November 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.

Sam Brownback trolls America: The guy who wrecked Kansas is the GOP’s role model

11/30/2017
Salon: Sam Brownback trolls America: The guy who wrecked Kansas is the GOP’s role model by Sophia Tesfaye - “Believe me. Believe me, this is not good for me," the president insisted, falsely claiming that the GOP tax plans that will save his family billions "will cost me a fortune.” In reality, heirs to 15 of the wealthiest Trump administration officials stand to save an amount equal to the combined net worth of 18,000 American families at the median point, according to a report by the government watchdog group Public Citizen.

San Francisco homeowners want city to give back their street

11/28/2017
Associated Press: San Francisco homeowners want city to give back their street by Janie Har - Michael Kirkpatrick, an attorney with national consumer-rights organization Public Citizen who won a similar case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006, supported the homeowners. The court held that when a notice of a sale is returned undelivered, the government needs to strive further to alert property owners before selling.  “The government has to do more if there are reasonable alternative efforts available, and here, I think there are,” he said.

CFTC Reports Steep Drop in Enforcement Actions and Fines

11/27/2017
Wall Street Journal: CFTC Reports Steep Drop in Enforcement Actions and Fines by Gabriel T. Rubin - “One year does not a trend make, but if this drop in enforcement actions and monetary penalties continues, that’s a bad signal for investors and consumers,” said Tyson Slocum, a director at the consumer-advocacy group Public Citizen. “We’re not encouraged by the talk from the CFTC about taking a lighter approach to enforcement.”

Fight erupts over tax credit for 'orphan' disease drugs

11/21/2017
The Hill: Fight erupts over tax credit for 'orphan' disease drugs by Peter Sullivan - Steven Knievel, an access to medicines advocate at the advocacy group Public Citizen, argued that the orphan drug tax credit is a way for drug companies to “get goodies from the government without really doing what the intent of the law was.”

Interior denies wrongdoing involving Zinke's wife, travel

11/21/2017
Associated Press: Interior denies wrongdoing involving Zinke's wife, travel - Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist with good-governance watchdog Public Citizen, told Politico it’s not illegal for spouses to tag along during official trips as long as the government doesn’t pay for the additional expenses. But it can be an ethically gray area, depending on the circumstances. “Spousal travel, especially when paid for by the spouse, suggests that the trip may have less to do with official duties and more resembles a family vacation partially paid for by taxpayers,” he said.

Will sexual misconduct and corruption cases open the 'black box' of Senate ethics?

11/20/2017
USA Today: Will sexual misconduct and corruption cases open the 'black box' of Senate ethics? by Deirdre Shesgreen and Herb Jackson - Critics say the Senate ethics committee is a bit of a “black box,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen, a left-leaning government watchdog group. “The public has been asked to tolerate secrecy when it comes to congressional ethics over and over again,” Gilbert said. The panel's internal deliberations are often secret, and the punishments are often mild. She is not optimistic than anything with change now, even in the face of public pressure.  "Members policing other members can be problematic," she noted.

Public Citizen Wants To Investigate Trump's Inauguration Funds

11/20/2017
Bustle: Public Citizen Wants To Investigate Trump's Inauguration Funds by Chris Tognotti - As Newsweek reported on Friday, the Trump team brought in a whopping $107 million for the big day. We don't know exactly how much Trump spent to stage his inauguration, but he almost certainly didn't spent that entire amount, according to the government watchdog Public Citizen. "The inauguration embodied the precise casual corruption Trump had denounced throughout the campaign and said that he alone could solve," Robert Weissman, the group's president, told Newsweek, adding: When it comes to the missing funds, there’s no good story to be told for Trump.

Nobody Knows Where Trump's Leftover Inauguration Funds Went, Causing Outrage and Change in Washington

11/17/2017
Newsweek Online: Nobody Knows Where Trump's Leftover Inauguration Funds Went, Causing Outrage and Change in Washington by Chris Riotta - There's no way the committee spent anywhere near the $107 million it received in donations, according to the consumer rights advocacy group, Public Citizen. "When it comes to the missing funds, there’s no good story to be told for Trump," Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, told Newsweek.

Will Equifax Ever Be Held Accountable For Its 'Rookie Mistakes'?

11/16/2017
Forbes Online: Will Equifax Ever Be Held Accountable For Its 'Rookie Mistakes'? by Diana Hembree - “This vote marked a truly shameful moment in Congress, said Amanda Werner, campaign manager for Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen, who dressed as Monopoly Man to “troll” Equifax CEO Richard Smith during a Senate hearing in October. “Just weeks after holding hearings on scandals of historic proportion, the Senate granted Equifax and Wells Fargo a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card.”

Trump’s pick to lower drug prices is a former pharma executive who raised them

11/16/2017
The Washington Post: Trump’s pick to lower drug prices is a former pharma executive who raised them by Carolyn Y. Johnson - “This is the terrible record on price that we saw; now we’re talking about putting him in charge of the people's health agency — what reason do we have to expect any difference?” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen, a watchdog group. “It's a pharma fox to run the HHS henhouse.”

Trump taps ex-pharma executive Azar as U.S. health secretary

11/15/2017
Reuters: Trump taps ex-pharma executive Azar as U.S. health secretary by Caroline Humer, Yasmeen Abutaleb - Patient advocacy organization Public Citizen said Azar has made it clear he is opposed to measures “to restrain prescription companies’ profiteering and limit improper marketing” and that he favors weaker safety approval standards.

Trump team not pitching Paris renegotiation in Bonn

11/15/2017
POLITICO: Trump team not pitching Paris renegotiation in Bonn by Anthony Adragna - But campaign finance reform advocates say the arrangement takes advantage of a loophole. “This is all part of the very close coordination we’re seeing between the campaign itself and what’s supposedly an outside group,” said Craig Holman, the government affairs lobbyist at the good-government group Public Citizen.

Rich Uncle Pennybags from 'Monopoly' appears in Senate hearing again

11/9/2017
The Hill: Rich Uncle Pennybags from 'Monopoly' appears in Senate hearing again by Jacqueline Thomsen - Amanda Werner, the arbitration campaign manager for Public Citizen, was spotted in their top hat, monocle and mustache in the back of a Senate committee meeting Wednesday. The hearing focused on the impact of lawsuits against corporations.

Icahn subpoenaed by U.S. on biofuels dealing: filing

11/9/2017
Reuters: Icahn subpoenaed by U.S. on biofuels dealing: filing by Chris Prentice and Jarrett Renshaw - Watchdog groups like Public Citizen and American Oversight also applauded the move, saying that Icahn’s role presented ethical and legal concerns.

GOP Tax Bill Would Allow Politics from the Pulpit

11/6/2017
Roll Call: GOP Tax Bill Would Allow Politics from the Pulpit by Kate Ackley - The liberal group Public Citizen said it was fighting the proposal. If enacted, the move could favor wealthy political donors “who want a new avenue to funnel their secret cash, and want to do so while receiving American tax dollars in the form of a deduction,” said Public Citizen’s Lisa Gilbert.

Democratic lawmakers sue over Trump Administration secrecy

11/3/2017
Associated Press: Democratic lawmakers sue over Trump Administration secrecy by Tami Abdollah and Jeff Horwitz - "President Trump's refusal to divest his ownership interest in a company that contracts with the federal government raises numerous issues requiring congressional oversight," the committee's ranking member, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, and 16 other oversight Democrats said in the lawsuit. They were represented by Georgetown law professor David Vladeck and Scott Nelson of Public Citizen, a liberal advocacy group.

Trump’s consumer product safety nominee defended deadly products

11/1/2017
The Intercept: Trump’s consumer product safety nominee defended deadly products by Sharon Lerner - Remington A. Gregg, counsel for civil justice and consumer rights at Public Citizen, said Baiocco should “absolutely recuse herself” from those and “any products she’s worked on.”

Washington's legions of lobbyists see danger in special counsel's indictment of Manafort

11/1/2017
BuzzFeed: Washington's legions of lobbyists see danger in special counsel's indictment of Manafort by John Hudson and Zoe Tillman - “The indictment of Manafort is sending shockwaves 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.”