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May 2014 media hits RSS Feed
Infant Formula Manufacturers Urged To Stay Out Of Delivery Wards
5/31/2014

·         Mint News Press: Infant Formula Manufacturers Urged To Stay Out Of Delivery Wards by Carey Biron - “Discharge bags remain very controversial because they suggest an endorsement by the hospital of formula feeding or supplementation,” Eva Seidelman, a researcher and coordinator of the formula marketing campaign at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, told MintPress. 

Expected carbon limits cause concern in Wyoming
5/31/2014

·         New Times: Expected carbon limits cause concern in Wyoming by Benjamin Strorrow -  The political posturing has already begun. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report Wednesday claiming the rules would cost the American economy $50 billion annually between now and 2030. The analysis was quickly lambasted by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, which argued energy efficiency and cheaper solar power will help constrain costs.

Parlor Game: What’s next for Jay Carney?
5/31/2014

·         Politico: Parlor Game: What’s next for Jay Carney? By Byron Tau - “Public affairs is providing that sort of communication to officeholders that is often done on behalf of special interests. It really is a form of lobbying,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the watchdog group Public Citizen. “It’s a very natural revolving door.”

Expected federally set carbon limits already causing concern in Wyoming
5/31/2014

·         Billings Gazette: Expected federally set carbon limits already causing concern in Wyoming by Benjamin Storrow -    “The political posturing has already begun. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report Wednesday claiming the rules would cost the American economy $50 billion annually between now and 2030. The analysis was quickly lambasted by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, which argued energy efficiency and cheaper solar power will help constrain costs.”

EPA’s carbon rule sets off bitter fight before it even exists
5/31/2014
Smart Grid News: EPA’s carbon rule sets off bitter fight before it even exists by Pete Danko- “The advocacy group Public Citizen jumped into the fray this week, as well, noting that some “regulated electric utilities (American Electric Power, Dominion Resources, Xcel and more) are saying relatively benign, if not supportive things about the June 2 power rule,” but “the Chamber, increasingly staffed by former GOP political operatives, is attacking the EPA regulations not from a business perspective, but from a purely political one.”

 

Rousmaniere: Sparking Better Employer Practices
5/31/2014

·         WorkCompCentral: Rousmaniere: Sparking Better Employer Practices by Peter Rousmaniere - “Public Citizen, a Washington D.C.-based public interest group, issued on May 6 "Aim Higher: New York Should Reform Its Workers Compensation Laws to Reduce Injuries." The report zeros in on the states requirement that certain employers implement formal comprehensive safety plans, as set forth in Part 59 of its workers compensation laws. It recommends that New Yorks mandate be extended to more employers.”

Conservatives Call Obama’s New EPA Rules a ‘War on Coal,’ But the Real War Will Be in the States
5/31/2014

·         New Republic: Conservatives Call Obama’s New EPA Rules a ‘War on Coal,’ But the Real War Will Be in the States by Danny Vinik - “Just like the typewriter, coal served the power sector extraordinarily well for a century. It was the workhorse of our power sector,” said Tyson Slocum, the energy director of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group in Washington, D.C. “But technology changes and solar, renewables, investments in energy efficiencypartially enabled though the smart gridand affordable natural gas prices render coal obsolete. It’s going to die a slow death.”

Keystone Gets Celebrities as Power-Plant Rule Cuts CO2
5/30/2014

·         Bloomberg: Keystone Gets Celebrities as Power-Plant Rule Cuts CO2 by Jim Efstathiou Jr. - Even if Obama approves Keystone, there will be a silver lining for environmental groups, according to Tyson Slocum, energy-program director at Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer watchdog group in Washington. “A real legitimate grassroots army was created through the Keystone movement that can be very easily adapted and translated to other climate fights,” Slocum said in an interview.

EPA Officials Accept a Million Dollars a Year in Travel Expenses from Private Companies and Nonprofits
5/29/2014

·         All Gov: EPA Officials Accept a Million Dollars a Year in Travel Expenses from Private Companies and Nonprofits by Noel Brinkerhoff - “My concern is the conflict of interest at stake,” Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen, told Greenwire. “Gifts of travel are usually provided by entities that want to lobby someone, lobby a government official and get some official favors in turn.”

Infant Formula Marketing In Hospitals Breaks International Code: Groups
5/29/2014

·         About Lawsuits: Infant Formula Marketing In Hospitals Breaks International Code: Groups by Martha Garcia - The effort was highlighted by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen on May 21, which was the 33rd anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes (WHO Code).

Eagle Ford emissions? What Eagle Ford emissions?
5/29/2014

·         My San Antonio: Eagle Ford emissions? What Eagle Ford emissions? by Josh Brodesky - “The state is actively trying to suppress debate of that question,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, state director of the watchdog Public Citizen. “The state wants to shut them up because it will make their political contributors pay more for pollution control.”

EPA’s Carbon Rule Sets off Bitter Fight Before it Even Exists
5/29/2014

·         Breaking Energy: EPA’s Carbon Rule Sets off Bitter Fight Before it Even Exists by Pete Danko - The advocacy group Public Citizen jumped into the fray this week, as well, noting that some “regulated electric utilities (American Electric Power, Dominion Resources, Xcel and more) are saying relatively benign, if not supportive things about the June 2 power rule,” but “the Chamber, increasingly staffed by former GOP political operatives, is attacking the EPA regulations not from a business perspective, but from a purely political one.”

The fight is on: Obama’s climate rules aren’t out yet, but both sides are already slugging
5/29/2014

·         Grist: The fight is on: Obama’s climate rules aren’t out yet, but both sides are already slugging by Ben Adler - It’s not just green groups that say the rules won’t hurt consumers or the economy. Public Citizen, which is dedicated to protecting consumers from price spikes as much as pollution, also criticized the Chamber’s study. “What’s happening here is an industry split: regulated electric utilities (American Electric Power, Dominion Resources, Xcel and more) are saying relatively benign, if not supportive things about the June 2 power plant rule,” noted Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program, in a statement.

Zigzagged Paths for Dueling Spokesmen in Drug-Pricing Debate
5/29/2014

·         National Journal: Zigzagged Paths for Dueling Spokesmen in Drug-Pricing Debate by Billy House - Good-government watchdogs, such as Craig Holman, senior legislative director for Public Citizen, call this another illustration of the revolving-door syndrome of Washington politics and lobbying. Holman says the cross-pollination and relationships among Capitol Hill, K Street, and business interests are nurtured for short-term and longer-term mutual benefits. And consistency in allegiances can be fleeting.

Dr. Manny: The government does not protect patients' health care rights
5/29/2014

·         Fox News: Dr. Manny: The government does not protect patients' health care rights by Dr. Manny Alvarez - Additionally, lazy oversight by the HHS and a number of built-in corporate loopholes have led to significant under-reporting by hospitals across the country.  According to a 2009 Public Citizen report, nearly 50 percent of hospitals in the U.S. had never reported a single privilege sanction to the NPDB.

Maryland to consider safety prequalifications for contractors
5/28/2014

·         Safety & Health Magazine: Maryland to consider safety prequalifications for contractors - Under a bill signed into law May 15 by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), the workgroup must include representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups, including the American Society of Safety Engineers, watchdog group Public Citizen and Maryland Associated General Contractors.

Does the U.S. need another round of trade deals?
5/28/2014

·         The Hill: Does the U.S. need another round of trade deals? by Robin Broad - One big loser is truth in advertising. While dubbed "trade agreements," Public Citizen has pointed out that only five of the 29 chapters in the TPP cover trade. And these five are not very significant because tariffs are already quite low among these nations. So the purported trade benefits are a smoke screen here. To repeat: This agreement is much more about protecting global corporations.

No more baby formula samples in goodie bags from Jackson
5/28/2014

·         South Florida Times: No more baby formula samples in goodie bags from Jackson - “Jackson deserves praise for setting a positive example for the nation’s hospitals – particularly public hospitals serving low-income families – in improving the health of mothers and their children through Baby Friendly and an end to formula promotion” said Margrete Strand Rangnes, executive vice president of Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization focused on health and safety.

To promote breastfeeding, Jackson Health System stops giving out infant formula samples
5/27/2014

·         Miami Herald: To promote breastfeeding, Jackson Health System stops giving out infant formula samples by Ana Veciana-Suarez - Power U and Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization that focuses on health and safety, publicly praised the hospital in a news release, encouraging others to follow suit.

Campaign money greed damages democracy
5/27/2014

·         The Morning Call: Campaign money greed damages democracy by Stephen C. Smith - According to Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, the 2012 federal elections for the White House and every congressional seat came at a cost of $6.3 billion.

Congressional staffers capitalize on the experience
5/26/2014

·         The Tennessean: Congressional staffers capitalize on the experience by Paul Barton - The watchdog group Public Citizen asserts in a recent report that members of Congress and congressional staff “could well be influenced in their official actions” by the prospect of more-lucrative employment later as lobbyists.

French company to fight ruling in UT consumer suit
5/25/2014

·         The Associated Press: French company to fight ruling in UT consumer suit by Martin Griffith - "If Kleargear decides to appear in court at long last, we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that the Palmers are entitled to relief, either because of the company's default or on the merits," Michelman told KUTV-TV.

As Wars End, Military Gives Its Trademarks New Vigilance
5/24/2014

·         New York Times: As Wars End, Military Gives Its Trademarks New Vigilance by Helene Cooper - There are plenty of critics who say government entities like the Marines should not be making it so hard for American taxpayers to wear — or sell — their brand. “Should the military be able to monetize expressions of support for these entities?” asked Paul Levy, a lawyer with Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. “I would say no.” Americans, he added, “should be able to express our affinity to government agencies we like without paying them a fee.”

Chamber Of Commerce Claims Calculating How Much More CEOs Make Than Their Workers Is ‘Egregious’
5/23/2014

·         Think Progress: Chamber Of Commerce Claims Calculating How Much More CEOs Make Than Their Workers Is ‘Egregious’ by Bryce Covert - But these costs don’t have to be nearly so high. As Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, points out, the proposed rule would permit statistical sampling, which wouldn’t require corporations to collect all compensation data for every worker across the company. “The Chamber’s own data reveal that some companies can complete the calculation for $10,000, which is already an exaggeration,” he says in a press release. “A well-managed company should already know how much its employees make.”

Counterpoint: If the Trans-Pacific Partnership is so swell, why all the secrecy?
5/22/2014

·         StarTribune: Counterpoint: If the Trans-Pacific Partnership is so swell, why all the secrecy? by Mark Schultz - Consider the Korean Free Trade Agreement signed in 2011. According to a March report from Public Citizen, U.S. exports to Korea are down 11 percent two years after that agreement went into effect. Meanwhile, imports from Korea are up 47 percent. U.S. agriculture has been hit particularly hard, with exports of meat and other products to Korea down 41 percent.

Comcast Assembling Largest Lobbying Team Ever Seen in Washington
5/22/2014

·         The Washington Free Beacon: Comcast Assembling Largest Lobbying Team Ever Seen in Washington - “Though Comcast is not alone in its revolving door lobby strategy, what is unprecedented is the gravity of the revolving door abuse now being employed by a small handful of very wealthy communications firms,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen.

Documents: Petraeus Fracking Field Trip Reveals ND Government, Oil, Private Equity Nexus
5/22/2014

·         DeSmogBlog: Documents: Petraeus Fracking Field Trip Reveals ND Government, Oil, Private Equity Nexus by Steve Horn - “The documents appear to reveal a collusive relationship between public officials and the oil industry, raising questions about whether the public interest is being served in North Dakota. KKR's efforts to influence North Dakota officials appear to violate ethics laws,” Slocum said.

Advocates seek probe into ethics of U.S.-funded health study oversight
5/21/2014

·         Reuters: Advocates seek probe into ethics of U.S.-funded health study oversight - "They should have had no involvement at all in the investigation," Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, told Reuters. "That type of interference is unprecedented."

Single Payer Advocates: How Do We Defeat Healthcare for Profit?
5/21/2014

·         DC Media Group: Single Payer Advocates: How Do We Defeat Healthcare for Profit? by Anne Meador - “We have a completely irrational system. Every other industrialized nation has proven outcomes at less cost,” said Robert Weissman of advocacy group Public Citizen.

Portable Bed Handle Recall Issued After 3 Deaths, Due to Entrapment Risk
5/21/2014

·         AboutLawsuits: Portable Bed Handle Recall Issued After 3 Deaths, Due to Entrapment Risk by Russell Maas - Consumer watchdog groups have criticized and petitioned against bed rails over the last few years, in an attempt to raise awareness to what they say is a dangerous design. In May of 2011, Public Citizen filed a petition to the FDA and sent a warning letter to the Federal Trade Commission in September 2012, calling for a ban of certain bed rails after identifying four deaths associated with the products.

Single-Payer Advocates Hit Capitol With New Sense Of Reality
5/21/2014

·         The Washington Post: Single-Payer Advocates Hit Capitol With New Sense Of Reality by Julie Rovner - “What we know about single-payer has zero to do with the merits,” said Robert Weissman of Public Citizen, referring to widespread charges by opponents that single payer systems are inefficient and can deny care. “We have proven alternatives in every other industrialized country in the world – better outcomes at less cost.”

Public Citizen alleges conflict of interest within NIH study
5/20/2014

·         FierceHealthcare: Public Citizen alleges conflict of interest within NIH study by Zack Budryk - Top officials at the National Institutes of Health compromised a recent NIH-sponsored study by interfering in the investigative process, according to allegations made in a letter from the public advocacy group Public Citizen.

Federal Health Agencies Accused of Misconduct in Preemie Study
5/20/2014

·         NewsMax: Federal Health Agencies Accused of Misconduct in Preemie Study by Drew MacKenzie - Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, criticized the HHS and NIH for crossing the line between watchdog and the agency it was reviewing. "This type of interference is simply unprecedented and simply disturbing," said Carome. "This is like the Department of Justice preparing an indictment against some criminal and allowing the criminal to view the indictment and edit it before it moves forward.

Retailer that charged $3,500 for bad review to fight Utah couple’s lawsuit
5/20/2014

·         The Salt Lake Tribune: Retailer that charged $3,500 for bad review to fight Utah couple’s lawsuit by Pamela Manson - "Most important, Monday’s email does not answer the claims at the heart of this case: that KlearGear used one-sided contractual fine print to try to bully unsatisfied consumers into silence, abused the credit reporting system when the Palmers would not pay KlearGear’s extortionate demand and then defamed the Palmers in the press," Michelman said. "If KlearGear decides to appear in court at long last, we welcome the opportunity to demonstrate that the Palmers are entitled to relief, either because of the company’s default or on the merits."

Safety recall on portable bed rails for adults
5/20/2014

·         Chicago Tribune: Safety recall on portable bed rails for adults by Julie Deardorff - Some consumer advocates said the recall was a positive step forward. “But we believe all portable adult bedrails should be recalled and banned because of the unacceptable risks,” said Michael Carome, director of the Health Research Group for Public Citizen, which filed a petition in 2013 asking that adult portable bed rails be permanently removed from the market.

Panel to cut red tape gains Dem support
5/20/2014

·         The Hill: Panel to cut red tape gains Dem support by Benjamin Goad - “This bill sets up a process with a pre-determined outcome of eliminating public protections," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "What we need is an oversight commission empowered to impose law and order on corporate malefactors — to help prevent the next contaminated food outbreak, chemical spill or financial crash."

KlearGear Defends $3,500 Non-Disparagement Fee, Says Court Ruling Doesn’t Count
5/20/2014

·         Consumerist: KlearGear Defends $3,500 Non-Disparagement Fee, Says Court Ruling Doesn’t Count by Chris Morran -  In a statement to Consumerist, the plaintiff’s attorney, Scott Michelman of Public Citizen, says the allegations that he misled the court are “entirely false,” and that all federal and state rules of procedure were following in serving the complaint at the Michigan address repeatedly listed on the KlearGear site.

Health Agencies Accused of Ethical Misconduct with Watchdog Agency
5/20/2014

·         The Wire: Health Agencies Accused of Ethical Misconduct with Watchdog Agency by Brian Feldman - Officials at federal health agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and National Institute of Health, have been accused of ethical misconduct, according to The Huffington Post. The accusations by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen say that officials at those agency worked too closely with their oversight organization, the Office for Human Research Protections in lessening the severity of criticism concerning a study involving premature babies.

Obama Administration Health Agencies Accused Of Ethical Misconduct
5/20/2014

·         The Huffington Post: Obama Administration Health Agencies Accused Of Ethical Misconduct by Sam Stein - "This type of interference is simply unprecedented and simply disturbing," said Carome. "This is like the Department of Justice preparing an indictment against some criminal and allowing the criminal to view the indictment and edit it before it moves forward. ... It is like the FDA investigating a drug trial and the FDA commissioner allowing a draft warning letter to be shared with the drug company before it was issued and lettering them review and suggest edits to the letter."

Was NIH independence compromised in study?
5/20/2014

·         The Hill: Was NIH independence compromised in study? by Ferdous Al-Faruque - “The series of email communications among NIH, the HHS OS, and OHRP obtained by Public Citizen documents a truly disturbing picture in which NIH — a conflicted, regulated entity — was allowed to interfere with and improperly influence OHRP’s compliance oversight investigation of the SUPPORT study,” states the letter. “Most troubling, numerous officials at the very highest levels of HHS facilitated this interference by senior NIH officials, despite the fact that NIH had obvious actual, direct conflicts of interest in the research under investigation.”

Credit Suisse to Plead Guilty, Pay $2.6 Billion
5/19/2014

·         Corporate Crime Reporter: Credit Suisse to Plead Guilty, Pay $2.6 Billion - Public Citizen’s Bartlett Naylor said that the prosecution of Credit Suisse “does little to repair the damaging message that the Justice Department has sent repeatedly to Wall Street, where until now, no major bank has pleaded guilty to a criminal offense.”

E-mails reveal top health officials wrongfully influenced baby investigation: Public Citizen
5/19/2014

·         Scripps News: E-mails reveal top health officials wrongfully influenced baby investigation: Public Citizen by Mark Greenblatt - Teaming up investigators with the departments under scrutiny is “one of the biggest ethical lapses in the history of the National Institutes of Health,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. Carome, a physician and former compliance director of the OHRP, retired from the government in 2010 after more than 24 years in federal health agency jobs.

TPP Would Deepen Income Divide
5/19/2014

·         Truthout: TPP Would Deepen Income Divide by Roger Bybee - Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, points out that only five of the TPP’s twenty-nine chapters are about trade at all.

Federal judge rules against online retailer's $3,500 charge for Utah couple's negative review
5/18/2014

Associated Press: Federal judge rules against online retailer's $3,500 charge for Utah couple's negative review- The couple's attorney, Scott Michelman of the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Public Citizen Litigation Group, has said the case is about protecting consumers' rights to free speech.

Pharmaceutical safety questioned in wake of scam
5/18/2014

The Tennessean: Pharmaceutical safety questioned in wake of scam by Anita Wadhwani- "The short answer is that there's not much consumers can do for now," said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, a consumer advocacy organization. "Imagine these pharmacies that had the wool being pulled over their eyes," he said. "How can one reasonably expect a consumer to know that, a) the drugs in the bottle weren't stolen or counterfeit or, b) aren't tainted. There's no easy way to make the assessment."

Emotions run deep in East Texas over Keystone pipeline
5/17/2014

The Seattle Times: Emotions run deep in East Texas over Keystone pipeline by Anna Tinsley - “We are very much concerned about the integrity of the pipeline,” said Rita Beving, a member of the executive committee for the Sierra Club and a North Texas organizer for Public Citizen.

Judge rules online retailer will pay damages to Layton couple
5/16/2014

·         The Davis Clipper: Judge rules online retailer will pay damages to Layton couple by Dan Metcalf Jr. - In a statement to the Clipper, Michelman said, “Today’s judgment rightly holds a bad actor liable for its wrongful conduct. Consumers have the right to speak their minds about their experiences in the marketplace, and when they do so, they help educate their fellow consumers. Corporations should know that they will face consequences if they try to use unfairly one-sided contract language or to abuse the credit reporting system to bully consumers into silence.”

Default judgment against KlearGear, the company that billed customers for $3,500, because they posted a negative review
5/16/2014

·         The Washington Post: Default judgment against KlearGear, the company that billed customers for $3,500, because they posted a negative review by Eugene Volokh - Perhaps they are looking for still more negative publicity, or eager to pay still more in damages and attorney fees. See also the post on the Public Citizen blog about the case (Public Citizen’s Paul Alan Levy represented the Palmers).

We Won't Issue A Subpoena To Identify Someone Just To Prove 'Someone Is Wrong On The Internet'
5/15/2014

·         Techdirt: California Court: We Won't Issue A Subpoena To Identify Someone Just To Prove 'Someone Is Wrong On The Internet' - While I actually thought that Escape Media had a reasonable legal argument against the labels, we found this particular effort to unveil an anonymous commenter quite troubling. Similarly, while I often disagree with the opinions written on Digital Music News, I respect Paul Resnikoff, who runs the site, and actually helped put him in touch with Paul Levy from Public Citizen to respond to the subpoena.

Take a deep breath, Texas; fix air quality
5/15/2014

·         My San Antionio: Take a deep breath, Texas; fix air quality - “That money has been used to balance the budget (in the past),” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, state director of Public Citizen. “Now is the time to take some of that money and clean up the mess these guys have been making.”

Court Rules Company Can’t Collect $3,500 “Non-Disparagement” Fee For Negative Online Review
5/15/2014

·         The Consumerist: Court Rules Company Can’t Collect $3,500 “Non-Disparagement” Fee For Negative Online Review by Chris Morran - Thing is, this clause wasn’t put into the KlearGear.com terms until after the purchase was made by the customers. So KlearGear’s attempt to collect — and then send this fake debt to collections and to alert credit reporting agencies about it — was never legal to begin with, argued Public Citizen, which represented the couple in their suit against KlearGear.

Elizabeth Warren Reveals Inside Details of Trade Talks
5/15/2014

·         The Nation: Elizabeth Warren Reveals Inside Details of Trade Talks by George Zornick - On Wednesday night in DC, at Public Citizen’s annual gala, Warren spoke about the trade deals in some of her most direct remarks to date on the issue—and revealed some inside details about the debate in Congress.

Google promises to release minority hiring figures, as activists protest outside shareholder meeting
5/14/2014

·         SiliconValley.com: Google promises to release minority hiring figures, as activists protest outside shareholder meeting by Brandon Bailey - A group of activists hold a rally as Google held their annual shareholders meeting in Mountain View, Calif., on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The various groups, including Public Citizen's U. S. Chamber Watch, Forecast the Facts, Eviction Free San Francisco and Common Cause California were calling on Google to lead on climate change, increase political spending transparency and treat its workers with respect.

A speculation tax is highly progressive, has huge revenue potential, and could curb Wall Street recklessness.
5/14/2014

·         Other Words: A speculation tax is highly progressive, has huge revenue potential, and could curb Wall Street recklessness by Robert Weissman

Why Don't Pharmacy Groups Condemn Lethal Injection Role?
5/14/2014

·         Forbes: Why Don't Pharmacy Groups Condemn Lethal Injection Role? By David Kroll - Public Citizen’s Sidney Wolfe opined in The New York Times on April 30 that, “it is reprehensible when a physician deliberately participates, in any way, in the intentional killing of another human being by involvement in an execution. Such action should swiftly result in the lifelong loss of the license to practice medicine.

Google Rises to the Top, Lobbyists That Is
5/14/2014

·         Sustainable Business: Google Rises to the Top, Lobbyists That Is - Groups Walden represents: Public Citizen, Forecast the Facts, California Common Cause; Eviction Free San Francisco; SEIU-United Service Workers West; and Steve Wilke, a partner in an Oklahoma solar firm that's being hurt by ALEC's advocacy for taxing rooftop solar.

Pro-Keystone XL Consulting Firm May Have Violated Ethics Laws
5/13/2014

·         Republic Report: Pro-Keystone XL Consulting Firm May Have Violated Ethics Laws by Lee Fang - “If Feverpress was hired on behalf of the government of Alberta or any foreign political party to conduct a public relations campaign in the United States to affect public policy, Feverpress would be required to register under FARA and disclose its compensation, clients and lobbying activities,” says Craig Holman, an ethics expert with Public Citizen.

Doubts raised about off-label use of a fentanyl painkiller
5/13/2014

·         New York Times: Doubts raised about off-label use of a fentanyl painkiller by Katie Thomas - “You’re essentially spreading the accessibility to a very potent, rapid-onset narcotic to a large number of people, and a number of them may get addicted,” said Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, founder and senior adviser to the Public Citizen Health Research Group, a consumer organization.

Medical devices could fall prey to computer malfunctions, hackers
5/12/2014

·         Sacramento Bee: Medical devices could fall prey to computer malfunctions, hackers by John Kuhn - Michael Carome, the director of health research at Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group in Washington, said that although the risk of private medical-information leaks was hard to quantify, “It is a concern and it should be on the radar screen of public health officials and those who are responsible for security.”

Kansas: Corruption charges can be hard to prove, experts say
5/12/2014

·         The Chieftain: Kansas: Corruption charges can be hard to prove, experts say by Peter Hancock - "The FBI can be quite zealous in pursuing this type of corruption, if there's any real basis for it, and there certainly appears to be a lot of allegations," said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a Washington-based group that advocates for consumer protection and campaign finance reform.

The Free-Trade Regime: Oligarchy in Action
5/9/2014

·         Foreign Policy in Focus: The Free-Trade Regime: Oligarchy in Action by Moritz Laurer - In sharp contrast to the president’s enthusiastic endorsement, however, many critics view the TPP as deceptive and dangerous. In the words of Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, the agreement is a “Trojan horse” — a trap disguised as a gift, which will in reality serve the interests of few multinational corporations and the executive branch rather than the public at large.

Baby-Carrier Maker Is ‘Company Doe,’ Tried To Litigate In Secret To Save Reputation
5/8/2014

·         The Consumerist: Baby-Carrier Maker Is ‘Company Doe,’ Tried To Litigate In Secret To Save Reputation by Chris Morran - “The company, Ergobaby, spent years and probably hundreds of thousands of dollars to hide its identity and the substance of its litigation about a report to the CPSC,” says Scott Michelman, an attorney for Public Citizen who has argued for this case to be un-redacted.

How Does A Negative Amazon Review Result In Threats Of A Lawsuit?
5/8/2014

·         The Consumerist: How Does A Negative Amazon Review Result In Threats Of A Lawsuit? by Kate Cox - We spoke with Paul Alan Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen, who told Consumerist that instances like T.’s are increasingly commonplace. They don’t always result in lawsuits, but the threat alone is significantly cheaper — hundreds of dollars as opposed to potentially thousands — and often works. Making a deliberately false statement can indeed leave a reviewer open to a libel suit, Levy added, but there’s “a difference between expressing a negative opinion and a statement of fact.”

Ergobaby is 'Company Doe' in product safety case
5/8/2014

·         Associated Press: Ergobaby is 'Company Doe' in product safety case by Jennifer Kerr - The government appealed but then decided to drop its challenge. Consumer groups appealed the seal separately in the litigation. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, last month sided with the groups - Public Citizen, Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union - and sent the case back to the district court with instructions to "unseal the case in its entirety."

Can the Texas Solar Market Live Up to Its Potential?
5/8/2014

·         Green Tech Media: Can the Texas Solar Market Live Up to Its Potential? by Bentham Paulos - “Solar incentives have been proposed in every session since 2005,” says David Power of Public Citizen. “They came close, but never passed.”

Progressives Unite in Call Against 'Horrific' TPP
5/7/2014

·         Common Dreams: Progressives Unite in Call Against 'Horrific' TPP by Lauren McCauley - The TPP has been blasted by critics for undermining labor and environmental standards, as well as the open Internet. "The TPP is a horrific thing," said Kian Frederick, national field director for Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. "There's something for everyone to hate."

House holds Lois Lerner in contempt in IRS scandal: What does that mean?
5/7/2014

·         The Christian Science Monitor: House holds Lois Lerner in contempt in IRS scandal: What does that mean? By Francine Kiefer - That is, if it gets that far. First, the case has to be referred to a US attorney. But the Justice Department could decide the charge is frivolous and refuse to prosecute, says Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, which advocates for consumers. The House could also go to court to attempt to compel Lerner to testify. If the contempt charge does get to a courtroom, Mr. Holman says, it’s likely to be thrown out because a judge will view it “more as partisan politics.”

Bankruptcy’s Silver Lining for Energy Future’s Coal
5/7/2014

·         Bloomberg Businessweek: Bankruptcy’s Silver Lining for Energy Future’s Coal by Mark Chediak and Harry R. Weber - Energy Future’s debt holders shouldn’t assume the oldest coal plants will generate enough money to pay off new debt, said Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of the Texas office of consumer advocate Public Citizen.

All workplaces in NY state should have I2P2, Public Citizen says
5/7/2014

·         Safety and Health Magazine: All workplaces in NY state should have I2P2, Public Citizen says - New York state should amend its workers’ compensation regulation to require all private-sector employers to implement workplace safety and loss prevention programs, watchdog group Public Citizen stated in a report released May 6.

Singulair Allergy Risks Are Too Dangerous for Over-the-Counter Use: Group
5/6/2014

·         AboutLawsuits.com: Singulair Allergy Risks Are Too Dangerous for Over-the-Counter Use: Group by Irvin Jackson - In testimony (PDF) submitted to the FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee on May 2, Drs. Michael Carome and Sidney Wolfe of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group urged the panel to reject a bid by Merck to sell Singulair without a prescription.

North Texans Living Next To Old Wells: “I’m a Little Shocked
5/6/2014

·         CBS – Dallas Fort Worth: North Texans Living Next To Old Wells: “I’m a Little Shocked…” by Jack Douglas Jr. and Jason Allen - “It’s an outrage that our laws don’t require a prospective home buyer to be notified that they live adjacent to – or on top of – a fracking tank,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith,  Texas director of Public Citizen, a government and environmental watchdog group. “All of us have had to sign that little piece of paper that says there was lead paint, perhaps, on this property,” Smith said, adding: “They ought to have the same right to know whether toxics that result from fracking could affect their health if they buy a piece of property.”

Workplace Injuries in New York Cost the Economy $10.9 Billion in Three Years
5/6/2014

·         EHS Today: Workplace Injuries in New York Cost the Economy $10.9 Billion in Three Years by Sandy Smith - Occupational injuries in the private section in New York cost the state economy $10.9 billion between 2010 and 2012, according to a new Public Citizen report, “Aim Higher: New York Should Reform its Workers’ Compensation Laws to Reduce Injuries,” released May 6.

House ethics panel extends review of Gutierrez hiring of lobbyist
5/5/2014

Chicago Tribune: House ethics panel extends review of Gutierrez hiring of lobbyist Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the watchdog group Public Citizen, said if contractors are providing functions that ought to be done by salaried, full-time employees, it “comes across as an evasion of ethics requirements.” “An independent contractor should be brought in for one specific job and not serve in a capacity as a senior staffer for a member of Congress,” said Holman.

D.C. Week: Medicare Panel Says No on Lung Cancer Test
5/3/2014

MedPageToday: D.C. Week: Medicare Panel Says No on Lung Cancer Test by Joyce Frieden - The FDA failed to respond to a 2011 petition demanding strong warnings about proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), according to a Public Citizen lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The Real Reason Keystone XL Might Fail
5/3/2014

·         Bloomberg Businessweek: The Real Reason Keystone XL Might Fail by Matthews Philips and Brad Wieners - “In a largely overlooked November 2013 Public Citizen report (PDF), a TransCanada whistle-blower and several property owners recorded many of the same problems as did the PHMSA.”

  

FDA Panel Nixes OTC Singulair
5/2/2014

·         MedPageToday: FDA Panel Nixes OTC Singulair by Crystal Phend - Montelukast poses a significantly greater risk than existing over-the-counter allergy medications, Michael Carome, MD, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, argued during the open public hearing portion of the discussion. "Among the side effects: agitation, aggressive behavior, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, insomnia, irritability and suicidal thoughts," he warned. "If people could buy Singulair without a prescription, the potential for inappropriate and potentially dangerous use is high."

Enron-style price gouging is making a comeback
5/2/2014

·         Al Jazeera: Enron-style price gouging is making a comeback by David Cay Johnston - Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen characterized the Energy partners explanation for the shutdown as absurd: In the world of business, a firm announcing that an asset purchased just 5 weeks ago is actually uneconomical to operate would be called incompetent, and such a firm would have difficulty attracting capital and staying in business.

Why are private-equity firms behind Energy Future deal the only ones coming out okay?
5/2/2014

·         Washington Post: Why are private-equity firms behind Energy Future deal the only ones coming out okay? by Steven Mufson - Meanwhile, the bankruptcy faces other hurdles. Public Citizen is pressing for the closure of the oldest and dirtiest coal plants in the Luminant fleet and for the payment of $1 billion for reclamation costs at old strip mines it ran.

Spring brings thaw in debate over changes to Dodd-Frank law
5/1/2014

·         The Hill: Spring brings thaw in debate over changes to Dodd-Frank law by Peter Schroeder - “Ideally, a congressional education effort is going to show that that bill is extraordinarily dangerous,” said Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate for Public Citizen. Still, Naylor said he is heartened that even though minor tweaks to the law might be gaining steam, efforts to significantly roll it back are not. “Is there an appetite to radically change Dodd-Frank or dilute it? I don’t think so,” he said.

Ten emerging economies targeted by US for IP violation, India’s inclusion widely criticized
5/1/2014

The Times of India: Ten emerging economies targeted by US for IP violation, India’s inclusion widely criticized by "India's patent system plays by the global rules and promotes public health. The Obama administration should support, rather than attack, India's key role helping facilitate global access to lifesaving medicines," said Maybarduk.

Did US baulk at prospect of upsetting the next government on IPR?
5/1/2014

·         The Economic Times: Did US baulk at prospect of upsetting the next government on IPR? By Dilasha Seth and Soma Das - Peter Maybarduk, director of US public health group Public Citizen Global Access to Medicines Program, said, "The US Chamber of Commerce, Big Pharma and other big business groups have mounted a misleading campaign to push the US government to name India a Priority Foreign Country, citing disputes over pharmaceuticals and patent policies."

BGE parent company to acquire D.C.-based Pepco
5/1/2014

·         Baltimore Sun: BGE parent company to acquire D.C.-based Pepco by Jamie Smith opkindsHopkins - "The ratepayers are always the sucker," said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen and a Pepco customer. "We are -- because in electricity, we are captive."

With Just One Investigation in 2013, OHRP Seems ‘Invisible’ After SUPPORT Dust-Up
5/1/2014

Report on Research Compliance (May 2014 edition): With Just One Investigation in 2013, OHRP Seems ‘Invisible’ After SUPPORT Dust-Up by Theresa Defino - “Very disturbing” was how Michael Carome, director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, put it. “The only thing that would be more disturbing is if the number [of new investigations] was zero.” OHRP’s activities are “spiraling down” to a level that makes the office “seem invisible,” Carome said. OHRP “is doing an insufficient job in its compliance oversight role. They are either too reluctant to open cases or to go looking for indications of possible non-compliance.”

Grimm and McAllister Are Hardly the Only Lawmakers With Ethics Concerns
5/1/2014

·         National Journal: Grimm and McAllister Are Hardly the Only Lawmakers With Ethics Concerns by Billy House - The House Ethics Committee has several dozen cases before it involving members of Congress and staff—including at least nine that involve sitting lawmakers—and not all are being resolved in an open and timely way. Some have no deadline for a resolution attached to them. A few have gone on for years. "They can continue to delay and not actually act if they choose to do so," said Craig Holman, senior legislative director for Public Citizen. He said that is the case, despite reforms to the process that have led the committee to disclose more of its activities.

Why Medicare Keeps Paying Sketchy Doctors
5/1/2014

·         Bloomberg: Why Medicare Keeps Paying Sketchy Doctors by John Tozzi, David Armstrong, and Caroline Chen - “If a doctor is thrown out of one state, that should be enough to exclude them from Medicare,” says Sidney Wolfe, a physician who founded Public Citizen, a Washington consumer advocacy group.

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