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March, 2013 media hits RSS Feed
The wealth of business connections for Obama’s energy pick
4/9/2013

Ecopolitology: The wealth of business connections for Obama’s energy pick - Moniz's work for energy companies since he served in President Clinton's Energy Department has irked some environmentalists."His connections to the fossil fuel and nuclear power industries threaten to undermine the focus we need to see on renewables and energy efficiency," said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Corporate kangaroo courts supplant our seventh amendment rights
3/31/2013

truthout: Corporate kangaroo courts supplant our seventh amendment rights -  Public Citizen found that one giant firm, the National Arbitration Forum, heard over 34,000 consumer-versus-bank cases in California. It sided with financial giants 95 percent of the time. Even more astonishing, the city of San Francisco found that of the 18,045 cases brought by banks and other powers against overmatched California consumers, NAF's private judges sided with the corporations 100 percent of the time.

After fungal meningitis outbreak, agencies do battle with pharmacies
3/30/2013

NBC News: After fungal meningitis outbreak, agencies do battle with pharmacies -  Other FDA reports this year have pointed out patches of rust at one compounding pharmacy in St. Petersburg, Fla. and sloppy sterility practices at one in Swedesboro, N.J. It’s about time, say some. “That’s the type of activity we were calling for,” says Dr. Michael Carome of the consumer group Public Citizen, which is agitating for the FDA to do more to regulate compounding pharmacies. Public Citizen has argued that the FDA has all the authority it ever needed to stop rogue compounding pharmacies, but has failed to act.

The beginning of the end of too-big-to-fail
3/30/2013

CommonDreams.org: The beginning of the end of too-big-to-fail - Amidst an endless series of votes on amendments to a federal budget bill, the United States Senate voted 99-0 in favor of an amendment to end subsidies to too-big-to-fail financial institutions.

Compounder sold drugs illegally in seven states
3/30/2013

Boston Globe: Compounder sold drugs illegally in seven states - “It’s easy to see how, given the regulatory structure, these companies can go undetected,” particularly if they are shipping drugs directly to patients’ homes, said Dr. Michael Carome, deputy director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group.

Obama's push for free trade pact looks like corporate giveaway, consumer groups fear
3/29/2013

Hyperculture: Obama's push for free trade pact looks like corporate giveaway, consumer groups fear - Peter Maybarduk, Director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines campaign, presented a letter from 47 nonprofit groups calling for the U.S. Trade Representative to leave intellectual property standards out of the new EU trade deal altogether. Maybarduk noted that the same coalition had helped shut down implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in Europe.

Too big to jail bank: I'm sorry. Now can I go back out and play?
3/29/2013

Huffington Post: Too big to jail bank: I'm sorry. Now can I go back out and play? - Standard Chartered Bank violated money-laundering laws. The fifth-largest British bank, and 41st largest in the world, laundered an awful lot of money (at least $250 billion, to be precise).

Obama urged to act on China's alleged cyber theft
3/28/2013

Bloomberg News: Obama urged to act on China's alleged cyber theft - Intellectual-property provisions shouldn’t be in a proposed U.S.-EU trade deal because they could raise health-care costs, limit free speech and restrict access to education materials, Washington-based consumer group Public Citizen said in a March 18 statement joined by other organizations.

Opinion: Pushing pills - A prescription for conflict
3/27/2013

Record & Herald News: Opinion: Pushing pills - A prescription for conflict - THE PILL you are taking, prescribed by your doctor, may well be swallowed primarily for the benefit of the pharmaceutical industry – and the financial interest of the doctors whom the drug companies employ.

"I made some stupid posts": Anti- troll site gagged after threats against poet
3/27/2013

Ars Technica: "I made some stupid posts": Anti- troll site gagged after threats against poet - Paul Alan Levy, a First Amendment lawyer at the public interest organization Public Citizen, doesn't buy Chan's claims that the posts were harmless. "He's threatening to reveal embarrassing private information unless Ellis ceases litigation of which Chan disapproves," Levy told us in a Tuesday interview. "That sounds extortionate to me." He also said the language about people "looking to put you into the ground" could be interpreted as a threat.

Ernest Moniz should have an easy time before Senate
3/27/2013

Politico: Ernest Moniz should have an easy time before Senate - “If Moniz was nominated by George Bush, you would see outrage by the environmental community and by Democrats [of] this pick as someone who is in the pocket of Big Oil,” said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, which has criticized Moniz’s connections to companies like BP, USEC and NGP Energy Technology Partners.

Senate bill calls for more radioactive waste into the Andrews facility
3/26/2013

Odessa American: Senate bill calls for more radioactive waste into the Andrews facility - Tom “Smitty” Smith, Director of Public Citizen, spoke out against the bill. “Twenty-seven percent of the waste coming in is expected to be very hot, or very radioactive, beyond the 500 year lifespan of the site — up to 50,000 years — and what this bill does is allow us to bring in the hotter stuff, and more of it early on,” Smith said. “If water gets into this radioactive waste, it can make this stuff go critical. And there’s water at this site. There is no geologic barrier between this site and the Ogallala Aquifer.”

FDA under more pressure to regulate painkillers
3/26/2013

The Hill: FDA under more pressure to regulate painkillers - “It is clear that people who are knowledgeable about the overuse of opioids — including the experts at the DEA — agree that labeling restrictions such as those proposed in our petition are an important way of reducing the misprescribing of these drugs," said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, who was part of the 2012 petition to FDA.

Ed Markey, Stephen Lynch lean on office
3/26/2013

Boston Herald: Ed Markey, Stephen Lynch lean on office - “It’s an egregious breaking of ethics rules, but it is commonplace. It doesn’t matter what party you are from,” said Craig Holman, spokesman for the government watchdog group Public Citizen. “There really shouldn’t be any taxpayer funding for these kinds of events unless they are entirely content neutral and don’t look like campaign fliers.”

U.S.-EU trade deal is the foundation for a new global economic order
3/25/2013

Economy and Society: U.S.-EU trade deal is the foundation for a new global economic order -  Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch director, Lori Wallach, cautioned how U.S.-EU talks, “are aimed at eliminating a list of what multinational corporations call ‘trade irritants’ but the rest of us know as strong food safety, environmental and health safeguards.”

Public Citizen acts to end national student loan crisis
3/25/2013

Examiner: Public Citizen acts to end national student loan crisis - Today Public Citizen sent Education Examiner notice that an online action has just been launched to stop corporate predators from trapping students in cycles of debt. As the $150 billion market in private student loans grows, so does the number of students ensnared in contracts that are “crawling with onerous terms,” says Rick Claypool of Public Citizen’s Online Action Team.

Aquene Freechild speaks on overturning Citizens United, in Kirkland, Wala Wala, and Spokane
3/24/2013

Washington Liberals: Aquene Freechild speaks on overturning Citizens United, in Kirkland, Wala Wala, and Spokane -  Public Citizen is sending Aquene Freechild to Washington to conduct three workshops on “How to connect across party lines.” They will focus on the issues of money in politics, campaign reform, and reversing the Citizens United decision. Some Republicans are anti-war. And some Republicans oppose the corrupting influence of money in politics.  But I’m skeptical about connecting across party lines on the issue of money in politics.   I don’t expect that most Republicans would vote against their own-self interest on this issue. So I’m curious what Aquene Freechild has to say.

Disaster Capitalism Is Creating Tremors in the Global Financial World
3/22/2013

Firedoglake: Disaster Capitalism Is Creating Tremors in the Global Financial World -  David Dayen said he asked Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen what the worst case scenario would be if these bills are passed.  “The worst would be an inter-affiliate swap, hidden, moves trades from the U.S. to the U.K., escapes oversight, blows up, and the trades are located inside the bank, which now needs a bailout,” Bartlett replied.

Rest period rule sparks controversy
3/22/2013

The Packer: Rest period rule sparks controversy -  Another challenge is a push from Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, calling for cutting back truckers’ workdays from 11 hours to 10 hours.

Senate Republicans Push to Slow Financial Rule-Writing
3/22/2013

Dealb%k: Senate Republicans Push to Slow Financial Rule-Writing - “The costs of the financial crisis and benefits of avoiding the next one are crystal clear,” said Amit Narang, a regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen, a nonprofit government watchdog group. “Having financial regulators jump through more hoops will only further delay the process of making Wall Street accountable to the American public.”

GOP plans to litter budget with anti-environment amendments
3/22/2013

People's World: GOP plans to litter budget with anti-environment amendments -  Activists are fighting back. "Giant corporations are hoping to sneak provisions into the rushed Senate budget bill to undermine the core regulatory protections on which Americans rely to make our country stronger, safer, cleaner, healthier, and more fair and just," said Robert Weissman, president of nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen. But "the American people aren't so easily tricked, and they demand Senators vote down these corporate-gift amendments."

Revolving door bonuses could see legal challenge from public interest group
3/22/2013

Huffington Post: Revolving door bonuses could see legal challenge from public interest group - Public Citizen, the organization founded by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, told The Huffington Post that it was so incensed by news of these bonus policies -- as detailed in a report from watchdog group Project on Government Oversight -- that it is now readying a legal challenge. "Contracts promising bonuses only if [financial executives] take a government position are the revolving door at its worst," said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen. "If a company is paying you a multimillion-dollar bonus for your government service, they’re going to expect something in return. There’s no way around that. This is literally a corporation buying the allegiance of a public official."

Lawmakers Push for HOS Delay
3/22/2013

Transport Topics: Lawmakers Push for HOS Delay -  The letter was sent five days after American Trucking Associations and Public Citizen told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that FMCSA erred in writing the rule. ATA asked that the rest break and restart provisions be overturned, but Public Citizen asked that the 11-hour driving day be reduced to 10 hours and that the 34-hour restart be eliminated altogether.

Diabetes Drugs May Cause Damage to Pancreas, Study Finds
3/22/2013

Bloomberg: Diabetes Drugs May Cause Damage to Pancreas, Study Finds -  “These findings are in accord with the rapidly increasing number of reports to the U.S Food and Drug Administration of pancreatic cancer in patients using these drugs compared with diabetics using other drugs,” Public Citizen said.

'Tsunami' of GOP budget amendments draws swift rebuke
3/21/2013

The Hill: 'Tsunami' of GOP budget amendments draws swift rebuke - “Giant corporations are hoping to sneak provisions into the rushed Senate budget bill to undermine the core regulatory protections on which Americans rely to make our country stronger, better, safer, cleaner, healthier and more fair and just,” said Robert Weissman, who serves as co-chair of the coalition and president of Public Citizen.

Compounding pharmacy recalls drugs over safety concerns
3/21/2013

USA Today: Compounding pharmacy recalls drugs over safety concerns - Critics of the compounding industry say they aren't surprised by the continued recalls. Michael Carome, a physician and deputy director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, says compounding pharmacies have grown over the past decade. These pharmacies have expanded beyond their traditional role of mixing prescriptions for individual patients to become, in many cases, large-scale manufacturers. In some cases, compounders can sell products more cheaply than larger manufacturers that are regulated more closely, Carome says.

Delay in Sending Warning Letter to Fat Loss Device Company Hurt Patients, Group Claims
3/20/2013

Regulatory Focus: Delay in Sending Warning Letter to Fat Loss Device Company Hurt Patients, Group Claims - But to some industry critics, including public advocacy group Public Citizen, FDA's Warning Letter comes far too late for its tastes, even if it is on point. "FDA is doing the right thing by warning RevecoMED International, the maker of the LipoTron 'fat-burning' device, to stop marketing the device, which has not been FDA-approved for “fat-burning," it said in a statement.

Is JPMorgan a farmer?
3/20/2013

Salon: Is JPMorgan a farmer? -  I asked Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen what would be the worst possible outcome if these Wall Street-backed Ag Committee bills passed into law. “The worst would be an inter-affiliate swap, hidden, moves trades from the U.S. to the U.K., escapes oversight, blows up, and the trades are located inside the bank, which now needs a bailout.” This describes almost exactly the London Whale trade, proving why this activity must be tightly regulated in the public interest.

Supreme Court Insurance Ruling a Setback for Class Action Claimants
3/20/2013

Insurance Journal: Supreme Court Insurance Ruling a Setback for Class Action Claimants- Scott Nelson, a Public Citizen lawyer, said the ruling would “make it harder for some people with potentially legitimate claims to pursue them in the appropriate court system”. But, he added, the ruling will not affect major class cases that, due to the size of the claims and number of class members, are heard in federal court.

Ernest Moniz's Business Connections Draw Mixed Response From Environmentalists
3/20/2013

Huffington Post: Ernest Moniz's Business Connections Draw Mixed Response From Environmentalists- “His connections to the fossil fuel and nuclear power industries threaten to undermine the focus we need to see on renewables and energy efficiency,” said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. Slocum pointed out that Moniz, if confirmed, will set research and investment priorities, including at the department’s network of national laboratories.

Audi headlights seeing around corners banned by U.S.
3/20/2013

Houston Chronicle: Audi headlights seeing around corners banned by U.S. - Companies come to NHTSA "all the time" with requests to change safety standards, said Joan Claybrook, the first NHTSA administrator and president emeritus of Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group. "The idea they have is a good one, and I realize they'd make a lot of money from it," she said of the lighting request.

Work of fiction - ATRA's so-called "Judicial Hellhole" report has no basis in fact
3/18/2013

Digital Journal: Work of Fiction - ATRA's So-Called "Judicial Hellhole" Report Has No Basis in Fact - While ATRA calls its members "the average citizen looking for an end to the threat of being sued," an investigation by Public Citizen Congress Watch found that "ATRA's members are largely Fortune 500 companies with a direct finance stake in restricting lawsuits. Members have included representatives of the tobacco, insurance, chemical, auto and pharmaceutical industries . . . Legal Times also reporters that, 'most of [ATRA's] funding comes from large corporate donors. Insurance firms . . . are each good for $50,000 or $75,000."

This Is How Senator Bernie Sanders Wants To Tear Down Citizens United
3/18/2013

Center For American Progress: This Is How Senator Bernie Sanders Wants To Tear Down Citizens United- “Money should not be viewed as free speech,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for campaign finance reform group Public Citizen. “To view money as free speech is to transform our elections into unlimited spigots of cash. That is not what our elections are about, and that is not what free speech is about.”

With taxpayer-funded trips out, private donors step in to bankroll CODELs
3/18/2013

US News & World Report: With Taxpayer-Funded Trips Out, Private Donors Step in to Bankroll CODELs - "Ending CODELs is going to make the travel-for-favors problem much worse," says Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen's Congress Watch, who notes that free travel was a tool disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff once used to get what he wanted from members. "Lawmakers will now mainly be able to 'see the world' at the expense and generosity of those who want something in return."

More N.J. schools turning to advertising to make ends meet
3/17/2013

nj.com: More N.J. schools turning to advertising to make ends meet - Across the country, strapped school districts are also turning to advertising, according to the consumer group Public Citizen, which said the risk of commercializing schools outweighs the benefits. In a 2012 report, the Washington, D.C.-based group said that school ads provide less than half of 1 percent of school revenues and that “middleman” firms take a big chunk of profits. “It teaches students that everything is for sale,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Kids are, of course, exposed to advertising all the time, but schools should not endorse and add to the constant marketing.”

York County docs, entities received hundreds of thousands of dollars from drug companies
3/16/2013

TMC News: York County docs, entities received hundreds of thousands of dollars from drug companies - But critics of the practice, like Dr. Sidney Wolfe, a physician and director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, a consumer advocacy organization, say it taints the doctor-patient relationship. "It's fairly pervasive," said Wolfe. "...Patients should be educated to know that the decisions that their doctors make to prescribe drugs to them might be heavily influenced." In Unwin's case, he considers the money he receives a relatively small amount, given the travel and time commitment involved. And he said there are other products that he wouldn't speak about while being paid by drug companies.

Limits on truckers hours being fought in court
3/15/2013

ISHN: Limits on truckers hours being fought in court - A new battle in the long legal war over truckers’ hours of service (HOS) is taking place in a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C. today. Nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen is attempting to force the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to require what it calls “meaningful limits” on the hours truckers may drive – limits that Congress called for nearly 20 years ago, in an effort to improve transportation safety.

Former Congressional Ethics Chair: My $16,000 African Safari Was to Research Al Qaeda
3/15/2013

Mother Jones: Former Congressional Ethics Chair: My $16,000 African Safari Was to Research Al Qaeda - His other points, however, are mostly true. And that's precisely the difficulty, according to Public Citizen lobbyist Craig Holman. "Sadly to say, [the trip] does comply with the loophole-ridden ethics rules that [Bonner's] committee has developed," he said. "The problem is, it does not comply with what was originally intended" with the post-Jack Abramoff scandal lobbying reforms, Holman added. "It was clearly intended that any lobbying entity that has business pending before Congress does not sponsor travel junkets," explained Holman, who helped craft the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007.

Happy birthday, South Korean trade deal! Let’s argue about whether you were a good idea.
3/15/2013

Washington Post: Happy birthday, South Korean trade deal! Let’s argue about whether you were a good idea. - “The actual outcomes…are exactly the opposite of what the Obama administration promised,” says a news release from Public Citizen. They note that the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea is larger than the year before, with goods exports to South Korea dropping from $43.4 billion in 2011 to $42.3 billion in 2012, and imports from South Korea climbing from $56.6 billion to $58.8 billion.

Appeals Court hears challenges, defense of HOS Rule
3/15/2013

Transport Topics: Appeals Court Hears Challenges, Defense of HOS Rule - The court also heard arguments from Public Citizen, which, with other public interest groups is pushing for a return to the 10-hour driving day with no 34-hour restart allowed, like it was before FMCSA added the 11-hour day and restart in 2003. Scott Nelson, Public Citizen’s attorney, accused the agency of “failing to fulfill its statutory obligation to improve safety” when it chose not to eliminate the 11th driving hour and the restart.

This is Starbucks' moment to lead on campaign spending reform
3/15/2013

Yahoo Finance: This is Starbucks' moment to lead on campaign spending reform - “There are moments in our lives when we have an opportunity to ignite tremendous positive change—not just in the lives of the customers and communities we serve every day, but in our country.” Those words, written by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, have never resonated more than they do right now. Shareholders at Starbucks (SBUX) have filed a resolution asking the company to refrain from election-related spending. That means no giving to super PACs, no checks to party committees and no money for trade associations and nonprofits that spend in politics. Schultz would be wise to consider adopting the policy because it represents a real chance to spark some much-needed positive change in the way Washington, D.C., does business.

Eminent domain comes to the Texas Legislature
3/14/2013

NPR StateImpact: Eminent domain comes to the Texas Legislature - Tom “Smitty” Smith is the head of Texas Public Citizen, an environmental group that has opposed pipeline companies. He told StateImpact Texas that Lewis’ bill has all the trappings of a “shell bill,” a bill filed with few details so that lawmakers, stakeholders, agency officials, and lobbyists, can figure out the details during the legislative process.

Progressive 'back to work' budget wins praise for anti- austerity approach
3/14/2013

Common Dreams: Progressive 'back to work' budget wins praise for anti- austerity approach - "Financial speculation taxes can raise substantial revenue to counteract devastating spending cuts," said Micah Hauptman of Public Citizen. "The automatic, across-the-board “sequestration” cuts began to take effect two weeks ago. And while most people have not experienced the disastrous consequences of these cuts, it is likely that they will shortly, as funding to emergency response and disaster relief programs are slashed, food inspections are reduced and public safety is compromised."

Congressman Ted Deutch, Senator Bernie Sanders unveil Democracy is for People amendment
3/12/2013

Congressional Documents and Publications: Congressman Ted Deutch, Senator Bernie Sanders unveil Democracy is for People amendment - “The Democracy is for People Amendment introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ted Deutch to overturn Citizens United will eliminate unaccountable corporate spending in our elections and restore governmental authority over campaign spending to the people,” said Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen. “Democracy is rule by the people, after all, not rule by Goldman Sachs, Walmart and the US Chamber of Commerce.”

Groups want to see state medical board undergo overhaul
3/12/2013

Merced Sun- Star: Groups want to see state medical board undergo overhaul - Dr. Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen, a watchdog group that ranks medical boards annually, said some doctors in California are not adequately disciplined by the board.

Media blackout: Obama censors more documents, citing national security
3/11/2013

Washington Times: Media blackout: Obama censors more documents, citing national security - The Obama administration “has been responsible for a growing trend in which agencies issue baseless denials of public-interest fee waiver requests,” said Julie Murray, an attorney at the watchdog group Public Citizen.

Remembering CREEP, and the high price of easy money
3/11/2013

Open Secrets: Remembering CREEP, and the High Price of Easy Money - Chevron’s super PAC contribution is the subject of a formal FEC complaint by watchdog groups, led by Public Citizen, claiming that the gift violates the “pay-to-play” prohibitions for government contractors. This all comes five years after Chevron paid a $30 million fine to settle charges of bribery brought under the FCPA involving the United Nations' Oil for Food Program in 2001 and 2002.

Drug firms paid $2B to doctors to pitch products and conduct research, study says
3/11/2013

Record & Herald News: Drug firms paid $2B to doctors to pitch products and conduct research, study says - “This is a very serious conflict of interest for physicians,” said Craig Holman, the government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy group. “Clearly what’s happening is the pharmaceutical companies are rewarding or endearing physicians in order to promote and prescribe their drugs.”

After $10 million campaign, Rep. Dan Maffei says it's time to take money out of politics
3/10/2013

Post- Standard: After $10 million campaign, Rep. Dan Maffei says it's time to take money out of politics - But momentum appears to be on the side of reformers this year, said Craig Holman, a campaign finance reform expert with Public Citizen, a government watchdog group in Washington, D.C. He said members of Congress are talking about reforms after the record $7 billion spent on the 2012 federal elections, including at least $1 billion from super PACs that can raise unlimited amounts of money from anonymous donors. “Americans are fed up with that,” said Holman, whose group is backing and helping to draft some of the reforms.

McDonalds: Let lawyer critical of settlement talk
3/8/2013

AP: McDonalds: Let lawyer critical of settlement talk - Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen filed its own motion to have the injunction removed, claiming it violated Moughni's constitutional rights.

Open gov't groups: FDA redactions rules skirt law
3/8/2013

AP: Open gov't groups: FDA redactions skirt law - McDermott asks FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to take action on a formal petition from Public Citizen that would do away with the deletion policy. The consumer advocacy group, founded by Ralph Nader in the 1970s, submitted the petition in September, but has not heard from the FDA. Public Citizen is a member of the OpenTheGovernment.org coalition.

Keystone fails Texas common- carrier test, landowners say
3/7/2013

Bloomberg News: Keystone fails Texas common- carrier test, landowners says - “What’s at stake here is whether the state should allow a public agency to allow condemnation for private gain,” Tom Smith of Public Citizen, a consumers’ rights advocacy group, said in an e-mail. “TransCanada has yet to prove to the court that they are transporting the product for the public good or for the public for hire as required by law.”

Supreme Court could further curtail class actions
3/7/2013

Forbes: Supreme Court could further curtail class actions - The ruling had an immediate impact. More than 75 class actions were stopped or significantly hampered within its first year, according to Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization. Plus, companies like Microsoft updated their agreements with consumers in response to the decision. Concepcion will likely weigh heavily on the Court’s thinking in the American Express case.

Foreign workers' visas familiar territory for former Microsoft exec in Congress
3/5/2013

Seattle Times: Foreign workers' visas familiar territory for former Microsoft exec in Congress - Craig Holman, a government-affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a consumer-advocacy group, said the visa issue’s far-reaching nature mutes ethical qualms about DelBene. Still, Holman said, she “should not be the lead in crafting or championing the legislation.”

Chevron super PAC donation spurs complaint
3/5/2013

San Francisco Chronicle: Chevron super PAC donation spurs complaint - "There is a long, long, sordid history of government contractors' essentially trying to bribe people with authority over contracts," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the Public Citizen watchdog group.

Comply- SEC arbitration stance may leave investors in the lurch
3/5/2013

Reuters: Comply- SEC arbitration stance may leave investors in the lurch - Calls are growing louder for the SEC - one of the few entities with power to tackle the issue - to step in. A string of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, since 2010, allows more arbitration pact restrictions, including through class action waivers, said Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel at watchdog group Public Citizen. Other types of financial advisers are now also requiring arbitration, say state securities regulators.

'Pay to play' corruption: Chevron, campaign contributions and government contracts
3/5/2013

Huffington Post: 'Pay to play' corruption: Chevron, campaign contributions and government contracts - Public Citizen has asked the FEC to investigate the Chevron campaign contribution and enforce the law to prevent further pay-to-play abuses. If the FEC is not willing to act, lawmakers will be on their own come the next election. The potential for scandal is just another large campaign contribution away.

K Street files: FEC complaint targets Chevron, GOP group
3/5/2013

Roll Call: K Street files: FEC complaint targets Chevron, GOP group - “By taking a strong stand against Chevron’s actions, the FEC would clearly signal to federal contractors and political organizations that trading cash for favors will not be tolerated,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said in a statement. Public Citizen also released an updated report dubbed “Super Connected” that documents close links between supposedly independent super PACs and the candidates and parties they back.

No Hot Flash Relief Here: Medications for Depression, Seizures and Neuropathic Pain Should Not Get Nod From the FDA
3/4/2013

eNews Park Forest: No Hot Flash Relief Here: Medications for Depression, Seizures and Neuropathic Pain Should Not Get Nod From the FDA - Testifying before the FDA’s Advisory Committee on Reproductive Health Drugs, Dr. Michael Carome, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, urged the FDA not to approve the anti-depressant paroxetine and the anti-seizure/neuropathic pain medication gabapentin to treat vasomotor symptoms – hot flashes and flushing caused by menopause.

Horror Care: How Private Health Care Is Shortening Our Lives
3/4/2013

Common Dreams: Horror Care: How Private Health Care Is Shortening Our Lives - A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School and Public Citizen found that health care bureaucracy last year cost the United States $399.4 billion.

If Switzerland Can Crack Down on CEOs, Why Not the US?
3/4/2013

The Nation: If Switzerland Can Crack Down on CEOs, Why Not the US? - In 2011, Congressman Michael Capuano (D-MA) introduced an American Shareholder Protection Act to empower shareholders to vote on whether to allow CEOs and corporate boards to spend company money on political campaigns. “Shareholders—not the CEO and not the board of directors—are the real owners of any publicly traded corporation, and the decision should be theirs,” argued Public Citizen in campaigning for the measure, which attracted forty-nine co-sponsors. Public Citizen has also led the campaign to get the Obama administration to crackdown on federal contractors that use corporate money—from accounts padded with taxpayer dollars—to fund campaigns. 

Fund-raising from employees reveals divide, raises ethical questions
3/4/2013

BostonGlobe.com: Fund-raising from employees reveals divide, raises ethical questions - “It clearly raises red flags,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C., ¬advocacy group. “People can certainly feel compelled to donate, and people who don’t participate can easily feel shunned. It essentially creates a hostile work environment.”

Economy Sick, Politics Deadlocked? How About a Trade Deal!?
3/4/2013

HuffPost: Economy Sick, Politics Deadlocked? How About a Trade Deal!? - More free trade deals don't compensate for other economic imbalances. As Public Citizen's irreplaceable Lori Wallach recently reported, in 2012 the (non-oil) trade deficit rose to a five-year high.

Obama Legacy On Keystone XL Pipeline Is New Environmentalist Appeal
3/4/2013

HuffPost: Obama Legacy On Keystone XL Pipeline Is New Environmentalist Appeal - Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, said that while there's still a long comment period to follow the pipeline environmental statement, the State Department document looks like a green light from the Obama administration, directly at odds with the president's soaring rhetoric on climate change.

Texas Landowner Julia Trigg Crawford Files Appeal Against TransCanada In Texarkana’s 6th Circuit Court
3/3/2013

Paramus Post: Texas Landowner Julia Trigg Crawford Files Appeal Against TransCanada In Texarkana’s 6th Circuit Court - "What’s at stake here is whether the state should allow a public agency to allow condemnation for private gain. The Crawford case is emblematic of the failure of the Texas Railroad Commission to effectively ensure that companies doing business in Texas are indeed a common carrier,” commented Tom Smitty Smith of Public Citizen. “The State has laid this burden of proving up common carrier upon landowners such as the Crawfords, while the proof should be incumbent upon those who want to business here in Texas. The entire process needs to be overhauled.”

Federal judge to hear ex-Sen. Craig’s suit on use of campaign funds for solicitation-case legal fees
3/3/2013

Washington Times: Federal judge to hear ex-Sen. Craig’s suit on use of campaign funds for solicitation-case legal fees - Judge Jackson’s ruling could affect the widespread use of campaign funds by members of Congress to pay legal fees. “Legal defense funds are another way for special interests to throw money to their friends to influence laws,” said Craig Holman, legislative representative for the Washington-based watchdog group Public Citizen. “This money means a lot to members. This is something that lawmakers take very seriously.”

Austin approves electric rate settlement
3/2/2013

Energy Central: Austin approves electric rate settlement -  Environmental activists weren't happy with the terms, but Tom "Smitty" Smith, head of the Texas branch of Public Citizen, said it was best for the council to settle rather than allow the appeal to drag on toward an uncertain resolution by the Public Utility Commission as lawyers fees accumulated."This preserves the most innovative things Austin Energy is doing: energy efficiency, renewables, its customer assistance program," Smith said

Michigan Court Tests Limits on Free Speech on Facebook
3/1/2013
Independent Voter Network: Michigan Court Tests Limits on Free Speech on Facebook - In this premature “jaw-dropping attack on the First Amendment,” Paul Alan Levy, the attorney for Public Citizen, argues that the court has made no attempt to prove Mr. Moughni’s claims as false, nor have they proven that he was speaking out of malice. 
Life and Health: Is Alli Truly an Ally for Obesity?
3/1/2013

Women Health Advice: Life and Health: Is Alli Truly an Ally for Obesity? - Not everyone is so positive about orlistat, including the consumer group known as Public Citizen. In April of 2006 they petitioned the FDA, citing studies that indicate a link between Xenical and the development of precancerous colon lesions in rats. Despite this, the makers claim it is the most extensively studied weight-loss drug on the market and is safe when used as directed.

Occupy the SEC Sues Federal Reserve, SEC, CFTC, OCC, FDIC and U.S. Treasury Over Volcker Rule Delays
3/1/2013

Here We Protest: Occupy the SEC Sues Federal Reserve, SEC, CFTC, OCC, FDIC and U.S. Treasury Over Volcker Rule Delays - This is the first lawsuit challenging regulators to implement, rather than delay, the Volcker Rule. As Public Citizen’s Bart Naylor wrote, the suit is “making the straightforward case that banks shouldn’t gamble with savings because real people may be harmed.”

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