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December 2012 media hits RSS Feed
What We've Really Lost to the Fiscal Cliff: A Sense of Form
12/31/2012

The Atlantic: What We've Really Lost to the Fiscal Cliff: A Sense of Form - Two weeks ago, the big transparency advocacy groups like Public Citizen, the Sunlight Foundation, and the Institute for Policy Innovation called on President Obama and congressional leaders to do just that. "The undersigned organizations," the statement said, "are concerned that negotiations around averting the 'fiscal cliff' may take place entirely in secret, and policy decisions will be passed down to the public as a fait accompli, with no public input or resulting accountability."

FDA approves 1st new tuberculosis drug in 40 years
12/31/2012

WNEM.com: FDA approves 1st new tuberculosis drug in 40 years -  Last week, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen criticized that approach, noting the drug's outstanding safety issues. "The fact that bedaquiline is part of a new class of drug means that an increased level of scrutiny should be required for its approval," the group states. "But the FDA had not yet answered concerns related to unexplained increases in toxicity and death in patients getting the drug."

F.D.A. approves drug for resistant tuberculosis
12/31/2012

New York Times: F.D.A. approves drug for resistant tuberculosis - The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen opposed approval in a letter to the F.D.A. in mid-December, saying that the results of a limited clinical trial showed that patients using bedaquiline were five times as likely to die than those on the standard drug regimen to treat the disease.

Filling a void for cash-strapped districts
12/31/2012

Coloradobiz: Filling a void for cash-strapped districts - Not everyone is happy about corporate sponsorships in schools. The Washington, D.C.-based consumer group Public Citizen has a project called Commercial Alert, which aims to keep advertising out of the school systems. The group, whose tagline is, "Protecting communities from commercialism," hopes to keep marketing messages in their "proper sphere," or out of schools. "We understand it looks really appealing because of the financial details, but we say what are the risks?" says Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, Ph.D., campaign coordinator for Commercial Alert.

In Congress, relatives lobby on bills before family members
12/30/2012

The Seattle Times: In Congress, relatives lobby on bills before family members - "It's a technique of throwing money at the feet of the congressman who can influence my business," said Craig Holman, a campaign finance and government ethics lobbyist for Public Citizen.

Will FDA Grant Accelerated Approval To J&J TB Drug?
12/28/2012

Pharmalot: Will FDA Grant Accelerated Approval To J&J TB Drug -  In a recent letter to the FDA, Public Citizen says the FDA should not confer accelerated approval – which is granted to meds to treat serious diseases and fill an unmet medical need based on a surrogate endpoint – because patents taking the drug in addition to standard TB treatment during a Phase II trial were five times likelier to die than those who took a placebo.

Doctor's license suspended due to unnecessary and invasive surgeries
12/26/2012

Examiner.com: Doctor's license suspended due to unnecessary and invasive surgeries - Dr. Sidney Wolfe, a patient advocate who directs health research for the Washington-based consumer watchdog organization Public Citizen, lauded Missouri regulators, saying the emergency suspension was a “very pro-patient move” that he hopes other states emulate.

Online review court case appealed to State Supreme Court
12/26/2012

NBC Washington: Online review court case appealed to State Supreme Court - "Such orders run afoul of the American tradition of free speech, which assumes that the public can sort out truth from fiction so long as both sides have the opportunity to have their say,'' Paul Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen, said in a news release.

Weight loss pill Qsymia 'gaining traction'
12/26/2012

WebMD Health News: Weight loss pill Qsymia 'gaining traction' - When the FDA approved the drug earlier in 2012, Sidney Wolfe, MD, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, called the decision ''reckless.''

Parents still waiting to see new regulations for rearview visibility in passenger vehicles
12/26/2012

Breaking midstate news with the Patriot- News: Parents still waiting to see new regulations for rearview visibility in passenger vehicles - “In a way, it’s a death sentence, and for no good reason,” said former Public Citizen president Joan Claybrook, who once directed the federal agency responsible for developing the rules.

Is democracy doomed? New report shows tectonic shifts in campaign spending
12/24/2012

Citizenvox.org: Is democracy doomed? New report shows tectonic shifts in campaign spending - The U.S. Supreme Court was so determined to treat outside groups fairly in its 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) decision that it put these groups on course to supplant the candidates themselves as the dominant voices in our elections. That is the finding of a newly released Public Citizen report, Outside Money Takes the Inside Track.

Former Utah senator Bob Bennett will return to Capitol as lobbyist
12/24/2012

The Salt Lake Tribune: Former Utah senator Bob Bennett will return to Capitol as lobbyist - "Even if there aren’t strong enough ethics restrictions for other classes of people, that is no argument for releasing all ethics restrictions on members of Congress," said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the watchdog group Public Citizen, who argues the cooling-off period is too lax, not too restrictive.

Souderton Area School District mulls in-school advertising
12/23/2012

Montgomery Media: Souderton Area School District mulls in-school advertising -  “Commercial advertising communicates values that are in conflict with the fundamental mission of primary and secondary schools,” he said. “While schools are helping kids develop a sense of self and how to engage with their peers, commercial advertising teaches them to value themselves over others, and to value what they have rather than who they are.” It also teaches kids that “everything is for sale,” Weissman said.

Wall St, facing fiercer watchdog, flees US power markets (Reuters)
12/21/2012

Reuters: Wall St, facing fiercer watchdog, flees US power markets -  "All the banks are doing is feasting on overly complicated market rules to find vulnerabilities, which they pounce on to make large short-term profits," said Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group.

Hightower report: The selling of Obama's inauguration
12/21/2012

The Austin Chronicle: Hightower report: The selling of Obama's inauguration - Obama essentially admitted that allowing corporations to purchase the inaugural is wrong when he tried to sugarcoat his decision by assuring us that every corporate donor will be vetted by White House lawyers to make sure they have no conflicts of interest. Does he think we have sucker wrappers around our heads? As pointed out by the vigilant watchdog group Public Citizen: "There's no corporation which has no conflict of interest."

FDA, state health agencies debate oversight of drug compounders
12/20/2012

Red Orbit: FDA, state health agencies debate oversight of drug compounders - “There should be one uniform federal standard that is enforced by one agency – the F.D.A.,” said Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, a nonprofit consumer organization, who has been a critic of the agency’s approach. “They have been lax in enforcing that standard.”

FDA emphasizes compounding facilities need to be regulated (AP)
12/20/2012

CBS News: FDA emphasizes compounding facilities need to be regulated - The health safety group Public Citizen argued that the FDA already has the authority to shut down operations like the NECC, since the pharmacy had clearly crossed the line from mixing prescriptions to manufacturing drugs. In a letter released Tuesday, the group said that the new laws sought by the FDA would actually do more harm by legitimizing the activities of rogue pharmacies like the NECC.

ACLU, Public Citizen to fight lawsuit over negative Yelp review
12/20/2012

Washington Post: ACLU, Public Citizen to fight lawsuit over negative Yelp review - Public Citizen and the ACLU are now representing a Virginia woman sued for defamation over a negative Yelp review, saying a preliminary injunction issued against her amounts to censorship.

Future looks iffy for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House ethics office, thanks in part to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
12/20/2012

Washington Examiner: Future looks iffy for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's House ethics office, thanks in part to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - "Within the rank and file of her caucus, there is a great deal of dissension about the value of OCE," Public Citizen lobbyist Craig Holman told the Examiner.

FDA, states weigh pharmacy regulation in wake of meningitis outbreak (HealthDay News)
12/20/2012

US News & World Report: FDA, states weigh pharmacy regulation in wake of meningitis outbreak - "There should be one uniform federal standard that is enforced by one agency -- the FDA," Michael Carome, deputy director of the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen's Health Research Group, told the Times. "They have been lax in enforcing that standard."

U.S. FDA chief urges action on drug compounding safety
12/19/2012

Reuters: U.S. FDA chief urges action on drug compounding safety - "The FDA's proposal for oversight of ‘non-traditional' compounding, if implemented, would decriminalize what is now illegal drug manufacturing conducted under the guise of pharmacy compounding," Dr. Michael Carome of advocacy group Public Citizen's health research group said in a statement.

Compounding pharmacies focus of all day hearing
12/19/2012

Medpage: Compounding pharmacies focus of all day hearing - "The FDA's proposal for oversight of 'nontraditional' compounding, if implemented, would decriminalize what is now illegal drug manufacturing conducted under the guise of pharmacy compounding and ensure the continuing occurrence of serious disease outbreaks caused by tainted drugs in the future," Michael Carome, MD, deputy director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, said.

Small gifts make big – and murky – difference in campaign finance transparency
12/19/2012
Cronite News Online: Small gifts make big – and murky – difference in campaign finance transparency - “The biggest struggle is with outside spending activity,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen. “If we could get as good a picture of spending by outside groups as we do from candidates, we would have a reasonably good disclosure system.”
Special interests abided for Obama’s second inauguration
12/19/2012

The Washington Times: Special interests abided for Obama’s second inauguration - The advocacy group Public Citizen has begun an online petition urging Mr. Obama to reconsider accepting corporate donations. As of this week, more than 32,450 Americans had signed it.

FDA chief renews push for specialty pharmacy rules (AP)
12/19/2012

Pharmacy Choice: FDA chief renews push for specialty pharmacy rules - The health safety group Public Citizen argued that the FDA already has the authority to shut down operations like the NECC, since the pharmacy had clearly crossed the line from mixing prescriptions to manufacturing drugs. In a letter released Tuesday, the group said that the new laws sought by the FDA would actually do more harm by legitimizing the activities of rogue pharmacies like the NECC.

How two texas regulatory agencies have embraced industry interests over citizen concerns and public health
12/19/2012

Texas Green Report: How two texas regulatory agencies have embraced industry interests over citizen concerns and public health - In reference to a petition filed by the Sierra Club and Public Citizen in September, citizens wanted to know why the PUC has maintained a 7-year position that the implementation of a 500 megawatt renewable energy mandate would harm Texas electricity consumers, when many saw it as an efficient means to achieve energy independence and create jobs.

Meningitis outbreak: Advocacy group criticizes FDA chief Hamburg
12/19/2012

The Tennessean: Meningitis outbreak: Advocacy group criticizes FDA chief Hamburg -  Public Citizen fired off a scathing letter about FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg’s leadership since the fungal meningitis outbreak in advance of a meeting today to better define dual oversight of compounding labs by federal and state governments... “This proposal if implemented would validate the FDA’s current lax enforcement practices for drug manufacturing conducted under the guise of pharmacy compounding, decriminalize what is now illegal drug manufacturing and ensure the occurrence of more serious disease outbreaks caused by tainted drugs in the future,” the letter said.

Here’s the real deal on the Volcker rule
12/18/2012

Best Financial News: Here’s the real deal on the Volcker rule - As Washington’s financial agency rulemakers finalize this important safeguard, they should be especially attuned to the silence of 7,000 banks and of Public Citizen’s most recent report, which examines how the Volcker Rule would impact three different sizes of banks and concludes even Wells Fargo should emerge relatively unscathed.

Donations, bids remain entangled
12/18/2012

The Daily Progress: Donations, bids remain entangled - That $5 million cutoff is one of the highest among states that limit such gifts, says PolitiFact, citing research by Public Citizen. That means it is among the most lenient. Even Mr. McDonnell said, when he signed the bill, that few state contracts are worth $5 million or more.

Group slams FDA's proposed framework for drug compounders
12/18/2012

The Hill: Group slams FDA's proposed framework for drug compounders - Public Citizen urged federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Tuesday to reject the proposal and tell the FDA to use its existing authority to ensure compounding pharmacies are operating safety.

The invisible case against the Consumer Product Safety Commission
12/18/2012

Slate: The invisible case against the Consumer Product Safety Commission - Public Citizen and two other consumer-advocate organizations, granted permission to intervene by the court in October, are pressing on. Not surprisingly, they’re worried about all the secrecy. “It’s at odds with the First Amendment and our tradition of open judicial proceedings,” said Scott Michelman, the Public Citizen attorney representing the consumer advocates on appeal.

Federal judge allows corporation to file secret lawsuit
12/18/2012

Think Progress: Federal judge allows corporation to file secret lawsuit - The court went on to use similar reasoning to allow the company to remain entirely anonymous in the litigation, even though decision after decision has denied anonymity to individual litigants who faced reputation damage. The brief by Public Citizen, Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union provides several examples...

Will Obama sell out seniors?
12/18/2012

Background briefing with Ian Masters: Will Obama sell out seniors? - Robert Weissman, the President of the Washington D.C.-based consumer watchdog group Public Citizen joins us to discuss his concern that instead of taxing Wall Street, the White House might be ready to ship senior citizens down the river and start taxing grandma.

The top 10 lobbying victories of this year
12/18/2012

The Hill: The top 10 lobbying victories of this year - Consumer and liberal groups were overjoyed in January when President Obama took their advice and recess-appointed a director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

JW calls on Congress to get back to work on ethics
12/18/2012

One News Page: JW calls on Congress to get back to work on ethics - In addition to Judicial Watch, the groups included: Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Common Cause, National Legal and Policy Center, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S. PIRG.

Study: Generic drug label warnings are often different from the brand-name labels on which they are (supposedly) based
12/17/2012

CL&P Blog: Study: Generic drug label warnings are often different from the brand-name labels on which they are (supposedly) based - In this regard, note that Public Citizen has filed a petition with the FDA asking that generic manufacturers be authorized to warn of drug hazards that come to their attention without prior FDA approval on the same or similar terms currently available to brand-name manufacturers.

Cheaper natural gas doesn’t guarantee lower home fuel bills
12/17/2012

Yakima Herald: Cheaper natural gas doesn’t guarantee lower home fuel bills - Customers of gas utilities are getting some benefits from the low natural gas prices. “You’re not seeing the same unaffordable bills people were opening up four or five years ago,” said Tyler Slocum, an energy expert at Public Citizen. “It was just astronomical. You’re not seeing that level.”

New debate launched after some groups call for more stringent air standards
12/17/2012

KLBJ: New debate launched after some groups call for more stringent air standards - The battle between the EPA and Texas businesses heats up over a call for lower soot levels. Public Citizen Texas Director Tom Smith says the cut is meant to save lives and money, "The new standards that are proposed will probably save about 15 thousand lives nationally, but most importantly will reduce significantly the health care costs for those people who live around the areas that have particularly high soot levels."

House Republicans' three big lies about the volcker rule
12/17/2012

The Nation: House Republicans' three big lies about the Volcker rule - In addition, in all likelihood the concerns are overblown. A recent report by Public Citizen called “Business As Usual” found that “the Volcker Rule will mean no change, no closure of business divisions, no costs from foregone financial activity, for more than 99.9 percent of banks.”

Everyone hates Citizens United
12/14/2012

PBH Network: Everyone hates Citizens United - But corporate money is only one piece of the problem. A new study from Public Citizen notes that most super PACS only support a single candidate, a fact that undermines the Supreme Court’s argument in the Citizens United decision. Of the more than 100 super PACs that have spent at least $100,000 so far this year, 65 were active in only a single race. These single-candidate groups — which include two of the biggest ones, the Mitt Romney-backing Restore Our Future and the Obama-backing Priorities USA — account for 55 percent of the $370 million spent by all active super PACs so far. But most, 69 groups, are devoted solely to congressional elections, and 39 of those have worked on behalf of only one candidate.

Only the biggest banks will be affected by new rule reining in risky trading
12/14/2012

Think Progress: Only the biggest banks will be affected by new rule reining in risky trading - While the biggest banks may kvetch about the Volcker Rule, the vast majority of the nation’s banks won’t be affected by it, as a new report from Public Citizen finds:

Positive step in police whistleblower case
12/14/2012

CL&P Blog: Positive step in police whistleblower case - This week, the Ninth Circuit agreed to rehear en banc a case about a cop who revealed the abuse of suspects inside his department. The Ninth Circuit has developed a troubling line of cases to the effect that, under the Supreme Court's 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos, any time a police officer in the state of California reports misconduct, he is just doing his job -- which means he is speaking as an employee not as a member of the public and is therefore not protected by the First Amendment. Most other circuits (and indeed some decisions within the Ninth Circuit) hold that whether a whistleblower is speaking as an employee is a question of fact and no categorical rule is appropriate. Hopefully the Ninth will resolve this conflict when it rehears the case in March.

Oil and gas stocks to benefit from BP ban
12/14/2012

Seeking Alpha: Oil and gas stocks to benefit from BP ban - BP is talking with the EPA about lifting the suspension and expects resolution by the first quarter of 2013. Public Citizen's Energy Program Director Tyson Slocum thinks BP should be banned for five years, the probation's duration received in connection with the plea bargain. A similar suspension imposed by the Air Force on Boeing's three units in 2003 was lifted in 2005.

Critics slam continued secrecy of Trans-Pacific Partnership, talks underway in New Zealand
12/14/2012

Democratic Underground: Critics slam continued secrecy of Trans-Pacific Partnership, talks underway in New Zealand - Watchdog groups are in Auckland to monitor the highly secretive negotiations. So far, the public has only learned about the trade deal through leaked copies of the proposals. For more spoke to Lori Wallach, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch director who is in Auckland.

Limestone County coal plant canceled amid industry woes
12/14/2012

Wacotrib: Limestone County coal plant canceled amid industry woes - Tom “Smitty” Smith, who heads Public Citizen, said the demise of the proposed coal plants has encouraged investment in cleaner energy. “Texas leads the nation in wind energy production, with more installed wind power projects than the next several states combined,” he said. “The incredible growth in wind energy never would have been possible without the success stopping new coal projects. The market space created for clean electricity was a direct result of the David versus Goliath fight that took place over the last seven years.”

Mandatory arbitration: What you should know & how to protect yourself
12/14/2012

Best Press Release Distribution: Mandatory arbitration: What you should know & how to protect yourself - In fact, a 2007 study by Public Citizen found that California credit card customers lost 94 percent of arbitration cases handled by the National Arbitration Forum.

Van Harten: Canada "recklessly" entering Trans-Pacific Partnership, FIPA
12/13/2012

DeSmogBlog: Van Harten: Canada "recklessly" entering Trans-Pacific Partnership, FIPA - At the time Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, said, "the outrageous stuff in this leaked text may well be why U.S. trade officials have been so extremely secretive about these past two years of [trade] negotiations."

Ethics conflicts complicate votes for outgoing members
12/13/2012

The Hill: Ethics conflicts complicate votes for outgoing members - Craig Holman with Public Citizen said he believed lawmakers with outside jobs would be OK voting on a fiscal-cliff bill but “wouldn’t champion a provision or seek to add a provision to the bill that would affect their future employers.”

What's that smell? US officials chase profits in 'tawdry' business deals
12/13/2012

Minyanville: What's that smell? US officials chase profits in 'tawdry' business deals - “This is about money, not politics,” Holman, who serves as Public Citizen’s Capitol Hill lobbyist on governmental ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance, tells me. “When Wesley Clark was liberating Kosovo, that was political. But now it’s after the fact, and he’s being hired by private interests, which has nothing to do with the people of Kosovo and everything to do with Wesley Clark.”

$100M Brawl: Lilly, Canada & an invalidated patent
12/13/2012

Pharmalot: $100M Brawl: Lilly, Canada & an invalidated patent -  “Eli Lilly’s announcement that it will attempt to skirt the rulings of Canada’s courts and directly challenge Canada’s patent policy in a private NAFTA tribunal confirms the alarming threat that the extreme investor-state system poses to access to medicines,” says Ben Beachy, research director at Public Citizen Global Trade Watch.

Court Sets March 15 Date for HOS Oral Arguments
12/13/2012

Transport Topics News: Court Sets March 15 Date for HOS Oral Arguments -  Public Citizen, along with other interest groups, also sued to overturn the rule, though they sought a rule that further restricts driver hours. Their lawsuit was combined with ATA’s, so they will also present oral arguments on March 15.

Advocates ask court to unmask company behind anonymous consumer safety lawsuit
12/13/2012

The Consumerist: Advocates ask court to unmask company behind anonymous consumer safety lawsuit - “The public has a First Amendment right of access to court proceedings,” said Scott Michelman, the Public Citizen attorney handling the case. “The denial of public access is particularly problematic where the case involves a matter of public safety and a challenge to the implementation of a new statute. Adjudicating cases based on secret proceedings, with secret facts and a secret plaintiff, is incompatible with our tradition of open government.”

The results are in: Cleaner air does save lives
12/13/2012

Texas Vox: The Voice of Public Citizen in Texas: The results are in: Cleaner air does save lives - In Texas, our port communities endure especially high concentrations of particulate matter. Public Citizen is working to force the Port of Houston clean up. Replacing or retrofitting the old, highly polluting trucks that haul goods from the port to nearby warehouses would do a lot to improve the health of surrounding communities. The Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) provides funds for just this purpose. Those investments are saving lives, but are often underutilized by truck owners.

HSBC critic: Too big to indict may mean too big to exist
12/13/2012

KPCC: HSBC critic: Too big to indict may mean too big to exist - "Well, if the company is too big to jail, too big to prosecute, too big to indict, then it's just simply too big to exist," says Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Watch dog groups call for Congress, President to fill ethics posts
12/13/2012

Sunlight Foundation: Watch dog groups call for Congress, President to fill ethics posts -  The FEC is basically a campaign finance scandal," said Holman. "What we have is a partisan, ideological divide in the FEC that makes it incapable of doing its job. We have pleaded repeatedly to President Obama to replace those five commissioners with people who are responsible and who will carry out campaign finance mandate."

New York proposes tough rules on campaign disclosure
12/13/2012

The Advocate Messenger: New York proposes tough rules on campaign disclosure -  "New York is kind of blazing the trail here for states and the federal government about how to go forward on disclosure," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, one of the pro-reform groups that cheered the move.

Not-so-prime real estate for watchdog groups
12/13/2012

Roll Call: Not-so-prime real estate for watchdog groups -  “Both of these agencies are in dire risk,” Craig Holman of Public Citizen said.
Holman pointed out that it is “exclusively” up to Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to fill at least two OCE vacancies each.

Latest round of talks on 'supersized NAFTA' block out civil society
12/13/2012

Common Dreams: Latest round of talks on 'supersized NAFTA' block out civil society - Public Citizen has referred to the pact as a "Corporate Power Tool of the 1%" and a "Supersized NAFTA."

Commenting online? Call a lawyer
12/13/2012

Wall Street Journal Market Watch: Commenting online? Call a lawyer -  Commenters also can take action to protect themselves from possible litigation. Prolific Yelpers might consider getting a personal injury policy on their homeowners insurance that explicitly includes financial coverage for libel cases, says Paul Alan Levy, a lawyer with the nonprofit Public Citizen Litigation Group.

Watchdogs warn House ethics process is at risk
12/13/2012

Washington Post: Watchdogs warn House ethics process is at risk -  Public Citizen’s Craig Holman has been pushing to ensure new OCE board members for months, so far with little success.
“The House Ethics Committee has generated more than three times the number of disciplinary actions in the short four years that OCE has been around than in the entire previous decade,” Holman said in an e-mail. He credited the OCE with shedding more light on an historically cloistered ethics process.

'Dark Money' Disclosure Sought By New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
12/13/2012

Huffington Post: 'Dark Money' Disclosure Sought By New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman - Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch, hopes that Schneiderman's move will encourage both Congress and federal agencies that can issue disclosure regulations to follow suit and require these groups to disclose.

Blogger critical of law school fights to stay anonymous
12/13/2012

Thomson Reuters: Blogger critical of law school fights to stay anonymous -  Paul Levy, a lawyer with Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, is scheduled to appear in the Michigan Court of Appeals in Lansing on behalf of the blogger, a former student of Thomas M. Cooley School of Law who criticized the school in an online blog he authored.

HSBC: ‘Too Big To Jail’?
12/13/2012

Financial Fraud Law: HSBC: ‘Too Big To Jail’? -  For example, Robert Weissman, the President of Public Citizen, objects to the absence of criminal charges in the HSBC case. He says that, “There should be no such thing as too-big-to-jail financial institutions. But there is.”

HHS appointee a familiar face
12/13/2012

The Washington Times: HHS appointee a familiar face -  Ethics specialist Craig Holman, legislative representative for the watchdog group Public Citizen, said Mr. Schultz will have to sign an ethics pledge to recuse himself from taking official actions that “directly and substantially” impact any former employers or clients within the past two years.

New York proposes tough rules on campaign disclosure
12/12/2012

Los Angeles Times: New York proposes tough rules on campaign disclosure -  "New York is kind of blazing the trail here for states and the federal government about how to go forward on disclosure," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, one of the pro-reform groups that cheered the move.

President Obama To Take Corporate Money For Inaugural
12/11/2012

WUSA9: President Obama To Take Corporate Money For Inaugural -  Public Citizen, a liberal-leaning watchdog group, blasted Obama's action Friday, noting that his public inaugural events Jan. 21 will fall on the second anniversary of the Citizens United ruling.

"The American people have the right to expect something other than an inauguration brought to them by Bank of America," Public Citizen President Robert Weissman in a statement.

Corporate Donors OK’d for Obama Inauguration
12/11/2012

Non Profit Quarterly: Corporate Donors OK’d for Obama Inauguration -  Robert Weissman, the head of Public Citizen, wrote to President Obama last month, when rumors of a possible change in the president’s position on corporate donations began to emerge, stating, “When the American people watch you take the oath of office, they should not wonder if you are also obligated to corporate donors.” Looks like they’ll get to wonder, this time around, about how much horse-trading goes on between the corporations and the president’s advisors and aides.

Watchdogs demand a commitment from Boehner to keep ethics board
12/6/2012

The Hill: Watchdogs demand a commitment from Boehner to keep ethics board -  “On the Democratic side, we’ve got some assurance that they’re going to fulfill their responsibility, but from Boehner I’ve gotten absolutely no word whatsoever,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen.

Environment watchdogs demand long suspension for BP
12/6/2012

People's World: Environment watchdogs demand long suspension for BP -  Public Citizen, a leading environmental watchdog group, warned against a short suspension, based on the scale of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, BP's long record of irresponsible activity and the company's failure to reform.

BP Should Be Barred From Government Contracts for At Least 5 Years: Public Citizen
12/6/2012

Treehugger: BP Should Be Barred From Government Contracts for At Least 5 Years: Public Citizen -  The suspension from recent auctions of offshore oil drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico meted out upon BP by the US government is not nearly long enough, Public Citizen has said. The advocacy group urges the US to bar BP for "at least the entirety of its five-year probation period, because it has a proven track record of irresponsibility and dishonesty."

US companies 'out to get Pharmac'
12/6/2012

3 News: US companies 'out to get Pharmac' - “[It’s] representing not what most people in the US want,” Lori Wallach, from American organisation Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch told Firstline this morning, “but rather is an agenda promoted by the biggest US corporations, specifically there are 600 official trade advisors of whom almost all are our biggest corporations.”

Oncor gives $17 million to top exec
12/6/2012

The Texas Tribune: Oncor gives $17 million to top exec -  Consumer advocates were incredulous. The company’s performance does “not in any way justify bonuses,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas director for Public Citizen.

Court ruling may open door to more drug marketing
12/6/2012

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Court ruling may open door to more drug marketing -     Sidney Wolfe, a doctor with the watchdog group Public Citizen, said the decision will further weaken the FDA.

US House Democrats introduce new meningitis legislation
12/6/2012

Reuters: US House Democrats introduce new meningitis legislation -  Public Citizen, an advocacy group that tracks drug safety issues, has called for an investigation of FDA's failures and urged the agency to inspect other compounders where problems have also surfaced over the past several years.

Delayed appointments could curb House ethics probes
12/6/2012

USA Today: Delayed appointments could curb House ethics probes - "What a beautiful way for Congress to kill the program without going on record as actually having done so," said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, one of seven watchdog groups planning a public campaign next week to push for action.

Oncor gives $17 million to top exec
12/5/2012

Pegasus News: Oncor gives $17 million to top exec - If the compensation had been distributed over the previous five years, that would put Shapard’s annual pay at $5.8 million, according to Schein. (The calculation includes Shapard's salary and other annual compensation.) That’s near the average annual compensation for utility heads — about $6 million — listed by Forbes, Schein said. Consumer advocates were incredulous. The company’s performance does “not in any way justify bonuses,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas director for Public Citizen.

US companies 'out to get Pharmac'
12/5/2012

Best News NZ: US companies 'out to get Pharmac' - Now, a US trade campaigner has described the TPP as a corporate coup. “[It’s] representing not what most people in the US want,” Lori Wallach, from American organisation Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch told Firstline this morning, “but rather is an agenda promoted by the biggest US corporations, specifically there are 600 official trade advisors of whom almost all are our biggest corporations.”

BP should be barred from government contracts for at least 5 years
12/5/2012

Treehugger: BP should be barred from government contracts for at least 5 years - The suspension from recent auctions of offshore oil drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico meted out upon BP by the US government is not nearly long enough, Public Citizen has said. The advocacy group urges the US to bar BP for "at least the entirety of its five-year probation period, because it has a proven track record of irresponsibility and dishonesty."

Los Angeles city council member Mitchell Englander charged with conflict of interest
12/5/2012

El Paso Times: Los Angeles city council member Mitchell Englander charged with conflict of interest - Youth, adults, and community organizations that make up the The Coalition to Ban Alcohol Ads on Public Property in Los Angeles (www.NoAlcoholAds.org) will hold a press event and rally tomorrow at L.A. City Hall to release documents supporting Council Member Richard Alarcon's motion to ban alcohol ads from L.A. city-owned or controlled property. Supporters include Public Citizen.

Wall Street's top cop?
12/5/2012

The Huffington Post: Wall Street's top cop? - The CFO during Citigroup's dark days, responsible for overseeing the company's books, should not be our top candidate for regulating other companies and her own former employer. There are better choices. Bartlett Naylor is Public Citizen's financial policy reform advocate.

More on CL issued by Ecuador for life-saving HIV/AIDS treatment to local pharmaceutical firm at Public Citizen
12/5/2012

Don't trade our lives away: More on CL issued by Ecuador for life-saving HIV/AIDS treatment to local pharmaceutical firm at Public Citizen - Read public statement by Public Citizen on this, wikileaks cable from U.S. Embassy personnel to the U.S. Department of State on how to undermine Ecuador CL policy, treatment coverage in Ecuador and more on CL policy in Ecuador

TPP: the corporate power grab
12/5/2012

Thom Hartmann: TPP: the corporate power grab - Thom talks with Lori Wallach (Director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch) who's in Auckland, New Zealand attending TPP negotiations. Also discussed: whether police will be able to look at people's text messages, whether corporations will be able to patent human genes and whether Republicans in Congress will work with the president to prevent the "fiscal cliff." In tonight's "Daily Take" Thom details how Americans are dying a slow, painful death thanks to our nation's toxic and unhealthy food.

Environment watchdogs demand long suspension for BP
12/5/2012

People's World: Environment watchdogs demand long suspension for BP - "This is not the first time BP has promised to do better," said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. "As evidenced by the willful actions and inactions that caused the Gulf disaster, and BP's subsequent deception of Congress, it failed to live up to those promises. Its current promises to do better shouldn't be given credence until the company shows through its actions that this time is different. Until BP demonstrates over a period of years that it is able to act responsibly, the EPA should debar it from receiving government contracts or new leases."

Trade deals could help President Obama with business
12/5/2012

Truth About Trade and Technology: Trade deals could help President Obama with business - Still, the TPP negotiations have also raised concerns among Internet privacy groups who worry that the pact will serve as a backdoor route to Internet regulation. And consumer groups like Public Citizen regularly argue that trade pacts like the TPP infringe on U.S. and foreign financial regulations. U.S. officials say those fears are unfounded.Trade agreements and similar efforts to open foreign markets to U.S. companies are a top priority for financial firms, and particularly large banks.

Court ruling may open door to more drug marketing
12/5/2012

ArcaMax: Court ruling may open door to more drug marketing - Sidney Wolfe, a doctor with the watchdog group Public Citizen, said the decision will further weaken the FDA. Caronia, the defendant in the case, was accused of conspiring with a psychiatrist who was a hired drug company speaker.

Latest TPP round locks out public interest groups
12/5/2012

TechDirt: Latest TPP round locks out public interest groups - However, for the latest negotiating round in New Zealand, it appears that these groups have been almost entirely excluded. Representatives from a bunch of groups fighting for the public interest -- including EFF, KEI, OpenMedia.ca, Public Citizen and others flew all the way to New Zealand... only to be barred from the premises where the negotiations are being held, save for a brief 15 minute session for each on one day of the 10 day negotiation.

Watchdogs demand a commitment from Boehner to keep ethics board
12/5/2012

The Hill: Watchdogs demand a commitment from Boehner to keep ethics board - “On the Democratic side, we’ve got some assurance that they’re going to fulfill their responsibility, but from Boehner I’ve gotten absolutely no word whatsoever,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen. “I’ve literally been harassing his office to try and get someone to respond, and I’ve gotten nothing,” said Holman, who said he has been calling Boehner’s staff, sometimes daily, for the past month.

Public Citizen to FDA - RE: compounding pharmacies
12/4/2012

Designated Representative and Exemptee: Public Citizen to FDA - RE: compounding pharmacies - This is interesting reading for those of you who are following the role of the FDA in compounding pharmacy oversight. Public Citizen to FDA: Reinspect Compounding Pharmacies Across the Country | The Legal Examiner Cleveland: "In an 11-page letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, consumer watchdog group Public Citizen asked the agency to follow up on warning letters it issued to compounding pharmacies committing NECC-like violations"

Oncor approves $17 million payment to chief executive
12/4/2012

The Texas Tribune: Oncor approves $17 million payment to chief executive - Consumer advocates were incredulous. The company’s performance does “not in any way justify bonuses,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas director for Public Citizen. Tom Sanzillo, the finance director for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a pro-green analysis group, said the bonuses are irresponsible given the financial state of Energy Future Holdings.

As your monthly bill jumped, Oncor’s CEO received a $17 million bonus
12/4/2012

Front Burner: As your monthly bill jumped, Oncor’s CEO received a $17 million bonus - Consumer advocates were not pleased. The company’s performance does “not in any way justify bonuses,” Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas director for Public Citizen, told the Tribune. The bonuses come on the heels of the company’s recent $5-a-month add-on for its construction of wind-power transmission lines built across Texas, and the installation of smart meters, which will cost consumers $2.19 a month for the next 10 years.

Schapiro put 'legacy' ahead of markets and mandate, congressman claims
12/4/2012

Compliance Week: Schapiro put 'legacy' ahead of markets and mandate, congressman claims - Roper, was hardly alone in her objections to Section 201. Numerous other advocates, although pleased by the decision to forgo an interim rule, had little else good to say about the proposal as written. “Let the scams begin,” is how the group Public Citizen announced the vote. Schapiro, less than an hour after receiving Roper's message, wrote an e-mail to Meredith Cross, director of the Division of Corporation Finance, with the subject line “Do Not Forward.”

Levaquin damages reduced on appeal, as settlements reached in cases
12/4/2012

About Lawsuits: Levaquin damages reduced on appeal, as settlements reached in cases - In July 2008, the FDA required that a “black box” warning be added about the side effects of Levaquin and other similar antibiotics, which is the strongest warning that can be placed on a prescription medication. However, consumer advocates called for Levaquin tendon rupture warnings to be added at least two years earlier, with Public Citizen filing a petition with the FDA in 2006, insisting that consumers and the medical community be provided with clearer warnings about the risk of tendon damage.

The 'non-profit' group that threw millions at the California election has deep ties to Republican groups
12/4/2012

Business Insider: The 'non-profit' group that threw millions at the California election has deep ties to Republican groups - Over the years, Americans for Job Security’s activities have prompted complaints from watchdog groups like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Public Citizen, but little has come of them. In 2008, as the Los Angeles Times noted this November, the FEC’s general counsel concluded “the trade group met the definition of a political committee that is required to report its donors, and requested approval to pursue a formal investigation. But the commission deadlocked, and no action was taken.”

Uncertain future for the regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations
12/3/2012

Agricultural Law: Uncertain future for the regulation of concentrated animal feeding operations - The 2003 version of the regulation essentially required that all CAFO owners or operators apply for National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits unless they could convince the relevant permitting authority that the CAFO had no “potential” to discharge manure.  Prior to the 2003 regulation, the EPA had not updated its regulation of CAFOs since the mid-1970s, and its decision to do so then was made only in response to a lawsuit brought by the NRDC and Public Citizen (and was incorporated into a consent decree resolving that litigation).

Consumer group to FDA: re-inspect compounding pharmacies with prior violations
12/3/2012

News Inferno: Consumer group to FDA: re-inspect compounding pharmacies with prior violations - The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is being urged to re-inspect a number of compounding pharmacies that had been previously cited with violations. Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group is asking the agency to re-inspect 16 compounding pharmacies in 15 states that were issued prior warnings for safety lapses by the FDA since 2003, said The Salt Lake Tribune. The group points out that, in light of the ongoing fungal meningitis outbreak that has sickened over 500 people and led to 36 deaths, a new look at the pharmacys are in order.

Why we need public financing of political campaigns
12/3/2012

Progressive Professor: Why we need public financing of political campaigns - According to Public Citizen's Congress Watch, most of these ersatz "independent" organizations were managed by political allies, family members, and employees of the candidates they benefited. Of the 108 Super PACs that had spent more than $100,000 through the middle of October, 65 were active in just one contest.

BP’s U.S. contract suspension seen aiding Valero to Shell
12/3/2012

Fuel Fix: BP’s U.S. contract suspension seen aiding Valero to Shell - Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program in Washington, said BP should be banned from contracting for a period of at least five years — the duration of the probation the company received when it pleaded guilty to criminal violations. “The EPA’s statement was fairly vague,” Slocum said. “It’s important that the government provide more detail on what ’temporary’ exactly means.”

New lawsuit on serious injuries from Darvocet
12/3/2012

KVVU-TV Las Vegas: New lawsuit on serious injuries from Darvocet - In June 2008, Public Citizen filed a lawsuit against the FDA (Docket 2006P-0270) for failing to act on its petition to withdraw Darvon, Darvocet and all drugs containing propoxyphene gradually from the market. Public Citizen documented showed that the drugs had been responsible for more than 2,000 accidental deaths from 1981 through 2006.

More oversight for compound pharmacies?
12/3/2012

PM360: More oversight for compound pharmacies? - After an investigation last month, the FDA revealed that there were dozens of rooms in the NECC that contained bacteria and mold where drugs were being produced. Furthermore, the company had been aware of the presence of this mold, but there is no evidence that it took any action. Meanwhile, others, such as advocacy group Public Citizen, are criticizing the lack of effort from the FDA. In the past, the agency has considered several compounding pharmacies to be drug manufacturers—which does fall under its responsibility—yet the FDA is failing to take blame in this instance. The HELP investigation hopes to prevent other such pharmacies from falling through the cracks.

CDC offers more details in fungal meningitis reporting
12/3/2012

Cidrap: CDC offers more details in fungal meningitis reporting - In other developments, Public Citizen, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington, DC, yesterday called on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reinspect compounding pharmacies that received warning letters from the FDA over the past decade. Public Citizen has criticized the FDA's response to the fungal meningitis outbreak, charging that the agency's warning letters suggest that it did have authority to regulate the firms. In recent congressional hearings the FDA said current laws and legal challenges have muddled the status of its power to enforce safety rules.

FDA asked to reinspect pharmacies linked to meningitis outbreak
12/3/2012

WREG Memphis: FDA asked to reinspect pharmacies linked to meningitis outbreak - The national, non-profit “Public Citizen” wants the FDA to reinspect certain compounding pharmacies like the one at the center of the meningitis outbreak. The focus would be on 16 compounding pharmacies that received formal warning letters over the past decade.

Cliff Lynch's annual letter to Santa Claus
12/3/2012

DC Velocity: Cliff Lynch's annual letter to Santa Claus - The truck driver hours-of-service controversy continues, and Public Citizen has filed a suit seeking to reduce daily driving limits to 10 hours. The suit has been challenged by the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. I hope you will bring the court stockings full of wisdom to get this resolved once and for all. Enough is enough. I dare say you already have reindeer keeping two sets of log books. You can't get a lot done in 10 hours on Christmas Eve.

As trade rulings against U.S. mount, backlash builds against WTO
12/3/2012

News Observer: As trade rulings against U.S. mount, backlash builds against WTO - Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division, a consumer advocacy organization, predicted that the tuna case will go a long way in helping the public understand the expansive reach of the WTO. “Every kid who gets sent to school with a tuna fish sandwich, having seen the smiling dolphin on the back of the can, is about to have Flipper-murder on their hands if they have lunch again,” she said. “This is one of those few trade cases where everyone can pick up the can, see the label and realize, ‘What do you mean the WTO says we can’t know what’s in our tuna fish?’ “

The role of the SEC and what's needed to keep watch on Wall Street
12/3/2012

The Diane Rehm Show: The role of the SEC and what's needed to keep watch on Wall Street - Mary Schapiro took over as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2009. The nation was in serious financial crisis and Wall Street seemed to resemble the Wild West in need of a strong sheriff. Many saw Schapiro as that sheriff and credit her with salvaging the agency's role as Wall Street's watchdog. Critics point to unfinished business, such as addressing the root causes of the financial crisis and punishing the perpetrators whose actions contributed to it. A discussion of the role of the SEC and its future under new leadership. Guests include Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate with Congress Watch at Public Citizen.

NZ to 'play both super powers' in trade
12/3/2012

The Press: NZ to 'play both super powers' in trade - American-based Lori Wallach, director of the Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, said the recent US election revealed a rising groundswell against deals like the TPP. And that was going to make it difficult to get the deal through the US Congress, which had final say. "Our election actually had an unprecedented focus in paid campaign ads on the effects of our past trade agreements. It was a veritable smorgasbord of bipartisan paid TV ads talking about the offshoring of jobs, unfair trade agreements - and interestingly, including by many of those who voted for [trade deals] in the past."

Watchdog: FDA needs to reinspect compounders
12/3/2012

Medpage Today: Watchdog: FDA needs to reinspect compounders - The FDA should promptly reinspect drug compounding pharmacies that have received warning letters from the agency for poor manufacturing practices, consumer watchdog Public Citizen said Thursday in a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD. The call to inspect the pharmacies comes after the number of people infected with fungal meningitis from infamous compounder New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., topped 500 this week.

Jeff Gelles: Consumer chief leaves FTC a feistier place
12/3/2012

Philly: Jeff Gelles: Consumer chief leaves FTC a feistier place - He'll return to Georgetown University's law faculty, which he joined after a quarter-century at the Public Citizen Litigation Group. As an outsider, he cut his teeth as a litigator during the anti-regulation campaigns of the Reagan administration, battling a federal government he saw as falling short in its role as a protector of its citizens. He pushed, for example, to protect workers and consumers from exposure to toxic or carcinogenic substances such as urea-formaldehyde insulation. And he pushed back against the rigid use of cost-benefit analyses to measure a regulation's impact on businesses when be believed it grossly undervalued potential victims' lives.

The dark money forerunner of secret California millions
12/3/2012

Talking Points Memo: The dark money forerunner of secret California millions - Over the years, Americans for Job Security’s activities have prompted complaints from watchdog groups like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and Public Citizen, but little has come of them. In 2008, as the Los Angeles Times noted this November, the FEC’s general counsel concluded “the trade group met the definition of a political committee that is required to report its donors, and requested approval to pursue a formal investigation. But the commission deadlocked, and no action was taken.”

Pressure on to make progress in TPP talks
12/3/2012

Radio New Zealand: Pressure on to make progress in TPP talks - But Lori Wallach from the trade watchdog Public Citizen says even if American negotiators cave in, any deal could still be derailed by members of Congress beholden to powerful domestic dairy interests.

TPPA: No ordinary corporate exploitation
12/3/2012

Aotearoa Independent Media Centre : TPPA: No ordinary corporate exploitation - Another chapter of grave concern in the TPPA is that around capital controls. New Zealand already has one of the most traded currencies in the world, making the country subject to the whims of the international currency market. Public Citizen writes, ‘the leaked TPP text requires that governments “shall permit all transfers relating to a covered investment to be made freely and without delay into and out of its territory.”

Study: low bids hide 'staggering' costs
12/3/2012

Paint Square: Study: low bids hide 'staggering' costs - “The economic picture is quite staggering,” said Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “We now know that construction accidents impose huge economic costs in addition to tremendous pain for individual victims.” Occupational injuries and fatalities in the construction industry cost California residents $2.9 billion between 2008 and 2010, according to the report.

Opponents rally against Pacific-wide free trade pact talks in New Zealand
12/3/2012

Shanghai Daily: Opponents rally against Pacific-wide free trade pact talks in New Zealand - But Lori Wallach, of trade watchdog Public Citizen, told the station that even if U.S. negotiators agreed, any deal could be derailed by members of Congress beholden to powerful domestic dairy interests. Over the weekend, activists from Canada, Mexico and the United States are unveiled a "tri-national unity statement" opposing the TPP at a meeting on the U.S.-Canada border.

FDA expands irradiation uses for meat and poultry
12/3/2012

Global Food Mate: FDA expands irradiation uses for meat and poultry - FDA says that since that time, it has received many comments from consumer advocacy groups – including Public Citizen and the Center for Food Safety – requesting the denial of both petitions, as well as the denial of another rule permitting irradiation of molluscan shellfish. However, these comments “were of a general nature” and “did not contain any substantive information that could be used in a safety evaluation of irradiated poultry,” said the FDA in its new poultry irradiation rule. The agency reached the same conclusion for the comments urging denial of the new meat temperature rule.

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