April 2018 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.

Public health advocates call on NIH to pull the plug on industry-funded alcohol study

4/26/2018
Mother Jones: Public health advocates call on NIH to pull the plug on industry-funded alcohol study by Stephanie Mencimer - Koob’s close ties to the industry and his refusal to allow the NIAAA to fund research on alcohol marketing to young people have made him a particular target for advocates. “These circumstances indicate that rather than acting in the best interest of the American public, Dr. Koob has been acting at the behest of the alcohol industry’s interests,” Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said earlier this month. “The only way to excise this corruption from within the NIAAA and begin to restore public trust in the institute is for Dr.

Democratic senators scrutinize Koch brothers' 'infiltration' of Trump team

4/26/2018
The Guardian: Democratic senators scrutinize Koch brothers' 'infiltration' of Trump team by Alastair Gee - A late-2017 report by the not-for-profit group Public Citizen suggested that 44 Trump administration officials had close ties to the Kochs, including Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt was recently defended against charges of ethical lapses by several Koch groups.

Exclusive: Trump's bank watchdog bought financial stocks up until taking office

4/26/2018
Reuters: Exclusive: Trump's bank watchdog bought financial stocks up until taking office by Michelle Price and Patrick Rucker - However, Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at non-profit Public Citizen, noted some ethics officials are reluctant to deem such trading problematic until nominees have been sworn in. In addition, he said, the rules are not as clear as they should be. “So long as the OGE doesn’t say the activity poses a conflict, then nominees are relatively unconstrained. So their defense is going to be that nobody told them.”

Fox News host calls on Trump to fire 'swampy' Scott Pruitt, clean up his administration

4/23/2018
The Week: Fox News host calls on Trump to fire 'swampy' Scott Pruitt, clean up his administration by Peter Weber - "Remember, President Trump's historic election win was driven in part by a drain-the-swamp agenda, an agenda we strongly support here on The Next Revolution," Hilton said, arguing that "in many ways, the president has delivered," by ordering an end to the lobbying revolving door and cutting regulations, "which means less bureaucracy, and that means less opportunity for lobbying and corruption." But Trump appointees have fallen short, he said, citing a Public Citizen study he said uncovered "a shocking number of former lobbyists now working in this administration and regulating the same inte

Senators worry Koch brothers have too much influence in Trump administration

4/20/2018
McClatchy DC: Senators worry Koch brothers have too much influence in Trump administration by Anita Kumar - Yet 44 Trump administration officials have close ties to the Koch brothers and their political groups, according to a November 2017 report by Public Citizen, a government watchdog group.

Judge rules against Trump administration in teen pregnancy prevention case

4/19/2018
The Hill: Judge rules against Trump administration in teen pregnancy prevention case by Jessie Hellmann - Public Citizen, a consumer rights group in D.C., represented Policy and Research LLC, Project Vida Health Center, Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy — four of 81 grantees who had their funds cut short by the administration last year.

How Wall Street is doing an end-run around a federal anti-corruption rule

4/19/2018
Fast Company: How Wall Street is doing an end-run around a federal anti-corruption rule by Andrew Perez and David Sirota - “This appears to be a very clear case of close coordination and circumvention of the pay-to-play rule,” said Craig Holman, an ethics lobbyist at the government watchdog group Public Citizen. “This is something that I’d like the SEC to pay attention to.”

Trump businesses made millions off Republican groups and federal agencies, report says

4/16/2018
McClatchy: Trump businesses made millions off Republican groups and federal agencies, report says by Anita Kumar - The money went to Trump’s airplanes, hotels, golf courses, even a bottled water company during the presidential campaign and the first 15 months of his presidency, according to a compilation of known records of the spending by Public Citizen obtained by McClatchy. Trump has raised the art of the self-deal to unprecedented heights, enriching himself at the expense of taxpayers,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “This requires a legislative response.”

AP investigation: #MeToo has little impact on medical world

4/16/2018
Associated Press: AP investigation: #MeToo has little impact on medical world by Jeff Horwitz and Juliet Linderman - "There's been a failure of the medical community to take a stand against the issue," said Azza Abbudagga, a health services researcher with nonprofit advocacy organization Public Citizen.

Mass protests planned if Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein

4/13/2018
The Huffington Post: Mass protests planned if Trump fires Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein by Eliot Nelson - Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen, a government accountability group and one of the leading protest organizers, attributed the coalition’s diverse membership to a growing sense among it members that the threat to the investigation represents a structural challenge to civil society.   “It’s a constitutional crisis and different from anything else we’ve had to react to,” said Gilbert. Gilbert added that people are growing more comfortable with, and accustomed to, protesting in the Trump administration.

Trump flips on trade pact, weighs rejoining Pacific-Rim deal

4/13/2018
Associated Press: Trump flips on trade pact, weighs rejoining Pacific-Rim deal by Ken Thomas and Kevin Freking - Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, which was highly critical of U.S. involvement in a pact it viewed as lowering labor and environmental standards, said Trump’s reversal on the issue would signal that the president “cannot be trusted on anything,” said Lori Wallach, the group’s director.

Government-funded office, staff await Ryan after he leaves Congress

4/13/2018
McClatchy DC: Government-funded office, staff await Ryan after he leaves Congress by William Douglas - Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, a government watchdog group, called the perk a windfall for a departed House speaker who hardly needs it.  “It is a waste of money…they don’t need this kind of taxpayer subsidy to close up shop,” Holman said. “They don’t need to get a million or $2 million in tax-payer assistance for the next five years after they leave. They’re going to do much better than most Americans do.”  A former speaker must relinquish their post-speaker office if they take a federally-appointed or elective position.

Trump says he’s in no hurry to finish NAFTA. That’s good because it may take awhile

4/12/2018
The Washington Post: Trump says he’s in no hurry to finish NAFTA. That’s good because it may take awhile by David J. Lynch - An agreement in principle would aim to lay out the basic trade-offs that have been agreed on the core issues, with precise language left to be written by lower level officials later in May, said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

NIH investigating 'alarming' report on funding for alcohol study: official

4/11/2018
The Hill: NIH investigating 'alarming' report on funding for alcohol study: official by Jessie Hellmann - “The fact that the NIH accepted nearly $70 million from the alcoholic beverage industry to fund the alcohol study was bad enough,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group. “But the shocking disclosures about senior NIH officials orchestrating an aggressive campaign to solicit such industry funding in violation of longstanding NIH policy, if confirmed, clearly undermines public trust in the NIH.”

White House publishes some agency visitor logs, showing lobbyist meetings

4/11/2018
Bloomberg: White House publishes some agency visitor logs, showing lobbyist meetings by Justin Sink - The lists were posted late Tuesday as part of a settlement between the administration and Public Citizen, a watchdog group that sued the government for release of the logs. The lists include visitors to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Council on Environmental Quality. Information about guests visiting the Office of National Drug Control Policy will post soon.

Congressional candidate's filings raise questions about campaign loan

4/9/2018
Politico: Congressional candidate's filings raise questions about campaign loan by Bill Mahoney - "To tell the truth, this is highly suspicious behavior," said Public Citizen’s Craig Holman when the details of the filings were explained to him.

Lobbyist tied to Pruitt's condo had clients facing EPA

4/6/2018
Bloomberg: Lobbyist tied to Pruitt's condo had clients facing EPA by Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Jennifer Jacobs - "J. Steven Hart is a very active lobbyist who has had considerable contact with the EPA," based on disclosures stretching back years, said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the watchdog group Public Citizen.

Environmentalists call on state to lift environmental regulations suspension post Harvey

4/5/2018
Houston Chronicle: Environmentalists call on state to lift environmental regulations suspension post Harvey by Alex Stuckey - TCEQ officials could not immediately be reached for comment. The environmental groups who signed the letter include Public Citizen's Texas Office, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and the Turtle Island Restoration Network. Read the full letter here.

Amazon builds tech’s largest in-house lobbying team

4/5/2018
Financial Times: Amazon builds tech’s largest in-house lobbying team by Barney Jopson and Joanna Kao - Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, said the swift emergence of big tech companies as a force in Washington was striking. “They really had not much of a lobbying presence a few years ago, but now they are dominating the scene.”

Consumer protection bureau's chief formally asks Congress to slash his agency's power

4/5/2018
The Los Angeles Times: Consumer protection bureau's chief formally asks Congress to slash his agency's power by Jim Puzzanghera - Mulvaney's changes "would stab a knife through the heart of the CFPB's mandate to protect consumers from financial industry abuses," said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen.

It ‘would stab a knife’ into CFPB: Critics react to Mulvaney proposal

4/3/2018
American Banker: It ‘would stab a knife’ into CFPB: Critics react to Mulvaney proposal by Kate Berry - "Acting Director Mulvaney’s proposed changes would stab a knife through the heart of the CFPB’s mandate to protect consumers from financial industry abuses," said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen. "The CFPB’s report drives home all the obvious reasons that it is a terrible idea to have someone who disagrees with an agency’s mission in charge of that agency. Mulvaney’s goal here is clear: to block, defund, and politicize the protections Dodd-Frank finally gave Main Street Americans."

White House, Dems seek EPA answers on Pruitt's rental deal

4/3/2018
ABC News: White House, Dems seek EPA answers on Pruitt's rental deal by John Santucci, Benjamin Siegel and Matthew Mosk - The EPA inspector general is reviewing a request to investigate Pruitt’s arrangement from Public Citizen, a nonpartisan watchdog group, a spokesperson said.