January 2017 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.

Aiming to slash federal regulations, Trump signs 'one in, two out' order

1/31/2017
Christian Science Monitor: Aiming to slash federal regulations, Trump signs 'one in, two out' order by Ben Rosen - “It’s horrifying that even after the Wall Street crash, the massive BP oil spill and numerous other public health and safety disasters across the country due to a lack of strong regulations, Americans will once again have to pay the price for the consequences of corporate recklessness, greed and lawbreaking,” Robert Weissman, the president of the group Public Citizen, said in a statement on Monday. “This [executive order] is just the next and most arbitrary attack in a litany of attacks against public protections.”

Trump puts Obama regulations on the chopping block

1/31/2017
The Hill: Trump puts Obama regulations on the chopping block by Tim Devaney - “The prospects are decent for filibuster on most of the bills, although there might be one or two that are under the radar and don’t seem as radical that might slip through,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at the left-leaning Public Citizen group.

After Dissing Trump, Chamber Borrows From His Populist Playbook

1/31/2017
Bloomberg: After Dissing Trump, Chamber Borrows From His Populist Playbook by John McCormick - Daniel Dudis, who studies the chamber’s political influence at the liberal-leaning Public Citizen, a non-profit in Washington, is skeptical. He labeled the small-business effort “window dressing” for a corporate lobbying behemoth that needs small business to help sell its message in Congress.

Trump has big plans to fix drug prices. Here’s your reality check

1/31/2017
Stat: Trump has big plans to fix drug prices. Here’s your reality check by Dylan Scott, Ed Silverman and Damian Garde - Not everyone agrees. Public Citizen has called Tufts’s study an “R&D scare card.” Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Jerry Avorn, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, said the study vastly overstates the opportunity cost and fails to account for how much companies rely on taxpayer-funded research to jump start their drug development.

Trump Signals Willingness to Weigh Pharma Concerns

1/31/2017
U.S. News and World Report: Trump Signals Willingness to Weigh Pharma Concerns by Kimberly Leonard - "Trump’s horrifying proposal reflects utter ignorance about the [Food and Drug Administration’s] essential role in protecting public health and once again demonstrates his commitment to placing corporate profits above protecting the safety of the American people," said Dr. Michael Carome, director for the health research group at Public Citizen, a group that opposed the Cures Act.

Trump Political Advisers Now Raising Money For His 'America First' Agenda

1/31/2017
NPR: Trump Political Advisers Now Raising Money For His 'America First' Agenda by Jim Zarroli - Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a progressive group, says America First Policies differs from other 501(c)(4)s in that it is tied to a sitting president and aims to promote his agenda. But that is not unprecedented, Weissman says.

The paradoxes and pitfalls of Trump's trade agenda

1/31/2017
The Hill: The paradoxes and pitfalls of Trump's trade agenda - op-ed by Lori Wallach

Trump Vows to Ease Rules for Drug Makers, but Again Zeros In on Prices

1/31/2017
New York Times: Trump Vows to Ease Rules for Drug Makers, but Again Zeros In on Prices by Katie Thomas - “Trump’s horrifying proposal reflects utter ignorance about the F.D.A.’s essential role in protecting public health and once again demonstrates his commitment to placing corporate profits above protecting the safety of the American people,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s health research group.

Trump Signs Executive Order Requiring Agencies To Eliminate 2 Regulations For Every One They Propose

1/30/2017
Huffington Post: Trump Signs Executive Order Requiring Agencies To Eliminate 2 Regulations For Every One They Propose by Christina Wilkie - “This executive order is as radical and unworkable as the other ones Trump has signed,” said Robert Weissman, president of the nonprofit group Public Citizen. The order, he said, “will result in immediate and lasting damage to our government’s ability to save lives, protect our environment, police Wall Street, keep consumers safe and fight discrimination.”

'Dangerous' and 'Dumb': Trump Signs Executive Order Torching Regulations

1/30/2017
Common Dreams: 'Dangerous' and 'Dumb': Trump Signs Executive Order Torching Regulations by Andrea Germanos - According to Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, "It will fundamentally change our government's role from one of protecting the public to protecting corporate profits, and will lead to a dangerous new era of deregulation and corporate 'self-regulation.'"

High-level nuke waste storage to get formal review

1/30/2017
Midland Reporter-Telegram: High-level nuke waste storage to get formal review - Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of advocacy group Public Citizen Texas, said in a statement released Monday: “This plan is all risk and no reward, not only for the states of Texas and New Mexico, but for the whole country, and it should be halted immediately.”

Trump Organization’s Ethics Team Tied to Trump U, Dark Money

1/30/2017
Bloomberg Politics: Trump Organization’s Ethics Team Tied to Trump U, Dark Money by Bob Van Voris and Bill Allison - Robert Weissman, president of the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen, questioned hiring an ethics lawyer who chairs “the nation’s largest dark-money organization, Crossroads GPS, and has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court for an expanded role of big money in politics.

OSHA releases final rule updating beryllium exposure limits

1/30/2017
Safety and Health: OSHA releases final rule updating beryllium exposure limits by Sarah Trotto - OSHA later denied petitions for an emergency temporary standard, including a 2001 petition from Public Citizen and the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union, to lower the limit to 0.2 micrograms.

How one N.J. super PAC evaded disclosing the source of its donations

1/30/2017
Politico: How one N.J. super PAC evaded disclosing the source of its donations by Matt Friedman - “I’ve never seen anything that brazen,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the Washington campaign finance watchdog group Public Citizen.

Trump signs '2-for-1' order to reduce regulations

1/30/2017
The Hill: Trump signs '2-for-1' order to reduce regulations by Lydia Wheeler and Lisa Hagen - "This EO is just the next and most arbitrary attack in a litany of attacks against public protections," said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division.

Trump Order to Reduce Regulation Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

1/30/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Trump Order to Reduce Regulation Leaves Key Questions Unanswered by Cheryl Bolen - “This executive order is as radical and unworkable as the other ones Trump has signed,” said a statement by Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

Trump Administration asks for more time to think about the federal overtime ruling

1/29/2017
Washington Post: Trump Administration asks for more time to think about the federal overtime ruling by Gene Marks - “We’re concerned that they’re asking for more time because they’re considering reversing their strong support for this important worker protection,” Adina Rosenbaum, a lawyer for Public Citizen Litigation Group, told Bloomberg BNA.”

Trump's regulatory freeze goes further than Obama's

1/29/2017
The Hill: Trump's regulatory freeze goes further than Obama's by Lydia Wheeler - Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said the regulatory freeze adds to the uncertainty about the future of public health and safety protections under the Trump administration.

Trump ethics rules curtail lobbyists, while also loosening some Obama restrictions

1/28/2017
Washington Post: Trump ethics rules curtail lobbyists, while also loosening some Obama restrictions by Matea Gold - Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the watchdog group Public Citizen, said that while he is “impressed that Trump is beginning to realize the importance of managing conflicts of interest of incoming administration officials,” he has serious doubts the president is committed to enforcing the rules.

Few healthcare sectors bemoan Trump's rejection of TPP trade deal

1/28/2017
Modern Healthcare: Few healthcare sectors bemoan Trump's rejection of TPP trade deal by Adam Rubenfire - “I think the Trump administration should use its power under existing law to make it clear we will allow generic competition,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Program. “They should work with legislators, and legislators should push for a comprehensive agenda on drug pricing, recognizing that monopoly power is the core of the problem.”

This is how much Donald Trump proposed to spend in his first week

1/27/2017
McClatchy: This is how much Donald Trump proposed to spend in his first week by Eric Wuestewald - TPP critics, such as advocacy group Public Citizen, warned that if the United States signed on to the pact, the Asian partners would see their trade surpluses widen at the expense of U.S. jobs and lower wages for American workers.

Trump’s first week: Executive overdrive

1/27/2017
Al Jazeera: Trump’s first week: Executive overdrive by James Reinl - Lori Wallach, from the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen, urged Trump to ditch other trade deals based on the “damaging model” of TPP. Wallach told Al Jazeera that Trump’s new trade agenda should create jobs in the US, raise wages, reduce the deficit and protect the environment.

‘The Economist’ Just Downgraded the US From a ‘Full Democracy’ to a ‘Flawed Democracy’

1/26/2017
The Nation: ‘The Economist’ Just Downgraded the US From a ‘Full Democracy’ to a ‘Flawed Democracy’ by John Nichols - It is more necessary than ever to embrace movements to get big money out of politics and to restore ethics to government, to defend voting rights and to make it easier to cast ballots, to reform our media and to sustain a truly free press. Groups such as Common Cause and Public Citizen, Free Speech for People and Move to Amend, FairVote and Free Press are working in these areas.

Trump Administration Wants Time to Rethink Overtime Rule

1/26/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Trump Administration Wants Time to Rethink Overtime Rule by Chris Opfer - “We’re concerned that they’re asking for more time because they’re considering reversing their strong support for this important worker protection,” Adina Rosenbaum, a lawyer for Public Citizen Litigation Group, told Bloomberg BNA. Public Citizen filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of congressional Democrats, asking the Fifth Circuit to lift an injunction blocking the rule from going into effect.

Why President Trump will keep lobbyists especially busy

1/26/2017
WWNO.org: Why President Trump will keep lobbyists especially busy by Nancy Marshall-Genzer - Over on Capitol Hill, Craig Holman is a lobbyist who lobbies against lobbying for the left-leaning watchdog group Public Citizen. “You know, I’m a registered lobbyist, and I’m proud of the work I do for Public Citizen," he said, laughing. "But even my own mother won’t tell her neighbors that I’m a registered lobbyist.”

A Citigroup Lawyer Helped Trump Pick Bank Regulators, Then Returned To Work At The Bank

1/26/2017
The Huffington Post: A Citigroup Lawyer Helped Trump Pick Bank Regulators, Then Returned To Work At The Bank by Ben Walsh - Bartlett Naylor, a financial regulation expert at the watchdog group Public Citizen, told HuffPost that Lindsay’s previous work shows that she puts the interests of big banks first. A “Citi lawyer who also once staffed a conservative Securities and Exchange commissioner during a period when the seeds of the financial crisis were sown,” isn’t likely to have the interests of average Americans at heart, he said.

Trump White House Appears To Kill Obama's Ethics Rule: Appointees May Not Be Signing Required Ethics Pledges

1/26/2017
The International Business Times: Trump White House Appears To Kill Obama's Ethics Rule: Appointees May Not Be Signing Required Ethics Pledges by David Sirota - Craig Holman of Public Citizen told IBT that watchdog groups have reached out to Trump officials in hopes of working with them on strengthening the Obama-era prohibitions.

White House comment line: Thanks for the call. You can hang up now.

1/26/2017
The Boston Globe: White House comment line: Thanks for the call. You can hang up now. by Tyler Pager - As the administration enacts a wide range of policy reforms in the first 100 days, there should be ample avenues for citizens to communicate with the White House, said Lisa Gilbert, the director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “In the pursuit of openness and transparency, there should be as many conduits as possible for the public to reach out directly, and this is one of those access points so we hope it’s reopened as quickly as possible and they don’t deprioritize it.”

Yes, Trump’s Against Free Trade. That Doesn’t Mean He’s For Good Jobs

1/25/2017
The Nation: Yes, Trump’s Against Free Trade. That Doesn’t Mean He’s For Good Jobs by Michelle Chen - Trump’s vague orders, however, belie daunting complexities: It’s simple enough to withdraw from a not-yet-finalized TPP, but for a serious renegotiation of NAFTA’s framework, Citizens Trade Campaign, Public Citizen, and global allies propose a real alternative system centered on a public bottom line for globalization, which clashes sharply with Trumpism.

Trump And His Organization Lawyer Up For The Ethics War Ahead

1/25/2017
NPR: Trump And His Organization Lawyer Up For The Ethics War Ahead by Peter Overby - "It wouldn't matter if the Trump Organization hired Archbishop Desmond Tutu or U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders to be its ethics adviser," said Robert Weissman, president of the progressive group Public Citizen.

Trump announces new White House ethics team

1/25/2017
The Washington Post: Trump announces new White House ethics team by Drew Harwell and Tom Hamburger - Robert Weissman, president of the consumer rights group Public Citizen, said Wednesday that Burchfield’s experience with the super PAC, a big-money group that does not disclose its donors, “doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in his ability to police ethical standards at the Trump Organization.”

‘It Is Unacceptable’: Ethics Doubts Swirl as Trump Club Doubles Fee

1/25/2017
The New York Times: ‘It Is Unacceptable’: Ethics Doubts Swirl as Trump Club Doubles Fee by Steve Eder and Eric Lipton - “At the minimum, this creates the appearance of cashing in on the presidency and selling direct personal access to the president,” Mr. Weissman said of the new Mar-a-Lago fee. “It is unacceptable. And it demeans the office of the presidency.”

Trump Campaign Wants To Trademark 'Keep America Great'

1/25/2017
Techdirt: Trump Campaign Wants To Trademark 'Keep America Great' by Mike Masnick - Of course, as Paul Levy at Public Citizen points out, someone else had already tried to trademark that phrase last year, and had it rejected by the PTO on the (correct) grounds that a "slogan" can't be taken out of the public domain and trademarked.

Trump's Interior Secretary Nominee Would Endanger America's Public Lands and Vulnerable Communities

1/25/2017
Alternet: Trump's Interior Secretary Nominee Would Endanger America's Public Lands and Vulnerable Communities - op-ed by Tyson Slocum

Trump Abandons Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s Signature Trade Deal

1/24/2017
The New York Times: Trump Abandons Trans-Pacific Partnership, Obama’s Signature Trade Deal by Peter Baker - Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, said it would “bury the moldering corpse” of the Pacific deal, though she expressed concern about how Nafta would be renegotiated.

Chamber's 'State of American Business' only about big business

1/24/2017
The Hill: Chamber's 'State of American Business' only about big business - op-ed by Dan Dudis

HHS nominee skirts questions about impact of Trump’s executive order on ACA

1/24/2017
Washington Post: HHS nominee skirts questions about impact of Trump’s executive order on ACA by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin - But some lawmakers, as well as the advocacy group Public Citizen, are calling for an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Trump’s trade plans to test his deal-making skills

1/23/2017
Associated Press: Analysis: Trump’s trade plans to test his deal-making skills by Josh Boak - Trump could bargain for protections for workers that could be undermined by other sections of the agreement that give companies incentives to move abroad, said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Trade Watch and an opponent of TPP. “You could do half of it right and still end up with the result you don’t want — more offshoring,” Wallach said.

Trump: U.S. Will Withdraw from TPP

1/23/2017
MedPage Today: Trump: U.S. Will Withdraw from TPP by Joyce Frieden - "It's a very good thing for patient access that we're pulling out of the TPP, because the TPP -- per the interest of the prescription drug corporations that lobbied more than any other industry for it -- had many provisions ... that would have expanded the monopoly power of the pharmaceutical industry," Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines program at Public Citizen, said in a phone interview.

Trump kills trade deal that would have benefited pharma and potentially raised drug costs

1/23/2017
Modern Healthcare: Trump kills trade deal that would have benefited pharma and potentially raised drug costs by Adam Rubenfire - The deal was never about “free trade,” but rather about protecting the interests of brand-name pharmaceutical companies, said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Program. Moving forward, the Trump administration should encourage competition in the sector, he said.

Overnight Regulation: Trump aims to cut regs by 75 percent | Issues federal hiring freeze

1/23/2017
The Hill: Overnight Regulation: Trump aims to cut regs by 75 percent | Issues federal hiring freeze by Tim Devaney and Lydia Wheeler - “There is no way for President Trump to slash regulations by 75 percent without cutting into bedrock public protections that hold Wall Street accountable, keep our water and children safe from lead poisoning, and contain food contamination outbreaks," said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at the left-leaning Public Citizen.

Trump moves quickly in bid to revamp America's trade policy

1/23/2017
Los Angeles Times: Trump moves quickly in bid to revamp America's trade policy by Don Lee - “That is one X factor,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Is he going to be able to simply implement what he’s stated or will he be getting a pushback from his Cabinet as well as the congressional leadership?”

Trump's White House regulations website is down

1/23/2017
The Hill: Trump's White House regulations website is down by Tim Devaney - Not only have the official government figures on the benefits of regulations been removed from the White House website, but Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at the left-leaning Public Citizen, pointed out that Trump suggests that regulations cost the economy $2 trillion, which Narang said over-inflates their expense. “We are concerned, because we see President Trump claiming false facts when it comes to the cost of regulations and completely ignoring the benefits of regulations,” Narang said.

Trump’s HHS Pick Favored Drugmakers, Device Makers And Doctors

1/23/2017
Kaiser Health News: Trump’s HHS Pick Favored Drugmakers, Device Makers And Doctors by Christina Jewett and Marisa Taylor - Murray and other Senate Democrats have called for a House ethics inquiry into Price. Public Citizen, a nonprofit government accountability group, also filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Trump Still Hasn’t Revealed All The Executive Orders He’s Signed

1/21/2017
McClatchy DC: Trump Still Hasn’t Revealed All The Executive Orders He’s Signed by Anita Kumar - “I suspect even the citizen participation pages will be removed in fairly short order,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the nonpartisan public advocacy group Public Citizen. “It will take only one citizen petition on a controversial substantive issue to draw the administration’s attention that these pages, too, can contradict the Trump agenda.”

Boeing, Chevron and Other Huge Companies Are Spending $90 Million on Trump’s Inauguration

1/20/2017
Business Insider: Boeing, Chevron and Other Huge Companies Are Spending $90 Million on Trump’s Inauguration by Dan Bobkoff and Danielle Muoio - “There’s a very self-serving reason for funding the inauguration,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, which advocates reducing the influence of big corporations in politics.

Trump said to pick LaFleur as chairman of U.S. Energy Regulator

1/20/2017
Bloomberg: Trump said to pick LaFleur as chairman of U.S. Energy Regulator by Jonathan N. Crawford and Jennifer A. Dlouhy - “From a consumer protection standpoint we have significant concerns,” Tyson Slocum, Washington-based director of energy at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said by phone Thursday. “She’s definitely on the side of the generators and the transmission owners instead of consumers.”

White House Finalizes Scaled Back Research Regs

1/19/2017
Bloomberg BNA: White House Finalizes Scaled Back Research Regs by Jeannie Baumann - Michael Carome, who before joining Public Citizen‘s health research group spent 13 years as the OHRP’s associate director of regulatory affairs, said the final rule is much clearer than the proposed rule, in part because it eliminates entire sections from the proposal released in September 2015. “The rule is much more understandable and really is really much less dramatic in what it seeks,” he said.

As Trump era begins, corporations that lobby lawmakers pay for N.J. ball

1/19/2017
NJ.com: As Trump era begins, corporations that lobby lawmakers pay for N.J. ball by Brent Johnson and Jonathan D. Salant - But Craig Holman, who lobbies on campaign finance issues for the advocacy group Public Citizen, said the company officials are getting a chance to schmooze with those already in office, unlike when they make contribution to a candidate who may not win.

Price, HHS nominee, says Trump doesn't want to 'pull the rug out on anyone'

1/18/2017
USA Today: Price, HHS nominee, says Trump doesn't want to 'pull the rug out on anyone' by Jayne O'Donnell - The donations tie Price "too closely to the medical industry, raising questions about the extent to which he would represent patients," says Public Citizen.

Maker Of $34,000 Drug To Pay $100 Million Over A Monopoly Price Hike

1/18/2017
Buzzfeed: Maker Of $34,000 Drug To Pay $100 Million Over A Monopoly Price Hike by Stephanie Lee - “The monopoly power of the pharmaceutical industry is the single greatest reason prices are high and Americans can’t afford their medicine,” Peter Maybarduk, Access to Medicines director at the consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen, told BuzzFeed News. “It’s a critical issue and it’s good to see the FTC pushing on it.”

As Trump Heads to White House, His Face Recedes From Other Properties

1/18/2017
New York Times: As Trump Heads to White House, His Face Recedes From Other Properties by Maggie Haberman and Eric Lipton - “This will do nothing to address the underlying conflict-of-interest issues,” Mr. Weissman said. “Those conflicts are related to the ownership interests. They will be still profiting. This does little more than marginally affecting the optics.”

In Rick Perry Energy Hearing, Questions On Nuclear Security, Environment

1/18/2017
NPR: In Rick Perry Energy Hearing, Questions On Nuclear Security, Environment by Jeff Brady - Among Perry's critics, few are as colorful as Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office. Referring to Perry, Smith says, "He's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but he flickers to life when somebody comes up and makes a campaign contribution to him."

New rules ease consent requirements for scientists using patient specimens

1/18/2017
Stat News: New rules ease consent requirements for scientists using patient specimens by Sharon Begley - Allowing researchers to study such biospecimens without written consent “is the most substantive change from the proposed regulation,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. Although the group had supported the effort to require such consent, Carome called the final rule “clearer, simpler, easier to understand, and appropriate.”

The Trump lobbying purge that wasn’t

1/18/2017
Politico: The Trump lobbying purge that wasn’t by Maggie Severns and Isaac Arnsdorf - "The experts with whom a transition team meets are arguably as important as the team members, themselves,” the watchdog group Public Citizen said in an open letter pressing the Trump team to take the same transparency measures.

Crisis Averted but Future Is Still Unclear for House Watchdog

1/17/2017
Roll Call: Crisis Averted but Future Is Still Unclear for House Watchdog by Stephanie Akin - “It forced the House Ethics Committee to do its job,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen. Holman helped draft the legislation that led to the creation of the OCE.

Hill Republicans move full speed ahead with push to slash Obama-era rules

1/17/2017
Washington Post: Hill Republicans move full speed ahead with push to slash Obama-era rules by Mike DeBonis - Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen and chair of a coalition opposing the bills, said together the GOP legislation would “wipe out our ability to establish and enforce public protections, with catastrophic consequences.”

An anti-government ideologue like Mulvaney shouldn't run OMB

1/17/2017
The Hill: An anti-government ideologue like Mulvaney shouldn't run OMB - blog by Lisa Gilbert

Advocacy Groups Pro And Con To Line Inauguration Route

1/17/2017
NonProfit Times: Advocacy Groups Pro And Con To Line Inauguration Route by Andy Segedin - Public Citizen’s teach in, to take place on Jan. 21 following the Women’s March on Washington, was originally planned to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

How will Trump’s plan to deal with businesses work?

1/16/2017
The Hill: How will Trump’s plan to deal with businesses work? by Naomi Jagoda and Sylvan Lane - Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen, said that a firewall between Trump and his adult sons is unrealistic. “You can’t have a firewall between family,” he said.

Trump's inauguration will be protested in all 50 states and 32 countries

1/16/2017
USA Today: Trump's inauguration will be protested in all 50 states and 32 countries by Heidi M Przybyla - Public Citizen and others will host a “teach-in” to inform new activists how to “plug into grassroots campaigns and acquire skills to take home to their communities.”

Big money names behind Trump inaugural start to come out despite his secrecy plan

1/16/2017
McClatchy DC: Big money names behind Trump inaugural start to come out despite his secrecy plan by Anita Kumar - “It is all about access and influence,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the nonpartisan public advocacy group Public Citizen. “Donations come in very large amounts and from those who almost always want something from the new administration.”

Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell criticized for vote to block prescription drugs from Canada

1/16/2017
Seattle Times: Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell criticized for vote to block prescription drugs from Canada by Bob Young - Quality is not an illegitimate argument,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program. “However, our experience counsels that it sometimes is a fig leaf for protecting pharma profits, and that issue shouldn’t be ignored as well.”

Murray and Cantwell criticized over drug import votes

1/16/2017
Associated Press: Murray and Cantwell criticized over drug import votes - Peter Maybarduk of the consumer-advocacy-group Public Citizen says that while “quality is not an illegitimate argument,” sometimes opponents of drug importation use it to protect drug company profits.

Corporations Open the Cash Spigot for Trump’s Inauguration

1/15/2017
New York Times: Corporations Open the Cash Spigot for Trump’s Inauguration by Nicholas Fandos - “This is nothing short of selling access to the president, the vice president and the cabinet,” said Craig Holman, a registered lobbyist for Public Citizen, a nonpartisan ethics group in Washington. “This is very unfettered, brazen selling of access. It certainly runs counter to any presidential candidate who was talking about draining the swamp.”

Using Hashtag #Disclosures in Social Media Advertising

1/13/2017
National Law Review: Using Hashtag #Disclosures in Social Media Advertising - Consumer advocacy groups, like Public Citizen, have been bringing awareness to the seemingly unfair advertising practices on social media and requesting that the FTC scrutinize influencer content more closely – especially on Instagram.

Total Rules Drop, but Costly Ones Climb Under Obama

1/13/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Total Rules Drop, but Costly Ones Climb Under Obama by Cheryl Bolen - “The Obama administration has no reason to be apologetic about issuing more rules that have saved lives, prevented sicknesses, held Wall Street accountable for fraud and recklessness, prohibited discrimination, and protected consumers than previous administrations,” Amit Narang said.

Australian Drug Maker Has Low Profile but Powerful Backers in Washington

1/13/2017
New York Times: Australian Drug Maker Has Low Profile but Powerful Backers in Washington by Katie Thomas - “Maybe Chris is just a cheerleader for the company and Tom Price jumped in head over heels,” said Craig Holman, the government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a consumer group, which has asked for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. “But it’s got to be taken a look at. It’s just so suspicious, someone’s got to ask, ‘What just happened?’”

The Transition: From Democrat to Autocrat

1/12/2017
The American Prospect: The Transition: From Democrat to Autocrat by Eliza Newlin Carney - Trump’s ethics-free plan for managing the business, which essentially involves handing it over to his two sons, sets him up to be what Public Citizen President Robert Weissman has called “the first for-profit president.”

Trump asks public for blind trust

1/12/2017
Politico: Trump asks public for blind trust by Isaac Arnsdorf - “The idea of giving up only profits, not all revenue, from foreign business, and only from hotels, is not an acceptable answer to the emoluments clause problem,” Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said in a statement.

CVS Boosts Access To EpiPen Rival That’s Only 17 Percent The Cost

1/12/2017
Huffington Post: CVS Boosts Access To EpiPen Rival That’s Only 17 Percent The Cost by Anna Almendrala - “EpiPen is based on a century-old drug and a 40-year-old auto-injection technology, and there’s no reason it should cost $600 or even $300-plus,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines program at the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen.

Trump's HHS pick will sell off stock to avoid conflicts

1/12/2017
Associated Press: Trump's HHS pick will sell off stock to avoid conflicts by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar - The consumer group Public Citizen has requested a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of Price's purchase this past summer of $50,000 to $100,000 in the company's stock.

Cigna Drops Name Brand EpiPen While CVS Offers Generic For $100

1/12/2017
NBC: Cigna Drops Name Brand EpiPen While CVS Offers Generic For $100 by Ben Popken - "CVS and Cigna are looking through the aggressive marketing tactics and asking why it's worth it to pay twice for the same product," said Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines group for Public Citizen.

Price would oversee doctor tracking system he sought to limit

1/12/2017
Atlanta-Journal Constitution: Price would oversee doctor tracking system he sought to limit by Jeff Ernsthausen - “I think he’s someone who would do whatever he could do to try to weaken the National Practitioner Data Bank,” Carome told the AJC. “And that would undermine what is a very valuable resource for tracking physician misconduct and protecting patients from bad doctors.”

Price Unfit to be HHS Secretary, Doc Groups Say

1/12/2017
MedPage Today: Price Unfit to be HHS Secretary, Doc Groups Say by Joyce Frieden - "We join government watchdog groups like Public Citizen as well as many senators and call for an investigation by the Congressional Ethics Office. We're not certain he broke the law, but clearly enough questions have been raised to warrant an inquiry."

Watchdog Groups Blast Trump Refusal to Divest

1/12/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Watchdog Groups Blast Trump Refusal to Divest by Kenneth P. Doyle - Leaders of other nonprofit groups, including Public Citizen, Democracy 21, Every Voice and others echoed similar criticism of Trump and called on him to take steps to separate himself from an ownership interest in the Trump businesses.

Combative Trump Won't Divest Holdings, Vows Obamacare Replacement Soon

1/11/2017
Roll Call: Combative Trump Won't Divest Holdings, Vows Obamacare Replacement Soon by John Bennett - “President-elect Donald Trump has failed his ethics test. Now, America will suffer the consequences,” Robert Weissman, president of the liberal Public Citizen, said in a statement. “There is only one way to avoid the conflicts of interest that will engulf his presidency and America: He must sell the family business.

Trump’s Plans on Businesses May Fall Short

1/11/2017
New York Times: Trump’s Plans on Businesses May Fall Short by Susanne Craig and Eric Lipton - “It’s hard to imagine anything she could do to help the brand more than simply being a part of the White House apparatus,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a liberal nonprofit, said of Ivanka Trump. “The only solution for all of this is for them to divest — and that does not include handing it to another family member.”

Top government ethics official denounces Trump's business plans

1/11/2017
USA Today: Top government ethics official denounces Trump's business plans by Fredreka Schouten - "We are on the verge of witnessing the first for-profit president," said Robert Weissman, president of the liberal-leaning group Public Citizen, one of the groups urging Trump to divest.

Trump's HHS pick faces calls for probe of stock trades

1/11/2017
Associated Press: Trump's HHS pick faces calls for probe of stock trades by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar - While the available information so far "falls short of evidence that any illegal insider trading or violations of congressional ethics rules have occurred, the patterns, opportunities and remarkable financial benefits gained, and to be gained, warrant investigation," Public Citizen wrote in its letter to the SEC and the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Tillerson: good for Exxon, bad for the planet

1/11/2017
CNN: Tillerson: good for Exxon, bad for the planet - op-ed by Robert Weissman

Exxon Active in Sanctions Debates, but Rex Tillerson Denies Lobbying

1/11/2017
Wall Street Journal: Exxon Active in Sanctions Debates, but Rex Tillerson Denies Lobbying by Byron Tau, Bradley Olson and Rebecca Ballhaus - In Washington, corporations routinely channel their more controversial lobbying practices through trade associations to give themselves "plausible deniability," said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division.

Trump’s ‘Meaningless’ Ethics Plan Assailed by Watchdogs

1/11/2017
Bloomberg: Trump’s ‘Meaningless’ Ethics Plan Assailed by Watchdogs by Ben Brody and Caleb Melb - Robert Weissman, president of the government watchdog Public Citizen, said that Trump’s potential conflicts could have far reaching impact on policy. “These pervasive conflicts will affect matters from consumer protection to bankruptcy law, labor rights to tax policy, as well as foreign policy,” Weissman said in an e-mailed statement.

Trump is 'walking through a minefield blindfolded': Experts say his business plan is not enough

1/11/2017
CNBC: Trump is 'walking through a minefield blindfolded': Experts say his business plan is not enough by Jacob Pramuk - Trump's involvement in his businesses does not matter if he continues to own them, added Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a public advocacy group. Trump "knows what he owns, and he knows how policy choices will affect his business," he said in a statement.

House GOP leader has price list for donors

1/11/2017
USA Today: House GOP leader has price list for donors by Mary Troyan - Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, called them “access-buying schemes” that only wealthy donors can afford and not regular constituents. “These are offensive enough, but sometimes justified as not being candidate-related. For Scalise, the package of privileged access he is selling is specifically candidate-related,” Holman said.

Trump to hand over businesses to sons

1/11/2017
The Hill: Trump to hand over businesses to sons by Jordan Fabian - “President-elect Donald Trump has failed his ethics test,” said Robert Weissman, president of the left-leaning group Public Citizen. “There is only one way to avoid the conflicts of interest that will engulf his presidency and America: He must sell the family business.”

Possible Ethical Dilemma for Sessions Could Complicate Pruitt’s Nomination

1/11/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Possible Ethical Dilemma for Sessions Could Complicate Pruitt’s Nomination by Brian Dabbs - “He’s still a sitting senator, and his votes wouldn’t be conflicting in a way that would definitely require recusal, such as a financial or personal relationship conflict of interest,” Gilbert said. “But there are real reasons for him to consider pulling out. It’s highly inappropriate for him to help pick a Cabinet that he wants.”

Is Senate’s ‘vote-a-rama’ plan democracy in action – or a ‘Tower of Babel’?

1/11/2017
McClatchy: Is Senate’s ‘vote-a-rama’ plan democracy in action – or a ‘Tower of Babel’? by David Lightman - “This is not a great public service,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

Don’t Be Fooled—Rex Tillerson Hasn’t Separated From ExxonMobil

1/10/2017
The Nation: Don’t Be Fooled—Rex Tillerson Hasn’t Separated From ExxonMobil by George Zornick - But the documents between Tillerson and his trustee, also filed with the SEC, say something else entirely, as the eagle-eyed David Arkush of Public Citizen noted.

Outlook 2017: Courts Needed to Maintain Regulatory Balance

1/9/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Outlook 2017: Courts Needed to Maintain Regulatory Balance - “I think we’re seeing confirmations of that in the first signs of who is being considered for some of these agency positions and administration posts,” Narang said. “You’re seeing the who’s who of the Washington-insider lobbying class.”

Nine Trump Nominees Who’ll Face Extreme Vetting by Democrats

1/9/2017
Bloomberg: Nine Trump Nominees Who’ll Face Extreme Vetting by Democrats by Steven T. Dennis - Watchdog group Public Citizen says he made 630 trades in about 40 companies starting in 2012 while he led the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee’s health panel.

Democrats Introduce Legislation Targeting Trump on Conflicts

1/9/2017
Mother Jones: Democrats Introduce Legislation Targeting Trump on Conflicts by Russ Choma - "A second-grader could see that the only solution to this pervasive problem is for President-elect Trump to sell off the family business," said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "Because there is no sign he intends to do this, it is incumbent on the Congress to force him to do so. That’s why immediate passage of Senator Warren's legislation is desperately needed."

Are Donald Trump and the GOP keeping too many secrets?

1/9/2017
McClatchy DC: Are Donald Trump and the GOP keeping too many secrets? by David Lightman - “I really am worried about where this administration is headed,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

Senate Hearings Begin for Wealthiest Cabinet in U.S. History Despite Lack of Vetting

1/9/2017
Robert Weissman on: Senate Hearings Begin for Wealthiest Cabinet in U.S. History Despite Lack of Vetting - on Trump’s Cabinet nominees.

Push to investigate Price is a delay tactic, GOP says

1/6/2017
The Hill Extra: Push to investigate Price is a delay tactic, GOP says by Kat Lucero - The move comes a day after Public Citizen, a watchdog group, sent letters of inquiry to the congressional ethics office and the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate recent stock market trading activities of Price and another lawmaker, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.).

Pelosi calls for ethics probe into HHS pick Tom Price

1/6/2017
The Hill: Pelosi calls for ethics probe into HHS pick Tom Price by Mike Lillis - "Public Citizen has written to the Office of Congressional Ethics with a detailed complaint on a matter of Congressman Price's trades at the same time as he was acting upon them. I think it would be important for the OCE to swiftly move to review that information before the confirmation hearing."

Trump’s education nominee and her family members are major donors to the senators who will vote on her confirmation

1/6/2017
Washington Post: Trump’s education nominee and her family members are major donors to the senators who will vote on her confirmation by Emma Brown - “She’s acknowledged that her family gives, and gives a lot, because it’s aiming to buy influence,” said Robert Weissman of Public Citizen, who said the scale of the DeVos family’s political donations is unusual for a prospective Cabinet member. “Against that backdrop, how are the senators supposed to evaluate her nomination in an unbiased way? They can’t.”

Dems want probe of Trump Cabinet pick over stock sales

1/5/2017
Associated Press: Dems want probe of Trump Cabinet pick over stock sales by Alan Fram - Democrats spoke to reporters soon after the liberal-leaning Public Citizen sent a letter to the Office of Congressional Ethics requesting an investigation of stock trades by Price and another lawmaker, Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y.

Democrats demand probe of Trump health nominee

1/5/2017
Reuters: Democrats demand probe of Trump health nominee by Susan Cornwell and Susan Heavey - The nonpartisan consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen also asked the ethics office, as well as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, to investigate Price and another Republican congressman, Chris Collins of New York, for possible violations of insider trading and conflict-of-interest laws and rules.

Democrats call on Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Donald Trump’s HHS pick: Tom Price traded thousands in medical stocks while in Congress

1/5/2017
Salon: Democrats call on Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Donald Trump’s HHS pick: Tom Price traded thousands in medical stocks while in Congress by Sophia Tesfaye - Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said “extensive stock trading activity in industries that Price and Collins oversee as congressmen, and unusually good timing and financial benefits of those stock trades, raise red flags about the potential use of insider information.”

Senate Democrats Want An Ethics Watchdog To Investigate Donald Trump’s Pick For HHS

1/5/2017
Buzzfeed: Senate Democrats Want An Ethics Watchdog To Investigate Donald Trump’s Pick For HHS by Emma Loop - “Extensive stock trading activity in industries that Price and Collins oversee as congressmen, and unusually good timing and financial benefits of those stock trades, raise red flags about the potential use of insider information,” Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, said in a press release from the group.

Trump has filled his vaunted trade team with China hawks — and his allies love it

1/5/2017
Business Insider: Trump has filled his vaunted trade team with China hawks — and his allies love it by Allan Smith - "Lighthizer is very knowledgeable about both technical trade policy and the ways of Washington, but what sets him aside among high-level Republican trade experts is that for decades his views have been shaped by the pragmatic outcomes of trade agreements and policies rather than fealty to any particular ideology or theory," she said in a statement.

Trump will need Democrats' help to rework NAFTA

1/5/2017
The Hill: Trump will need Democrats' help to rework NAFTA - blog by Lori Wallach

House Republicans drop plan to gut ethics office

1/4/2017
USA Today: House Republicans drop plan to gut ethics office by Fredreka Schouten and Erin Kelly - Lisa Gilbert of the liberal-leaning Public Citizen watchdog group said more work lies ahead to safeguard the ethics agency. "It’s great that public pressure forced this reversal," she said, "but the readiness of the House (GOP) caucus to pursue this action is a profoundly troubling signal."

Top oil and gas group looks to Trump for help in rolling back recent 'regulatory onslaught'

1/4/2017
Dallas Morning News: Top oil and gas group looks to Trump for help in rolling back recent 'regulatory onslaught' by Tom Benning - A watchdog at the group Public Citizen, which favors staunch regulations, recently described the coming action from the Trump administration and the new Congress as a "parade of horribles."

House Moves to Disclose Presidential Library Funding

1/4/2017
Roll Call: House Moves to Disclose Presidential Library Funding by Kate Ackley - “Presidents can raise funds for his or her library while still in office, and that provides an opportunity for corporations or wealthy individuals to cozy up — it’s an avenue for potential influence peddling,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a liberal watchdog group. “It should be fully disclosed.”

Trump Nominates Robert Lighthizer As U.S. Trade Representative

1/3/2017
NPR: Trump Nominates Robert Lighthizer As U.S. Trade Representative by John Ydstie - Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, who's a longtime liberal opponent of trade agreements like NAFTA, says Trump's nominee, Robert Lighthizer, also has a healthy skepticism about the free-trade doctrine.

Why Trump's Conflicts of Interest Matter

1/3/2017
The Atlantic: Why Trump's Conflicts of Interest Matter by Olga Khazan - “He might decide to go softly on a foreign government because he knows he has assets there,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of the Congress Watch division at Public Citizen. “He can’t even have that in the back of his mind. The American economy has to outweigh any personal financial benefits.”