October 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.

The Mueller investigation’s more subtle threat to the Trump White House

10/31/2017
The Washington Post: The Mueller investigation’s more subtle threat to the Trump White House by Daniel W. Drezner - “The indictment of Manafort is sending shock waves through K Street and the FARA Unit at the Department of Justice,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, a group that supports government transparency. “The Justice Department largely neglected its role in the administration of FARA, which emboldened many lobbyists to ignore the law and opt to register under the weaker disclosure regime of the Lobbying Disclosure Act, if at all.”

GOP in uncharted territory rolling back rules through resolutions

10/30/2017
The Hill: GOP in uncharted territory rolling back rules through resolutions by Lydia Wheeler - Amit Narang, a regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, claimed the law is vague and shouldn’t be seen as a roadblock to future rulemakings. “I do not believe agencies should be reading this as preventing them from regulating in areas where CRA resolutions have been passed,” he said.

US wins trade case over 'dolphin safe' tuna labeling

10/27/2017
The Hill: US wins trade case over 'dolphin safe' tuna labeling by Vicki Needham - Public Citizen has called on the Trump administration and the Mexican government to include language in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) affirming the U.S. labeling program to avoid any future disputes.   "To make sure that the attack on dolphin-safe tuna ends once and for all, a formal and final settlement of the case safeguarding the policy must be part of NAFTA renegotiations,” Wallach said.

Is FDA going too far in enforcing drug compounding law?

10/27/2017
Bloomberg BNA: Is FDA going too far in enforcing drug compounding law? by Bronwyn Mixter - The consumer group Public Citizen strongly opposes H.R. 2871 because “it would eviscerate critical patient safeguards established” by the DQSA, Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s health research group, told Bloomberg Law in an Oct. 19 email.

Trump’s proposal for a ‘solar’ border wall now appears dead

10/27/2017
The Washington Post: Trump’s proposal for a ‘solar’ border wall now appears dead by Tracy Jan - Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said if Trump were seriously interested in advancing solar power, “there are a lot of very worthy things to do but building the wall is not one of them.” Instead, he said, Trump’s Department of Energy is undermining solar by pushing for a rule that would force utilities to subsidize coal and nuclear energy at the expense of renewable energy.

Lawmakers Just Made It Nearly Impossible For You to Sue Companies Like Equifax and Wells Fargo

10/26/2017
TIME Online: Lawmakers Just Made It Nearly Impossible For You to Sue Companies Like Equifax and Wells Fargo by Megan Leonhardt - Consumer groups spent months fighting the financial industry's attempts to kill the rule, putting together research supporting the rule and placing targeted ads in key states. In fact, two groups Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform sent the Monopoly Man to deliver bags of money to U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.), a co-sponsor of the Senate repeal legislation. "This vote marks a truly shameful moment in Congress,” Amanda Werner, who plays the Monopoly Man, said in a statement.

After day of Feuding, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker Join Trump to Upend a Major Consumer Protection

10/25/2017
The Intercept: After day of Feuding, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker Join Trump to Upend a Major Consumer Protection by David Dayen - Supporters of the CFPB rule like Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman called the vote a choice “between corporate donors and constituents.” Amanda Werner, who gained notoriety for dressing as the Monopoly Man during Senate hearings on Wells Fargo and Equifax, notes that lawmakers opposing the arbitration rule received over $100 million in campaign contributions from the financial industry during their careers.

Singapore's Lee to talk trade with Trump

10/24/2017
POLITICO: Singapore's Lee to talk trade with Trump by Megan Cassella - At a time when Trump’s approval ratings are nearing an all-time low of 35 percent, a new poll from Democracy Corps and Public Citizen shows that around half of voters like his handling of trade and jobs — and that they connect most strongly with the need to cut down on outsourcing and enforce high labor and environmental standards in the United States. The survey highlights “that disconnect between where people’s heads are and what the current demands are prioritized,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told reporters Friday.

The Prosecution of Inauguration-Day Protesters Is a Threat to Dissent

10/23/2017
The Nation: The Prosecution of Inauguration-Day Protesters Is a Threat to Dissent by Chip Gibbons - “These cases are important because here we are at the beginning of the administration of a president that many of us [fear will be] very repressive and intolerant of dissent,” says Paul Alan Levy, of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, which has intervened on behalf of unnamed Facebook and DisruptJ20.org users seeking to protect their right to anonymous speech in both cases. “How Chief Judge Morin treats their fishing expedition could set either a very good precedent or a very bad precedent about how they will use the criminal-justice system going forward.”

Trump’s Pick to Run Mortgage Agency Has Helped Lenders Fight It

10/19/2017
Bloomberg Politics: Trump’s Pick to Run Mortgage Agency Has Helped Lenders Fight It by Joe Light - Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for nonprofit Public Citizen, said ethics laws would prohibit Montgomery from matters directly impacting his former clients for a year. He would still be able to make decisions that affect the broader lending or mortgage insurance industries, Holman said.

The Cost Of Developing Drugs Is Insane. That Paper That Says Otherwise Is Insanely Bad

10/17/2017
Forbes Online: The Cost Of Developing Drugs Is Insane. That Paper That Says Otherwise Is Insanely Bad by Matthew Herper - The real problem is that the amount spent to develop every new drug seems to be increasing. Prasad and Mailankody present the $2.7 billion Tufts estimate as being in contrast with an estimate of $320 million produced by the group Public Citizen. But the Public Citizen estimate, which is also based on R&D budgets divided by the number of drugs approved, is based on drugs approved in the 1990s. And the most obvious explanation for the difference is that the R&D dollars spent per drug have increased ten-fold in two decades.

NAFTA Round Four, Day Three

10/16/2017
POLITICO: NAFTA Round Four, Day Three by Megan Cassella - In one sign of civil society activity, there are signs that say “NAFTA Fix It Or Nix It” in the yards of several houses in a working-class neighborhood near the hotel. We asked Public Citizen if they knew how the signs got there and got this response: “The mighty coalition that helped build a majority in Congress against the TPP is now pushing for a NAFTA deal we could support, which means canvassing neighborhoods nationwide where folks like those living across the street from the negotiating venue are demanding a NAFTA replacement that works for people and the planet.”

New billboard effort asks "climate polluters" to help pay for Harvey

10/13/2017
Houston Chronicle: New billboard effort asks "climate polluters" to help pay for Harvey by Jordan Blum - Environmental groups, the Center for Climate Integrity and Public Citizen, point out that man-made climate change is warming ocean waters and strengthening storms like Harvey, helping them to unleash much more rainfall and flooding on communities. The extraction and burning of fossil fuels is responsible for much of the climate change, they assert at the new website, whopaysforharvey.com.

Ethics report says NY lawmaker’s actions warrant review

10/13/2017
Associated Press: Ethics report says NY lawmaker’s actions warrant review by Kevin Freking - Public Citizen had requested that the OCE review whether Collins and former Rep. Tom Price had used their office for personal benefit. Price was also an investor in Innate and served in the Trump administration as secretary of Health and Human Services until his resignation last month after reports of his extensive private charter travel at taxpayer expense. Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the liberal watchdog group, said the OCE report is very telling of lax ethical behavior by Collins in his stock-trading activity.

Has Trump cut more regulations than any president in history?

10/12/2017
The Washington Post: Has Trump cut more regulations than any president in history? by Glenn Kessler - Trump’s effort was immediately challenged in court, with groups such as Public Citizen arguing that the requirement could result in the repeal of lifesaving regulations without any scientific basis. A federal judge hearing the case in August described it as “a shadow regulatory process on top of the regulatory process” but has not issued a ruling.

Trump businesses reportedly benefit from deregulatory actions

10/11/2017
The Hill: Trump businesses reportedly benefit from deregulatory actions by Lydia Wheeler - Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Rick Claypool, a research director in the president's office of the nonprofit Public Citizens, detailed six deregulatory actions Trump could financially benefit from given his refusal to fully divest from his business empire.  “In several instances, Trump’s financial interests are directly at odds with protecting the public it is his administration’s duty to serve,” Cicilline and Claypool wrote in the report.

Judge limits data feds can get about anti-Trump website DisruptJ20

10/11/2017
NBC News: Judge limits data feds can get about anti-Trump website DisruptJ20 by Alex Johnson - Paul Alan Levy, a lawyer for Public Citizen, a nonprofit activist group that sought to intervene in the case on behalf of five anonymous people, also welcomed the order, calling it "a victory for the First Amendment right of people to plan a protest without worrying about having their identities disclosed to the government."But Levy said in a statement that it was "disappointing" that Morin approved searches of the redacted emails at all, "even though the government never showed that it had a good reason to look at those emails."

Workers featured in ads pushing Trump’s tax plan won’t benefit from it

10/11/2017
The Intercept: Workers featured in ads pushing Trump’s tax plan won’t benefit from it by Lee Fang - “What the Chamber wants would not remotely benefit any of the people featured in its ads,” said Dan Dudis, director of U.S. Chamber Watch, an advocacy group sponsored by the consumer-rights watchdog Public Citizen. “The Chamber wants a massive reduction in the corporate tax rate and a lower tax rates for high-income earners.”

Monopoly Man: Equifax can't use 'get out of jail free' card when they break the law

10/11/2017
Fox Business: Monopoly Man: Equifax can't use 'get out of jail free' card when they break the law by Matthew Wisner - Public Citizen Arbitration Campaign Manager Amanda Werner attended former Equifax CEO Richard Smith’s Senate hearing while dressed as ‘Monopoly Man.’   “My number one priority and the reason that I dressed up as the ‘Monopoly Man’ was to call attention to Equifax and Wells Fargo’s use of forced arbitration as essentially [a] ‘get out of jail free’ card when they break the law,” Werner told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

Dems want to keep limits on churches, nonprofits in politics

10/11/2017
The Hill: Dems want to keep limits on churches, nonprofits in politics by Naomi Jagoda - The letter is also backed by more than two dozen outside groups, including Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Independent Sector, and Public Citizen.

Lobbyists Use of Capitol Meeting Space Raises Questions

10/10/2017
Roll Call: Lobbyists Use of Capitol Meeting Space Raises Questions by Kate Ackley - “A congressperson can’t just turn over a room to a lobbyist for their purposes — the member is supposed to be reserving the room for some kind of project related to the members’ official duties,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist with the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen. “It sounds like it did cross the line.”

Zinke's mixing politics with business draws scrutiny

10/9/2017
POLITICO: Zinke's mixing politics with business draws scrutiny by Anthony Adragna - Though ethics watchdogs said Zinke’s appearance was legal, they said attending a fundraiser during his first month as secretary is not in line with past administrations' conduct. "It happens on occasion with other Cabinet secretaries, perhaps even a little more often as you get near the election, but it is not a very common practice for Cabinet members to be hopping around from campaign event to campaign event like we're seeing with Zinke," said Craig Holman, government affairs specialist for government watchdog Public Citizen.

The Energy 202: Here's how Trump's sage grouse fix could backfire

10/9/2017
The Washington Post: The Energy 202: Here's how Trump's sage grouse fix could backfire by Dino Grandoni - A recent $5,000-per-couple photo-op at a political fundraiser during a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands was one of more than a half-dozen times Zinke has participated in a political event while on department travel, Politico reports. A governmental specialist for watchdog Public Citizen told the publication that it’s “not very common practice for Cabinet members to be hopping around from campaign event to campaign event like we’re seeing with Zinke.”

Report: Trump-tied lobbyists cash in on their connections

10/6/2017
Associated Press: Report: Trump-tied lobbyists cash in on their connections by Tami Abdollah - Despite Donald Trump's campaign vow to "drain the swamp" of lobbyists and special interests, Washington's influence industry is alive and well — and growing. Former members of the Trump transition team, presidential campaign and administration, as well as friends have set up shop as lobbyists and cashed in on connections, according to a new report compiled by Public Citizen, a public interest group, and reviewed by The Associated Press.

In targeting political groups, I.R.S. crossed party lines

10/6/2017
The New York Times: In targeting political groups, I.R.S. crossed party lines by Alan Rappeport - "This report shows the I.R.S. deep scrutiny of political groups is in fact bipartisan, it is liberal and conservative groups that the I.R.S. has been targeting,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.

Meet The 'Monopoly' man who has been photobombing CEOs in Congress this week

10/5/2017
Newsweek: Meet The 'Monopoly' man who has been photobombing CEOs in Congress this week by Christianna Silva - Amanda Werner of Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen blew up the internet on Wednesday by slipping on a black top hat and a bushy white mustache and sitting two rows behind Equifax disgraced ex-CEO Richard Smith during his Senate Banking Committee testimony on Wednesday.

Report: Trump-tied lobbyists cash in on their connections

10/5/2017
Associated Press: Report: Trump-tied lobbyists cash in on their connections by Tami Abdollah - Despite Donald Trump’s campaign vow to “drain the swamp” of lobbyists and special interests, Washington’s influence industry is alive and well — and growing. Former members of the Trump transition team, presidential campaign and administration, as well as friends have set up shop as lobbyists and cashed in on connections, according to a new report compiled by Public Citizen, a public interest group, and reviewed by The Associated Press.