Public Citizen in the thick of things; see us in print and on Maddow

As the debates surrounding health care reform and climate change legislation continue to heat up, Public Citizen has been in the thick of things, standing up for policies that will truly benefit the public and getting the media’s attention:

Today, Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, was quoted in a Washington Times story about the House-passed climate bill. He notes,

You have to ask yourself if it is wise policy to create a new derivatives market on the heels of the collapse of derivatives markets, and I don’t think it is.

And those aren’t the only questions Public Citizen is asking. We’ve all seen the recent images of irate constituents yelling at their representatives during town hall debates on health care reform. But is this anger home-grown or organized by businesses and interest groups whose bottom line could be hurt by reform?

That is the question The Hill asks and our Craig Holman,  answers. Though lobbyists must register their activities and expenses with Congress (thanks to reforms Public Citizen helped push through, grassroots firms do not. This means that “hundreds of millions of dollars being spent to influence the political process goes unreported.” Or as Craig put it:

This goes below the radar. We don’t know who is behind it or who pays for it. We don’t know how much of it is happening.

And then MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow digs deeper.

On her show Friday night, Maddow linked two firms, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, to the organization of protests against health care reform to be held during town hall meetings. She brings up our 2004 request for public information from a major donor to these organizations, which was greeted with a threat to report us to the authorities for having the audacity to request public records. Watch the segment to learn all about the convoluted workings of health care opposition yourself (Public Citizen comes in about 9:30 into the segment).