After Public Citizen’s Protest of EPA’s Sole-Source Media Contract, EPA Rescinds No-Bid Offer to Republican Opposition Research Firm

Dec. 19, 2017

After Public Citizen’s Protest of EPA’s Sole-Source Media Contract, EPA Rescinds No-Bid Offer to Republican Opposition Research Firm

Statement of Principals

Note: Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ended a contract with a public relations firm because of questions over the group’s ties to partisan activists. Public Citizen filed a protest on behalf of Fenton Communications and New Heights Communications to press for an open bid process. The group that was awarded the contract earlier this month, Definers Public Affairs, was hired to root out anti-Trump “resistance” within the EPA.

“This EPA contract never should have been handed out on a sole-source basis, and violated federal contracting law, as the protest we filed on behalf of Fenton Communications and New Heights Communications explained in detail. EPA contracts are not a plaything for Scott Pruitt to advance his pro-polluter, anti-science agenda, and they definitely shouldn’t be given out on a no-bid basis to partisan firms allied with Pruitt to crack down on EPA employees devoted to the agency’s mission.”
– Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen

“For a small firm like mine, winning a government contract like the EPA one would be a significant boost for our bottom line, and we would work hard to secure it, if given the opportunity. To know that the contract was awarded without even allowing other bidders was plainly unfair.”
– Christy Setzer, president of New Heights Communications

“The EPA is here to protect the environment and public health, not pursue an extreme right-wing agenda. For all of our clients and partners who are working to make good, sound environmental policy, we are pleased by this decision.”
– Ben Wyskida, chief executive officer of Fenton Communications