November 2013 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.

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 consumerwatchdog group Public Citizen says TPP would hurt patients here and overseas increasing the term of patents held big pharmaceutical companies and heading off less expensive generic drugs.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.”

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.

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 lobist 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 the Treasury Department.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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 (TransPacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largestever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing

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.

US Chamber of Commerce supports international business bribery

11/22/2013
Buzzflash at Truthout: 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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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 nonprofit 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 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.

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 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.

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 - Peter Maybarduk, Director, Global Access to Medicines Program, Public Citizen

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 - "The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of 'free trade' 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.

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.

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.”

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.  

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 fasttrack 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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

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.

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
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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Consumers Support COOL, Urge Defence of Law

11/14/2013
USAgnet: 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.  

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 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 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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

What is the Keystone XL Pipeline?

11/14/2013
State Impact – NPR: What is the Keystone XL Pipeline? - A November 2013 report by the environmental group Public Citizen alleges many issues and defects with the construction of the pipeline, saying that “construction problems and apparent engineering code violations along the Texas portion of the southern segment of the pipeline” should delay the start of that leg of the pipeline, scheduled to begin by the end of 2013.

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.

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.

Blue Wednesday for Obama trade agenda

11/13/2013
Politico: Blue Wednesday for Obama trade agenda by Doug Palmer and Eric Bradner - “The Obama administration’s shameful bullying on behalf of the giant drug companies would lead to preventable suffering and death in Asia-Pacific countries,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program, in a statement.

Wikileaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific trade deal, says it would ‘trample’ consumer rights

11/13/2013
The Financial Post: Wikileaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific trade deal, says it would ‘trample’ consumer rights by Brian Wingfield - 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.”

Our View: A baby step toward safer drugs

11/13/2013
The Daily Nonpareil: Our View: A baby step toward safer drugs - Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group and a longtime critic of both the FDA and drug companies, said the bill should have required mandatory labels on compounded drugs warning that they have not been approved the FDA.  

WikiLeaks Says Pacific-Trade Draft Would Trample Consumer Rights

11/13/2013
Bloomberg: WikiLeaks Says Pacific-Trade Draft Would Trample Consumer Rights by Brian Wingfield - 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.”

Public Citizen Reveals Dents, Holes in Keystone XL Southern

11/13/2013
CounterPunch: Public Citizen Reveals Dents, Holes in Keystone XL Southern by Steve Horn - Public Citizen has released a chilling report revealing that the 485mile KXL southern line is plagued dents, faulty welding, exterior damage that was patched up poorly and misshapen bends, among other troubling anomalies.

Wikileaks: U.S. backing pharmaceuticals in Trans-Pacific Partnership draft

11/13/2013
Agence France-Presse (The Raw Story): Wikileaks: U.S. backing pharmaceuticals in Trans-Pacific Partnership draft by Shaun Tandon - Public Citizen, a Washington advocacy group critical of globalization, charged that the Trans-Pacific Partnership marked a step backward and would lock consumers into high prices for medication.

Taxpayers Subsidize High CEO Salaries, Study Says

11/13/2013
Law360: Taxpayers Subsidize High CEO Salaries, Study Says by Drew Singer - American taxpayers are subsidizing hundreds of millions of dollars in CEO compensation, according to a study released Tuesday Public Citizen.  

Regulations Cost More Than We Ever Knew

11/13/2013
Huffington Post (Public Citizen Op Ed): Regulations Cost More Than We Ever Knew by Taylor Lincoln - Regulations Cost More Than We Ever Knew by Taylor Lincoln

For controversial trade pact, fire from the left, the right and WikiLeaks

11/13/2013
Washington Post: For controversial trade pact, fire from the left, the right and WikiLeaks by Howard Schneider - There isn’t much that would put tea party leaders such as Rep. Michele Bachmann (RMinn.) in league with WikiLeaks and the leftleaning crowd at Public Citizen, the activist group founded Ralph Nader.

WikiLeaks exposes IP chapter of Pacific Rim deal

11/13/2013
Politico: WikiLeaks exposes IP chapter of Pacific Rim deal by Eric Bradner - “The Obama administration’s shameful bullying on behalf of the giant drug companies would lead to preventable suffering and death in Asia-Pacific countries,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program, in a statement.

Gansler Wants to Limit Outside Campaign Advertising

11/13/2013
Colombia Patch: Gansler Wants to Limit Outside Campaign Advertising by Deb Belt - Jonah MikoffZern, senior organizer with Public Citizen, said his organization supports preventing keeping big corporations and wealthy donors from dominating campaigns.

WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Obama Deal

11/13/2013
Politico: WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Obama Deal by Zach Carter - "The Obama administration’s proposals are the worst –- the most damaging for health we have seen in a U.S. trade agreement to date,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program.

First Leaked TPP Chapter Evokes Memories of SOPA

11/13/2013
TorrentFreak: First Leaked TPP Chapter Evokes Memories of SOPA - Burcu Kilic, an intellectual property lawyer with Public Citizen, says that some of the proposals remind him of SOPA.

GOP leadership prepares to meet with Camp on tax reform — Camp says he is still optimistic

11/13/2013
Politico Morning Tax: GOP leadership prepares to meet with Camp on tax reform — Camp says he is still optimistic by Lauren French - The 1990’s-era law meant to curb deductions for extravagant CEO is instead prompting corporations to deduct $235 million from their taxes by writing off stock-based compensation deals, a new survey from Public Citizen found.

WikiLeaks reveals secretive TPP agreement

11/13/2013
Peter Maybarduk on RTTV [Russia Today TV]: WikiLeaks reveals secretive TPP agreement - The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is in trouble, as 170 members of the House of Representatives have balked at backing the agreement. The TPP would open up markets between Pacific Rim countries, but critics focus on the high level of secrecy surrounding the negotiations, where members of Congress are being shut out by powerful transnational corporations. The Obama administration wanted to fast track the approval of the TPP in Congress, meaning that senators couldn't filibuster the bill, nor could lawmakers amend the bill.

House Pushing Back on Trade Deal; More Detail on How Secret Arbitration Panels Undermine Laws and Regulations

11/13/2013
Naked Capitalism: House Pushing Back on Trade Deal; More Detail on How Secret Arbitration Panels Undermine Laws and Regulations - Even though no one has seen the exact language of the text, since it is being kept under wraps, both deals are believed to strengthen and extend investor rights, which means give them easier access to the courts. Consider this description from a July presentation by Public Citizen:

WikiLeaks: White House pushing for curbs on Internet freedom

11/13/2013
Consumer Affairs: WikiLeaks: White House pushing for curbs on Internet freedom by Truman Lewis - Secret documents published today by WikiLeaks and analyzed by the nonprofit consumers group Public Citizen reveal 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 said today.

Wikileaks releases draft of long-secret trade proposal - Consumer watchdog Public Citizen excoriates U.S. positions on Internet, health

11/13/2013
Network World: Wikileaks releases draft of long-secret trade proposal - Consumer watchdog Public Citizen excoriates U.S. positions on Internet, health by Paul McNamara - Wikileaks this morning has released what they say is a complete draft of the portion of the ultra-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty that covers intellectual property. A consumer watchdog group, Public Citizen, which says it has analyzed the documents, is slamming the Obama Administration for what it calls a complete capitulation to American corporate interests that is being summarily rejected by many of its would-be treaty partners.

Coates urges SEC to enact consumer protection rules

11/13/2013
Harvard Law School: Coates urges SEC to enact consumer protection rules - Harvard Law School Professor John C. Coates spoke at a briefing on Oct. 30 in Washington, D.C., to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to require publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending. The event, which was organized by the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, also included speeches by former Harvard Law School Professor Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Robert Menendez.

Keystone XL report warns of defective segments on pipeline

11/13/2013
Omaha.com: Keystone XL report warns of defective segments on pipeline - The activists, led by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, allege in a report released Tuesday that shoddy construction on the new line has caused more than 100 defects that TransCanada has had to fix. They believe that the defects, even after repairs, could leave the pipeline vulnerable to breaks and spills.

Unopposed incumbents prosper from rich donors, files show

11/13/2013
Houston Chronicle: Unopposed incumbents prosper from rich donors, files show by Patricia Kilday Hart - "Lawmakers are living high on the hog at their contributor's expense," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office. "And the contributors are inevitably repaid in favors done on the floor of the House and Senate - or more frequently in back rooms where bills are scheduled or killed when nobody is looking."

Secret TPP Text Leaked as Left and Right Criticize “Corporate Power Grab”

11/13/2013
Accuracy.org: Secret TPP Text Leaked as Left and Right Criticize “Corporate Power Grab” - The New York Times reports that while “the Obama administration is rushing” the TPP “before the end of the year” that “two new House letters with about 170 signatories in total — the latest and strongest iteration of long-simmering opposition to fast-track authority and to the trade deal more broadly — have been disclosed just a week before international negotiators are to meet in Salt Lake City for another round of talks. … ‘This could be the end of TPP,’ said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, a watchdog group that has opposed the deal.”

Obama's Pacific Trade Deal 'Worst Ever' Attack on Public Health, Leaked Draft Shows

11/13/2013
Common Dreams: Obama's Pacific Trade Deal 'Worst Ever' Attack on Public Health, Leaked Draft Shows by Sarah Lazare - “The Obama administration’s proposals are the worst – the most damaging for health – we have seen in a U.S. trade agreement to date," said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program. "The Obama administration has backtracked from even the modest health considerations adopted under the Bush administration.”

WERU News Report 11/13/13

11/13/2013
WERU: WERU News Report 11/13/13 - The non-partisan citizen advocacy group Public Citizen has analyzed the document, and determined that the “Leaked Documents Reveal Obama Administration (is) Push(ing) for Internet Freedom Limits, (and) Terms That Raise Drug Prices” We spoke with Public Citizen’s Peter Maybarduk earlier today, to learn more about that, and what else the leaked documents reveal...

Secret treaty leaks, Mexico wants copyright extended even more than US does

11/13/2013
ARS Technica: Secret treaty leaks, Mexico wants copyright extended even more than US does by Cyrus Farivar - Not surprisingly, public interest groups, including Public Citizen and many legal scholars, have applauded the leak and have lamented many of the strong IP law provisions that the United States appears to be pushing on its trade partners.  

WikiLeaks publishes secret draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty

11/13/2013
The Verge: WikiLeaks publishes secret draft of Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty by Jacob Kastrenakes - Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines program, says in a statement. "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.”

US nears new curbs on compounding pharmacies

11/12/2013
The Boston Globe: US nears new curbs on compounding pharmacies by Noah Bierman - “The issue with all these deaths and infections is too important to leave it to voluntary registrations by these companies,” said Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, senior adviser to the health research group at Public Citizen, which lobbied for tight regulations. “It takes serious measures to do something about it, and this legislation is not a serious measure.”

Senate poised to act on compounding bill

11/12/2013
The Tennessean: Senate poised to act on compounding bill by Tom Wilemon - Representatives of other public advocacy organizations have been critical of the legislation. Dr. Michael Carome of Washington, D.C.-based Public Citizen said the legislation authorizes a new category of drug manufacturers that will face less scrutiny than those now licensed by the FDA.

House Stalls Trade Pact Momentum

11/12/2013
The New York Times: House Stalls Trade Pact Momentum by Annie Lowrey - “This could be the end of T.P.P.,” said Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, a watchdog group that has opposed the deal, formally called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “All these other countries are like, ‘Wait, you have no trade authority and nothing you’ve promised us means anything? Why would we give you our best deal?’ Why would you be making concessions to the emperor who has no clothes?”

Unopposed incumbents know how to live large and have fun

11/12/2013
Houston Chronicle: Unopposed incumbents know how to live large and have fun - Tom "Smitty" Smith, longtime director of Public Citizen's Texas office has a different take: "Lawmakers are living high on the hog at their contributors' expense. And the contributions are inevitably repaid in favors done on the floor of the House and Senate - or more frequently in back rooms where bills are scheduled or killed when nobody is looking."

National briefs: Block pipeline, Texans ask

11/12/2013
Pittsburgh PostGazette: National briefs: Block pipeline, Texans ask - The activists, led by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, allege in a report released Tuesday that shoddy construction on the new line has caused more than 100 defects that TransCanada has had to fix. They believe the "anomalies," even after repairs, could leave the pipeline vulnerable to breaks and spills.

Obama Nominates Treasury Official as Top Derivatives Regulator

11/12/2013
NYT Deal Book: Obama Nominates Treasury Official as Top Derivatives Regulator by Alexandra Stevenson and Ben Protess - “We need a chairman who will prioritize the needs of Main Street over Wall Street,” Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group said in a statement. “Timothy Massad’s views on most of the key issues before the C.F.T.C. are not known.”

Report: 125 Segments of Nearly Complete Keystone Pipeline Through Texas Have Been Excavated

11/12/2013
Dallas Observer: Report: 125 Segments of Nearly Complete Keystone Pipeline Through Texas Have Been Excavated by Brantley Hargrove - In a matter of weeks, crude oil will begin flowing through the Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone pipeline in Texas. The question watchdog group Public Citizen asks: Is it ready? That's because, with the help of landowners along the line's course, they say they've identified 125 separate instances in which lengths of the pipeline have been excavated

10 El Paso County politicians owe Texas Ethics Commission fines

11/11/2013
El Paso Times: 10 El Paso County politicians owe Texas Ethics Commission fines by Marty Schladen - "There's an old saying in Texas politics that you dance with them that 'brung ya,'" said Tom "Smitty" Smith, Texas director of the watchdog group Public Citizen. "And unless you know who's filling their pockets with political cash, you won't know who your candidates are beholden to. The flaunting of the law failing to disclose shows the disdain in which some in the elected class hold the voters."

Corporate America Wants the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Christmas This Year

11/11/2013
Dissident Voice: Corporate America Wants the Trans-Pacific Partnership for Christmas This Year by Christopher Fisher - According to information leaked from the secret negotiations over the past several years, as well as Public Citizen, Food & Water Watch, and other public interest organizations, there are numerous areas in which the public should be concerned as the negotiations conclude. Many of the proposed rules in the agreement read like an extended Christmas wish list for corporate predators. Rules currently being negotiated would allow corporations to...

East Texans Seek Shutdown of Pegasus Pipeline

11/11/2013
KEYE TV: East Texans Seek Shutdown of Pegasus Pipeline by Jim Malewitz - Anti-pipeline groups, such as Safe Communities Alliance, Public Citizen and Texas Pipeline Watch, have seized on the Mayflower spill as they look to rally support in town meetings throughout East Texas. A meeting last month in the nearby town of Seven Points, for instance, featured testimony from two residents who lived through the spill. "As soon as I stepped out of the door, I almost threw up," Ann Jarrell, who lived just 300 yards outside the oil-covered neighborhood, told the audience. She described the smell hanging in the air that day as a mix of burnt tires and asphalt.

Texas Nuclear Power Plant Expansion Put on Hold

11/11/2013
Associated Press: Texas Nuclear Power Plant Expansion Put on Hold by Tom "Smitty" Smith - Texas director for Ralph Nader's watchdog group Public Citizen, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he had suspected that Energy Future Holdings has been keeping the Comanche Peak expansion application alive because "they would be valuable assets in bankruptcy."

Pharmacy bill set for test vote in Senate

11/11/2013
The Washington Post: Pharmacy bill set for test vote in Senate by Matthew Perrone - The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, a longtime critic of both the FDA and drug companies, said the bill should have required mandatory labels on compounded drugs warning that they have not been approved by the FDA.

Slowing the Revolving Door Between Public and Private Jobs

11/11/2013
Deal Book: Slowing the Revolving Door Between Public and Private Jobs by Ben Protess - Now, groups like Public Citizen and the Project on Government Oversight are thinking bigger, advocating novel, if long-shot, ideas to narrow the revolving door. Raise the annual salary of government officials to $400,000. Require agencies to post a webcast of their meetings with industry lobbyists. Lengthen the one-year cooling-off period during which some lawyers and lobbyists are barred from having official contact with their former government employers.

Liability Looms for Generic Drug Safety Labeling Changes

11/11/2013
PharmExec: Liability Looms for Generic Drug Safety Labeling Changes by Jill Wechsler - Now FDA proposes to address concerns raised by the Public Citizen Health Research Group in its 2011 citizens petition and allow generics makers to independently update prescribing information [available at www.fda.gov and published in the Federal Register Nov. 13, 2013]. Companies only have to inform FDA and other manufacturers of their action through a changes-being-effective (CBE-0) filing. To prevent confusion, FDA plans to post such information on a web page that will carry all safety-related label changes from all drug manufacturers.

Mud in the governor's race

11/10/2013
Herald-Tribune: Mud in the governor's race - The decision has led to increasing spending on negative ads, according to the non-profit 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.

Eleven months after a patient dies, a Cary dentist’s license is quietly revoked

11/10/2013
Charlotte Observer: Eleven months after a patient dies, a Cary dentist’s license is quietly revoked by Andrew Kenney - It’s common that medical and dental boards approach cases cautiously, according to Michael Carome, a medical physician and the director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group…

The TPP, if Passed, Spells the End of Popular Sovereignty for The United States

11/10/2013
Naked Capitalism: The TPP, if Passed, Spells the End of Popular Sovereignty for The United States by Lambert Strether - Fortunately, and bringing me to the second and more important reason the TPP undermines popular sovereignty, the investment chapter for the TPP was leaked, and the excellent Public Citizen published it. Their summary in relevant part describes the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions...

NSA Spying Scandal Roils US-EU Trade Negotiations

11/10/2013
Huffington Post : NSA Spying Scandal Roils US-EU Trade Negotiations by Mary Bottari - In addition to the specter of USTR spying on EU negotiators or firms and passing on information to the 600 U.S. firms advising USTR on the trade agreement, some advocates are wondering if NSA is spying on them as well. "Organizations of U.S. citizens have a right to know that their government is not spying on them as they work to influence U.S. policy. This is something we all should be able to take for granted, but it is plain now that we can't," says Rob Weissman President of Public Citizen.

Businesses hire up to deal with more regs

11/9/2013
The Hill : Businesses hire up to deal with more regs by By Ben Goad and Julian Hattem - “Yes, we need more compliance officers, but we need them to be more than window dressing,” said Bart Naylor, a financial policy advocate with Public Citizen.  

Letter: Uncover and expose secret deal

11/9/2013
The Columbian: Letter: Uncover and expose secret deal by Edie Cotton - For references and further information, go to: Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch…

Arguments made in ‘Company Doe’ case in federal appeals court

11/5/2013
Consumer Reports: Arguments made in ‘Company Doe’ case in federal appeals court - Was a Maryland district court justified in conducting months of secret litigation and sealing all court records in a lawsuit brought a corporation the court allowed to be known only as "Company Doe"? That was the crux of the issue debated yesterday in arguments before a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va. The lawsuit filed the company—Company Doe v. Public Citizen—is of significant public interest because it focuses on whether a report alleging that the company's product harmed a child should be publicly posted on the database on SaferProducts.gov.

First Crony Michelle Obama's Big Business Bonanza

11/5/2013
Townhall: First Crony Michelle Obama's Big Business Bonanza - Mrs. Obama's nonprofit reportedly has assets of $4.5 million. It doesn't have to disclose its donors. So much for the "most transparent administration ever." Even left-wing watchdogs are irked. "This is a classic case of the game of influence peddling by lobbying associations," Craig Holman, who works for the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen, told Politico.com.

Calls for Reform Grow as SEC Considers New Disclosure Rules

11/4/2013
Open Secrets blog: Calls for Reform Grow as SEC Considers New Disclosure Rules by Alex Baumgart - Last week, Prof. Robert Jackson Jr., one of the original filers of the SEC petition, was joined by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) at a briefing hosted by Public Citizen to encourage supporters to keep pressing for reform. The lawmakers highlighted their plans for legislative action should the SEC ruling run aground.

Stop-and-Frisk Is Back on Until Next Year

11/4/2013
VICE: Stop-and-Frisk Is Back on Until Next Year by Lucy Steigerwald - On October 29, a nonpartisan lobbyist group, Public Citizen, teamed up with the law office of Kramon and Graham to sue the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security over their heavy-handed attempts to shut down their client Dan McCall, the proprietor of Libertymaniacs.com, when he he tried to design and sell parody t-shirts.

Handful of firms bankrolling local elections

11/4/2013
Asbury Park Press: Handful of firms bankrolling local elections by Shannon Mullen - Press Investigation: Handful of firms bankrolling local elections by Shannon Mullen

CFTC to Offer New Take on Speculation-Limits Rule Judge Rejected

11/4/2013
Bloomberg Business Week: CFTC to Offer New Take on Speculation-Limits Rule Judge Rejected by Dave Michaels - “Definitely, oil was the big issue,” said Tyson Slocum, energy-program director at Public Citizen, which advocated for position limits. “It’s kind of like an antitrust rule. It just limits the ability of one or a small handful of players to dominate a given market.”

Mysterious product safety case allows company and product to remain secret

11/3/2013
AllGov: Mysterious product safety case allows company and product to remain secret by Noel Brinkerhoff - Those objecting to the ruling include Consumers Union, Public Citizen and the Consumer Federation of America, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, the AARP and media organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post and National Public Radio.

Moyers & Co.: Yves Smith and Dean Baker On the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Budget Brinkmanship

11/2/2013
Bill Moyers.com (transcript on Daily KOS): Moyers & Co.: Yves Smith and Dean Baker On the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Budget Brinkmanship by Bobswern - Some people have seen pieces. One of the groups that's been very on top of this has been a Washington D.C. group called Public Citizen. And from the pieces they've been able to put together, they see that it, for example, will allow drug companies to increase prices, to extend the term of their patent.

Schnurman: Regulation all bad? It’s softening impact of Energy Future Holdings’ fall

11/2/2013
The Dallas Morning News: Schnurman: Regulation all bad? It’s softening impact of Energy Future Holdings’ fall by Mitchell Schnurman - That’s how it was supposed to work, said Tom “Smitty” Smith, Texas director of Public Citizen. While a critic of the buyout, he gives the state some props. “This shows why we have regulation,” he said. Texas won key concessions when TXU Corp. was taken private. As the successor company, EFH, faces bankruptcy, these provisions help

How drug companies price patients out of survival

11/2/2013
Salon: How drug companies price patients out of survival by Michelle Chen - “We’re concerned that the TPP is, in part, a closed-door hemispheric rule-making against public health,” says Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicine program. The Obama administration’s free trade agenda, he adds, actually threatens to unravel some of the hard-fought gains in access to medical treatment that were initiated under the Bush administration’s international HIV/AIDS initiatives.

Gun rights groups go after NSA

11/2/2013
The Hill: Gun rights groups go after NSA by Megan R. Wilson - “Support for this legislation is coming from all walks of politics, including the NRA, which makes its chances for passage very strong,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen.

Congress Revises Rules for Drug Compounding and Supply-Chain Security

11/1/2013
PharmTech: Congress Revises Rules for Drug Compounding and Supply-Chain Security by Jill Wechsler - Pharmacists praised the bill, while manufacturers remained largely silent on the measure. Harsh criticism came from Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, who declared that the measure will actually make it easier for unscrupulous compounders to produce substandard drugs (2). At the same time, the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists complained that the bill gives FDA “sweeping, unprecedented authority” to determine what pharmacies can compound.