December 2011 media hits

Public Citizen is mentioned, or its experts quoted, every day in print and broadcast media around the world. Below are links to some of the recent stories in which we have appeared.

Public Citizen objects to selling naming rights to public transport

12/22/2011
The Nonprofit Quarterly: Public Citizen objects to selling naming rights to public transport - Now Public Citizen, a Washington based nonprofit that is aimed at protecting communities from commercialism, is objecting to the fact that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is investigating the strategy of selling naming rights for public transportation stops to corporations.

In Texas, new EPA regulations cheered, decried

12/22/2011
The Associated Press: In Texas, new EPA regulations cheered, decried - "This is big. Texans shouldn't be living with the health risks of mercury and other pollutants," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of the Texas office of the consumer activist group Public Citizen.

Ethics committee closes loophole Don Young exploited

12/22/2011
TPM Muckraker: Ethics committee closes loophole Don Young exploited - “When it comes to campaign finance law, that’s clearly a violation,” Public Citizen’s Craig Holman told TPM. “It’s well established as a violation of that type of rule.”

Ron Paul 2012: Scared by one of his ‘crazy’ ideas? Consider this…

12/22/2011
International Business Times: Ron Paul 2012: Scared by one of his ‘crazy’ ideas? Consider this… - "Like many lobbyists along Washington's famed K Street corridor, Livingston opens his wallet for a substantial number of candidates and political action committees (PACs) engaged in key political races. And in doing so, he engages in what may be the most influential form of lobbying," wrote Public Citizen.

Consumer group wants withdrawal of Wingspan stent

12/22/2011
The Associated Press: Consumer group wants withdrawal of Wingspan stent - The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen says a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health found a 2.5fold increase in stroke or death with the Wingspan stent system, which is designed to prevent stroke by clearing blood flow to the brain.

Members of Congress collect thousands in state pensions

12/22/2011
Austin American-Statesman: Members of Congress collect thousands in state pensions - Tom "Smitty" Smith, the director of Public Citizen's Texas office, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization , took a harder line than McDonald. "Just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right," Smith said. "One way or another, this money is coming out of taxpayers' pockets."

Newt Gingrich situation highlights lobbying dilemma

12/22/2011
Roll Call: Newt Gingrich situation highlights lobbying dilemma - “Businesses will frequently hire family members of Members of Congress to do lobbying for them,” said Craig Holman of the advocacy group Public Citizen. Holman lobbies Congress on ethics matters.

Public Citizen leading campaign for constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United

12/20/2011
The Nonprofit Quarterly: Public Citizen leading campaign for constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United - Public Citizen, the Naderfounded good government group, is pushing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

The Occupy movement and the climate movement

12/20/2011
Climate Science Watch: The Occupy movement and the climate movement - In attendance were Ash Anderson, Director of Peaceful Uprising, Phil Aroneanu of 350.org, and Allison Fisher, Outreach Director for Public Citizen’s Energy Program and moderator of the conference.

Bundling money for influence still out of sight

12/15/2011
The Hill: Bundling money for influence still out of sight - The Federal Election Commission rarely fails to disappoint. The agency has proved ineffective once again, this time in its neglect of reporting and disclosure of “bundled” campaign contributions.

Hollywood, pro-Israel lobby, unions seek exemptions from ban on lobbyist gifts

12/15/2011
The Hill: Hollywood, pro-Israel lobby, unions seek exemptions from ban on lobbyist gifts - Not everyone hates the rule. It has received backing from a number of goodgovernment groups. Watchdogs including the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21 and Public Citizen have generally backed the proposal and have argued for it to be strengthened even further.

Anti-corruption groups come out against tax holiday

12/15/2011
The Wall Street Journal: Anti-corruption groups come out against tax holiday - On Tuesday, the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition, Global Financial Integrity, Public Citizen and other good governance groups signed onto a letter to Congress Tuesday railing against the tax holiday.

Major coal victory -- LS Power agrees to abandon two coal projects, invest in solar

12/15/2011
The Huffington Post: Major coal victory -- LS Power agrees to abandon two coal projects, invest in solar - Sierra Club, Public Citizen, and Sandy Creek Energy Associates all helped bring this agreement across the finish line.

In shocking “pharmalateralism,” FDA strips critic of voting rights

12/15/2011
AlterNet: In shocking “pharmalateralism,” FDA strips critic of voting rights - But instead of investigating the drug nine years ago, the FDA decided to ban the newsletter’s editor, Sidney Wolfe, MD, head of the Public Citizen Health Research Group from voting at this week’s Yaz hearings, because the newsletter had termed the drug a “do not use.” The FDA accused Wolfe of an “intellectual conflict of interest.”

U.S. bioethics panel urges stronger protections for human subjects

12/15/2011
Nature: U.S. bioethics panel urges stronger protections for human subjects - Sidney Wolfe, the director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen, an advocacy group in Washington DC, says that he is troubled by the report’s “equivalentprotections” recommendation, which urges US agencies funding studies abroad to allow nonUS partners and collaborators to work under the rules for patientprotection that pertain in their own countries — so long those rules are equal to or better than the standards adopted by the United States.

Really? Feds allow BP to drill in Gulf of Mexico

12/15/2011
Opposing Views: Really? Feds allow BP to drill in Gulf of Mexico - As Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, said in a statement released today, calling the BP disaster an “incident” is like calling Katrina a little rainstorm.

Texas coal plant cuts deal with environmentalists

12/14/2011
The Associated Press: Texas coal plant cuts deal with environmentalists - Sierra Club, Public Citizen and the Sandy Creek Energy Station in Riesel filed a consent decree Monday in federal court. The environmental groups say the deal ends any outstanding legal matters between the parties.

When business is regulated, and isn't

12/14/2011
The New York Times: When business is regulated, and isn't - David Brooks does an excellent job of debunking the big business hysteria over regulations. But the big business story is even more upside down than he reports.

Senate confirms one ambassador, blocks another

12/14/2011
Reuters: Senate confirms one ambassador, blocks another - "Naturally, Norm was always the one telling people what they could not do, and that won him no friends," said Craig Holman, who supported Eisen and is a lobbyist with the consumer group Public Citizen.

Can Occupy overturn Citizens United?

12/14/2011
The Huffington Post: Can Occupy overturn Citizens United? - While there are wonderful groups already engaged in this effort from Public Citizen to Free Speech for People only your energy, guts and brand can create votersnotcorporations groups in every state either to enact the 28th or at least mobilize opinion around the issue for future elections.

Advocates explore constitutional options to appoint consumer agency nominee

12/12/2011
The Hill: Advocates explore constitutional options to appoint consumer agency nominee - Nonetheless, David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, argues Obama clearly has the authority to do just that. Public Citizen is a consumer advocacy organization that is a strong supporter of the CFPB. “That’s absolutely clear in the Constitution. I think it’s incontestable,” he said.

Pressure on the EPA to act on fracking

12/12/2011
Bloomberg: Pressure on the EPA to act on fracking - Wyoming's tainted water puts pressure on the EPA to act on gas fracking “The industry is going to say this study proves nothing,” Tyson Slocum, energy program director for Public Citizen, a Washingtonbased consumer advocacy group, said in an interview. “But everybody is talking about a vastly expanded role for natural gas in the U.S. economy, and there’s way too much uncertainty into how fracking is going to be regulated.”

Despite defeat, Cordray lobbying continues

12/12/2011
National Journal: Despite defeat, Cordray lobbying continues - "We now have a list of who's on Main Street's side and who's on Wall Street's side," said Public Citizen's financial policy advocate Bartlett Naylor. "We've named the names."

EPA adds Wise, Hood counties to DFW ozone-nonattainment area

12/12/2011
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: EPA adds Wise, Hood counties to DFW ozone-nonattainment area - Environmental Protection Agency adds Wise, Hood counties to DFW ozonenonattainment area Eleven environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Public Citizen, wrote Armendariz on Thursday urging that Wise, Navarro, McLennan, Freestone and Limestone counties be added, but they did not request Hood.

FDA holds off on approving monitoring device

12/9/2011
Web Page Today : FDA holds off on approving monitoring device - FDA Panel Rejects Champion Monitor A representative from Public Citizen Health Research Group asked that the panel not recommend approval of the device because of the bias created by the treatment arm's management support.

EPA finds dangers in fracking

12/9/2011
Public News Service : EPA finds dangers in fracking - Group Says Fracking is not Healthy for Humans and Other Living Things Formerly part of Ralph Nader's group Public Citizen, Food & Water Watch will be opening an office in Albuquerque this month, adds Bravo.

Contemplating recess appointment of Cordray

12/9/2011
RealClearPolitics : Contemplating recess appointment of Cordray - Blocked by Senate, Obama May RecessAppoint Cordray The president should cut his losses and “end the needlessly drawn out process of installing a leader for the CFPB by making Cordray head of the agency through a recess appointment,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman in a statement.

Big pharma is trying to silence consumer advocacy

12/8/2011
Forbes: Big pharma is trying to silence consumer advocacy - Today an FDA advisory panel will meet to review the safety of oral contraceptives that contain drospirenone. One person who will not be voting on the panel is Sidney Wolfe, the well known consumer advocate and pharma critic.  

Debating public access to Watergate archives

12/8/2011
Sharon Fawcett had a history with Nixon’s archives: Debating public access to Watergate archives - MillerMcCune Nixon's Presidential Library The Last Battle of Watergate her former husband, who had preceded her in the presidentiallibraries job, was named in the lawsuit filed by the historian Stanley Kutler and the activist organization Public Citizen in 1992 to gain release of the full set of Nixon’s White House tapes.  

Gingrich took millions in corporate payoffs

12/8/2011
Washington Post : Gingrich took millions in corporate payoffs - The Influence Industry Gingrich case raises question, ‘What is a lobbyist?’ Lisa Gilbert, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch program, said her group and others are working on proposals that would broaden the legal definition of lobbying with the aim of providing more information to the public about Washington’s influence industry.

Few benefits found to Perry's tort reform plan

12/8/2011
NJToday : Few benefits found to Perry's tort reform plan - ANALYSIS Rick Perry’s Real Health Care Story “While litigation over malpractice in Texas has plummeted dramatically since the caps were imposed, residents of Texasexcept for people with financial connections to liability insurance companies and, to a lesser extent, doctors—have realized few, if any, benefits,” Public Citizen said in a statement accompanying the study. “Instead, the health care picture in Texas has worsened significantly by almost any measure.” 

Drugged and duped

12/8/2011
Policymic : Drugged and duped - SLAPPHappy Dentists When Lawsuits Are Used to Fight Bad Yelp! Reviews They also sent invoiced to Lee, charging him $100 a day for copyright infringement. Paul Allen Levy of Public Citizen said that the contract is illegal.

GOP proves they are puppets of bankers

12/8/2011
iwatch : GOP proves they are puppets of bankers - GOP senators' position on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau aligned with industry “The fight over the confirmation over a director is a symbolic contest about who in the Senate wants to protect Main Street and who continues to serve Wall Street paymasters," said Bart Naylor, a consumer advocate at Public Citizen.

Rick Perry's health plan a failure

12/8/2011
Huffington Post : Rick Perry's health plan a failure - Why Is Rick Perry Dodging Questions About Health Care in Texas? You Would Too Public Citizen's study found that Medicare spending has increase faster in the Lone Star state than the nation as a whole and that outpatient service costs covered by Medicare have also exceeded national averages.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe pulled from meeting

12/7/2011
The Star-Ledger: Dr. Sidney Wolfe pulled from meeting - FDA disqualifies Public Citizen's chief advocate from meeting on risky birth control Federal drug regulators have notified Sidney Wolfe, one of the nation's leading advocates for drug safety, that he would not be permitted to join a committee of experts asked to review new dangers associated with a group of birth control pills, including Bayer Healthcare's topselling Yaz.

$209 million settlement in Upper Big Branch disaster

12/7/2011
EHS Today: $209 million settlement in Upper Big Branch disaster - Criminal investigation of Upper Big Branch mine disaster yields $209 million settlement "A civil settlement is not enough," stressed Justin Feldman, Public Citizen’s worker health and safety advocate.

Upper Big Branch found preventable

12/7/2011
Huffington Post: Upper Big Branch found preventable - Upper Big Branch Report Feds release devastating findings on 'preventable' mine disaster "Many lawmakers seem to have forgotten about the mine safety issue altogether," Justin Feldman, worker safety advocate at the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen, recently told HuffPost.

Corruption in US Congress

12/7/2011
Truthout: Corruption in US Congress - License to Profit Legalized corruption in the US Congress According to a 2005 Public Citizen study, "Congressional Revolving Doors The Journey from Congress to K Street," that looked at the Congressional revolving door, as of 2005

Dentist strips patients of free speech

12/7/2011
The Wealthy Dentist: Dentist strips patients of free speech - Dental marketing gone bad Dentist threatens lawsuit for negative review Both ABC News and Public Citizen are reporting that Makhnevich sent a letter to Lee demanding that he delete the negative posts, warning him that he violated the agreement he signed and threatened to sue him for breach of contract.

Group in Wichita asks to curb corporate political donations

12/7/2011
Kansas.com Blogs: Group in Wichita asks to curb corporate political donations - Group asks Wichita Council to support curbs on corporate political spending The group, calling itself “We the People of Kansas,” is supporting campaigns by Public Citizen and Common Cause seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Citizens United.

FDA pulls Wolfe off panel

12/7/2011
Pharmalot: FDA pulls Wolfe off panel - over 'intellectual' conflict In an unusual move, the FDA has yanked Sid Wolfe from a planned meeting of its Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee this coming Thursday due to an ‘intellectual conflict of interest.'

Hearing to be held about STOCK Act

12/7/2011
al.com: Hearing to be held about STOCK Act - U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus to hear debate over congressional stock trading Either these members of Congress are geniuses when it comes to stock trading, or they know something the rest of us don't and trade on it," said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen.

FDA advisory committee problems

12/7/2011
GoozNews: FDA advisory committee problems - The latest advisory committee stumbles at FDA First, it ruled that Public Citizen’s Sidney Wolfe could not take his usual post as consumer representative on the Drug Safety Advisory Committee because his widely read newsletter, “Best Pills, Worst Pills,” has already called for pulling Yasmin from the market.

Settlement in Upper Big Branch case

12/7/2011
Occupational Health and Safety: Settlement in Upper Big Branch case - $209 million settlement in Upper Big Branch case Justin Feldman, worker health and safety advocate with Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division, said the settlement isn't good enough.

Hope for White House rule

12/7/2011
Politico: Hope for White House rule - ProPerry super PAC goes all in Watchdogs hold out hope for W.H. rule Leadership PAC for Judy Chu K Street continues to prep for Occupy protests Public Citizen's Craig Holman told PI that he doesn't see the White House’s 30day extension of the comment period on a rule that would change how administration officials can interact with trade associations and other nonprofits that lobby as evidence that the rule will be watered down.

Mine safety bill stalled

12/7/2011
The Hill: Mine safety bill stalled - While the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has proposed new mine safety regulations in the aftermath of the Upper Big Branch disaster, the agency needs Congress to act as well, said Justin Feldman, worker health and safety advocate at Public Citizen.

Republican candidates counting on lobbyists to fund campaign

12/7/2011
Bloomberg: Republican candidates counting on lobbyists to fund campaign - RomneyGingrich rival campaigns woo lobbyists to help pay bills “The clients are the ones who are winning here,” said Craig Holman, who presses for stricter campaign finance laws atPublic Citizen, an advocacy group based in Washington.

WTO must change agenda

12/7/2011
Center for Economic And Policy Research: WTO must change agenda - WTO Turnaround Food, jobs and sustainable development first!

Letter to the Editor: Overturn Citizens United

12/7/2011
Sign On San Diego: Letter to the Editor: Overturn Citizens United - Jobless, campaign finance reform, S.D. pension measure, product packaging, Sanders' legacy Over the past few weeks, we have seen hundreds of stories on television, the Internet and this paper about the holiday shopping season and craziness.

Finra not accountable

12/5/2011
Forbes: Finra not accountable - Meanwhile, Public Citizen, Consumer Action, the Project On Government Oversight, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group, more leftleaning, coauthored a brief in which they argue the Second Circuit’s approach to immunity “is a drastic expansion” of immunity and should be reevaluated.  

Acting to stop insider trading in Congress

12/5/2011
National Journal : Acting to stop insider trading in Congress - Public Citizen STOCL Act ' Legislative Imperative" Ahead of Tuesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing on a bill that would ban insider trading by members of Congress, the goodgovernment group Public Citizen sent a letter to committee members today urging them to pass the bill and make "certain technical corrections" to it as it moves forward. 

Child labor law confusion

12/5/2011
Journal Star : Child labor law confusion - Local ag groups object to labor changes In the same time frame, a spokesman for the national nonprofit group Public Citizen questioned the validity of Nebraskans' concerns about the possible impact on summer detasseling jobs for thousands of teenagers. 

The Wealthy are indeed the lawmakers

12/5/2011
Tucson Citizen: The Wealthy are indeed the lawmakers - Moyers gave the keynote speech at the 40th Anniversary celebration of Public Citizen, the legendary nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in government.  

Violating consumer privacy

12/5/2011
Huffington Post: Violating consumer privacy - Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for Public Citizen which has regularly litigated to open up such corporate information to the public, argues, "The effect is the removal of an important check on the accountability of courts and lack of understanding about why courts make the decisions they do."  

Proposed rules stir up debate from farm owners

12/2/2011
The Kansas City Star: Proposed rules stir up debate from farm owners - Rules to restrict younger farm workers stir up debate The Public Citizen’s Watch Division, a congressional watchdog, is supporting the increased protections and is also advocating for the inclusion of heat stress as a hazard.

Lack of transparency in case

12/2/2011
Reuters: Lack of transparency in case - Insight Apple vs Samsung lawsuit full of secret combat The policy body of the federal courts recently reminded judges to limit broad sealing of cases, and interest groups such as Public Citizen and the American Civil Liberties Union frequently intervene in cases where major records are sealed.

Starbucks gift cards strip citizens' rights

12/2/2011
The Consumerist: Starbucks gift cards strip citizens' rights - Consumer advocates to Starbucks Change your terms of service on gift cards "Starbucks, which has held itself up as an upstanding corporate citizen, should set an example and remove this language because it preys on consumers' rights," said Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel with Public Citizen in a letter from the four groups.

House votes to end public financing of campaigns

12/2/2011
Bloomberg: House votes to end public financing of campaigns - U.S. House votes again to end public financing of campaigns “We’ve seen spending by outside organizations spiral out of control and we need an alternative that protects our democracy,” said Lisa Gilbert, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, a Washingtonbased group that favors stronger campaign finance laws.

Preventing safeguards

12/1/2011
The Washington Post: Preventing safeguards - “If you’re worried about a particular regulation, the solution is not to fundamentally undermine the regulatory process,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.  

The revolving door

12/1/2011
ABC News: The revolving door - According to the watchdog group Public Citizen, between 1998 and 2006, 43 percent of all members of Congress took lobbying jobs after leaving Congress, landing positions with an average annual salary of $2 million.  

Global Trade Watch explores the President's positions

12/1/2011
Truthout: Global Trade Watch explores the President's positions - To figure out how trade politics have shaped up in this way, I spoke with Todd Tucker, research director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Tucker, along with Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach, recently wrote in The American Prospect, "As he gears up for a difficult reelection campaign, President Obama risks losing key swing states that he won in 2008 because of a recent flipflop on trade commitments."  

Patient unknowingly signed away his rights

12/1/2011
ABC News: Patient unknowingly signed away his rights - Robert Lee went into Dr. Stacy Makhnevich’s New York dentist office for a sore tooth, but the year that followed turned into what one Public Citizen senior lawyer called an “unconscionable practice.”  

Starbucks takes advantage of coffee consumers

12/1/2011
The PopTort : Starbucks takes advantage of coffee consumers - Four consumer groups Public Citizen, Alliance for Justice, National Association of Consumer Advocates and National Consumers League – sent a letter to Starbucks this week and have now launched an educational and action campaign against the company for its outrageous forced arbitration and outright class actions ban, which it has imposed on all prepaid gift card users.  

A win for special interests?

12/1/2011
Huffington Post : A win for special interests? - House passes bill to end public election funding Groups seeking to improve the election system, including Common Cause, Democracy 21, Public Citizen and the League of Women Voters, urged the defeat of the Harper legislation, saying public financing has become even more important after the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision that eased restrictions on corporate spending in political campaigns.  

Big pharma kills again

12/1/2011
VT Digger : Big pharma kills again - Young woman's death leads to questions about popular contraceptive known as YAZ YAZ has been the suspected cause for deaths around the country, according to the Public Citizens Health Research Group. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of the watchdog organization, said, “there have been a number of published studies not connected with the company that have found problems with the product.”