The Consumerist: Fertility Service Threatens Customer With Multimillion-Dollar Lawsuit For Complaining To Better Business Bureau by Chris Morran – Here’s the background, according to Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen. As Levy notes, companies don’t need non-disparagement clauses to protect them from defamation. That’s why slander and libel laws exist.
Anti-trade Democrats say Obama’s Pacific Rim trade pact is for the dogs 10/29/2015
Washington Post: Anti-trade Democrats say Obama’s Pacific Rim trade pact is for the dogs by David Nakamura – The group has allied with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, which last week sent lawmakers and reporters fake copies of the TPP text with dozens of blank pages to represent the secrecy of the process.
The Battle of the Budget Isn’t Over 10/29/2015
· The American Prospect: The Battle of the Budget Isn’t Over by David Dayen – In September, Public Citizen and hundreds of other organizations outlined just a sample of those riders.
Public Citizen: Keep Net Neutrality Rider Off Budget Bill 10/29/2015
Broadcasting Cable: Public Citizen: Keep Net Neutrality Rider Off Budget Bill by John Eggerton – Saying “inappropriate policy riders” have been attached by the hundreds, it lists six, including one that would “roll back strong net neutrality rules and prevent the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from enforcing rules that ensure Internet openness and affordability,” Public Citizen said.
Some new doctors are working 30-hour shifts at hospitals around the U.S. 10/28/2015
The Washington Post: Some new doctors are working 30-hour shifts at hospitals around the U.S. by Lenny Bernstein – Sidney M. Wolfe, co-founder of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, which in 2001 tried to persuade the federal government to regulate new doctors’ work hours, agreed there are risks in longer hours. “From my perspective, it seems both patients and doctors have to be involved [in consenting], and both patients and doctors need to be able to opt out.” He said that is unlikely or impossible because of the way this study is designed.
Top Lobbyists 2015: Grassroots 10/28/2015
The Hill: Top Lobbyists 2015: Grassroots – Craig Holman, Public Citizen: Holman works tirelessly on issues including corporate political disclosure, reforming open records law and proposed arbitration rules.
Massive Trade Pact Could Inflate Global Drug Prices, Restrict Access 10/27/2015
Healthline: Massive Trade Pact Could Inflate Global Drug Prices, Restrict Access by Brian Krans – Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s global access to medicines program, said that corporations influence these types of trade agreements to further their own interests, not those of consumers and patients. “It’s clear the TPP will be harmful to people by eliminating people’s access to medicine,” he told Healthline.
Court Rules That Student Loan Company Isn’t Above the Law 10/23/2015
Bloomberg: Court Rules That Student Loan Company Isn’t Above the Law by Natalie Kitroeff – “This is a victory for corporate accountability,” said Scott Michelman, the attorney who represented Pele. “There are very few avenues for folks to challenge the actions of student lenders. This wasn’t just an attempt to shut off the few avenues remaining, this was an attempt to shut off all avenues remaining.”
GOP candidates pledge assault on Obama’s regs 10/22/2015
The Hill: GOP candidates pledge assault on Obama’s regs by Lydia Wheeler – “If what ends up happening is a blanket moratorium for any specific period of time, you’re looking at a situation of no regulation whatsoever no matter how common-sense or reasonable it is,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen.
DNC courts lobbyist cash with promise of VIP access at convention 10/22/2015
The Hill: DNC courts lobbyist cash with promise of VIP access at convention by Megan Wilson – “This time around, it’s going to be a blast, because now we don’t even have the pretense of public financing behind the conventions,” Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at Public Citizen, told The Hill earlier this year.
Billionaire Makes $150 Million Threat to Get Congress to Cut Corporate Tax Rate 10/22/2015
The American Prospect: Billionaire Makes $150 Million Threat to Get Congress to Cut Corporate Tax Rate by Justin Miller – “As surely as billionaires like to own sports teams as a form of conspicuous consumption,” Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said, “we can expect them increasingly to fund personal super PACs as a form of self-aggrandizement—as well as to drive forward policies on everything from taxation to gambling to advance their own bottom lines.”
Obama administration blamed for massive regulatory delays 10/22/2015
The Hill: Obama administration blamed for massive regulatory delays by Tim Devaney – “Chronic delays have become a persistent feature of the OIRA review process,” Public Citizen president Robert Weissman said in a statement. “Faster rulemaking could have saved thousands of lives, prevented thousands of injuries and kept millions of Americans from getting sick. The situation is improved from the historic delays of a few years ago, but far too many rules remain delayed for far too long.”
Obama taps Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce to serve on U.S. SEC 10/21/2015
Reuters: Obama taps Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce to serve on U.S. SEC by Sarah N. Lynch and Jeff Mason – Lisa Gilbert, a director at the non-profit consumer rights group Public Citizen, said her organization is hopeful that Fairfax will be a “strong investor advocate” based on some of the academic work Fairfax has produced.
Hidden Cash Financed Lawmakers’ Turkey Trips 10/20/2015
Roll Call: Hidden Cash Financed Lawmakers’ Turkey Trips by Hannah Hess – “Some red flags were missed,” said Public Citizen’s Craig Holman, alleging the committee did not ask enough questions of the nonprofits.
Would Washington’s FDA Fix Cure the Patients or the Drug Industry? 10/20/2015
ProPublica: Would Washington’s FDA Fix Cure the Patients or the Drug Industry? By Alec MacGillis – “The most difficult thing for the consumer-protection groups has been seeing these seemingly nonpartisan groups sweeping in and embracing the bill as if it’s good for science when everything shows it has the opposite effect,” said Vijay Das, a health care advocate with the watchdog group Public Citizen.
How to Finish What Stephen Colbert Started 10/19/2015
Politico: How to Finish What Stephen Colbert Started by Trevor Potter – A recent study by the watchdog group Public Citizen warned that “the FEC is showing a dramatic and uncharacteristic inability to perform its duties more or less in all categories.”
PAC Supporting D.C. Mayor Draws Criticism 10/19/2015
· NBC Washington: PAC Supporting D.C. Mayor Draws Criticism by Tom Sherwood – “What Mayor Bowser intends to do with this PAC is use it first of all to probably intimidate many city council members into following her program,” said Craig Holman of citizens lobby group Public Citizen.
Trump spends less, but polls well. Does money still matter in politics? 10/16/2015
The Christian Science Monitor: Trump spends less, but polls well. Does money still matter in politics? By Patrick Torphy — According to Craig Holman, Government Affairs Lobbyist for Public Citizen, the celebrity came into the race with at least one major advantage. “Trump has achieved through publicity and his television shows exactly what money buys. [This] does not reflect that money doesn’t matter; money matters a great deal. Donald Trump is able to make up what Jeb Bush and Ben Carson are spending because he’s been on television for years, so what Jeb Bush and Ben Carson and Ted Cruz are trying to buy with money Trump has already achieved,” Holman tells The Christian Science Monitor in an interview.
Voters are mad about mega-donors, and it’s helping Trump and Sanders 10/14/2015
The Washington Post: Voters are mad about mega-donors, and it’s helping Trump and Sanders by Matea Gold and Jenna Johnson – “Voters are furious about it, but they hadn’t heard candidates speaking about the issue,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a nonpartisan public interest group. “That’s plainly changed in the 2016 race.
Ex-Senator wears 2 Hats in air traffic control push 10/14/2015
Politico: Ex-Senator wears 2 hats in air traffic control push by Isaac Arnsdorf – Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at watchdog group Public Citizen, said Dorgan should have been forthcoming about his lobbying interests in any meetings on the issue. “If you’ve been a member of a legislature or Congress, you also understand how important it is that lobbyists are honest and upfront,” he said.
3 Supreme Court Cases You Should Be Aware Of 10/13/2015
The Real News Network: 3 Supreme Court Cases You Should Be Aware Of – interview with Public Citizen’s Scott Nelson outlined three Supreme Court cases to the Real News that threaten the consumer and employee protection tool known as class action litigation.
Clinton Sets Dodd-Frank as ‘Minimum Reform’ 10/13/2015
Morning Consult: Clinton Sets Dodd-Frank as ‘Minimum Reform’ by Gabe Rubin – “She drew the line at Dodd-Frank as a minimum reform,” said Bart Naylor, a financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, a left-leaning policy organization.
Turner’s work for public agencies comes under fire 10/13/2015
Houston Chronicle: Turner’s work for public agencies comes under fire by Rebecca Elliot – Tom “Smitty” Smith of the Austin-based advocacy group Public Citizen Texas said it is not uncommon for lawyer legislators to have contracts with one or more government agencies. “A lot of the work – of legal work in this state – has to do with municipal or county or district governments of various kinds,” Smith said. “The gray area comes in the choice of that legislator’s law firm. Is it an open bidding process? Or is it just simply a gimme?”
Pharma’s next steps on TPP 10/12/2015
Politico: Pharma’s next steps on TPP by Brett Norman and Sarah Karlin – “The monopolist pharmaceutical industry has won a lot with the TPP, at the expense of people’s health,” Burcu Kilic, policy director for Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines program, said. “They should stop crying crocodile tears.”
Tennessee sometimes takes years to discipline doctors 10/12/2015
· The Tennessean: Tennessee sometimes takes years to discipline doctors by Anita Wadhwani – Lax oversight of physicians by state medical boards has been a national problem, according to Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, which has advocated for more transparency of such licensing and oversight boards.
Through executive orders, Obama tests power as purchaser-in-chief 10/11/2015
· USA Today: Through executive orders, Obama tests power as purchaser-in-chief by Gregory Korte– “It’s definitely under serious consideration inside the White House,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said. “I believe this is hotly under consideration but not yet decided upon. I don’t have a god answer of why we don’t already have it.”
A leaked document from the Trans-Pacific Partnership has some high-powered advocates worried 10/10/2015
Business Insider: A leaked document from the Trans-Pacific Partnership has some high-powered advocates worried by Dan Turkel- Public Citizen, a consumer-rights group, fears that the TPP would “put medicines out of reach” with regulations that Peter Maybarduk with the Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines organization says “would cost lives.””These final TPP rules would lengthen, strengthen and broaden special patent and data protections, which pharmaceutical companies use to delay generic competition and keep drug prices high,” Maybarduk continued.
How the controversy over drug prices could take down Obama’s massive trade deal 10/9/2015
The Washington Post WonkBlog: How the controversy over drug prices could take down Obama’s massive trade deal by Carolyn Johnson — “This is a huge win for pharma and a huge loss for us,” said Burcu Kilic, a policy director at Public Citizen. “That is why we are quite confused. They won this game; they got five years, and they are building the pathway to eight now — they are putting the bricks there. Pharma shouldn’t play this as, ‘ We are the losers, we wanted 12 years.’
Hillary’s Wall Street crackdown: Less than meets the eye 10/8/2015Politico: Hillary’s Wall Street crackdown: Less than meets the eye by Zachary Warmbrodt- “Really, from our perspective, we’re super happy,” said Lisa Gilbert, a director of the Congress Watch division at Public Citizen, which has endorsed a Warren bill that would split up traditional banking from investment banking. “She’s being very specific … It doesn’t seem like pandering when you go into this level of detail.”
Hillary Clinton opposes controversial Pacific trade deal 10/8/2015
· International Business Standard: Hillary Clinton opposes controversial Pacific trade deal– The earliest date for a final TPP vote in Congress will be in February 2016, when presidential nomination contests kick off in early voting states including Iowa and New Hampsire, according to trade experts at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization in Washington D.C.
The TPP Prioritizes the “Rights” of Corporations Over Workers, the Environment, and Democracy 10/7/2015
Common Cause: The TPP Prioritizes the “Rights” of Corporations Over Workers, the Environment, and Democracy by John Nichols- But nothing is so wrong as the little-covered but hugely important threat to democracy itself in the form of Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions, which Public Citizen says “formally prioritize corporate rights over the right of governments to regulate and the sovereign right of nations to govern their own affairs.”
This We Do Know About TPP: The Shouting Is Already Loud 10/6/2015
NPR: This We Do Know About TPP: The Shouting Is Already Loud by Marilyn Geewax – TPP will hurt factory jobs and, by raising some medicine prices, “contribute to preventable suffering and death.” — Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: What Will Congress Do From Here? 10/5/2015
International Business Times: Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: What Will Congress Do From Here? by Abigail Abrams – “It’s going to be a very, very big fight,” said Melinda St. Louis, international campaigns director for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, a consumer rights advocacy group based in Washington. She pointed to the close vote this year that gave the trade deal “fast track” authority in Congress, meaning that it will get expedited this time around and cannot get bogged down by amendments or filibusters.
What Changes Lie Ahead From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact 10/5/2015
The New York Times: What Changes Lie Ahead From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact by Keith Bradsher and Andrew Pollack – “They’ve been able to eliminate a number of harmful rules from the agreement, and that will save many lives,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the access-to-medicines program at the public-interest group Public Citizen. “The agreement could have been much worse.”
Trade deal disappoints drugmakers, consumer groups 10/5/2015
Modern Healthcare: Trade deal disappoints drugmakers, consumer groups by Lisa Schencker – “The problem of drug pricing is increasingly out of control in the U.S. and everywhere,” Maybarduk said. “Of course we need to pay for medical innovation, but there are more efficient ways to do that than monopolies.”
Trans-Pacific Partnership: US, Pacific Rim Nations Reach TPP Trade Deal 10/5/2015
International Business Times: Trans-Pacific Partnership: US, Pacific Rim Nations Reach TPP Trade Deal by Carter Dougherty – Burcu Kilic, research director for the Access to Medicines Project at Public Citizen, said the U.S. concession still leaves poorer countries with too-stringent rules that will limit availability of new pharmaceuticals. “Call this ‘po-tay-to’ or ‘po-tah-to,’” Burcu said. “It’s eight years, and it’s unacceptable.”
United States, 11 Pacific Rim countries reach trade deal 10/5/2015
Associated Press: United States, 11 Pacific Rim countries reach trade deal by Paul Wiseman and Christopher Rugaber – Trade unions and other critics say the deal will expose American workers to foreign competition and cost jobs. Given the opposition, the pact’s “fate in Congress is at best uncertain,” said Lori Wallach, a leading TPP critic and director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
New We Have a Judicial System Just for Corporations 10/3/2015
· Common Dreams: Now We Have a Judicial System Just for Corporations by David Morris–A path breaking 2007 report by Public Citizen found that in employment cases and medical malpractice cases, arbitration claimants received only about 20 percent of the damages they would have received in court…
Negotiations on Trans-Pacific Trade Pact Are Extended, Fueling Hope 10/2/2015
· The New York Times: Negotiations on Trans-Pacific Trade Pact Are Extended, Fueling Hope by Jackie Calmes– Peter Maybarduk, director of a program of the social advocacy group Public Citizen that seeks to expand global access to medicines, called the language put forth by the United States “an illusion, not an improvement. It is a repackaging of the same harmful idea already rejected by many countries.”
If Small Donors Were Amplified, Bernie Would Be The Frontrunner 10/2/2015
· The American Prospect: If Small Donors Were Amplified, Bernie Would Be The Frontrunner by Justin Miller – “This means, first of all, that Sanders has an equivalent amount of campaign funds to wage a campaign and, secondly, has reached out to a much broader base of voters,” says Craig Holman, who advocates for campaign-finance reform for Public Citizen. “Sanders has developed a campaign on broad-based strength, much like what we saw from Obama in 2008.”
Lawyers, judges and all that cash 10/1/2015
· Chicago Tribune: Lawyers, judges and all that cash – op-ed by Robert Weissman
TPP trade talks narrow on tough auto, drug and dairy issues 10/1/2015
· Agence France-Presse: TPP trade talks narrow on tough auto, drug and dairy issues – A small protest outside the hotel where the TPP talks were taking place took aim at the drug patent protection issue. Lengthening the protection from the widespread standard of five years to eight years, said the Washington group Public Citizen, “would reverse the past US approach, which allowed poorer countries more flexibilities permanently to ensure their populations had access to affordable medicines.”
As Secret Trade Talks Reveal Cracks, Demonstrators Aim Death Blows at TPP 10/1/2015
Common Dreams: As Secret Trade Talks Reveal Cracks, Demonstrators Aim Death Blows at TPP by Deirdre Fulton – “Ten Presidential candidates have pushed anti-TPP messages in their campaigning, stoking voters’ ire about the pact,” Wallach said. “The political costs of an unpopular ‘yes’ vote for the TPP would increase with every passing week in 2016.”