June 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.

Reality Check: The Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Is Not Saving Lives, Part 1

6/30/2017
Forbes Online: Reality Check: The Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Is Not Saving Lives, Part 1 by Chris Conover - Limited Generalizability. In terms of generalizability, the evidence is that more states are like Maine and Arizona than New York in terms of generosity of eligibility/benefits etc. Indeed, Public Citizen ranks New York’s Medicaid program 8th in the nation compared to Maine’s ranking of #13 and Arizona's ranking of #24 (Table 6). Thus, most states would be likely to exhibit the pattern seen in Maine and Arizona--i.e., no statistically significant reduction in mortality.

Trump 2020 Gains Steam With $35,000 A Plate Fundraiser, Protesters Cry ‘Shame’

6/30/2017
INQUISITR: Trump 2020 Gains Steam With $35,000 A Plate Fundraiser, Protesters Cry ‘Shame’ by Edge Ison - When the Trump motorcade arrived, the POTUS was greeted with a chorus of “Shame! Shame!” from protesters gathered outside the D.C. hotel. Despite tight security, the protesters led by liberal groups such as Public Citizen were able to gather near the venue of the fundraiser with many of them holding placards showing their discontent over the Republican healthcare plan. Some of the placards contained slogans such as “Health care not tax cuts,” “Healthcare is a human right,” and “Medicaid not millionaires.”

House Bill Would Ax Election Panel, Bar Limits On Money In Politics

6/30/2017
Bloomberg BNA: House Bill Would Ax Election Panel, Bar Limits On Money In Politics by Kenneth P. Doyle - "The draft financial services appropriations bill goes far beyond the definition of a government funding bill,” said a statement from Lisa Gilbert, vice president for legislative affairs of the liberal nonprofit Public Citizen. “Substantively, it’s also a right-wing wish list packed with congressional power grabs, special favors for ideologues and paybacks to corporate donors that have no place in legislation to fund our government.”

Three Cheers For The Congressional Review Act

6/29/2017
National Review Online: Three Cheers For The Congressional Review Act by Todd Gaziano - In a recent post for the Regulatory Review, Lisa Gilbert and Amit Narang of Public Citizen also bemoan the CRA. They describe Congress’s use of the CRA as a corporate conspiracy against the environment, the economy, and every American value except apple pie.

Fifty Shades Of Trump

6/29/2017
The New York Times: Fifty Shades Of Trump by Gail Collins - ''The real story in Texas is employment in the renewable energy sector,'' said Adrian Shelley of Public Citizen in Texas. ''There are 23,000 jobs in wind, and fewer than 8,000 coal jobs.''

Business Groups Sound The Alarm On Trump’s Ex-Im Pick

6/28/2017
POLITICO Online: Business Groups Sound The Alarm On Trump’s Ex-Im Pick by Megan Cassela - HOUSE DEMOCRATS SET THE STAGE FOR A NAFTA SHOWDOWN: Democratic lawmakers who helped lead the congressional fight against the Trans-Pacific Partnership are gearing up to wage fresh resistance to any updated NAFTA that does not go far enough to meet their demands on issues like labor and environmental standards and investor-state dispute settlement. At a rally outside the International Trade Commission on Tuesday morning ahead of the first of three days of NAFTA hearings, Rep.

Trump Holds Fundraiser For Himself At His Own Hotel

6/28/2017
Bloomberg News Online: Trump Holds Fundraiser For Himself At His Own Hotel by Ben Brody - “That is such a preposterous so-called safeguard that it’s hard to believe the Trump administration and Trump business put it forward,” said Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, a government-transparency group that plans to picket Wednesday’s event. “It’s like saying, ‘I’m putting the money in the bank so it’s not my money while it’s in the bank.”’

NAFTA Notes: The Latest In Trade

6/28/2017
Bloomberg BNA: NAFTA Notes: The Latest In Trade by Rossella Brevetti, Jeremy Hainsworth, Peter Menyasz, Emily Pickrell, and Andrew Wallender - Opponents of NAFTA from Public Citizen, the AFL-CIO and the Roosevelt Institute narrowed in on the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system during a briefing on NAFTA for congressional staffers. They called it an area of NAFTA “that has to come out” when renegotiations begin.

Day One of NAFTA Hearing: Pascrell, Ag, and Tech

6/27/2017
POLITICO Online: Day One of NAFTA Hearing: Pascrell, Ag, and Tech by Adam Behsudi - The Connecticut Democrat and other NAFTA critics, including Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, will deliver petitions signed by more than 100,000 people demanding NAFTA “be replaced with a deal that benefits working people,” a press release said.

An Iraq-War-Vet NFL Cheerleader Allegedly Abusing Her Boyfriend; a Libel Takedown Lawsuit; and Public Citizen

6/27/2017
The Washington Post: An Iraq-War-Vet NFL Cheerleader Allegedly Abusing Her Boyfriend; a Libel Takedown Lawsuit; and Public Citizen by Eugene Volokh - Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen — who took the lead in blowing open the (separate) Richart Ruddie/Profile Defenders deindexing fraud story — has just gone to court to set aside the order in one such case, Welter v. Does. You can read Paul’s full post, but here’s the heart of the matter.

Auto-Safety Monitors Urge Congress to Go Slow on Driverless Cars

6/27/2017
Bloomberg News Online: Auto-Safety Monitors Urge Congress to Go Slow on Driverless Cars by Ryan Beene - He said in prepared remarks that federal standards, even ones for vehicle testing, are "far preferable to having fifty states and the District of Columbia all deciding how safe is safe enough" to allow self-driving cars on the road. Morrison co-founded the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen alongside Ralph Nader in the 1970s.

Trump Refills the Swamp

6/27/2017
The Hill Online : Trump Refills the Swamp - “They are circumventing what they touted as their signature ethics achievement,” Robert Weissman, the head of the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen told the New York Times at the time. “It’s utterly at odds with candidate Trump’s ‘drain the swamp’ rhetoric and it suggests that the Trump executive order is not worth the paper it is written on.”

Independent Agency Rules Could See Executive Oversight

6/27/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Independent Agency Rules Could See Executive Oversight by Cheryl Bolen - Public Citizen, a public interest organization that opposes the RAA, started sponsoring television ads June 26 in the Cincinnati media market, arguing the RAA would endanger children and families by blocking new, lifesaving regulatory protections, according to a statement from the organization.

A Consumer Group is Asking the FTC to Investigate Celebs for Shady Instagram Ads

6/26/2017
BuzzFeed News: A Consumer Group is Asking the FTC to Investigate Celebs for Shady Instagram Ads by Katie Notopoulos - In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sent “educational” letters to 46 celebrities who it believed weren’t properly disclosing ads on Instagram. Since receiving the letters, all but one of these celebrities have continued to post ads that are not FTC-compliant, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen. Today, the group is sending a new letter to the FTC asking it to do something it’s never done before: crack down on individual celebrities — not just brands — posting shady Instagram ads.

A Consumer Group Is Asking The FTC To Investigate Celebs For Shady Instagram Ads

6/26/2017
BuzzFeed: A Consumer Group Is Asking The FTC To Investigate Celebs For Shady Instagram Ads by Katie Notopoulos - In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sent “educational” letters to 46 celebrities who it believed weren’t properly disclosing ads on Instagram. Since receiving the letters, all but one of these celebrities have continued to post ads that are not FTC-compliant, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen. Today, the group is sending a new letter to the FTC asking it to do something it’s never done before: crack down on individual celebrities — not just brands — posting shady Instagram ads.

Social Darwinism is What Truly Guides Trump

6/25/2017
New York Online: Social Darwinism is What Truly Guides Trump by Jonathan Chait - After the Bush presidency collapsed, conservatives made a show of remorse and vowed not to succumb again to the temptations of corruption. Abramoff, the crooked conservative activist and lobbyist, refashioned himself after returning from prison as a chastened reformer. In 2012, he appeared at a Public Citizen event, denouncing the evils of the system.

Agency Reviewing Fulop Donations from Suez

6/24/2017
NJ.com: Agency Reviewing Fulop Donations from Suez by Terrance T. McDonald - Craig Holman, a lobbyist with D.C.-based Public Citizen who helped write New Jersey's pay-to-play law, told The Jersey Journal the Suez donations are a violation of the city's law.

OSHA Plans to Ease Obama-Era Air Quality Rules at Construction Sites

6/23/2017
The New York Times: OSHA Plans to Ease Obama-Era Air Quality Rules at Construction Sites by Barry Meier - ''If this proposal to weaken the beryllium rule goes into effect, construction and shipyard workers will die and be permanently disabled,'' said Emily Gardner, an advocate for workers' health and safety at Public Citizen in Washington.

Beryllium Rule Relief for Construction, Maritime Sectors

6/23/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Beryllium Rule Relief for Construction, Maritime Sectors by Sam Pearson - “If this proposal to weaken the beryllium rule goes into effect, construction and shipyard workers will die and be permanently disabled as a result,” Emily Gardner, worker health and safety advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said in a statement June 23.

Ex-lobbyists swarm Trump administration, despite 'drain the swamp' pledge

6/21/2017
USA Today: Ex-lobbyists swarm Trump administration, despite 'drain the swamp' pledge by Fredreka Schouten - The prevalence of lobbyists in the new administration shows that Trump and his aides are “are holding themselves to a different standard than we expected,” said Lisa Gilbert of the liberal-leaning group Public Citizen, which is expected to release its own study this week, highlighting ex-lobbyists working on the same issues in government as they did in their recent lobbying posts.

Government Small Business Statistics Include Over 5,000 Large Businesses

6/21/2017
Yahoo Finance : Government Small Business Statistics Include Over 5,000 Large Businesses by Marketwired - In 2014, Public Citizen released an investigative report titled "Sleighted", that found the SBA had fabricated compliance with federal small business contracting goals. In 2016, Mother Jones released their investigative report titled, "Giant Corporations Are Reaping Billions From Federal Small Business Contracts."

Soros, Clinton-Linked Teneo Among Donors to McCain Institute

6/20/2017
Daily Caller: Soros, Clinton-Linked Teneo Among Donors to McCain Institute - “This is a very real conflict of interest,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, told TheDCNF. “This is the similar type of pattern we received with the Clinton Foundation in which foreign governments and foreign interests were throwing a lot of money in the hopes of trying to buy influence.”

Gottlieb: FDA Drafting Medical Innovation Plan To Help Lower Health Care Costs

6/20/2017
Inside Health Policy: Gottlieb: FDA Drafting Medical Innovation Plan To Help Lower Health Care Costs - The Biotechnology Innovation Organization said Gottlieb's commitment to streamline clinical trials would improve outcomes and lower costs, but Public Citizen said the plan would lower the evidentiary standard for drug approvals and pose new risks to consumers.

Trump's Deregulation Push Takes Aim at Noise Mandate for Hybrid Cars

6/19/2017
Bloomberg: Trump's Deregulation Push Takes Aim at Noise Mandate for Hybrid Cars - “This looks like to me that the agency was trying to figure out what things they didn’t really need and what things really aggravated the manufacturers,” said Joan Claybrook, a former NHTSA administrator under President Jimmy Carter and president emeritus at Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer-advocacy group. “But I do think the agency does have the obligation to explain these things when they take effect.”

Foreign Carmakers Invoke Reagan to Sway Trump on Trade

6/19/2017
Huffington Post: Foreign Carmakers Invoke Reagan to Sway Trump on Trade - Leading liberal experts like Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, are already concerned that the Trump administration is content to merely turbo-charge NAFTA under the guise of “repairing” it, all while hoping that voters eager for change of any kind won’t know the difference.

Under Trump, focus shifts to scrapping regulations

6/17/2017
The Hill: Under Trump, focus shifts to scrapping regulations - “Obviously a lot of regulations are viewed as critical public health and safety protections so we’re not thrilled they are being looked at as something that can be taken away, but the regular rulemaking process is laboriously slow,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen.

Unpacking Pruitt's early days as administrator

6/16/2017
Politico : Unpacking Pruitt's early days as administrator by Anthony Adragna - Public Citizen is out with a report Thursday arguing Trump’s efforts to impede energy efficiency efforts make no sense even if he considers climate change a hoax, because the programs save consumers trillions over the course of their lifespans. “The savings from these programs literally approach the scale of Trump’s most lavish promises for infrastructure spending,” David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s climate program, said in a statement.

New marching orders for civil rights probes

6/16/2017
Politico : New marching orders for civil rights probes by Benjamin Wermund - A court fight over the future of a signature Obama-era regulation is likely ahead. The Education Department announced this week that it would rewrite a rule meant to provide debt relief to defrauded student loan borrowers. Two consumer advocacy organizations, Public Citizen and the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard Law School, have asked a federal judge for permission to intervene in a legal challenge to the regulations filed by a California for-profit college association.

Don Jr. Is Ready To Fight With You On The Internet

6/16/2017
BuzzFeed: Don Jr. Is Ready To Fight With You On The Internet by Tarini Parti - “His son being more vocal advertises the conflict,” said Robert Weissman, president of watchdog group Public Citizen. “President Trump has done nothing meaningful to reduce his personal conflicts of interest. And I think for those who want to curry favor with the presidents, it’s completely obvious how to do it: by staying in his hotels, buying his condos and becoming members of his clubs. Trump Jr. highlights those institutional and structural problems with the administration.”

Scientists Didn’t Stop Their Study Of Premature Babies Even After Finding Out That It Depended On Broken Oxygen Meters

6/14/2017
BuzzFeed News: Scientists Didn’t Stop Their Study Of Premature Babies Even After Finding Out That It Depended On Broken Oxygen Meters by Dan Vergano - A 2010 studi of 1,300 premature infants relied on faulty oxygen meters, raising alarms that the babies might be receiving too little oxygen, according to documents and emails obtained by the patient advocacy group Public Citizen. But the new accusations about the oxygen meter defects, uncovered in documents obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request by Public Citizen, raise more seriuos questions abuot when it's appropriate for researchers to halt a clinical trial.

Instagram Made a Feature to Disclose Celebrity #Sponsored Posts

6/14/2017
BuzzFeed News: Instagram Made a Feature to Disclose Celebrity #Sponsored Posts by Katie Notopoulos - A representative of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen told BuzzFeed News the group isn't impressed. We are happy to see that Instagram has the ability to create a feature that helps to identify posts as advertisements, but this new feature does not address the problm of undisclosed paid ads, " said the representative. Otherwise, Instagram is enabling deceptive influencer marketing, "the representative of Public Citizen said.

Betsy DeVos Delays 2 Obama-Era Rules Designed to Protect Students from Predatory for-Profit Colleges

6/14/2017
The Washington Post Online: Betsy DeVos Delays 2 Obama-Era Rules Designed to Protect Students from Predatory for-Profit Colleges by Valerie Strauss - But the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and the Project on Predatory Student Lending smacked DeVos's move, saying in a statement that she had "put the profit margins of for-profit colleges ahead of the interests of students and their families" in a craven attempt to avoid the agency's legal obligatin" to enforce the rules.

While California, New York Hard on Clean Energy,Texas Hopes the Market is Enough

6/13/2017
The Dallas Morning News Online: While California, New York Hard on Clean Energy,Texas Hopes the Market is Enough by Mitchell Schnurman - A strong focus on batteries could expand Texas' manufactuing base, in the same way that dozens of companies started making components for wind turbines, said Tom "Smitty" Smith, the longtime former director of Public Citizen in Austin.

Trump Wants to Deny Nursing-Home Residents and Their Families the Right to Sue

6/13/2017
Los Angeles Times: Trump Wants to Deny Nursing-Home Residents and Their Families the Right to Sue by David Lazarus - Rob Weissman, president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, described the move to me as a "heartless and vile act." A 2007 report by Public Citizen found that over a four-year period, arbitrator ruled in favor of banks and credit card companies 94% of the time in disputed with California consumers.  

Trump Officials to Unveil Plan to Cut Factory Rules This Week

6/12/2017
U.S. News and World Report : Trump Officials to Unveil Plan to Cut Factory Rules This Week by David Lawder - "We are at the outset of what we think will be a very intense deregulatory agenda from the Trump team," said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group. "We are concerned that they are looking to gut regulations that benefit workers and benefit consumers."

Senate HELP Committee digs into drug costs

6/12/2017
Politico : Senate HELP Committee digs into drug costs by Brent Griffiths and Brett Norman - Republicans and Democrats unanimously agreed to a non-binding resolution calling on HHS to work with both houses to lower prescription drug costs. Advocates, like Public Citizen, were pleased, viewing the vote as a “unanimous challenge” to the Trump administration to deliver on the president’s campaign promise to make drugs more affordable.

Chris Collins Is A Good Example Of Why Americans Think Congress Is Corrupt

6/9/2017
The Huffington Post : Chris Collins Is A Good Example Of Why Americans Think Congress Is Corrupt by By Ben Walsh - “It just reeks of insider trading,” Craig Holman, of the watchdog group Public Citizen, told HuffPost of Collins’ promotion of the stock. Holman said he is among those who have filed complaints against Collins with the SEC and the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Under Trump, regulation slows to a crawl

6/7/2017
Politico : Under Trump, regulation slows to a crawl by DANNY VINIK - “It’s slowed to a crawl, and I’m sure for some folks, that’s a demonstration that the administration is putting their money where their mouth is,” said Amit Narang, a regulatory expert at Public Citizen, a watchdog group. “But for us, this is really alarming.” Public Citizen has already challenged the “two-for-one” order itself, arguing that it unconstitutionally blocks agencies from implementing congressionally mandated rules.

Democrat’s Bid to Allow Drug Importation Fails in Committee Vote

6/7/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Democrat’s Bid to Allow Drug Importation Fails in Committee Vote by Bronwyn Mixter - In advance of the markup, consumer group Public Citizen and 12 other groups sent a letter to the Energy and Commerce Committee asking it to reject the amendments from Griffith and Guthrie. The groups said the amendments would threaten patient safety by allowing companies to significantly expand the marketing and promotion of off-label uses.

President Trump granted lawyers, lobbyists ethics waivers to work for him

6/7/2017
USA Today: President Trump granted lawyers, lobbyists ethics waivers to work for him by Fredreka Schouten - Robert Weissman, president of the liberal-leaning watchdog group Public Citizen, said more potential conflicts could emerge if Trump picks up his hiring pace.  As of Wednesday morning, Trump had formally nominated 80 people to the 558 key positions requiring Senate confirmation, according to data compiled by The Washington Post and the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service.

Former CEO of OneWest Bank is Trump's pick for key financial regulatory post

6/6/2017
LA Times: Former CEO of OneWest Bank is Trump's pick for key financial regulatory post by Jim Puzzanghera and James Rufus Koren - Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, a public interest group, said Trump showed he doesn’t care about victims of the financial crisis. And Naylor said Otting’s relationship with Mnuchin raised ethical questions.

Trump Administration Fails at Creating Jobs by Missing Small Business Contract Targets

6/5/2017
Forbes: Trump Administration Fails at Creating Jobs by Missing Small Business Contract Targets - o In 2014, Public Citizen released an investigative report titled ‘Sleighted’ that exposed the fraud and abuses in federal small business programs. In 2015 Mother Jones released their investigative report ‘Giant Corporations Are Reaping Billions From Federal "Small Business" Contracts.’

Trump has Met with 122 Execs Whose Companies Have Been Fined $90B for Breaking the Law

6/5/2017
Mic: Trump has Met with 122 Execs Whose Companies Have Been Fined $90B for Breaking the Law - Since taking office, Trump has met with more than 270 executives, 122 of them from corporations that paid a combined nearly $90 billion in fines to the federal government since 2010, according to analysis by Washington watchdog group Public Citizen.

U.S. Supreme Court overturns Montana in BNSF Railway worker case

6/5/2017
The Spokesman-Review: U.S. Supreme Court overturns Montana in BNSF Railway worker case - Julie Murray, an attorney for the Public Citizen Litigation Group that represented Nelson and Tyrell, said in a statement that her clients will continue to press their claims when the case is sent back to the Montana Supreme Court. But, she added, the U.S. Supreme Court decision is a loss for injured railroad workers who may have to travel far from home for a judge to hear their claims. "Workers already suffering from disabling injuries caused by their employers shouldn't have to bear that burden," Murray said.

Council member Todd gets minor fine for many campaign finance infractions

6/2/2017
The Washington Post : Council member Todd gets minor fine for many campaign finance infractions by Aaron C. Davis - “The maximum possible fine for losing track of approximately $100,000 in campaign contributions is $5,100?” said Public Citizen’s Aquene Freechild. “The District of Columbia needs ethics and campaign finance reform now more than ever.” Public Citizen called on D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine to investigate Todd’s campaign fundraising. Even some of Todd’s colleagues on the D.C. Council questioned if the fine was commensurate with the violations identified by the city’s election regulator.

All the President’s Ethics Waivers; Plus: Brutal ‘Paris’ Fallout Continues

6/2/2017
Daily Kos: All the President’s Ethics Waivers; Plus: Brutal ‘Paris’ Fallout Continues - Getting the waivers released at all was "like pulling teeth," according to my guest today, Craig Holman, the longtime Government Affairs lobbyist, specializing in campaign finance and government ethics at Public Citizen.

Ethics reform not swept under rug, but not sweeping either

6/1/2017
Texas Tribune: Ethics reform not swept under rug, but not sweeping either - “It is disheartening,” said Carol Birch of Public Citizen of Texas, a liberal watchdog group that pushed for sweeping changes. “While some lawmakers strive hard to pass meaningful ethics reform, those in control pay lip service while actively working to ensure it goes nowhere.”

Trump Talks Tough on Trade, but His Team Is Treading Lightly

6/1/2017
The New York Times: Trump Talks Tough on Trade, but His Team Is Treading Lightly - o “I see that the administration may be backing itself into another T.P.P. debacle where they spend time negotiating an agreement that they cannot get through Congress or they negotiate that would have the opposite outcome of what Trump promised in terms of lowering the trade deficit and bringing back manufacturing jobs,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “In which case it could become an political albatross around his neck.”

Saudi Arabia ramps up Washington lobbying with former Trump advisers

6/1/2017
CNN Politics : Saudi Arabia ramps up Washington lobbying with former Trump advisers - "If it weren't for the revolving-door connections here, the Saudi government would not be pouring $5.4 million into this firm," said Craig Holman, a lobbying analyst at Public Citizen. "Even the best lobbyist isn't worth that price."