July 2014 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.

FDA Rejects Public Citizen's Call for Ban on Transvaginal Mesh Devices

7/29/2014
NewsInferno: FDA Rejects Public Citizen's Call for Ban on Transvaginal Mesh Devices - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided not to institute a total ban on transvaginal mesh devices, despite a call to do so from the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Business groups alarmed by rise of 'micro-unions' in workplace

7/26/2014
The Hill: Business groups alarmed by rise of 'micro-unions' in workplace - “In most workplaces, business owners have figured out ways to hijack the collective bargaining process,” said Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate at Public Citizen. “Workers really do not have any place to turn to.”

Chamber of Commerce lost Its Way in Right Turn

7/25/2014
The New York Times: Chamber of Commerce lost Its Way in Right Turn - In the 16 years he has run the Chamber of Commerce, Donohue has turned it into a potent force, in no small part by making it more partisan. But by being so blindly pro-Republican, the chamber “unleashed a Frankenstein that has spun out of control,” said Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, which monitors the Chamber of Commerce.

Issa to Justice Department: show Me Your Bank Settlement Files

7/24/2014
Wall Street Journal Blog: Issa to Justice Department: show Me Your Bank Settlement Files - Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate for the advocacy group Public Citizen, also welcomed the inquiry. “Our concern is that these are private deals,” Mr. Naylor said. “We’re concerned that the size of these banks has softened the enforcement that DOJ might otherwise bring.”

Sen. Chambliss proves that lame ducks can still fly

7/23/2014
The Washington Post: Sen. Chambliss proves that lame ducks can still fly - “All of us had been frustrated because prior to the OCE there was no place for public complaints” of ethics violations, he (Craig Holman) said. “It’s declined over time because OCE reviews them in a very cautious and prudent matter. . . . We’ve all adjusted to a more reasonable level of filing complaints.”

Texas Is Wired for Wind Power, and More Farms Plug In

7/23/2014
NY Times: Texas Is Wired for Wind Power, and More Farms Plug In - Tom Smith, a longtime campaigner on energy issues, said that to cut carbon emissions, the country would need “interstate renewable transmission superhighways,” not unlike interstate highways. “That’s one of the things we’re going to have to change federally,” he said.

Obama Administration Flooded with 26,000 Comments Opposing Proposal to Disguise Offshoring of U.S. Manufacturing by Rebranding Firms that Relocate Production as 'Factoryless Goods' Manufacturers

7/22/2014
Reuters: Obama Administration Flooded with 26,000 Comments Opposing Proposal to Disguise Offshoring of U.S. Manufacturing by Rebranding Firms that Relocate Production as 'Factoryless Goods' Manufacturers - "These Orwellian data rebranding proposals would hide the damage wrought by past trade pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement, greasing the way for more-of-the-same, job-killing, deficit-boosting trade deals," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.

Here's Why Wall Street Reform Is Still In Limbo

7/21/2014
Mother Jones: Here's Why Wall Street Reform Is Still In Limbo - "Sorely needed Wall Street reform measures ordered by Congress to protect regular Americans and the markets still have not come to fruition nearly seven years after the financial collapse," Lisa Gilbert of Public Citizen said in a release announcing the report.

Pennsylvania lawmakers take more free, legal trips

7/20/2014
Associated Press: Pennsylvania lawmakers take more free, legal trips - "The era of potential big-money influence is back," said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, who advises Congress and states on campaign finance laws.

Must-have accesory for House candidates in 2014: The personalized super PAC

7/18/2014
Washington Post: Must-have accesory for House candidates in 2014: The personalized super PAC - Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, said the groups contribute to creating an unfair playing field by giving “candidates with that assistance a leg up that is undeniable, and puts those without it at a severe disadvantage.”

Time to take responsibility

7/17/2014
New Britain Herald: Time to take responsibility - Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen and Coalition for Sensible Safeguards co-chair, said: “Too many times, we’ve seen officials at companies decide to keep selling a dangerous product to consumers, knowing that even if they get caught, the penalties will be small.”

Bill proposes ethics classes for Congress

7/17/2014
The Washington Post: Bill proposes ethics classes for Congress - Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, said such training sessions would do a world of good for members who still believe “anything goes.” “I believe many of the violations we’ve seen of ethics rules really came from a lack of understanding of what the ethics rules are,” Holman said.

Reforms May Fade, but Voter Anger Won't

7/16/2014
Roll Call: Reforms May Fade, but Voter Anger Won't - “People are really angry about what’s happening in our democracy,” said Margrete Strand, executive vice president of Public Citizen. The push for an amendment is something that average voters can “understand” and “grab onto,” she added.

Amid new revelations about GM, senators seek jail time for product safety cover-ups

7/16/2014
McClatchy DC: Amid new revelations about GM, senators seek jail time for product safety cover-ups - Public Citizen President Robert Weismann said that the Senate bill “would protect the public because it would finally put formidable penalties on these rule-breakers and help deter” irresponsible behavior.

Senate to General Motors: Hide No Harm

7/15/2014
The Hill: Senate to General Motors: Hide No Harm - "In these cases, the corporate officers who knowingly concealed the defects suffered very little, if all," according to a press release from Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group that is supporting the bill. "Meanwhile, their actions have had detrimental consequences to consumers, employees and shareholders."

Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort'

7/15/2014
NPR: Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort' - "There's nothing Citi will do to help those people," said Lisa Gilbert, a settlement critic with Public Citizen, a nonprofit group. But consumer advocates say no. "Citi helped fuel the housing bubble that ultimately crashed the American economy, displacing millions of Americans from their homes and jobs. This settlement does little to repair that damage," said Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate for Public Citizen.

Citigroup to pay $7B in subprime mortgages probe

7/14/2014
Associated Press: Citigroup to pay $7B in subprime mortgages probe - "In the context of the damage done, the damage even described by the attorney general, we're not even in the same ballpark," said Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate for Public Citizen, which represents consumer interests.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Just Backed an Amendment to Overturn ‘Citizens United’

7/13/2014
The Nation: The Senate Judiciary Committee Just Backed an Amendment to Overturn ‘Citizens United’ - Public Citizen president Robert Weissman echoed that sentiment in a statement Thursday. “The amendment is crucial to strengthening and restoring the First Amendment, which has been weakened and distorted by a series of US Supreme Court rulings,” explained Weissman. 

Nearly 600,000 Sign for Glass-Steagall; Petitions Delivered to U.S. Senate

7/11/2014
LaRouche Pac: Nearly 600,000 Sign for Glass-Steagall; Petitions Delivered to U.S. Senate - Nearly 600,000 Sign for Glass-Steagall; Petitions Delivered to U.S. Senate -   Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division. "Real banking protections should not be a thing of the past. Going back to a clear Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking is the easiest way to make sure greedy banksters don't put our fragile, still recovering economy back on the rocks."

600,000 petitioners want Congress to restore Glass-Seagall

7/11/2014
Examiner: 600,000 petitioners want Congress to restore Glass-Seagall - Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said, “When banks are allowed to continue gambling with our taxpayer-insured deposits, we are setting up our economy for another meltdown.” “Real banking protections should not be a thing of the past. Going back to a clear Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking is the easiest way to make sure greedy banksters don’t put our fragile, still recovering economy back on the rocks.”

Senate Committee Approves Plan on Campaign Spending Limits

7/11/2014
Public News Service: Senate Committee Approves Plan on Campaign Spending Limits - Jonah Minkoff-Zern, campaign co-director for the group Public Citizen, said the resolution's goal is to help reverse the effects of "big money" on elections, after U.S. Supreme Court rulings in cases such as Citizens United and McCutcheon that increased campaign spending limits.  

Buy American: It makes dollars and sense

7/9/2014
The Detroit News: Buy American: It makes dollars and sense - Buy American: It makes dollars and sense - As it stands, Michigan’s taxpayers finance federal government purchases to the tune of some $13.4 billion annually, a new report by Public Citizen finds

Left pushes regulators to lift curtain on CEO pay

7/7/2014
The Hill: Left pushes regulators to lift curtain on CEO pay - Left pushes regulators to lift curtain on CEO pay - “Industry is pushing more relaxation wherever it can,” said Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate at Public Citizen who attended the SEC meeting. “A couple of words can undermine an entire policy.”

Watchdog slams DOJ’s ‘softball’ enforcement policies

7/7/2014
The Hill: Watchdog slams DOJ’s ‘softball’ enforcement policies - Watchdog slams DOJ’s ‘softball’ enforcement policies - The Public Citizen report issued Tuesday chronicles a gradual uptick in the use of deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) and non-prosecution agreements (NPAs) in cases brought by the Justice Department during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

Public Citizen questions mobile health screenings

7/6/2014
Modern Healthcare: Public Citizen questions mobile health screenings - Public Citizen questions mobile health screenings - The Joint Commission says it is looking into a letter it received June 30 from the advocacy group Public Citizen, which called on the national healthcare accreditation organization to suspend accreditation of any organization that partners with the mobile health screening company HealthFair.

House panel finally discloses the transparent answer

7/6/2014
DallasNews: House panel finally discloses the transparent answer - House panel finally discloses the transparent answer - Public Citizen, a consumer group that closely tracks lawmakers’ international travels, was similarly puzzled until the flip. “There seems to be no reason I could imagine why the Ethics Committee would minimize the amount of information that gets reported,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen.

WFAA-TV once again denied access to chemical lists by state officials

7/5/2014
KHOU.com: WFAA-TV once again denied access to chemical lists by state officials - WFAA-TV once again denied access to chemical lists by state officials -  Tom Smith, director of Texas Public Citizen, said he believes the sudden secrecy has become absurd. "We are calling on the Attorney General to repudiate the agency's assertion that the records are confidential,” Smith said. “Under federal law, every citizen has an absolute right to know about whether there are explosives or toxins that are in their neighborhood."

Fracking interests are big donors to Texas regulators

7/5/2014
Dallas News: Fracking interests are big donors to Texas regulators - Fracking interests are big donors to Texas regulators - Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of the watchdog group Public Citizen, said direct and indirect contributions are probably “several times higher” than $72,500. He called it a “time-honored pattern” for drillers and well operators to donate to lobby groups, which in turn donate to commissioners.

Interest Groups let Congress Travel Free

7/5/2014
Pharmacy Choice: Interest Groups let Congress Travel Free - Interest groups' lobbying tally tops $500M in Pennsylvania -  Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer rights group, and an expert on governmental ethics, said statehouse lobbying spending is on the rise. "We know money buys influence, and the industries are responding that way," he said, pointing to health care lobbying as an example, in part because of Obamacare.

AE's Solar Deal: 'Game Changer'

7/4/2014
Austin Chronicle: AE's Solar Deal: 'Game Changer' by Nora Ankrum - AE's Solar Deal: 'Game Changer' "The prices Austin Energy was able to get on this deal are where the industry was aiming to be in 2020," says Public Citizen Director Tom "Smitty" Smith, who serves on the Generation Resource Planning Task Force.

How Obama can rein in Wall Street without going through Congress

7/3/2014
The Washington Post: How Obama can rein in Wall Street without going through Congress - "Bankers engage in these risky trades because they’re paid to do so, and this statute provides power to prevent that," said Bart Naylor, a financial policy advocate with the nonprofit group Public Citizen.

Banks’ Living Wills Get Silent Treatment From U.S. Regulators

7/2/2014
Bloomberg: Banks’ Living Wills Get Silent Treatment From U.S. Regulators by Jesse Hamilton and Zachary Tracer - “The easiest thing is to say nothing, which is what they’re doing,” said Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate at Washington-based Public Citizen. His group sees Wall Street banks as dangerously complex, and he said he doubts their ability to write bankruptcy plans that regulators could find believable. “To say they’re credible stretches credibility.”

Congressional junket disclosure requirement takes a holiday

7/2/2014
Al Jazeera America : Congressional junket disclosure requirement takes a holiday by Peter Moskowitz - Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen said he was “completely unaware” of the change before National Journal contacted him for an interview.

Consumer group urges Summa, other hospitals to stop "unethical" mobile heart screenings

7/1/2014
Cleveland.com: Consumer group urges Summa, other hospitals to stop "unethical" mobile heart screenings by Brie Zeltner - "The use of imaging technologies, such as ultrasound, allows clinicians to detect abnormalities that for many people are minor and that are not destined to ever progress to causing symptoms; these people cannot benefit from treatment," Public Citizen said in its letter.

House committee no longer requires public travel disclosure

7/1/2014
The Washington Times: House committee no longer requires public travel disclosure by Kellan Howell - “There’s seems to be no reason I could imagine why the Ethics Committee would minimize the amount of information that gets reported,” Mr. Holman said, adding that the travel records on the annual reports are “a critical element for understanding the finances of our elected representatives.”