November 2015 media hits

November 2015 media hits RSS Feed   Tyson Foods Wants the Supreme Court to Block Its Employees From Suing for Wage Theft    11/10/2015

Mother Jones: Tyson Foods Wants the Supreme Court to Block Its Employees From Suing for Wage Theft by Stephanie Mencimer – And if every individual worker screwed out of overtime pay at Tyson’s Iowa plant had to file a separate lawsuit, no lawsuits would ever get filed, and the practice would persist because no lawyer would take a case with such a low dollar value. As Public Citizen’s Michelman said in an interview, quoting a famous class action decision, “Only a lunatic or fanatic would sue for $30.”

Here’s what the Internet hates about the TPP trade deal     11/10/2015

The Daily Dot: Here’s what the Internet hates about the TPP trade deal by Kevin Collier – But the consumer-advocacy group Public Citizen warns that it actually “would not meet standards of transparency, consistency, or due process common to TPP countries’ domestic legal systems or provide fair, independent, or balanced venues.”

‘Campaign in a box’ fires up commissioners, consultants    11/9/2015

Houston Chronicle: ‘Campaign in a box’ fires up commissioners, consultants by David Saleh Rauf – Craig Holman, a federal lobbyist on government ethics at the liberal advocacy group Public Citizen, shrugged off the trade secret argument, saying it’s been used before by others in the influence arena when new disclosure requirements become a topic for regulators.

In Texas, political scandals are big, too    11/9/2015

El Paso Times: In Texas, political scandals are big, too by David Montgomery – “Texas has a culture of corruption that starts at the very top,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, who has been director of Public Citizen’s Texas office since 1985 and helped lead the push for ethics reforms both in 1991 and this year. Under what he called a “pay-to-play” system that he said “exemplified the Perry administration,” Smith said big donors were often rewarded with appointments to boards and commissions that shaped policy on state government.

GAO investigation of SBA should prompt Congressional hearings    11/9/2015

The Hill: GAO investigation of SBA should prompt Congressional hearings by Lloyd Chapman – In May, Public Citizen released their investigative report titled, “Slighted” on fraud and abuse in federal small business contracting programs.

Thousands Of Workers Who Were Shorted On Overtime Pay Are Headed To The Supreme Court    11/9/2015

Huffington Post: Thousands Of Workers Who Were Shorted On Overtime Pay Are Headed To The Supreme Court by Dave Jamieson and Cristian Farias – “Not only Tyson but employers and companies of all kinds would, I’m sure, welcome a broad ruling restricting the availability of class actions,” Scott Michelman, a lawyer with Public Citizen who is representing the workers, told The Huffington Post. “A lot of the workers may be from marginalized populations in one way or another and have trouble seeking recourse without this device of a class action.”

Texas Gets a D- in 2015 State Integrity Investigation    11/8/2015

The Texas Tribune: Texas Gets a D- in 2015 State Integrity Investigation by David Montgomery – “Texas has a culture of corruption that starts at the very top,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, who has been director of Public Citizen’s Texas office since 1985 and helped lead the push for ethics reforms both in 1991 and this year.

Illinois’ Congress members go on 70 foreign trips in 2 years    11/7/2015

Associated Press: Illinois’ Congress members go on 70 foreign trips in 2 years – Craig Holman, who monitors congressional travel at the watchdog group Public Citizen, said Illinois members of Congress seemed like a “well-traveled delegation” after being told of the Tribune’s findings. He approves of travel to hot spots, but has an unfavorable view of other congressional trips.

TPP Is the Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History    11/7/2015

Alternet: TPP Is the Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History by Chris Hedges – NAFTA has led to a $181 billion trade deficit with Mexico and Canada and the loss of at least 1 million U.S. jobs, according to a report by Public Citizen.

Pacific trade pact’s final text reveals ‘corporate agenda,’ critics say    11/6/2015

Al Jazeera: Pacific trade pact’s final text reveals ‘corporate agenda,’ critics say by Naureen Khan – “This is opening up an entire box of Pandoras to expand the scope of the kinds of policies that can be attacked,” Wallach said. “Apparently, the TPP’s proponents resorted to such extreme secrecy during negotiations because the text now shows that the TPP would offshore more American jobs, would lower our wages, would flood us with unsafe food and expose our laws — more laws — to attack in foreign tribunals.”

Unions, lawmakers promise closer scrutiny of Pacific trade pact    11/6/2015

Reuters: Unions, lawmakers promise closer scrutiny of Pacific trade pact by Krista Hughes and Matt Siegel – “It’s worse than we thought,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, told reporters on a conference call after examining the full text of the pact, which was unveiled early on Thursday.

 

Despite Hush-Money Plea, Hastert Keeps Pension    11/5/2015

Roll Call: Despite Hush-Money Plea, Hastert Keeps Pension by Bridget Bowman – “He’s not going to lose his pension because the crimes that he has plead guilty to, was convicted of, in that sense were not related to his official duties,” Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen, said in a Wednesday phone interview. “The main reason is the crime occurred after he left office.”

Reform Wins: Ohio Bans Gerrymandering While Maine and Seattle Bust Big Money    11/5/2015

The Nation:  Reform Wins: Ohio Bans Gerrymandering While Maine and Seattle Bust Big Money by John Nichols – “Seattle leads the nation, first on $15 an hour and now on campaign-finance reform,” said Heather Weiner of the Honest Elections Seattle campaign that backed I-122, and that was enthusiastically endorsed by the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, and other reform groups.

Congressional Energy Chairs Form Fundraising Committee, Rake In Oil, Gas Cash As They Push Bills For Fossil Fuel Industry    11/5/2015

International Business Times: Congressional Energy Chairs Form Fundraising Committee, Rake In Oil, Gas Cash As They Push Bills For Fossil Fuel Industry by David Sirota and Andrew Perez – “These companies are going to make sure that all their senior executives who can afford it join in and chip in,” said Craig Holman of the watchdog group Public Citizen. “This is staking out the turf. This is essentially the chairs almost setting up a situation in which these companies can’t help but make campaign contributions.”

Text Of Landmark Trade Deal Is Released, And The Real Debate Begins    11/5/2015

NPR: Text Of Landmark Trade Deal Is Released, And The Real Debate Begins by Jim Zarroli – Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch says an initial look at the text was not encouraging: “From leaks, we knew quite a bit about the agreement, but in chapter after chapter the final text is worse than we expected with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisors representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest.”

‘Worse Than We Thought’: TPP A Total Corporate Power Grab Nightmare    11/5/2015

Common Dreams: ‘Worse Than We Thought’: TPP A Total Corporate Power Grab Nightmare by Deirdre Fulton – “From leaks, we knew quite a bit about the agreement, but in chapter after chapter the final text is worse than we expected with the demands of the 500 official U.S. trade advisers representing corporate interests satisfied to the detriment of the public interest,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Groups urge cyber caucus to oppose asbestos trust bill    11/4/2015

The Hill: Groups urge cyber caucus to oppose asbestos trust bill by Lydia Wheeler – The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Action Fund and five other interest groups, including Public Citizen and the Center for Justice & Democracy, wrote a letter to caucus co-chairs Reps. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas) asking the caucus to oppose the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2015.

Things Are Looking Up For Federal Law Banning “Gag Clauses” That Prevent Customers From Writing Honest Reviews    11/4/2015

Consumerist: Things Are Looking Up For Federal Law Banning “Gag Clauses” That Prevent Customers From Writing Honest Reviews by Chris Morran – “If we don’t have $3,500 to pay to KlearGear, we don’t have thousands to pay to an attorney,” explained Palmer, who eventually received pro bono legal assistance through Public Citizen.

Tyson Foods case goes before Supreme Court    11/4/2015

Sioux City Journal: Tyson Foods case goes before Supreme Court by Nick Hytrek – Scott Michelman, an attorney for Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group representing Bouaphakeo and other workers, said that Tyson had failed to keep track of how much time workers spent putting on and taking off safety gear as required by law, so it would have been impossible in this case to get specific records for each worker.

Compact aims to help doctors practice across state lines    11/2/2015

Philadelphia Inquirer: Compact aims to help doctors practice across state lines by Marie McCullough – “There is a big disparity in disciplinary rates between states,” said physician Sidney M. Wolfe, cofounder of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, a consumer advocacy organization. “If nothing is on the doctor’s [principal license] record, and he wants to get a license in a second state, the second state doesn’t have any clue” about misconduct.

Outrage of the Month: More Reasons for Obama to Withdraw His Nominee for FDA Commissioner    11/2/2015

Huffington Post: Outrage of the Month: More Reasons for Obama to Withdraw His Nominee for FDA Commissioner by Michael Carome

Taxpayers Foot Bill for Boehner’s Post-Speaker Office    11/2/2015

Roll Call: Taxpayers Foot Bill for Boehner’s Post-Speaker Office by Kate Ackley – “I was unaware Hastert was receiving those types of official benefits while serving as a registered lobbyist,” said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for Public Citizen, a liberal watchdog group. “I would’ve filed an ethics complaint. They should not be simultaneously enjoying special access and special privileges associated with their government services. There has to be a clear break.”