Former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle nominated to Consumer Product Safety Commission, hosts new radio show

2013-05-25T11:54:00Z 2013-06-28T09:22:49Z Former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle nominated to Consumer Product Safety Commission, hosts new radio showRobert Harding Auburn Citizen
May 25, 2013 11:54 am  • 

The White House announced Thursday afternoon that President Barack Obama has nominated former U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle to serve on the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The nomination process actually started before Thursday's announcement. In an interview Friday, Buerkle -- an Auburn native -- said she was recently contacted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's office to gauge her interest in serving as one of the CPSC's five commissioners.

"You first get vetted by (McConnell's) office and then they recommend you," Buerkle said. "That's Sen. McConnell's responsibility to come up with any of the Republican commissioners."

Buerkle said one of her main tasks as a commissioner will be to uphold the federal Consumer Product Safety Act and to establish standards for products.

"What happens is if there's a faulty product out there or someone has a complaint, they reach out to the commission," she said. "So really it's about consumer product safety and us upholding the law. The commission upholds the law and makes determinations about standards for products produced by manufacturers."

Before serving on the commission, Buerkle must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. If confirmed, she will serve out the remaining time on a seven-year term that expires in 2018.

The nomination has raised questions about whether Buerkle will run for Congress in 2014. She first ran for Congress in 2010 and defeated then-incumbent Rep. Dan Maffei, a Democrat. Buerkle lost her re-election bid in 2012 to Maffei. 

Buerkle said she hasn't made a decision about running in 2014.

"I think the question is (Consumer Product Safety Commission) and going through the confirmation process and then following that, I would make a final decision about whether or not to run," she said. "But I've sort of put that on hold right now while I'm going through the process.

"I've had the usual conversations and talks. A lot of my supporters are encouraging me to run again. But at this point, I've put that aside and we'll see what happens with the confirmation."

The nomination added to a busy week for Buerkle. She was recently asked to host a radio show on WSYR and hosted the first show at 11 a.m. Saturday. 

It will be a monthly show, Buerkle said, until she can find more sponsors to make it a weekly show. She will pick the topics for each show. Saturday's show focused on Memorial Day and veterans issues.

"(Saturday's) show is going to be about military veterans and certainly Memorial Day will be the theme," Buerkle said Friday. "Someone approached me and asked me if I would be interested in doing it and asked if they sponsored me -- they were a sponsor. I said certainly I would love to maintain having a voice up here in upstate New York. That's how it started and I'm hoping to find sponsors for every Saturday so I could be on once a week.

"It will be exactly what I want it to be. I think for the most part, it's going to be informational and not highly partisan at all. And really it's an opportunity to communicate with upstate New York. I still have maintained my ties and connections with Washington. I don't see a good flow of information back and forth. I think it's a way to talk to people about how government works, how Washington works, what they're working on and how it will affect them. I look forward to it."

Buerkle has been active in the community and politics since leaving office. She has been a speaker at several events and was invited to speak at NY Second Amendment Tour events in Auburn and Syracuse after the state Legislature passed the NY SAFE Act -- the state's new gun control law. 

Buerkle said her role in the tour was looking at the Second Amendment and gun issues from a national perspective. 

"The outrage of the people of the state of New York with the SAFE Act and how the SAFE Act was put into place and passed in the dark of night. It's just not good government," she said. "It's a real concern to gun owners, to hunters, and to people who are just concerned about the Constitution."

Buerkle represented the 25th Congressional District -- the former central New York district that included all of Onondaga and Wayne counties, plus parts of Cayuga and Monroe counties -- from 2011 to 2013. 

Copyright 2015 Auburn Citizen. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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