By on May 13, 2009

There’s a clever headline in there somewhere. Meanwhile, Automotive News [sub] reports that the Obama administration has abandoned plans to nominate the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to head the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA). Although neither the White House nor Charles Hurley’s MADD men (and women) are saying Jack about the decision, it appears Hurley ran afoul of . . . environmentalists. “His potential nomination had been criticized by environmentalists such as Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign. Becker cited Hurley’s work at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the 1990s, when he said Hurley backed car companies that were fighting attempts to reduce vehicle size to improve fuel economy.” I guess they forget that TTAC took Hurley to task for his support of reintroducing the double-nickel speed limit, his close ties to the red light camera industry and his insistence that piloting a vehicle with a .04 BAC constitutes drunk driving. Still, the end result is what counts. Oh, and I nominate Bill Broadhead for the job.

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11 Comments on “Obama Doesn’t Get MADD, Even...”

  • avatar

    Whew ! The first bit of good news I’ve seen all day.

  • avatar

    You know what would be great. If all the people from the Safe Climate Campaign got all liquored-up and crashed their Priuses head-on with all the MAAD people. Seriously, its about time this country’s various wacked-out zealots starting picking each other off.

  • avatar

    +1 of joe_thousandaire’s comment.

    I never drink and drive, but I think the MADD lobby has gotten completely out of hand. The criminalization of normal adult behavior has been taken to extremes. The DUI laws have completely gone beyond punishment for actual acts, to punishment for potential consequences. We shouldn’t be locking people up, stripping their rights, etc for things they MIGHT do. I’m all for throwing the book at people who do damage to life and property. But we have to draw the line and stop doing so for potential acts, which is what DUI laws do. Not to mention the ludicrous violation of 4th & 5th amendment rights that virtually all DUI laws contain.

    Additionally MADD has corrupted the entire driver’s education process (such that it is) in the USA. I have two teenagers, one of which went through the process 3 years ago, and the other who is going through it now. It SHOCKS me how little the process deals with driving, and how MUCH it deals in DUI laws and MADD propaganda. Literally 45% of the test questions in the written portion of my state’s Drivers Exam are on DUI laws, consequences, and penalties. That is absurd! Time to turn the tide on MADD and shift the responsibilities of peoples actions onto them, and not the State.


    (cue the MADD apologists/”what about the children” pleas and “what if your wife/kid/you were killed by a drunk” arguments in 5.. 4… 3.. )

  • avatar

    MADD has a CEO? And he’s not even a mother?

    I suppose managing the farflung and complex worldwide operations of MADD requires more than just a pissed-off suburban mom with time on her hands. Now aching concern “for the children” has been institutionalized and can be data-pointed in boring Powerpoint presentations at MADD Global Operations Headquarters.

    What a racket. I’m going out for a drink.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Things have gone beyond inexplicable. You couldn’t make this one up. Although it does make me happy.

    When the going gets weird, the weird get ???

  • avatar


    +1 to the point made by chuckgoolsbee re: driver training. Their outrage lobbying has destroyed it. You know what the DMV tests resemble now? Notary exams, which necessarily focus on penalties as there really isn’t much else involved in being a notary, besides not abetting fraud. Driving on the other hand involves operating heavy, dangerous and fast machinery.

  • avatar


    Unfortunately this is typical H. sapiens behavior. I don’t smoke, but the anti-smoking lobby seems to have turned smokers into the devil incarnate. I suspect that a lot of crusading types, however valuable their causes, are driven by some deep-seated anger from early childhood of which they are unaware, and I think that is what drives them to these extremes. It’s too bad.

  • avatar

    Ah, so the safety-above-all guy ran into trouble with the environment-above-all people. Well, take what you can get, I suppose.

    Both are sets of people that don’t like to admit that life has tradeoffs.

  • avatar

    Glad to hear it.

  • avatar

    sweet bentley!

  • avatar


    Wow! Someone who gets it. The Law even here in Canada has gone so far the otherway its sick. I am too young to remember when the cops would tell you to drive straight home if there was boozing going on. We gradually started saying that this was not OK. Fine.

    I can’t beleave that it is so far gone that you are guilty untill proven innocent. But untill these new laws and tools cause a problem we will have to live with them. (automatic loss of license after 2 weeks, and impounding of auto on the spot). There has to be some great examples of how this new system is failing.

    For example said truck driver loses license for drinking and driving. The matter is settled in court 2 months later (which can be typical). The charged is found innocent. BIG PROBLEM! Who pays for the lost wages he would have made while driving? The cab costs ect…

    If we are to be held responsable for our driving behavour then the “system” should be held responsible for there errors. I say stop the MADDness but still deal with those found guilty in a REGULAR legal way. Those found guilty for drinking and driving AND making an error while doing so should be slammed hard. I’m not soft on those who error but the what if game is too sticky.

    rant over

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