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November 2013 Media Hits RSS Feed
Couple fined for writing negative online review fights back, demands $75K
11/30/2013

·         The Daily Dots: Couple fined for writing negative online review fights back, demands $75K by Kevin Collier - Fortunately for the Palmers, the consumer rights nonprofit Public Citizen has taken up their case, and is fighting back on their behalf… On Wednesday, it sent KlearGear a demand: walk away from the Palmers, call off the collectors, and change those terms of service, or we'll see you in court.

Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact
11/30/2013

·         Seattle Times: Fast track risky path for Pacific trade pact by Jon Talton - For example, the consumer-watchdog group Public Citizen says TPP would hurt patients here and overseas by increasing the term of patents held by big pharmaceutical companies and heading off less expensive generic drugs.

The real-life FBI sting behind 'American Hustle'
11/30/2013

·         AlJazeera America: The real-life FBI sting behind 'American Hustle' by Matt Birkbeck - "The Department of Justice is hamstrung," says Craig Holman, government-affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C-based public-watchdog group. According to Holman, lobbyists are now at the core of a political climate in which more money changes hands than ever before. "Money plays a much bigger and more important role in Congress than in those days. It's become so egregiously escalated since Abscam that we are ripe for another scandal."

SEC drops disclosure of corporate political spending from its priority list
11/30/2013

·         The Washington Post:  SEC drops disclosure of corporate political spending from its priority list By Dina ElBoghdady - Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, said the SEC should at the least hold a roundtable discussion to further examine the issue or put out research papers on the topic. “While this is disappointing, it’s not the end of the road,” Gilbert said.

Layton couple fight back after retailer asks $3,500 over negative review
11/30/2013

·         The Salt Lake Tribune: Layton couple fight back after retailer asks $3,500 over negative review by Matthew Piper -  Jen’s boss suggested she call KUTV’s Matt Gephardt. After his report, Public Citizen agreed to represent the couple, and earlier this week the Washington, D.C., nonprofit sent a letter to KlearGear asking that the company eliminate the charge, restore the Palmers’ credit and compensate them $75,000 for their troubles.

As NAFTA Nears 20 and the TPP Nears Birth, the Middle Class Nears Death
11/29/2013

·        Truthdig: As NAFTA Nears 20 and the TPP Nears Birth, the Middle Class Nears Death by Scott Martelle -  Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told “Democracy Now!” recently: “This is not mainly about trade. It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments, limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establishing new powers for corporations.”

Easier road seen for Obama regs
11/29/2013

·      The Hill: Easier road seen for Obama regs by Ben Goad and Julian Hattem - “Rulemaking ground to a halt,” added Bart Naylor, a financial policy analyst for Public Citizen… Naylor said that agencies, faced with the potential that their rules would be challenged by industry and struck down by the court, grew needlessly timid.

Liberals push wish list on Obama
11/29/2013

·       The Hill: Liberals push wish list on Obama by Alexander Bolton - “There has been a real need — because that’s the way you get people through the process — to find consensus and to find people who are perhaps more industry friendly or who can get us to that higher threshold,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.

New York Personal Injury Lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm Reacts to Findings that Unregulated Worksites are Prone to Construction Accident Fatalities
11/28/2013

·      Renewable Energy World: New York Personal Injury Lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm Reacts to Findings that Unregulated Worksites are Prone to Construction Accident Fatalities In the years 2011 and 2012, 36 workers died on construction jobs in New York City. According to a report released Nov. 14 by the safety advocacy group Public Citizen, 72 percent of those deaths occurred on construction sites where workers did not participate in state-approved safety training and apprenticeship programs.

Argument preview: Dusting off contracts treatises to resolve preemption dispute?
11/27/2013

·      SCOTUSBlog: Argument preview: Dusting off contracts treatises to resolve preemption dispute? By Ronald Mann - For her part, Adina Rosenbaum of Public Citizen provides a masterful defense of the Ninth Circuit’s judgment.  Her central point, familiar to scholars of contract law, is that the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, at its core, is not designed to contravene the intent of the parties.  Rather, it is designed to hold parties to that intent in circumstances where a wooden application of the explicit terms of a contract would deprive one party of the benefit of the bargain that it made in fact.

IRS To Look At Groups’ Primary Purpose On Political Activity
11/27/2013

·         The Non Profit Times: IRS To Look At Groups’ Primary Purpose On Political Activity by Patrick Sullivan - Other groups are more optimistic about the proposal. “The proposal is good for no other reason than it gets the ball rolling on a critical issue,” said Craig Holman, Ph.D., a government affairs lobbyist with the Washington, D.C. group Public Citizen. “It admirably attempts to offer some clarity in what nonprofit groups can and cannot do and reduces the discretion of the IRS in evaluating activities of nonprofits. Overall, it is a positive step by the Treasury Department.”

What You Need To Know About The Obama Administration's Proposed 'Dark Money' Rules
11/27/2013

·       The Huffington Post: What You Need To Know About The Obama Administration's Proposed 'Dark Money' Rules by Paul Blumenthal - Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch, voiced her support for expanding the proposed rules to other nonprofit forms. "We hope that Treasury and the IRS choose to define political intervention for all tax-exempt organizations, not just 501(c)(4) groups," she said.

Tax reform: Bright line at the end of the tunnel
11/27/2013

·     The Hill: Tax reform: Bright line at the end of the tunnel by Tom Halloran - Fortunately, a group of nonprofit leaders and tax law experts have been working for the past four-plus years to figure out how to draw bright lines that define political activity under the tax code, aptly naming their work the Bright Lines Project.  The team’s work, now spearheaded by Public Citizen, provides a clear framework on how to create clear bright line definitions for political activity for nonprofit organizations.

Stockman should amend disclosures, experts say
11/27/2013

·        Houston Chronicle: Stockman should amend disclosures, experts say by Lise Olsen - "It certainly raises the question of where is the ethics committee - and, for that matter, the Department of Justice. This is not just a breach of congressional ethics rules; it is an apparent violation of federal law," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, who has assisted in drafting campaign finance and governmental ethics reform legislation.

Cutting to the (JPMorgan) Chase Mortgage Settlement
11/26/2013

·         Non Profit Quarterly: Cutting to the (JPMorgan) Chase Mortgage Settlement by Rick Cohen - By this point in what Public Citizen’s Bartlett Naylor coins as the “immaculate conception” theory of bank wrongdoing, it should be clear that without individual prosecutions, both the deterrence to bad bank behavior and the incentive for bank compliance with these settlement agreements are weak.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Corporate Power Tool of the 1% - 27:25
11/26/2013

·         Building Bridges Radio: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Corporate Power Tool of the 1% - 27:25 Lori Wallach, Dir. Of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch - Recently WikiLeaks released "the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing

IRS Moves To Restrict Nonprofits' Politicking
11/26/2013

·         The Wall Street Journal: IRS Moves To Restrict Nonprofits' Politicking by John D McKinnon, Brody Mullins, and Thomas Catan - The proposal will "cut back on dark money that is going into the system," said Lisa Gilbert, spokeswoman for Public Citizen, a nonpartisan organization whose Bright Lines Project has called for nonprofit regulations…. The fuzziness of the current standards was highlighted in the tea-party groups' applications for tax-exempt status.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Betrayal
11/26/2013

·         Activist Post: Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Betrayal by James Hall - "The claims that this deal will somehow be an economic cure-all and generate significant growth are simply not supported by any reliable evidence," Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.

Protestors Shine Light on Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Secret Corporate Coup
11/26/2013

·         EcoWatch: Protestors Shine Light on Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Secret Corporate Coup by James Trimarco - Public Citizen called it [TPP] a “corporate power tool of the one percent.”

Should Texas Pay Power Companies Just For Opening New Plants?
11/26/2013

·         KUT.org: Should Texas Pay Power Companies Just For Opening New Plants? By Veronica Zaragovia - Tom “Smitty” Smith is the director of the Texas office of the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen. He says opposition to the proposal has come from across the political spectrum… "The consumer groups, whether they be the right-wingers like the Texas Public Policy Foundation or those of us that are more liberal like Public Citizen, are uniformly in opposition to a capacity market," Smith says. "It costs too much, does too little, takes too long and will lead to too much litigation."

Utah Couple Fined $3,500 by Online Merchant KlearGear Retains Lawyer, Turns Tables
11/26/2013

·         ABC News (Good Morning America): Utah Couple Fined $3,500 by Online Merchant KlearGear Retains Lawyer, Turns Tables by Susanna Kim - "No one would have expected this from doing perfectly normal, everyday and perfectly legal things," Scott Michelman, staff attorney with Public Citizen who is representing the Palmers, told ABCNews.com.

Man threatens to sue company he says trashed his credit rating over a negative review
11/26/2013

·         Washington Post: Man threatens to sue company he says trashed his credit rating over a negative review by Timothy B. Lee - The couple is represented by Public Citizen, which has a blog post about the case. The group notes that KlearGear's threat is part of a broader trend of companies trying to use contractual terms to muzzle customers who complain about their products and services online.

President Obama pitches new rules for political nonprofits
11/26/2013

·         Politico: President Obama pitches new rules for political nonprofits by Byron Tau - ”What this will do is establish a clearer regime,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch program. Public Citizen has been pushing the IRS to establish clearer guidelines concerning nonprofits for years.

Couple Fined For Negative Review Tell Company To Make It Right Or Get Sued
11/25/2013

·         Consumerist: Couple Fined For Negative Review Tell Company To Make It Right Or Get Sued By Mary Beth Quirk - Remember the husband and wife who were told they had to pay $3,500 and suffered credit damage after posting a negative review of a company online? Of course you do, because it’s all ridiculous for numerous reasons — all which have been pointed out in a letter from Public Citizen Litigation, which is representing Jen and John.

Bribed to breastfeed? Coupon offer causes controversy
11/22/2013

·         Coupons in the News: Bribed to breastfeed? Coupon offer causes controversy - “Numerous studies show that women are likely to breastfeed less, and for shorter durations, if they receive formula samples and promotional materials in hospital discharge packs,” reads a recent report from the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and the anti-goodie bag group Ban the Bags.

Construction accidents, deaths may be reduced with training: Group
11/22/2013

·         AboutLawsuits.com: Construction accidents, deaths may be reduced with training: Group by Martha Garcia - “Most construction workers are being put at far more risk than they ought to be, and it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Keith Wrightson, Public Citizen. “We owe it to construction workers to improve safety policies, and expanding training requirements would be an effective change.”

US Chamber of Commerce supports international business bribery
11/22/2013

·         Buzzflash at Truthout: Crime advocates: US Chamber of Commerce supports international business bribery by Mark Karlin - “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it supports the economy as a whole, but its actions on the FCPA show otherwise,” said Jake Parent, coordinator of Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch program, in a news release. “Making it easier for big companies to bribe foreign officials means that the kind of small businesses that drive job creation will have a harder time competing, and governments will have a harder time governing.”

Fracking lobby ANGA’s tax forms: Big bucks to media outlets, “Other ALECs
11/22/2013

\        DeSmogBlog: Fracking lobby ANGA’s tax forms: Big bucks to media outlets, “Other ALECs” by Steve Horn - "There is no doubt that corporate sponsors are getting what they pay for: the ears of decision makers whose decisions will have a direct impact on their bottom lines," Public Citizen wrote in "Access for Sale: A Report on Corporate Funding of Associations of State and Local Government Officials."

WikiLeaks Reveals Free Trade Secrets
11/22/2013

·         American Free Press: WikiLeaks Reveals Free Trade Secrets by Mark Anderson - “This leak is the first of a complete chapter revealing all countries’ positions,” Peter Maybarduk, a spokesman for the watchdog group Public Citizen of Washington, D.C., observed when WikiLeaks “leaked” this TPP chapter.

Trade pact faces fire from left and right
11/22/2013

·         The Daily World: Trade pact faces fire from left and right By Howard Schneider - “Fast track is history,” said Lori Wallach, head of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, after 151 House Democrats signed a letter to President Barack Obama saying they were “deeply troubled by the continued lack of adequate congressional consultation” on the TPP talks. A similar letter was sent by a group of Republicans that included Bachmann and several other members of the Tea Party Caucus. All said they opposed fast-tracking the deal.

Meetings encourage E. Texans to stand up against Keystone XL pipeline
11/21/2013

·         KLTV: Meetings encourage E. Texans to stand up against Keystone XL pipeline by Lexie Cook - The real product, according to a non-profit group called Public Citizen, is diluted bitumen or tar sands…. "It has heavy lead, and there's hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is a very toxic poisonous gas," says Tom Smith, a Texas office director for Public Citizen.

Koch Bros.-backed group gave millions to small business lobby
11/21/2013

·         CNN Politics: Koch Bros.-backed group gave millions to small business lobby By Chris Frates - Lisa Gilbert of the government watchdog group Public Citizen said the NFIB is "taking the name of small business in vain."…"The idea that Koch brothers money in some way is going to help small businesses is laughable," Gilbert said. "What they're buying is the ability to help set the agenda."

Stile: Christie's new GOP role puts millions in donations at his disposal
11/21/2013

·         North Jersey.com:  Stile: Christie's new GOP role puts millions in donations at his disposal by Charles Stile - “I think many Republican Party regulars would prefer to see Christie get the Republican nomination. And they are going to be working hand in hand with the RGA to make sure Christie gets his name and face all across the nation,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, a national campaign-finance watchdog group.

Public Citizen Calls for Investigation on KXL South Construction
11/20/2013

·         Bold Nebraska: Public Citizen Calls for Investigation on KXL South Construction by Mark Hefflinger - Watchdog group Public Citizen on Tuesday sent a letter to Congress, urging a halt to construction on the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, as one section dug up for inspection was found to need repairs on 205 of 425 total welds — or nearly 50%.

JPMorgan Chase’s Clean up Act in the Amount of $13b
11/20/2013

·         Las Vegas Guardian Express: JPMorgan Chase’s Clean up Act in the Amount of $13b by Roberto I Belda -They want to hold accountable the officers and executives of these large financial institutions by putting them in jail. The settlement amount whether large or small may just be considered as the cost of doing business and the offense can be repeated in the future shared Bart Naylor, a policy advocate at Public Citizen.

Follow Up: Action on Behalf of Woman Fined for Penning Negative Online Review
11/20/2013

·         KUTV: Follow Up: Action on Behalf of Woman Fined for Penning Negative Online Review By Matt Gephardt - KUTV has been contacted by a number of lawyers and consumer groups asking to be put in touch with Jen so that they might be able to help her battle Kleargear-dot-com, including the Washington D.C. based Public Citizen Litigation Group. Wednesday, Jen said she has made an arrangement with the Public Citizen Litigation Group to represent her in court against Kleargear-dot-com.

JPMorgan Agrees to Historic Settlement—Is It Enough?
11/20/2013

·         The Nation: JPMorgan Agrees to Historic Settlement—Is It Enough? By George Zornick - There are many strong criticisms of this settlement, however. The central one is that no actual bank executives were charged—despite the fact that the Justice Department clearly established a pattern of misconduct at many different levels of the bank. “The bottom line is that there’s continued reliance on the immaculate conception theory—that no people were actually involved,” Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate with Public Citizen, told The Nation.

Will the Chilean People Save the U.S. by Electing Michelle Bachelet?
11/19/2013

·         EconoMonitor: Will the Chilean People Save the U.S. by Electing Michelle Bachelet? By William K. Black - CEOs are mounting their most audacious assault on national sovereignty, the rule of law, and democracy through TPP. The assault is taking place under conditions of extreme secrecy.  But for groups like Public Citizen and WikiLeaks we would have woken up to a fait accompli and had no democratic recourse.

In Extracting Deal From JPMorgan, U.S. Aimed for Bottom Line
11/19/2013

        New York Times: In Extracting Deal From JPMorgan, U.S. Aimed for Bottom Line By Ben Protess And Jessica Silver-Greenberg - “Unless you hold the executives accountable, it really is just the cost of doing business,” said Bart Naylor, a policy advocate at Public Citizen, who noted that the settlements hurt shareholders more than executives.

Peter Maybarduk, Director, Global Access to Medicines Program, Public Citizen
11/19/2013

·         Channel NewsAsia: Peter Maybarduk, Director, Global Access to Medicines Program, Public Citizen

Meningitis outbreak: Bill to regulate large compounders ready for Obama
11/19/2013
The Tennessean: Meningitis outbreak: Bill to regulate large compounders ready for Obama by Paul C. Barton - But critics, including watchdog groups like Public Citizen, contend that authority would apply only after contaminated drugs reach the marketplace... The bill makes it optional for large-scale compounders to register with the FDA as an “outsourcing facility,” which would subject them to regular inspections and higher quality standards before they ship drugs. States would have authority over those that don’t register with the federal agency.

 

Secret trade plan will hurt us all
11/19/2013
The Berkshire Eagle: Letter: Secret trade plan will hurt us all by Russell Freedman - The Public Citizen website notes: "Closed-door talks are on-going between the U.S. and Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam; with other countries, including China, potentially joining later. Six hundred corporate advisers have access to the text, while the public, members of Congress, journalists, and civil society are excluded.

 

Port-to-Facebook Sales Mission Shows Pacific-Trade Deal Jeopardy
11/19/2013
Bloomberg Business Week: Port-to-Facebook Sales Mission Shows Pacific-Trade Deal Jeopardy by Brian Wingfield and Laura Litvan- Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer advocate, and the AFL-CIO labor group have called for more transparency in the trade discussions. Doctors Without Borders, the international humanitarian medical organization, has said the intellectual-property provisions in the TPP could limit access to low cost generic drugs by bolstering patent protections for pharmaceuticals made by companies including Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co.

 

Now Even Some GOP Members Reject Fast-Tracking A Bad Trade Deal
11/19/2013

·         United Steelworkers: Now Even Some GOP Members Reject Fast-Tracking A Bad Trade Deal by Dave Johnson -  Last week the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Consumers Union and other health and consumer groups sent a letter to President Obama to express “deep concern” that TPP will thwart efforts to control healthcare costs. Public Citizen’s Eyes on Trade blog explains, in 38 Million Retirees Join Workers and Consumers to Say No to “Trade” Deal Terms that Would Make Medicine More Expensive.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of 'free trade'
11/19/2013

·         The Guardian: The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of 'free trade' by Mark Weisbrot - Most Americans couldn't tell you what "fast track" means, but if they knew what it entails they would certainly be against it. As one of the country's leading trade law experts and probably the foremost authority on Fast Track, Lori Wallach of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, put it: [Fast track] authorized executive-branch officials to set US policy on non-tariff, and indeed not-trade, issues in the context of 'trade' negotiations.

TDCJ execs' big raises spark ire
11/19/2013

·         Item Online: TDCJ execs' big raises spark ire By Mike Ward - “We used to have a system where executive salaries are set based on a civil service system that compares them with comparable salaries in government,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of the watchdog group Public Citizen of Texas. “That way, we’re not getting hornswoggled into big executive raises based on the private sector that may not be comparable.”

Car Makers Offered Relaxed Regulation for Installing Ignition Lock Tied to Seat Belt Use
11/19/2013

·         Insurance Journal: Car Makers Offered Relaxed Regulation for Installing Ignition Lock Tied to Seat Belt Use By Jeff Plungis -   U.S. seatbelt usage would increase with adoption of interlock technology from 86 percent to almost 100 percent, according to NHTSA. When the agency first proposed mandatory interlocks in the 1970s, belt usage was 28 percent, according to a fact sheet from Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer group.

Municipal groups knock proposed changes in Texas power market
11/19/2013

·         Star Telegram: Municipal groups knock proposed changes in Texas power market by Jim Fuquay -  In February the Austin office of Public  Citizen estimated the cost at $1.2 billion to $2.3 billion. Another study put the cost at $3.6 billion a year.

Letters From Regulators to TransCanada Do Not Inspire Confidence in Keystone Pipeline
11/19/2013

·         Dallas Observer: Letters From Regulators to TransCanada Do Not Inspire Confidence in Keystone Pipeline by Brantley Hartgrove - Watchdog group Public Citizen and landowners along the Keystone pipeline's route through Texas have raised serious questions about the frequency with which TransCanada excavates sections of its line for repair. TransCanada told Unfair Park last week that it had indeed replaced some 700 feet of the 485-mile project, set to connect the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil hub with Texas' Gulf Coast refinery complex within days.

Blah-humbug: Leaked Trade Agreement Shows (Surprise!) U.S. Looking Out for Its Interests
11/19/2013

·         The Huffington Post: Blah-humbug: Leaked Trade Agreement Shows (Surprise!) U.S. Looking Out for Its Interests by Michelle Wein - Bruce Kilic, an IP lawyer with Public Citizen states, "The WikiLeaks text also features Hollywood and recording industry inspired proposals -- think about the SOPA debacle -- to limit Internet freedom and access to educational materials, to force Internet providers to act as copyright enforcers and to cut off people's Internet access."

Butchering Keystone XL Facts, George W. Bush Says ‘Build the Damn Thing’
11/18/2013

EcoNews: Butchering Keystone XL Facts, George W. Bush Says ‘Build the Damn Thing’ by Sharon Kelly - Part of the pipeline project is already underway. The southern half of the Keystone pipeline is nearly finished construction, but workmanship has been shoddy, a recent report by Public Citizen found. The permit for the northern half, which would cross the U.S.-Canada border, has been on hold since January 2012.


Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): A Corporate Coup d’Etat – Handcuffs Governments, Gives New Powers to Corporations
11/18/2013
Global Research: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): A Corporate Coup d’Etat – Handcuffs Governments, Gives New Powers to Corporations By Stephen Lendman Public Citizen is independent. It’s our voice. Its work entails “ensur(ing) that all citizens are represented in the halls of power.”… Its Global Trade Watch (GTW) monitors TPP developments. It calls it “a stealthy policy being pressed by corporate America. (It’s) a dream of the 1%.”

 

Letter – Citizens United must be repealed
11/18/2013
Times Union: Letter – Citizens United must be repealed by Carol Bullard Public Citizen, in concert with other national organizations, is hard at work throughout the country to reach this goal.

 

Crossroads’ Tax Return Shows Big Donors, But Doesn’t Name Them
11/18/2013
Alaska Dispatch: Crossroads’ Tax Return Shows Big Donors, But Doesn’t Name Them by Kim Barker - In August, Democracy 21, Public Citizen, the Campaign Legal Center and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, filed a federal lawsuit aiming to force the IRS to block social welfare groups from engaging in overt campaign spending.

 

Trade talks, protests on tap for Salt Lake City this week
11/18/2013
The Salt Lake Tribune: Trade talks, protests on tap for Salt Lake City this week by Tom Harvey - But those advancements behind closed doors are bringing protesters to Utah’s capital. Labor, environmental and consumer activists have scheduled a protest, sponsored by Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, the Sierra Club and the Backbone Campaign, for noon Tuesday outside the Grand America.

 

Should children’s hospital patients be allowed to take herbs and supplements?
11/18/2013
KPCC (Southern California Public Radio): Should children’s hospital patients be allowed to take herbs and supplements? -   Dr. Michael Carome,director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization in D.C.

 

Test Will Show How Vulnerable U.S. Grid Is
11/18/2013
KTRH (AM 740 News Radio): Test Will Show How Vulnerable U.S. Grid Is by Nik Rajovic - Public Citizen's David Power says the tests are critical as we become more dependent on electronic, internet-based systems… “This is well choreographed simulation with a massive physical and technical attack on the grid to see what procedures they need to come with, and how quickly they can restore it,” Power tells KTRH News.

 

Texas prison managers get double-digit pay raises, while rank and file got 5%
11/18/2013
Austin-American Statesman: Texas prison managers get double-digit pay raises, while rank and file got 5%  by Mike Ward - "We used to have a system where executive salaries are set based on a civil service system that compares them with comparable salaries in government," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of the watchdog group Public Citizen of Texas. "That way, we're not getting hornswoggled into big executive raises based on the private sector that may not be comparable." The executive pay issue has arisen at agencies that include the Texas Department of Transportation, Employees Retirement System, Department of Public Safety and Texas Juvenile Justice Department. At those agencies, executive directors and some members of upper management teams are making six-figure salaries well in excess of the governor's pay: $150,000 a year.

 

Compounding Pharmacy Bill Might Not Make Drugs Safer
11/18/2013
ABC News: Compounding Pharmacy Bill Might Not Make Drugs Safer by Sydney Lupkin"It makes what is now illegal legal," said Dr. Michael Carome, who directs the health research group at Public Citizen, a think tank.

 

This Is What Happens When a Pipeline Bursts in Your Town Conflicted about Keystone? Consider the horrific impact of an oil spill in Arkansas
11/18/2013
The New Republic: This Is What Happens When a Pipeline Bursts in Your Town Conflicted about Keystone? Consider the horrific impact of an oil spill in Arkansas by Nora Caplan-Bricker - This new danger isn’t inspiring much caution in the energy industry, judging by the Associated Press's recent revelation that 300 spills have occurred in North Dakota alone in less than two years, and all were kept secret. On average, U.S. pipelines spilled over 3.1 million gallons a year between 2008 and 2012, according to the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). As for the Keystone project, Public Citizen released a report this month documenting over 125 patches, dents, and other worrisome anomalies in its southern half.

 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Obama's Dangerous International Deal
11/16/2013

Reason.com: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: Obama's Dangerous International Deal by Zenon Evans - Lori Wallach, a trade policy expert with Public Citizen, believes the focus on non-trade issues should raise eyebrows about how seriously the TPP is interested in promoting free trade whatsoever. She points out that, after all, the U.S. already has free trade agreements with six of the countries in the negotiations, and excepting Japan, “the 4 TPP countries without existing U.S. trade pacts have [a] combined economy the size of Pennsylvania.”

 

Gas prices could rise if oil industry increases exports
11/16/2013

Kansas City Star: Gas prices could rise if oil industry increases exports by Steve Everly - “There’s no question that rising levels of exports put pressure on U.S. fuel prices,” said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program for Public Citizen, a consumer group in Washington. “We should be having a serious debate about this.

 

WikiLeaks and the Drone Strike Transparency Bill
11/16/2013

Common Dreams: WikiLeaks and the Drone Strike Transparency Bill by Robert Naiman - Publishing this information generated a lot of press. (Google "WikiLeaks and TPP.") It also allowed critics of the agreement, like Public Citizen, Doctors Without Borders, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to respond directly to the TPP text in making their criticisms.

 

NSA threatens legal action against t-shirt maker over free speech
11/15/2013

Westmoreland Times: NSA threatens legal action against t-shirt maker over free speech - A lawyer from Public Citizen, an advocacy group, is defending the T-shirt designer. Attorney Paul Levy says the messages on the T-shirts are satire, and that’s part of the robust debate over the role and conduct of government.

 

One Advantage Of Obama's Plummeting Approval: Maybe His Deceitful And Disastrous Trade Agenda Can Be Derailed
11/15/2013

Before It’s News:  One Advantage Of Obama's Plummeting Approval: Maybe His Deceitful And Disastrous Trade Agenda Can Be Derailed - Public Citizen has been analyzing the secret documents and revealed that the Obama administration “is demanding terms that would limit Internet freedom and access to lifesaving medicines throughout the Asia-Pacific region and bind Americans to the same bad rules, belying the administration’s stated commitments to reduce health care costs and advance free expression online.” Public Citizen asserts that, at least in terms of health, this deal is the worst yet– worse than the crap Clinton or the Bushs saddled us with. Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program: “The Obama administration’s shameful bullying on behalf of the giant drug companies would lead to preventable suffering and death in Asia-Pacific countries. And soon the administration is expected to propose additional TPP terms that would lock Americans into high prices for cancer drugs for years to come.”

 

TPP: Consumer movement's trade deal reaction
11/15/2013

Consumers International: TPP: Consumer movement's trade deal reaction  - “The Obama administration’s proposals are the worst - the most damaging for health - we have seen in a US trade agreement to date,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program. 

 

Fallout from Trans-Pacific Partnership leak, 'fast-track' opposition in U.S.
11/15/2013

Rabble.ca: Fallout from Trans-Pacific Partnership leak, 'fast-track' opposition in U.S. by Stuart Trew - Other groups worry about patent extension and enlargement of patent protection to cover diagnostic methods, life forms, and "evergreening," or minor variations to existing medication in order to prolong patents unnecessarily. Public Citizen warned...

 

TPP Disclosure Shows It Will Kill People and Internet; House Opposition Is Widespread
11/15/2013

Truthout (via Naked Capitalism): TPP Disclosure Shows It Will Kill People and Internet; House Opposition Is Widespread by Yves Smith - As Public Citizen wrote, "The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has proposed measures harmful to access to affordable medicines that have not been seen before in U.S. trade agreements," and elaborated...

 

Trans-Pacific Partnership Opponents Score Major Victory
11/15/2013

In These Times: Trans-Pacific Partnership Opponents Score Major Victory by Coel Stangler - Even more significant than the number legislators who have stated their opposition to fast-track is the diversity of the group, which is “pretty stunning,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, which has helped lead efforts to raise awareness of the TPP and build opposition.

 

Trade pact faces fire from left and right
11/15/2013

The Oregonian: Trade pact faces fire from left and right by The Washington Post News Service - There isn't much that would put tea party leaders such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in league with WikiLeaks and the left-leaning crowd at Public Citizen, the activist group founded by Ralph Nader.

 

Will the Chilean People Save the U.S. by Electing Michelle Bachelet?
11/15/2013

New Economic Perspectives: Will the Chilean People Save the U.S. by Electing Michelle Bachelet? By William K. Black - Progressives should urge Dr. Bachelet, should she be elected President, to make the full drafts of TPP public immediately.  Dr. Bachelet is a pediatrician who doubtless treated victims of Chagas disease.  She will understand fully the threat posed by the TPP to public health.  I urge her to demand that the draft TPP be scrapped and fundamentally changed to build democracy and national sovereignty and to control the multinational corporations rather than allow them and their plutocrat panels to dominate and denigrate democracy and national sovereignty.

 

Public Citizen: Dents, Holes in Keystone XL Southern Half Weeks Before Planned Startup
11/15/2013

Huffington Post: Public Citizen: Dents, Holes in Keystone XL Southern Half Weeks Before Planned Startup by Steve Horn - In conducting its investigative report, "Construction Problems Raise Questions About the Integrity of the Pipeline," Public Citizen worked on the ground to examine 250 miles of the 485 mile pipeline's route. The group and its citizen sources uncovered over 125 anomalies in that half of the line alone. These findings moved Public Citizen to conclude the southern half of the pipeline shouldn't begin service until the anomalies are taken care of, and ponders if the issues can ever be resolved sufficiently.

 

Counterspin: Peter Maybarduk on TPP, Anne Petermann on Climate Justice
11/15/2013

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR): Counterspin: Peter Maybarduk on TPP, Anne Petermann on Climate Justice - This week on CounterSpin: Wikileaks has leaked a draft chapter of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership 'free trade' agreement. The chapter, addressing intellectual property rights, favors corporations over the public, say critics. What do the corporate lobbyists and government negotiators have in mind for us? We'll talk with Peter Maybarduk of Public Citizen.

 

Obama slams lobbyists, then hires a lobbyist to help promote Obamacare
11/14/2013

Washington Times: Obama slams lobbyists, then hires a lobbyist to help promote Obamacare by Jim McElhatton - Craig Holman, legislative representative for the watchdog group Public Citizen, said it’s unusual for a lobbying firm to get a government contract, but the company may have won the grant because of its grass-roots outreach apparatus.

 

Obama slams lobbyists, then hires a lobbyist to help promote Obamacare
11/14/2013

The Washington Times: Obama slams lobbyists, then hires a lobbyist to help promote Obamacare By Jim McElhatton - Craig Holman, legislative representative for the watchdog group Public Citizen, said it’s unusual for a lobbying firm to get a government contract, but the company may have won the grant because of its grass-roots outreach apparatus.

 

Consumers Support COOL, Urge Defence of Law
11/14/2013

USAgnet: NFU: Consumers Support COOL, Urge Defence of Law - The Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, National Consumers League, and Public Citizen signed the letter.

 

TPP Exposed: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret Trade Text to Rewrite Copyright Laws, Limit Internet Freedom
11/14/2013

Democracy Now: TPP Exposed: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret Trade Text to Rewrite Copyright Laws, Limit Internet Freedom  - President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman reportedly wish to finalize the TPP by the end of the year and are pushing Congress to expedite legislation that grants the president something called "fast-track authority." However, this week some 151 House Democrats and 23 Republicans wrote letters to the administration saying they are unwilling to give the president free rein to "diplomatically legislate." We host a debate on the TPP between Bill Watson, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

 

Best three roundups of the alleged leaked Wikileaks TPP Internet Chapter
11/14/2013

The Examiner: Best three roundups of the alleged leaked Wikileaks TPP Internet Chapter - This is the best and most complete analysis that I've seen. Keep in mind that Public Citizen has been writing about this issue since the early 90s, beginning with the equally awful and terribly undemocratic WTO and NAFTA trade deals. Read the press release and their various reports. Here's the nut graph as they say...

 

Report: Most Construction Fatalities in New York City Occur at Sites Where State-Approved Training Programs Are Not Required
11/14/2013

EHS Today: Report: Most Construction Fatalities in New York City Occur at Sites Where State-Approved Training Programs Are Not Required - Nearly two-thirds of the 36 workers who died on construction jobs in New York in 2011 and 2012, were killed on sites where workers did not participate in state-approved training and apprenticeship programs, according to a Public Citizen report released Nov. 15.

 

Lawsuit abuse bill passes U.S. House
11/14/2013

Legal Newsline: Lawsuit abuse bill passes U.S. House by Jessica M Karmasek - “By encouraging additional legal maneuvers and requiring unnecessary court orders, this legislation would harm people with valid claims,” said Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel for Public Citizen.

 

WikiLeaks Reveals White House View On Trade And Drug Prices
11/14/2013

Pharmalot: WikiLeaks Reveals White House View On Trade And Drug Prices by Ed Silverman - The US is also proposing to require countries to make patent term extensions available when regulatory review exceeds a certain amount of time. And the measure would introduce patent extensions not only for new medicines, but also for methods of making or using pharmaceuticals, according to an analysis of the trade documents by Public Citizen.

 

Race for Governor: 12 Months Of Mudslinging
11/14/2013

The Ledgger: Race for Governor: 12 Months Of Mudslinging  - The decision has led to increasing spending on negative ads, according to the nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen. More than 85 percent of the spending by the 15 largest outside groups in 2012 paid for negative ads, the group found.

 

WikiLeaks Blasts U.S. Antipiracy Push (Update)
11/14/2013

The Wrap: WikiLeaks Blasts U.S. Antipiracy Push (Update) by Ira Teinowitz - The watchdog group Public Citizen said the changes would lengthen copyright terms, restrict exceptions to copyrights, expand copyright protection to temporary copies and turn Internet service providers into law enforcement agencies.

 

Workers Rally for Safe Jobs Act
11/14/2013

Capital New York: Workers Rally for Safe Jobs Act By Gloria Pazmino - Most worker fatalities in the last two years occurred at New York City construction sites where employees were not required to participate in state-approved training and apprentice programs, according to a new report released today by the independent group Public Citizen.

 

New Report Backs Construction Safety Bill as Council Support Wanes
11/14/2013

DNAInfo: New Report Backs Construction Safety Bill as Council Support Wanes by Colby Hamilton - A new report released Thursday from the national non-profit Public Citizen, called “The Price of Inaction: The Cost of Unsafe Construction in New York City,” is being touted by supporters of the Safe Jobs Act as proof greater construction safety measures need to be taken.

 

Study: Anti-regulation claims ‘outlandish’
11/14/2013

The Hill: Study: Anti-regulation claims ‘outlandish’ By Julian Hattem - Claims that regulations are causing unemployment, dragging down the economy and even leading to premature deaths are “outlandish” and often inaccurate, according to a new report from the consumer interest group Public Citizen.

 

Google Wins Book Scanning Case
11/14/2013

InformationWeek: Google Wins Book Scanning Case by Thomas Claburn - Paul Alan Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen, noted in a blog post that the ruling will benefit the public more than the original proposed settlement. The settlement terms would only have governed Google's conduct. The fair use ruling frees other companies and organizations to pursue similar initiatives.

 

The myth of job-killing regulations
11/14/2013

The Hill (PUBLIC CITIZEN OP ED): The myth of job-killing regulations By Amit Narang - Yet, in a report issued today, Public Citizen looked back at previous claims linking job losses to regulations, and found that none of them turned out to be even remotely accurate. Indeed, the disconnect between rhetoric and reality could not be more stark.

 

News bites: Yellen faces grilling on banking regs
11/14/2013

The Hill (Public Citizen Op Ed): News bites: Yellen faces grilling on banking regs By Ben Goad - A Public Citizen study issued Thursday morning pushes back on the notion that federal regulations are dragging down the economy, RegWatch reports.

 

Wikileaks' New Leak Won't Be Enough to Derail a Worrisome New Trade Deal
11/14/2013

The New Republic: Wikileaks' New Leak Won't Be Enough to Derail a Worrisome New Trade Deal by Mimi Dwyer - Under the TPP, countries like Vietnam will be able to sell more shoes to Americans, said Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, which strongly opposes the partnership. “The U.S. is sitting there like the Grand Poobah saying that if you want to sell it here, here are your rules,” she said.

 

NSA Squabbles With T-shirt Maker Over Free Speech
11/14/2013

Voice of America: NSA Squabbles With T-shirt Maker Over Free Speech by Jim Randle - A lawyer from Public Citizen, an advocacy group, is defending the T-shirt designer.  Attorney Paul Levy says the messages on the T-shirts are satire, and that's part of the robust debate over the role and conduct of government.

 

Apple, Baidu, Karmaloop, WikiLeaks: Intellectual Property
11/14/2013

Bloomberg: Apple, Baidu, Karmaloop, WikiLeaks: Intellectual Property By Victoria Slind-Flor - Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer group that is a partner of WikiLeaks in the release, said in a statement that the document shows the U.S. is “demanding terms that would limit Internet freedom and access to lifesaving medicines throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”

 

Generic Drugs Seen Limited in WikiLeaks Trade Document
11/14/2013

Bloomberg: Generic Drugs Seen Limited in WikiLeaks Trade Document by Brian Wingfield & Susan Decker - “One of the things you really see from this is how isolated the U.S. is,” Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines program, said in an interview.

 

The Bill Press Show - November 14, 2013
11/14/2013

The Bill Press Show - November 14, 2013 - Tyson on the Bill Press Radio Show talking about the Keystone pipeline and gas price.

 

What is the Keystone XL Pipeline?
11/14/2013