2007 consumer legislation inspired me to poke around in the Congressional Record to see how the 2008 presidential candidates--the current legislators, anyway--stood on the consumer legislation Consumerist identified (Open Document Format spreadsheet). After spending about an hour figuring out how the candidates voted, my research shows that none of the candidates seem to care very much about consumer issues.
Dennis Kucinich co-sponsored the Arbitration Fairness Act and the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. John McCain co-sponsored the Internet Tax Freedom Act. Barack Obama co-sponsored the Industrial Bank Holding Company Act (whatever that is). And Hillary Clinton co-sponsored the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act. If co-sponsoring is an expression of a legislator's interest in and desire to be identified with a particular piece of legislation, then this is a pretty disinterested showing, although Kucinich does seem to have a passing interest.
Only the College Cost Reduction and Access Act actually got a roll-call vote in both chambers, and the candidates apparently voted the party line, assuming Democrats favored the act and the Republicans opposed it.
So, based on the candidates' voting history in 2007, it does not look like consumers have much reason to think any of the current legislators will pay much attention to consumer issues if elected. Although perhaps even that would be an improvement over the current climate.