September 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.

Trump to address regs rollback amid tax reform push

9/28/2017
The Hill: Trump to address regs rollback amid tax reform push by Lydia Wheeler - Robert Weissman, president of the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen, said it would be a “staggering new level of irrationality” if the president were to set a specific target for that reduction in regulatory costs.    “It is utterly indefensible to talk about cost without looking at benefits,” he said.

Senate poised to repeal new rule allowing consumer class actions

9/27/2017
Reuters: Senate poised to repeal new rule allowing consumer class actions by Lisa Lambert and Pete Schroeder - The clauses are prevalent in the Trump family’s businesses, according to a recent survey by consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. Trump hotels, golf clubs and winery all require customers to sign away rights to join class actions.

Will Arizona’s Off-Label Drug Law Spur Changes Elsewhere?

9/26/2017
Huffington Post: Will Arizona’s Off-Label Drug Law Spur Changes Elsewhere? by Michael Ollove - “If you take it as your premise that an objective approval by someone with no financial interest is necessary to protect patients, then marketing a drug for unapproved uses is the same as marketing an unapproved drug,” said Allison Zieve, director of the litigation group at Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group that opposes loosening the communication restrictions. To allow drugmakers to do so, she said, would undermine the whole system of FDA drug approval.

Congressional aides risk conflicts with stock trades

9/26/2017
Politico: Congressional aides risk conflicts with stock trades by Maggie Severns - “There does not appear to be an effective system of enforcement in place,” concluded Craig Holman, lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen. “This is the type of conflict-of-interest rule that should apply to all members as well as senior staff, enforced by real-time public disclosure or stock trading activity.”

Group sues FDA over ingredient in baby teething medicine

9/21/2017
The Hill: Group sues FDA over ingredient in baby teething medicine by Lydia Wheeler - Public Citizen is suing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for not responding to its petition to regulate an ingredient found in over-the-counter medicines for teething babies.  The liberal advocacy group says in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday that the FDA has failed to act on its 2014 petition to revise labeling requirements and limit the legal uses of over-the-counter oral health-care products that contain benzocaine.

Lobbyists on Edge Awaiting Details of Trump Tax Overhaul Plan

9/19/2017
Bloomberg: Lobbyists on Edge Awaiting Details of Trump Tax Overhaul Plan by Ben Brody - “This could be the single issue that brings out the army of lobbyists more than any other issue we’ve seen in recent years,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist at Public Citizen, a government-accountability group. “I would think it’s going to be a hurricane.”

When 'draining the swamp' means nothing to reform money in politics

9/18/2017
The Hill: When 'draining the swamp' means nothing to reform money in politics by Alex Tausanovitch - Even in terms of basic functions, the FEC has increasingly been asleep at the wheel. Action typically requires the votes of four commissioners, which means that three commissioners can bring the commission to a standstill. A study by Public Citizen, a nonpartisan advocacy group, found that between 2003 and 2013 the number of these “deadlocked” votes went from less than 1 percent to more than 22 percent. Moreover, annual penalties decreased from more than $5.5 million in 2006 to less than $600,00 in 2016.

How to make $240,000 in 6 months by being friends with Rick Perry

9/15/2017
ThinkProgress: How to make $240,000 in 6 months by being friends with Rick Perry by Addy Baird - Craig Holman, a lobbyist who lobbies for anti-lobbying laws and government reform with Public Citizen, echoed Amey.  “What we’re seeing here is a common pattern in the Trump administration where people who have had close relationships with Trump or his appointees are setting up lobby shops,” Holman said. “[They’re] cashing in on their insider track with the administration, if not the president.”

21 Celebrities Just Got A Harsh Warning About Instagram Ads

9/15/2017
Buzzfeed: 21 Celebrities Just Got A Harsh Warning About Instagram Ads by Katie Notopoulos - Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, brought these celebrities’ undisclosed ads to the FTC’s attention months ago, and has been monitoring these celebs since they received the letters back in March. Earlier this summer, they sent a letter to the FTC asking them to take further action, since they saw that many of celebs who received educational letters hadn’t clean up their act at all. Now, they are hoping the FTC will press even harder.

Equifax debacle has been a boon for LifeLock

9/14/2017
CNN Money: Equifax debacle has been a boon for LifeLock by Sara Ashley O'Brien - "They can exploit this breach to market to consumers who never had to worry about their credit report before," said Amanda Werner, campaign manager with Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen.

Bernie Sanders flexes power on single-payer

9/14/2017
The Hill: Bernie Sanders flexes power on single-payer by Jessie Hellmann and Rachel Roubein - “What’s different about this moment is this is no longer going to be a fringe position,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a liberal advocacy group in D.C. founded by Ralph Nader. “Elected officials are going to have to take a position on ‘Medicare for all’ on the merits. They’re not going to be able to say anymore, ‘That’s not a serious policy position.’ Now it is a serious policy position.”

Bernie Sanders’ health care plan puts Democrats on the spot

9/13/2017
Associated Press: Bernie Sanders’ health care plan puts Democrats on the spot by Alan Fram - Sanders’ plan is “a different value system, one where we all take care of each other and where health care is a right,” Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, told reporters Tuesday. He added, “This is no longer going to be a fringe position.”

The real outrage isn't Equifax's arbitration clause — it's all the others

9/12/2017
Los Angeles Times: The real outrage isn't Equifax's arbitration clause — it's all the others by David Lazarus - What’s also true, though, is that arbitration overwhelmingly favors companies. The advocacy group Public Citizen found that over a four-year period, arbitrators ruled in favor of banks and credit card companies 94% of the time in disputes with California consumers.

In Reversal, Equifax Says It Won’t Charge Hack Victims For ‘Free’ Service

9/11/2017
Huffington Post: In Reversal, Equifax Says It Won’t Charge Hack Victims For ‘Free’ Service by Arthur Delaney - Amanda Werner of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen said Equifax changed its policy in the face of public pressure.   “This is what happens when someone’s watching,” Werner said. “Equifax got caught trying to profit from a massive security breach and the outrage from consumers and advocates made them reverse their position.”

America's data breach crisis: Don't expect Washington to help

9/11/2017
CNN Money: America's data breach crisis: Don't expect Washington to help by Seth Fiegerman - "In the context of an anti-regulatory, corporate-oriented Congress, the inertia is all against taking steps to protect consumers," says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a nonprofit government watchdog group. "We have to overcome that inertia."

Elizabeth Warren raises concerns about Army secretary nominee

9/11/2017
Boston Globe: Elizabeth Warren raises concerns about Army secretary nominee by Christopher Rowland - Public Citizen and Common Cause, two nonprofits that advocate against the influence of big business in government, say Esper is a prime example of corporate insiders finding a foothold in Trump’s government. Esper’s pledge to avoid Raytheon-related matters for one year is a small commitment in the context of his high-level work for the company for seven years, said Robert Weissman, executive director of Public Citizen. ”There’s no getting around the impact of informal ties,’’ he said. “He knows the guys from Raytheon. He’s one of theirs.’’

What if our system can’t handle Trump’s out-of-control self-dealing?

9/6/2017
The Washington Post: What if our system can’t handle Trump’s out-of-control self-dealing? by Sarah Posner - Meanwhile, the Public Citizen report, aptly titled “President Trump, Inc.,” is even more shocking, if that’s possible.

Boom—evidence shows Trump added 49 for-profit businesses to his empire since running/taking office

9/5/2017
Daily Kos: Boom—evidence shows Trump added 49 for-profit businesses to his empire since running/taking office by Leslie Salzillo - On Tuesday, the non-profit watchdog Public Citizen released a report and interactive dataset that shows Donald Trump has added 49 new “for profit” businesses to his empire after announcing his candidacy, after winning and while in office.

At the District’s only public hospital, consultants’ fees mount — along with trouble

9/5/2017
The Washington Post: At the District’s only public hospital, consultants’ fees mount — along with trouble by Peter Jamison - Craig Holman of the nonprofit Public Citizen said the placement of campaign donors at the helm of a struggling public hospital could nevertheless raise questions about the Bowser administration’s oversight of the facility.  “Whether or not her actions were appropriate, it’s going to raise questions and red flags anytime someone who is a government contractor gets involved in making campaign contributions,” Holman said.

Dudley broke code of conduct in Wells disclosure misstep: NY Fed

9/5/2017
Reuters: Dudley broke code of conduct in Wells disclosure misstep: NY Fed by Jonathan Spicer - “Any information of this kind coming out late is highly problematic,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at consumer rights advocacy group Public Citizen, which has called for Congress to investigate Wells Fargo. Such disclosures by regulators are extremely important, she said, so “they gain our trust and show us they are truly representing Main Street.”

Wells Fargo’s Testimony Left Some Feeling Shortchanged

9/1/2017
New York Times: Wells Fargo’s Testimony Left Some Feeling Shortchanged by Gretchen Morgenson - This lapse calls for new congressional hearings on Wells Fargo, according to 33 consumer groups. Led by Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, two left-leaning consumer organizations, the groups sent a letter late Thursday to leadership of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee urging them to bring Wells Fargo executives back to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the bank’s stream of abuses.