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The week ahead: High pay scrutinized, Internet anonymity defended and more

One of the hot topics these days is income inequality and the out-of-sight paychecks that CEOs get, even if the company goes downhill on their watch.

That’s why a Public Citizen is helping organize a conference today about executive compensation and how it should be changed. The conference is hosted by Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition where Public Citizen leads leads the executive compensation task force. The point is to examine how the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law was intended to reduce the excessive earnings of senior executives and reduce the risks these pose to the economy. Proposed implementing rules meant to bar compensation schemes that incentivize excessive risk-taking are weak and have been delayed. Speakers include Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO; Robert J. Jackson Jr., a former senior adviser to the Treasury Department on executive compensation and corporate governance; a number of professors and others.

Also today, one of our senior attorneys, Paul Alan Levy, is making an oral argument before the Indiana Court of Appeals in Indianapolis. The case is Miller v. Junior Achievement, and Levy is arguing as amicus curiae. The suit arose from an attempt by the former CEO of Junior Achievement and his wife to unmask online critics who commented about the company’s financial situation. Levy will argue that the Millers have not met the test needed to unmask the identity of the anonymous posters.

We have other things brewing this week. We continue to gain traction in our efforts to organize actions around the country on Jan. 21, the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. That’s the decision that let corporations spend as much as they wanted to sway elections.

Public Citizen and other groups are coordinating house parties this Thursday. The parties will feature Jim Hightower, national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author. This is a really crucial issue, especially with elections coming. It’s not too late to get involved! Sign up now to host a house party!

And watch this space for more updates this week!