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September, 2012 media hits RSS Feed
Medicaid fraud litigation nets isles twelvefold return on investment
10/2/2012

Honolulu Star Advertiser: Medicaid fraud litigation nets isles twelvefold return on investment -  The amount state prosecutors have collected through litigation is 12 times what the state paid to prosecute Medicaid fraud cases from 2006 to 2011, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit consumer advocacy group.

Obama-appointed judge strikes down CFTC commodity speculation limits
10/2/2012

Fire Dog Lake: Obama-appointed judge strikes down CFTC commodity speculation limits -  A federal judge today threw out the Dodd-Frank provision that empowered the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to set position limits on commodity trading. Judge Robert Wilkins said in his ruling that the CFTC did not prove the necessity of position limits to curb runaway speculation, and that the law itself did not “constitute a clear and unambiguous mandate to set position limits, as the Commission argues.”

Judge rejects rule against speculative oil trading
10/2/2012

The Raw Story: Judge rejects rule against speculative oil trading -  In a separate statement, advocacy group Public Citizen criticized Friday’s decision, saying, “The winners and losers from this ruling are clear: Wall Street wins, consumers lose.”

Small company fights big giant -- and wins
10/2/2012

Keys News: Small company fights big giant -- and wins - "The whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act have been the most important factor spurring the recent wave of federal settlements," reads a recent press release by Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. "Whistleblowers were responsible for initiating 21 federal settlements under the False Claims Act during the most recent period studied (Nov. 2, 2010-July 18, 2012). Almost half the whistleblower-prompted federal and state settlements during this time were made possible by a single whistleblower, Ven-A-Care pharmacy in Key West."

JPMorgan case shows why energy trading schemes are chronic problem
10/2/2012

LA Times: JPMorgan case shows why energy trading schemes are chronic problem - "When a company is faced with significant sanctions, not just a financial slap on the wrist, it's going to take it seriously," says Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at the Washington public interest group Public Citizen. "No longer is a violation just a calculated risk, and a cost of doing business if they get caught."

House ethics panel let Waters off the hook; what does that mean for Berkley?
10/2/2012

Las Vegas Sun: House ethics panel let Waters off the hook; what does that mean for Berkley? -  “The precedent it set is toward enforcing the stringency of those rules. They made that very clear,” said Craig Holman, lobbyist with Public Citizen, another ethics watchdog group in Washington, D.C.

Wait seven years before taking new drugs: consumer watchdog
10/2/2012

Medical Observer: Wait seven years before taking new drugs: consumer watchdog -  In an editorial in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber, the director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, Dr Sidney Wolfe, said that in 1999 they advised consumers to wait five years after FDA approval but upped it to seven after more evidence emerged.

Arkansas a leader in Medicaid fraud recoveries
10/2/2012

Arkansas Times: Arkansas a leader in Medicaid fraud recoveries - Public Citizen, the consumer interest organization, has updated a report on states' efforts to find Medicaid fraud, particularly by the pharmaceutical industry.

Pharma settlements pay off for US states
10/2/2012

Pharmalot: Pharma settlements pay off for US states -  Over the past decade, numerous drugmakers have reached settlements with the US federal and state governments after being accused of defrauding Medicaid programs. In general, there is an awareness that the numbers involved have been large, but what does the data really look like? A new report by Public Citizen, which last tracked this topic nearly two years ago, finds that states are settling more cases than ever and recovering taxpayer money at record amounts.

Groups demand to see secret presidential debate contract
10/2/2012

Huffington Post: Groups demand to see secret presidential debate contract - Eighteen good-governance and media watchdog groups demanded on Thursday to see the lengthy, and secret, contract governing the upcoming presidential debates. Led by Open Debates, a leading critic of the process, the groups, which include Public Citizen, Common Cause and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, criticized the Commission on Presidential Debates, which hosts the forums, and called on them to release the contract.

Drug fraud against medicare, other health programs cost drugmakers $30 billion in fines
10/2/2012

Huffington Post: Drug fraud against medicare, other health programs cost drugmakers $30 billion in fines - Drug companies paid $30.2 billion to settle 239 cases of alleged fraud against government health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid between 1991 and July 2012, according to an analysis published Thursday by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization.

Watchdog groups prod Boehner, Pelosi to fill spots on ethics board
10/2/2012

The Hill: Watchdog groups prod Boehner, Pelosi to fill spots on ethics board - Watchdog groups are pressing House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to select replacements for the four retiring members on the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

Glaxo case pushes U.S. health settlements to $6.6 billion
10/2/2012

Bloomberg: Glaxo case pushes U.S. health settlements to $6.6 billion -  GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and other drugmakers have paid $6.6 billion this year to settle claims of defrauding U.S. health programs, more than double the amount of 2011, advocacy group Public Citizen said.

Report: Kentucky leads nation in pursuing pharmaceutical fraud
10/2/2012

The Lexington Herald Leader: Report: Kentucky leads nation in pursuing pharmaceutical fraud -  Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C., group that focuses on consumer and other issues, examined states' efforts to go after pharmaceutical companies for deceptive practices. The report looked at all legal actions and settlements by the federal government and by the states.

TPP: giant trade deal done in secret
10/2/2012

The Epoch Times: TPP: giant trade deal done in secret - Many progressives had hoped that President Barack Obama would shift U.S. trade policy away from staunch free-marketeering. But according to Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the leaked chapters of the TPP “sent shock waves through Congress because it showed that U.S. negotiators had totally abandoned Obama’s campaign pledges to replace the old NAFTA trade model and in fact were doubling down and expanding the very Bush-style deal that Obama campaigned against in 2008 to win key swing states.”

Whistleblowers help Texas in Medicaid fraud case
10/2/2012

The Texas Tribune: Whistleblowers help Texas in Medicaid fraud case -  "When I've spoken with a couple of other states, they definitely recognize Texas as a leader in enforcing pharmaceutical fraud," said Dr. Sammy Almashat, one of the report's authors.

FDA approves new weight-loss pills
9/27/2012

Pharmaceutical and Medical Packaging News: FDA approves new weight-loss pills - A consumer advocacy group says that the over-the-counter weight-loss drug Alli should be removed from the U.S. market because they not only can damage the liver but, based on new information obtained from FDA adverse reaction files, have been associated with 47 cases of acute pancreatic and 73 cases of kidney stones. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group in Washington said, “Any one of these serious risks alone would be sufficient basis for banning Alli. This drug has the potential to cause significant damage to multiple critical organs, yet they provide meager benefits in reducing weight loss in obese and overweight patients. For this reason, the FDA should tell the manufacturers of this drug, GlaxoSmithKline to pull Alli from the market immediately.” 

Finger pointing follows Congress’ early recess
9/27/2012

The Pantagraph: Finger pointing follows Congress’ early recess -  “This is the most dysfunctional Congress I can remember,” Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, said. “I’ve never seen Capitol Hill operate so poorly.”

Corporations are disclosing contributions
9/27/2012

Bend Bulletin: Corporations are disclosing contributions -  “A lot of the research shows that the money tends to be squandered following the political biases of the CEO," said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group that favors stronger disclosure rules. “The objective is not to prevent political expenditures; it’s to make sure those expenditures are reasonable and for the benefit of the company itself."

Critics decry secrecy, corporate access to Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations
9/27/2012

Bilaterals.org: Critics decry secrecy, corporate access to Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations -  Interview with Ben Beachy, research director with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, conducted by Scott Harris. 

The history of Accutane
9/26/2012

PR-GB: The history of Accutane - Yet, education programs were not enough to prevent the serious and life-threatening side effects cause by Accutane use.  Between 1992-1999, Roche became the focus of numerous lawsuits compelling the plaintiff’s bar to create a subset called the Accutane Litigation Group.  Additionally, the advocacy group Public Citizen, frustrated with the FDA’s inaction, became more vocal and involved.

The TPP: A quiet coup for the investor class
9/26/2012

Common Dreams: The TPP: A quiet coup for the investor class - Many progressives had hoped that President Barack Obama would shift U.S. trade policy away from staunch free-marketeering. But according to Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the leaked chapters of the TPP “sent shock waves through Congress because it showed that U.S. negotiators had totally abandoned Obama’s campaign pledges to replace the old NAFTA trade model and in fact were doubling down and expanding the very Bush-style deal that Obama campaigned against in 2008 to win key swing states.”

Lobbyists rebrand themselves consultants, evade campaign finance laws
9/26/2012

Minyanville: Lobbyists rebrand themselves consultants, evade campaign finance laws - “Much to my surprise, lobbyists have gotten a lot smarter this year,” Craig Holman, legislative representative for non-profit government watchdog Public Citizen, tells me. “They set up a couple of political consulting firms that are not Lobbying Disclosure Act participants. Even though these consulting firms were set up by the lobbying firms, they are considered distinct organizations. They have the exact same amount of influence, doing the same exact wining and dining of legislators, but this is how they got around the ethics rules.”

Novato doctor targeted by consumer advocacy group
9/26/2012

Novato Patch: Novato doctor targeted by consumer advocacy group - Public Citizen's complaint letter to the state medical board is part of a campaign by consumer advocates to prevent the use of the LipoTron device for weight loss until it undergoes additional regulatory scrutiny.

Aflac and Chubb join ranks of companies expanding disclosure
9/26/2012

Bloomberg: Aflac and Chubb join ranks of companies expanding disclosure - “A lot of the research shows that the money tends to be squandered following the political biases of the CEO,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group that favors stronger disclosure rules. “The objective is not to prevent political expenditures; it’s to make sure those expenditures are reasonable and for the benefit of the company itself.”

Wright & McGurk accepting new transvaginal mesh cases
9/26/2012

Free Press Release: Wright & McGurk accepting new transvaginal mesh cases - “Given the absence of evidence for clinically significant benefit and the overwhelming evidence of very serious, common risks, use of synthetic surgical mesh products for transvaginal repair of POP is not ethically justifiable,” said Dr. Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research.

Ben & Jerry's co-founder starts money-stamping campaign
9/26/2012

USA Today: Ben & Jerry's co-founder starts money-stamping campaign - "I'm stamping anywhere and everywhere. I'm stamping all the time," Cohen told USA TODAY on Tuesday. "It's some monetary jujitsu -- using money to get money out of politics." Cohen and his partners -- which include People for the American Way and Public Citizen -- want people to adorn money with messages such as "Corporations are Not People" and "Not to be Used for Bribing Politicians."

FMCSA defends new HOS in court brief
9/26/2012

The Trucker: FMCSA defends new HOS in court brief  - Public Citizen and other safety groups also petitioned the court for a review. The safety groups would prefer a rule with no restart provision and a 10-hour daily driving limit.

Global protests planned over gas drilling process
9/26/2012

Times Leader: Global protests planned over gas drilling process - The GlobalFrackdown website and campaign was developed by Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that was once part of Ralph Nader's Public Citizen group. The campaign claims that fracking "has already damaged communities and ruined lives. It pollutes water and makes people sick."

Proposed children's privacy rules undermine business model
9/26/2012

Online Media Daily, IAB: Proposed children's privacy rules undermine business model - The organizations, including The Center for Digital Democracy, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Consumers Union, and Public Citizen, also argue in their written comments that the COPPA regulations "must be updated to include persistent identifiers" as personal information.

Conservatives try again to lower health costs by minimizing lawsuits
9/26/2012

Online Athens: Conservatives try again to lower health costs by minimizing lawsuits - The Texas caps slowed the rise in premiums doctors pay for their liability coverage, but they didn’t improve the bills their patients received. Instead, Medicare spending there rose faster than the national average, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen.

Enviro groups push for more non-wind renewables in Texas
9/26/2012

Renewables Biz: Enviro groups push for more non-wind renewables in Texas - Several environmental groups - including the Sierra Club, Public Citizen and Environment Texas – have petitioned the Public Utility Commission of Texas to pass new rules calling for more development of non-wind renewable energy in the state.

Should FDA delete its ‘Minor Deletion’ policy?
9/25/2012

Pharmalot: Should FDA delete its ‘Minor Deletion’ policy? - And so, Public Citizen has petitioned the agency to end its policy, arguing that minor deletions “are not formal denials of information requests and, therefore, do not trigger a requester’s immediate right to appeal. The agency instead requires requesters to make a second request for reconsideration of any deletions before being allowed to appeal.” If this is not done, the FDA closes the FOIA request without ever making a final determination.

Time is running out to avoid U.S. government shutdown
9/25/2012

Therapeutics Daily: Time is running out to avoid U.S. government shutdown - Public Citizen, of Rockville, Md., petitioned the FDA to revoke the rule which allows "minor deletions" from records which are disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and to change its Staff Manual Guide accordingly. The organization said that 21 C.F.R. § 20.49(d) is inconsistent with the FOIA and with Department of Health and Human Services Regulations, and has an overall negative effect on the public.

Trade groups fear gift ban after the election
9/25/2012

The Hill: Trade groups fear gift ban after the election - “To tell the truth, I’m concerned. When we filed our comments in support, there was a lot of opposition from trade groups and other lobbying entities,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “Once they started receiving public comments, OGE’s gung-ho attitude seemed to fade away. That is when I felt I had good cause to worry.”

Aflac and Chubb join ranks of companies expanding disclosure
9/25/2012

Bloomberg Businessweek: Aflac and Chubb join ranks of companies expanding disclosure - “A lot of the research shows that the money tends to be squandered following the political biases of the CEO,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group that favors stronger disclosure rules. “The objective is not to prevent political expenditures; it’s to make sure those expenditures are reasonable and for the benefit of the company itself.”

Dr. Gail Altschuler, Novato physician, at center of fat-reduction controversy
9/25/2012

California Watch: Dr. Gail Altschuler, Novato physician, at center of fat-reduction controversy - Public Citizen has alleged that Dr. Gail Altschuler, a California physician who runs a Novato weight loss center, and other doctors who use and promote a medical device called the LipoTron for fat reduction are demonstrating a "reckless disregard for the health and welfare of patients."

Ninth circuit approves settlement of class action charging Facebook with invasion of privacy
9/24/2012

Met News: Ninth circuit approves settlement of class action charging Facebook with invasion of privacy - He also rejected objections that Sparapani’s presence on the board of the DTF rendered the settlement unfair, and that the notice of the proposed settlement should have disclosed his Facebook affiliation, rather than identifying him merely by name. The objectors, represented by Washington, D.C.-based Public Citizen, called the settlement a sweetheart deal for Facebook, but Ninth Circuit Senior Judge Procter Hug Jr., joined by Judge William A. Fletcher, said the approval fell within the district judge’s broad authority to find the deal “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”

Thumbs up and down
9/24/2012

Sheboygan Press: Editorial: Thumbs up and down - On nearly every important issue facing lawmakers, they ended up doing nothing. That’s a big reason why they had a 13 percent approval rating earlier this month, the lowest percentage for Congress this late in an election year since the polls were first taken in 1974.Craig Holman of the nonpartisan consumer group Public Citizen told McClatchy Newspapers, “This is the most dysfunctional Congress I can remember. I’ve never seen Capitol Hill work so poorly.”

Can new 9th Circuit cy pres ruling save $20 mln Facebook deal?
9/24/2012

Thompson Reuters: Can new 9th Circuit cy pres ruling save $20 mln Facebook deal? - But Allison Zieve, director of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, which represented the objectors, said that the ruling didn't acknowledge legitimate problems with the designated charity. "To give the defendant in a case about invading users' privacy a primary role in spending class funds to protect users' privacy seems counter-intuitive, to put it mildly," Zieve said in a statement. "We are surprised and disappointed that the court considered the settlement to be fair and adequate."

How to fight Citizens United
9/24/2012

Bill Moyers: How to fight Citizens United - Ever since the Citizens United ruling opened the floodgates to unlimited political spending (and even before), our friends at Open Secrets, The Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, The Sunlight Foundation, Democracy 21, Public Citizen and countless other organizations have been working to turn back the tide. Click through to read about six initiatives democracy watchdogs are hoping will help clean up our elections and get money out of politics.

Smith: PUC should embrace energy alternatives
9/24/2012

Statesman: Smith: PUC should embrace energy alternatives - Smith is the director of Public Citizen's Texas office, a national consumer and environmental group active in issues concerning energy, environment, ethics and campaign finance reforms.

Thomas D. Elias: Making politics more honest, open
9/24/2012

appeal democrat: Thomas D. Elias: Making politics more honest, open - That is wrong because it does not allow for a fully informed electorate. Forcing corporations to disclose would not in any way limit their Supreme Court-given right to unlimited spending, but at least there would be some transparency. Congress could fix this, but won't. The SEC can do it, too, and should. To support this idea, go to the Web site of the Public Citizen organization, www.citizen.org/action and click on "Tell the SEC to Require Corporations to Disclose Political Spending.

Global protests planned over gas drilling process
9/24/2012

Eyewitness News: Global protests planned over gas drilling process - The GlobalFrackdown website and campaign was developed by Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that was once part of Ralph Nader's Public Citizen group. The campaign claims that fracking "has already damaged communities and ruined lives. It pollutes water and makes people sick."

Obama and Romney quietly backing jobs-killing secret pacific trade deal
9/24/2012

infoZine: Obama and Romney quietly backing jobs-killing secret pacific trade deal - Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Lori Wallach said today: "While President Obama and Mitt Romney attack each other on China trade, both quietly support a massive Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement that would greatly expand U.S. jobs offshoring, give Chinese firms a waiver to Buy American procurement policies and further erode the U.S. manufacturing base."

Upcoming house regs put focus on consumer protection bureau
9/24/2012

The Hill: Upcoming house regs put focus on consumer protection bureau - "There's a possibility that the rule doesn't cover every bad practice…so there should be an opportunity for consumers to present evidence," said Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel at Public Citizen. "A safe harbor would just shut the courthouse door to borrowers."

Energy industry crackdown, global protest frackdown
9/24/2012

Earth First! Newswire: Energy industry crackdown, global protest frackdown - The GlobalFrackdown website and campaign was developed by Food & Water Watch, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that was once part of Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen group. The campaign claims that fracking “has already damaged communities and ruined lives. It pollutes water and makes people sick.”

Ga. group offers way to curb health care costs
9/24/2012

Augusta Chronicle: Ga. group offers way to curb health care costs - The Texas caps slowed the rise in premiums doctors pay for their liability coverage, but they didn’t improve the bills their patients received. Instead, Medicare spending there rose faster than the national average, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen. Those results don’t surprise Tom Baker, a University of Connecticut professor and author of The Medical Malpractice Myth.

Who benefits from trade policies?
9/24/2012

CBS Pittsburgh: Who benefits from trade policies? - KDKA Radio’s Chris Moore talks with Lori Wallach, director of the Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. They talk about a Trans-Pacific partnership agreement that could affect international trade regulations and job off-shoring if it goes into effect.

Candidates urged to sign lobby pledge
9/24/2012

Times Free Press: Candidates urged to sign lobby pledge - Craig Holman, of the watchdog group Public Citizen, said the situation is a "huge problem" and "exceedingly corruptive." Lobbyists and special interests can dangle "very lucrative job offers" in front of sitting lawmakers they wish to influence, he said. He estimated that a former congressman or senator can earn from $1 million to $3 million a year lobbying.

Calif. doctor at center of fat-reduction device controversy
9/24/2012

U-T San Diego: Calif. doctor at center of fat-reduction device controversy - Public Citizen has alleged that Dr. Gail Altschuler, a California physician who runs a Novato weight loss center, and other doctors who use and promote a medical device called the LipoTron for fat reduction are demonstrating a “reckless disregard for the health and welfare of patients."

Crucial GMO food fight in California
9/21/2012

BioPolitical Times: Crucial GMO food fight in California - The Yes campaign is badly behind on money. They have Whole Foods, Nature's Path, Dr Bronner's, and many smaller enterprises, as well as the American Public Health Association, California Nurses Association, United Farm Workers, Sierra Club, Public Citizen, California Certified Organic Farmers, Consumer Federation of America, Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now! and thousands of other groups and individuals. They have raised over $3 million so far, launched one TV ad and a new series of radio ads. Will the avalanche of cash overwhelm the initial public support? Well, it might.

Coalition urges USDA to withdraw proposal to speed up poultry lines and turn inspection over to company employees
9/21/2012

Seattle Pi: Coalition urges USDA to withdraw proposal to speed up poultry lines and turn inspection over to company employees - Among the groups in the coalition are the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, the Consumer Federation of America, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food & Water Watch, the National Consumers League,?Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, and the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO.

Coalition urges USDA to drop plan for changes in poultry inspections
9/21/2012

CIDRAP: Coalition urges USDA to drop plan for changes in poultry inspections - The USDA has said the plan will allow its inspectors to focus more attention on sanitary conditions and interventions, thereby improving food safety and saving money for taxpayers and poultry companies. But the coalition, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Government Accountability Project, Public Citizen, and others, said the plan's proposed increase in production line speeds to 175 birds per minute would allow too little time for proper inspection and lead to repetitive motion injuries.

Wright & McGurk fight for women's rights with transvaginal mesh lawsuits
9/21/2012

Free Press Release: Wright & McGurk fight for women's rights with transvaginal mesh lawsuits - The FDA warns that this surgery may be less effective than more traditional methods and may expose women to significantly greater risks. “Given the absence of evidence for clinically significant benefit and the overwhelming evidence of very serious, common risks, use of synthetic surgical mesh products for transvaginal repair of POP is not ethically justifiable,” said Dr. Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research.

Facebook Beacon settlement gets OK
9/21/2012

SF Gate: Facebook Beacon settlement gets OK - The objectors, represented by the consumer-rights group Public Citizen, also argued that the settlement was too small. Under federal law, they noted, customers of a video company like Blockbuster whose personal information is disclosed are entitled to $2,500 in damages.

Unproductive and unloved, Congress heads home
9/21/2012

Sacramento Bee: Unproductive and unloved, Congress heads home - “This is the most dysfunctional Congress I can remember,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a nonpartisan consumer-advocacy group. “I’ve never seen Capitol Hill work so poorly.” Republicans and Democrats agree on this much: The inertia was spawned by the unusually hostile partisanship that’s come to dominate political dialogue and debate.

Dangerous doctors
9/20/2012

CBS DFW: Dangerous doctors -  Public Citizen says the Texas Medical Board isn’t doing enough to protect patients. “These problems are quite serious and it’s quite astonishing that in all these cases the Medical Board failed to take action on their part,” says Doctor Michael Carome, Director of Research at Public Citizen.

Lame ducks still fly in Congress
9/20/2012

WFMY News: Lame ducks still fly in Congress -  The lawmakers describe these trips as fact-finding missions that will shape their thinking on legislation. Citing partisan stalemates on Capitol Hill, Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen instead calls them "vacations for retiring members of Congress."

Companies Thompson helps oversee have run into trouble
9/20/2012

Journal Sentinel Online: Companies Thompson helps oversee have run into trouble -  "They can make sure there is an appropriate culture that emphasizes patient safety and safe products," said Michael A. Carome, deputy director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, a Washington D.C. watchdog group. "They can make safety a priority over company profits or they could say . . . we could weather the storm and pay off" lawsuits.

Getting more juice may squeeze electric customers
9/20/2012

Fuel Fix: Getting more juice may squeeze electric customers -  Another option to add power capacity to the market, however, could be a separate approach taken by PJM. Its “demand response” program pays customers for cutting down their usage during times of peak demand, said David Power, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Texas office. Improving energy efficiency also could increase the state’s power capacity dramatically, as it has done elsewhere, Power said.

Trial of Hepatitis C drug has deadly outcome for area man
9/20/2012

Drugs.com: Trial of Hepatitis C drug has deadly outcome for area man -  "Was there any signal at all that should have raised a red flag?" asked Michael Carome, a physician and deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, a consumer advocacy group involved in drug safety issues.

Who are the greenest presidents in U.S. history?
9/19/2012

News Info Guide: Who are the greenest presidents in U.S. history? - America's 26th President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was overwhelming selected as the greenest president in history for making conservation of the country's natural resources a cornerstone of his policy. Richard Nixon, America's 37th president, who was responsible for creating the Environmental Protection Agency and signing several seminal pieces of environmental legislation into law, ranked second.

The USPTO's reality distortion field: web filter blocks critics like EFF, welcomes maximalist lobbyists
9/19/2012

Blodic.us: The USPTO's reality distortion field: web filter blocks critics like EFF, welcomes maximalist lobbyists - For public interest groups who advocate that the existing copyright/patent system is broken, the websites were all blocked. ACLU, EFF, Public Knowledge, Public Citizen, CDT... all blocked. However, if you're a lobbyist for maximalism? No problem! MPAA, RIAA, IIPA, IPI, PHRMA, BSA... come on through.

Connecticut calls for constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United
9/13/2012

ENews Park Forest: Connecticut calls for constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United -  “Citizen’s United has taken power out of the hands of citizens and placed it in the pocketbooks of corporations and the super-rich,” said Jonah Minkoff-Zern, senior organizer for Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign. “The people of a democratic country should expect that their concerns will carry more weight than those of corporations. By signing this letter, Connecticut’s legislators are demanding that this expectation be met.”

Lawmakers delay plans to increase oversight of regulators
9/13/2012

New York Times: Lawmakers delay plans to increase oversight of regulators -  “Those who support preserving the status quo where Wall Street regulates itself will find much to like in this legislation,” said Amit Narang, a regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen, a nonprofit government watchdog group.

OCE board members face expiring terms
9/13/2012

Roll Call: OCE board members face expiring terms -  "What has happened, much to my delight, is the people who have run OCE have done a phenomenal job," Holman said. "The OCE was given one important power, which is that once it produces a report, it does become public at some point in time. OCE has used that public disclosure tool very effectively."

Lobbyists Rebrand Themselves Consultants, Evade Campaign Finance Laws
9/13/2012

Minyanville: Lobbyists Rebrand Themselves Consultants, Evade Campaign Finance Laws“Much to my surprise, lobbyists have gotten a lot smarter this year,” Craig Holman, legislative representative for non-profit government watchdog Public Citizen, tells me. “They set up a couple of political consulting firms that are not Lobbying Disclosure Act participants. Even though these consulting firms were set up by the lobbying firms, they are considered distinct organizations. They have the exact same amount of influence, doing the same exact wining and dining of legislators, but this is how they got around the ethics rules.”

Collins bill on regulator scrutiny debated
9/13/2012

The Portland Press Herald: Collins bill on regulator scrutiny debated -  "Right now, the agencies are independent for a reason, according to Congress," said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen. "And this changes things to a great degree."

FDA draws fire over 'foot dragging'
9/11/2012

The Ledger: FDA draws fire over 'foot dragging' -  Public Citizen said Wednesday that the FDA's own medical and statistical reviewers found that high-dose Aricept doesn't work better at controlling symptoms of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's than two low doses.

Obama, Romney playing games with environmental disaster
9/11/2012

Kansas City InfoZine: Obama, Romney playing games with environmental disaster -  Director of Public Citizen's Energy Program, Tyson Slocum said today: "It was important that President Obama made clear his belief that climate change remains a major threat -- a contrast to Governor Romney's use of climate change as a punchline to a joke in his speech. But more important will be what policy solutions President Obama proposes to tackle climate change -- and how his 'all of the above' strategy may undermine that commitment. This election, fossil fuel corporations will spend millions to not only shape voters' opinions of the candidates, but their attitudes on energy policy –- namely that producing and using more fossil fuels will liberate our economy. The fact is that the longer we remain with the fossil fuel status quo, the farther we fall behind on the sustainable era of renewable energy. There is no such thing as benign fossil fuel production and consumption, and the future of fossil fuels will only become more expensive."

Lawmakers push to increase White House oversight of financial regulators
9/11/2012

Rocket News: Lawmakers push to increase White House oversight of financial regulators -  “Those who support preserving the status quo where Wall Street regulates itself will find much to like in this legislation,” said Amit Narang, a regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen, a nonprofit government watchdog group.

Stealth corporate coup d`etat
9/11/2012

Mathaba: Stealth corporate coup d`etat -  Public Citizen's Lori Wallach heads its Global Trade Watch division. It monitors destructive trade deals like TPP. TPP was "cleverly misbranded," said Wallach. In 2008, Bush officials initiated discussions. They continue "under the radar." By late 2009, Obama picked up where Bush left off. He backs everything he supported and then some.

How Citigroup stays fraud-proof
9/10/2012

Salon: How Citigroup stays fraud-proof  - In September 2007, Public Citizen published a comprehensive 74-page study of mandatory arbitration with a sharp focus on the National Arbitration Forum. The report is titled “The Arbitration Trap.” Among its many startling findings related to the National Arbitration Forum, Public Citizen found that in California between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2007, “a small cadre of arbitrators handled most of the cases that went to a decision. In total, 28 arbitrators handled 17,265 cases – accounting for a whopping 89.5 percent of cases in which an arbitrator was appointed.” (Think robo-signing.) The arbitrators ruled for the corporation and against the consumer nearly 95 percent of the time.

The party crasher: Finding where politicians, special interests meet
9/10/2012

CNN: The party crasher: Finding where politicians, special interests meet - Craig Holman is a political ethics expert whose nonpartisan nonprofit, Public Citizen, has teamed up with Steiner's organization in the party monitoring enterprise at the convention. He worries these parties play an outsized role at conventions. "These conventions are supposed to be merely ... events to rally for these candidates," Holman says. "But the lobbyists and special interest groups are indulging in a real habit of turning these conventions instead into lobby-fests."

Coloring facts: FDA slams Lilly over Amyvid site
9/10/2012

Pharmalot: Coloring facts: FDA slams Lilly over Amyvid site - The statement reflected controversy over reading scans. Earlier this year, Public Citizen argued Amyvid should not have been approved. Sid Wolfe, who heads Health Research Group at Public Citizen, called Amyvid inaccurate and “subject to serious inter-reader interpretation differences that has been shown to falsely diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease in patients who do not have the disease and fail to diagnose it in patients who turn out to have the disease”

Firm links schools, web advertisers
9/10/2012

Detroit News: Firm links schools, web advertisers - School districts have only recently given up space on their online sites for fundraising. Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based critic of commercialism in schools, said in a February report that there is "mushrooming" growth of companies that sell ad space in schools. The trend isn't worth the money, which at most raised 0.3 percent of one school system's budget, Public Citizen said in its report.

Will Obama keep his promise to make SECRET international trade negotiations transparent before the election? To save millions of US jobs from going offshore-- before the election?
9/10/2012

Newsvine: Will Obama keep his promise to make SECRET international trade negotiations transparent before the election? To save millions of US jobs from going offshore-- before the election? - "'NAFTA on steroids' is the term Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen's  Global Trade Watch, uses to describe the direction behind-closed-door negotiations for the TPP appear to be headed. Indeed, argue Global Trade Watch analysts: "
   

“A lot of people believe this stuff”: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and the politics of public relations
9/10/2012

thepeoplesvoice.org: “A lot of people believe this stuff”: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and the politics of public relations - Public Citizen is the organization that published the leaked document, a public research institution whose director, Todd Tucker, stated, “The leaked document… shows that in all of the major respects, this is exactly the same template that was used in NAFTA and other agreements that President Obama campaigned against,” and noted that the TPP has provisions that allow other countries to join in the future, potentially becoming a new “global trade agreement, larger than NAFTA.”

Protesters seek openness at pacific-region trade pact talks
9/10/2012

Bloomberg Businessweek: Protesters seek openness at pacific-region trade pact talks - About 150 representatives from some of those groups, including the Sierra Club, Public Citizen and the Communications Workers of America gathered on a grassy hillside after the event, where they called for proposals to be made public and chanted “Flush the TPP!”

A conversation with Mitt Romney
9/10/2012

Huffington Post: A conversation with Mitt Romney - Mitt Romney made some surprising and relatively unpublicized comments on campaign finance reform during a Fox News interview just before the Republican convention. His remarks relate to Public Citizen's WhiteHouseForSale project, which tracks the candidates' major fundraisers, or bundlers.

Harry Reid bolsters son’s interests in Chinese solar plant deal
9/10/2012

The New American: Harry Reid bolsters son’s interests in Chinese solar plant deal  - Despite his assertions, critics say Rory Reid’s political ties in the deal seems rather explicit. In addition to being the son of a prominent U.S. senator, he also formerly chaired the Clark County commission. Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen, said Rory’s father is implicating himself in “an iffy ethical landscape” and should recuse himself from the solar project. "Is this just happening because ... it benefits the Reid family, or did Harry Reid actually believe in this?" Holman queried.

Prop 32's Rich backers trying to bully working people out of politics...Again
9/10/2012

Nation of Change Prop 32's Rich backers trying to bully working people out of politics...Again - Public interest watchdogs such as Common Cause and Public Citizen have seen through the charade that presents Prop 32 as a fair-and-balanced initiative. They are urging voters to defeat the measure. "Prop 32 is not what it seems, and it will hurt everyday Californians," said Trudy Schafer of the League of Women Voters of California in a post for the Los Angeles Times.

'NAFTA on steroids': new round of secret trade negotiations begins
9/10/2012

Common Dreams: 'NAFTA on steroids': new round of secret trade negotiations begins - Earlier this year Public Citizen posted a leaked document from a past TPP meeting on their website revealing that the pact will give multinational corporations radical new political powers in global trade, including the allotment of vast legal powers to multinational corporations over governments.

Ohio delegates enjoy bacon and eggs on corporate tabs
9/10/2012

Cincinnati: Ohio delegates enjoy bacon and eggs on corporate tabs - “These parties at conventions are nirvana for lobbyists and special-interest groups that want to get something from government,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, which has criticized the crush of events.

Bank lobby sets up outside spending group
9/10/2012

The Hill: Bank lobby sets up outside spending group - While the ABA says a number of other trade groups have taken a similar approach, the banking lobby's attempt to get into the anonymous donor game has not gone unnoticed. The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday flagging the new entity, calling on it to "closely scrutinize" its operations to determine if it deserves its tax-exempt status.

Democrats provide pugilistic rhetoric but puny plans for struggling economy
9/10/2012

Working in these Times: Democrats provide pugilistic rhetoric but puny plans for struggling economy - The job export outflow will grow even worse if Obama succeeds in ramming through the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, the mother of all NAFTA-style job-exporting deals. The United States has already lost 4.9 million jobs due to “free trade", according to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, to say nothing of the incalculable wage cuts. But the Democratic platform contends an extra-large new helping of free trade is precisely what is needed.

A convention without corporate sponsors?
9/10/2012

WPIX: A convention without corporate sponsors? - "We have gone entirely full circle," said Craig Holman, legislative representative for the campaign-finance watchdog group Public Citizen. Holman credited Democratic convention organizers for their "noble efforts" this year, but said new legislation was required to truly keep special interests at bay.

Diet Doc hGC diet announces the results of a 32,000 patient survey showing Diet Doc dieters experienced no unpleasant side effects
9/10/2012

IBN: Diet Doc hGC diet announces the results of a 32,000 patient survey showing Diet Doc dieters experienced no unpleasant side effects - Consumer watchdog Public Citizen issued a petition to the FDA to ban the drug last April, the groups second attempt in five years. Director of Public Citizens Research Group, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, says these drugs (Alli and Xenical) have the potential to cause significant damage to multiple critical organs, yet they provide meager benefits in reducing weight loss in obese and overweight patients. Alli works by blocking digestion of 25 percent of fat that is consumed at each meal. If one takes in too much fat, the side effects kick in.

Renewable incentives spark debate at Texas hearing
9/10/2012

Texas Tribune: Renewable incentives spark debate at Texas hearing - Environmentalists and wind advocates testified that the negative pricing of wind power amounts to a problem that is mostly limited to West Texas and is already being addressed. And even in West Texas, natural gas (which is also currently cheap) sets the price of power far more often than wind, according to a slide shown by Tom “Smitty” Smith the environmental group Public Citizen Texas.

Business briefs
9/10/2012

TMC.net: Business briefs - Public Citizen said Wednesday that the FDA's own medical and statistical reviewers found that high-dose Aricept doesn't work better at controlling symptoms of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's than two low doses.

Democratic convention an opening for some interest groups
9/10/2012

Chillicothe Gazette: Democratic convention an opening for some interest groups - "These parties at conventions are nirvana for lobbyists and special-interest groups that want to get something from government," said Craig Holman, of Public Citizen, which has criticized the crush of events.

Duke CEO Rogers rides political, corporate intrigue into DNC
9/6/2012

Energy Central: Duke CEO Rogers rides political, corporate intrigue into DNC  - Craig Holman of watchdog group Public Citizen was more blunt about Rogers and his company's involvement: "It is highly, highly improper," he said, in light of the scope of government business on the utility's plate. "The conventions are not supposed to be financed by Duke Energy."

Monticello units to idle for winter
9/6/2012

Longview News Journal: Monticello units to idle for winter - Energy Future Holdings, the parent company of Luminant, was “really just blowing smoke about how [the cross-state rule] would bankrupt them,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, of the environmental group Public Citizen Texas, in a statement. “There may be no market for old coal in the winter in Texas because we have so much low-cost wind.”

Moving crude relies on aging pipeline system
9/6/2012

State Impact: Moving crude relies on aging pipeline system - Beving, a community organizer with corporate watchdog group Public Citizen, expresses concerns whether the Seaway pipeline’s 36 years of service means it’s at risk as it handles the “heavy crude” from Canada.

The US Chamber of Commerce's multimillion-dollar attack plan
9/6/2012

Common Dreams: The US Chamber of Commerce's multimillion-dollar attack plan - But even though it has not directly funded anti-Obama or pro-Romney ads, that doesn’t mean its leaders wouldn’t dearly love to oust Obama. Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, says the Chamber hopes to influence the presidential election indirectly—by shaping the contours of the public debate in the months leading up to election day and by bringing conservative voters to the polls.

End of summer news puts nuclear renaissance on permanent vacation
9/6/2012

truthout: End of summer news puts nuclear renaissance on permanent vacation - The Calvert Cliffs intervenors were led by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), which has been fighting Calvert Cliffs 3 almost since its inception. NIRS was joined by Beyond Nuclear, Public Citizen and Southern Maryland CARES.

Stealth corporate coup d’etat
9/6/2012

Progressive Radio Network: Stephen Lendman — Stealth corporate coup d’etat - Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach heads its Global Trade Watch division. It monitors destructive trade deals like TPP. On June 27, she headlined her Nation magazine article “NAFTA on Steroids,” saying: TPP, like other destructive trade deals, is being secretly negotiated. Most people never heard of it. Media scoundrels ignore it. Whatever corporations want they support.

Reform advocates take to subways to force SEC disclosure rule
9/6/2012

Roll Call: Reform advocates take to subways to force SEC disclosure rule - A strange-bedfellows Corporate Reform Coalition, spearheaded by Public Citizen, has generated a record 292,000 public comments to the SEC on the issue.

FDA sued over high dosage of Alzheimer’s med
9/6/2012

Pharmalot: FDA sued over high dosage of Alzheimer’s med - In its suit, Public Citizen charges the pill has not demonstrated “greater efficacy than the lower doses, but has more severe — and potentially life-threatening – side effects.” Aricept, which is made by Eisai and sold by Pfizer, was approved by the agency for patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s.

U.S. groups urge EU to resist weakening privacy proposal
9/6/2012

National Journal: U.S. groups urge EU to resist weakening privacy proposal - "We support the EU General Data Protection Regulation and believe that it provides important new protections for the privacy and security of consumers. Moreover, we believe that the promotion of stronger privacy standards in Europe will benefit consumers around the globe, as businesses improve their privacy practices and security standards," nearly two dozen U.S. groups said in a letter Wednesday to the European Parliament. They included the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Public Citizen.

Lobbyists to help nominate Obama for reelection in Charlotte
9/6/2012

The Hill: Lobbyists to help nominate Obama for reelection in Charlotte - Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, said there were no rules in place to prevent lobbyists from serving as delegates at the convention. “There may be some irony that lobbyists are voting to nominate Obama, but the real focus of the president's restrictions are on lobbyist money and influence-peddling,” Holman said. “Banning lobbyists from serving as delegates would totally be unconstitutional. That seems like it would take it too far.”

Coalition brings 150,000 petitions to Duke’s doorstep demanding Duke Energy stop funding ALEC & voter suppressionding ALEC & Voter Suppression
9/6/2012

Paramus Post: Coalition brings 150,000 petitions to Duke’s doorstep demanding Duke Energy stop funding ALEC & voter suppression - Last week a coalition of environmental, civil rights and democracy reform groups announced they were coming together with an Open Letter to Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers. The petition, which launched only last Wednesday, has already gathered 150,000 signatures. Groups in the coalition include: Energy Action Coalition; Greenpeace; Common Cause; CREDO Action; Progressive Change Campaign Committee; Public Citizen; Center for Media & Democracy; Friends of the Earth; Oil Change International; the Southern Energy Network; and the Checks & Balances Project.

Banker group plans to fund super-PACs to kill Dodd-Frank
9/6/2012

Money News: Banker group plans to fund super-PACs to kill Dodd-Frank - The ABA’s effort comes only two months before elections for president and Congress. Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, which tracks the influence of money on politics, said donations from the nonprofit could affect some races.

News Summary: Consumer group sues FDA over drug
9/6/2012

The Examiner: Consumer group sues FDA over drug - SAFETY QUESTION: Public Citizen says it's filed a federal lawsuit to force the Food and Drug Administration to remove the highest dose of an Alzheimer's disease drug from the market over potentially fatal side effects.

Relations
9/6/2012

Blodic: Relations - In response, Public Citizen sent back a long letter backing up all of its claims (and also noting that they had never named the principle in the company, Mark Durante, so having him claim defamation personally didn't make much sense). This is the point where it makes sense to give up, but Durante's company, Advanced Aesthetic Concepts LP, sued anyway for libel, and asked the court for a temporary restraining order (TRO).

Consumer group sues FDA over Aricept safety
9/6/2012

KGUN-9: Consumer group sues FDA over Aricept safety - Public Citizen filed a petition in 2011 with the FDA. The group urged the agency to halt sales of the 23-milligram dose of Aricept and put safety warnings about the high-dose risks on two low doses available under the Aricept brand and as generic pills.

Consumer group sues FDA over Aricept
9/6/2012

Spokesman-Review: Consumer group sues FDA over Aricept - Public Citizen said Wednesday that the FDA’s own medical and statistical reviewers found that high-dose Aricept doesn’t work better at controlling symptoms of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s than two low doses. However, the group said the high dose has more-dangerous, potentially deadly side effects including vomiting, which in Alzheimer’s patients “can lead to pneumonia, massive gastrointestinal bleeding, esophageal rupture or death.” Other side effects more common at the high dose are nausea, diarrhea, anorexia and confusion.

Parties, politics go hand in hand at conventions.
9/6/2012

News Leader: Parties, politics go hand in hand at conventions - “These parties at conventions are nirvana for lobbyists and special-interest groups that want to get something from government,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, which has criticized the crush of events. At last week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, delegates’ schedules were similarly filled with swank soirees and finger-food receptions.

Lloyds ‘Incentive’ Probe, Bankers’ Board Vote: Compliance
9/6/2012

Bloomberg Businessweek: Lloyds ‘Incentive’ Probe, Bankers’ Board Vote: Compliance - The ABA’s effort comes only two months before elections for president and Congress. Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, which tracks the influence of money on politics, said donations from the nonprofit could affect some races.

EU's proposed privacy rules get US backing
9/6/2012

Tech Central: EU's proposed privacy rules get US backing - Despite the opposition, the privacy and consumer groups, including Consumers Union, Privacy Rights Now, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Public Citizen, called for the EU to strengthen the privacy protections in the proposal.

Aricept lawsuit: Public Citizen sues FDA over safety of Alzheimer's drug
9/5/2012

Huffington Post: Aricept lawsuit: Public Citizen sues FDA over safety of Alzheimer's drug - Public Citizen said Wednesday that the FDA's own medical and statistical reviewers found that high-dose Aricept doesn't work better at controlling symptoms of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's than two low doses.

Trans Pacific Partnership: The siren scream to patriots!
9/5/2012

OEN: Trans Pacific Partnership: The siren scream to patriots!  - The Bill of Rights is assaulted outright by the TPPs blatant disregard for our freedoms. It is that insidious.   Although dwelling in the shadow realm where secrecy reigns supreme, the information leaked by Public Citizen's Watchdog group illustrates an attack on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the freedom to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

A new labor day tradition: the year in occupational health & safety
9/5/2012

ScienceBlogs: A new labor day tradition: the year in occupational health & safety - Public Citizen: Despite evidence that OSHA standards are cost-effective at preventing fatalities, disabling injuries, and occupational illnesses, the agency faces legal and political obstacles that make new worker safety regulations a rarity. The authors examine the lengthy chronology of efforts to address several workplace hazards, such as silica and beryllium.

Critics slam SEC hedge fund ad rule
9/5/2012

FIN alternatives: Critics slam SEC hedge fund ad rule - “Private offerings are so risky that, to date, hedge funds and other firms could only offer these high-risk deals to proven, ‘sophisticated’ investors, such as professional money managers with whom they have an ongoing business relationship,” Public Citizen's Bartlett Naylor said. “The JOBS Act permits advertising such deals to the public.”

Consumer groups slam SEC vote, seek form D changes
9/5/2012

Compliance Week: Consumer groups slam SEC vote, seek form D changes - “Let the scams begin,” is how the group Public Citizen announced the vote. “If a proposal issued today by the SEC is adopted, financial speculators looking to make a quick buck may soon be able to advertise high risk, shady deals to the public with the blessing of the federal government,” said Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate for Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division.

Here's who really benefits when Republicans change medicare
9/5/2012

Business Insider: Here's who really benefits when Republicans change medicare - 16 January 2004, a study by Harvard Medical School and Public Citizen was published in the International Journal of Health Services (amplifying upon a study that the same authors had published on 21 August 2003 in the New England Journal of Medicine) which showed that only 69 cents out of every dollar spent in the U.S. on health care was now going toward health care. The remaining 31% of America’s health care expenditures were devoted to such matters as the paperwork chaos of innumerable competing health insurance companies, each of whose policies cover and exclude different health services, at different rates, and thus confuse consumers so as to make this “competition” confusing.

Prop 32's rich backers trying to bully working people out of politics…again
9/5/2012

my FDL: Prop 32's rich backers trying to bully working people out of politics…again - Public interest watchdogs such as Common Cause and Public Citizen have seen through the charade that presents Prop 32 as a fair-and-balanced initiative. They are urging voters to defeat the measure. “Prop 32 is not what it seems, and it will hurt everyday Californians,” said Trudy Schafer of the League of Women Voters of California in a post for the Los Angeles Times.

Change we can believe in, 2.0
9/5/2012

The Nation: Change we can believe in, 2.0 - These are welcome words. First, because (as I’ve argued here and elsewhere), we can’t become a more perfect union as long as our elections remain playthings for self-interested corporations. As Public Citizen puts it so well: Democracy is For People. (And as Lee Fang reports in the current issue, if you think post–Citizens United Super PACs are bad for our democracy, trade associations are even worse.)

Banker plan would fund super-PACs to sway senate races
9/5/2012

Bloomberg News: Banker plan would fund super-PACs to sway senate races - The ABA’s effort comes only two months before elections for president and Congress. Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, which tracks the influence of money on politics, said donations from the nonprofit could affect some races. “They still have plenty of time to roll out a giant campaign,” Holman said. “They can set this up overnight and tap into any number of sources in the financial services industry.”

Duke CEO Rogers rides political, corporate intrigue into DNC
9/5/2012

News Tribune: Duke CEO Rogers rides political, corporate intrigue into DNC - Craig Holman of watchdog group Public Citizen was more blunt about Rogers and his company’s involvement: “It is highly, highly improper,” he said, in light of the scope of government business on the utility’s plate. “The conventions are not supposed to be financed by Duke Energy.”

Stealth corporate coup d'etat
9/5/2012

War is a Crime: Stealth corporate coup d'etat - Public Citizen's Lori Wallach heads its Global Trade Watch division. It monitors destructive trade deals like TPP. On June 27, she headlined her Nation magazine article "NAFTA on Steroids," saying: TPP, like other destructive trade deals, is being secretly negotiated. Most people never heard of it. Media scoundrels ignore it. Whatever corporations want they support.

Your Funds: Advertising gives hedge funds a new mousetrap
9/5/2012

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Your Funds: Advertising gives hedge funds a new mousetrap - Bartlett Naylor, financial-policy advocate in Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division, thinks established funds won't be the ones advertising, but rather that it will be a mix of the mediocre, the frauds and the new funds, all of them willing to take money from people who may meet the standard for accreditation but who aren't "sophisticated."

Special interests push policy at convention parties
9/5/2012

Daily Record: Special interests push policy at convention parties - "These parties at conventions are nirvana for lobbyists and special-interest groups that want to get something from government," said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, which has criticized the crush of events.

Democratic convention guests to party with top donors and special interest groups
9/4/2012

The Washington Post: Democratic convention guests to party with top donors and special interest groups - “The Democratic and Republican national conventions, which are supposed to be publicly financed electoral events with reasonable ethics restrictions on influence-peddling by lobbyists, have turned into mostly privately financed soirees funded by corporations and lobbying firms that seek favors from the federal government,” says Public Citizen, a consumer-rights advocacy group in Washington.

Flacking for big pharma
9/4/2012

The American Scholar: Flacking for big pharma - Under the NEJM policy, for example, doctors writing medical reviews can accept up to $10,000 a year in speaking fees and consulting fees from each drug company. “So if a doctor is doing . . . business with four or five companies, he or she can get as much as $40,000 to $50,000 a year and not violate the New England Journal policy,” says Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

NRC rejects nuclear reactor for too much foreign ownership
9/4/2012

Energy Biz: NRC rejects nuclear reactor for too much foreign ownership - The ruling represents a victory for plant foes, including Public Citizen, Southern Maryland Cares, Beyond Nuclear and the Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS). All those organizations had intervened in the case.

Schools across NJ hoping to boost ad revenue
9/4/2012

Greenwich Time: Schools across NJ hoping to boost ad revenue - Consumer advocates say marketers have a lot to gain by getting in front of kids because they can build customers for life. "Children are especially vulnerable to persuasive advertising while they are still learning how to think critically," said Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, spokeswoman for the Washington-based consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen's Commercial Alert.

What does a gallon of gas really cost?
9/4/2012

Times Union Blog: What does a gallon of gas really cost? - Check out Public Citizen’s, Director, Public Citizen Energy Program Tyson Slocum’s YouTube video and his testimony before Congress.

'People Power' may lead to low-wattage event
9/4/2012

Roll Call: 'People power' may lead to low-wattage event - "I give them a great deal of credit," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the advocacy group Public Citizen. "This has never been done before for a convention, and it's going to have an impact."

Schools hoping to boost ad revenue
9/4/2012

Courier Post: Schools hoping to boost ad revenue - “Children are especially vulnerable to persuasive advertising while they are still learning how to think critically,” said Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert.

Obama’s ban on lobbyist giving doesn’t keep them from Charlotte
9/4/2012

Bloomberg: Obama’s ban on lobbyist giving doesn’t keep them from Charlotte - Conventions “are just influence-peddling free-for-alls,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group that favors stricter limits on lobbying. “It just provides schmoozing times for the lobbyists and special interests who want something.”

DNC delegates will find plenty of suitors
9/4/2012

Charlotte Observer: DNC delegates will find plenty of suitors -  “We have no accounting as to how much is being spent or even who is spending the money. None of that will be disclosed, ever,” said Craig Holman of watchdog group Public Citizen. “It just provides that sort of wining and dining atmosphere to try to peddle those wares. That’s the purpose of those parties.”

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