Genevieve Smith

Genevieve Smith is a regulatory policy analyst and freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.

Recent Articles

Executive Outcomes

At the tail end of a February 14 news conference , President Bush reached out and offered a valentine to his Democratic opponents in Congress, who he declared were "patriotic people who care about our country." He then ticked off a slew of domestic initiatives he'd like to accomplish with his new sweethearts -- including bolstering the system of private health insurance, reauthorizing No Child Left Behind, and creating a guest worker program. Of course, the Democratic leadership has a different idea of how the 110th Congress will play out, and it seems unlikely that many of Bush's items will make it onto the Democrat's crowded agenda. So what's a president to do in the twilight of his term with a hostile Congress standing in his way? One possibility is that Bush, like lame duck presidents before him, will seek administrative means for pushing his agenda, namely through executive edicts and regulatory changes -- backdoor avenues that allow the administration to circumvent the...

Electroshock

What will happen in November? Are electronic voting machines secure? One need not believe in a vast plot to rig the elections to take those questions seriously -- and to be pessimistic about the answers. When Princeton researchers announced in September that the Diebold Accuvote TS voting machine software was vulnerable to tampering, it was the first time that independent computer scientists had confirmed the weaknesses long suspected in techie circles. A few days later, in a minute-and-a-half segment on Fox News, Professor Edward Felten demonstrated just how easy it would be to steal an election (to which the blonde and tanned anchors responded with the canned surprise you'd expect from a demonstration of a new food processor). While Felten's results were new, the first indication that there may be problems with the machines came in 2003, when Johns Hopkins researchers postulated that the machines may be insecure by studying computer code believed to be used in a Diebold machines...

The Anti-Regulator

Susan Dudley has spent the last eight years as director of regulatory policy for the Mercatus Center, an industry-funded think tank. In those eight years, she has opposed regulations that would: lower the threshold for arsenic in drinking water; set more stringent fuel economy standards for automobiles; provide more information to communities on toxic releases; limit the use of snowmobiles in national parks; reduce pollution emissions from motor vehicles and heavy duty trucks; and set standards for advanced airbag technology in automobiles. Now, Dudley may soon oversee the regulations she has spent her career criticizing. At the eve of the August congressional recess, the Bush administration announced its intention to nominate Dudley as the new regulatory czar. If appointed, Dudley would become the new administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), a department within the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with enormous power over health,...