April 2015 media hits

Public Citizen is mentioned, or its experts quoted, every day in print and broadcast media around the world. Below are links to some of the recent stories in which we have appeared.

House Panel Strikes Provision That Would Delay Added Military Lending Act Protections

4/30/2015
The Consumerist: House Panel Strikes Provision That Would Delay Added Military Lending Act Protections by Ashlee Kieler - Advocacy group Public Citizen said in a statement that the push to delay the protection from taking effect illustrated “the horrendous abuses prevalent in underregulated markets, where corporations routinely target vulnerable populations. It demonstrates how smart regulations are needed and can make a huge difference in people’s lives.”

Dangerous Oil And Gas Sector Remains Exempt From Key Federal Health And Safety Regulations

4/30/2015
International Business Times: Dangerous Oil And Gas Sector Remains Exempt From Key Federal Health And Safety Regulations by Cole Stangler - “The largest problem is just that OSHA can’t keep up,” says Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate for Public Citizen. More safety inspections translate into more safety overall, he says. “That’s a known fact.”

Alabama Shields Brand Drug Makers From Lawsuits Over Generic Liability

4/30/2015
Wall Street Journal Blog: Alabama Shields Brand Drug Makers From Lawsuits Over Generic Liability by Ed Silverman - Nonetheless, the legislation underscores the need for an FDA rule that would permit generic drug makers to independently update their labels, according to Allison Zieve, litigation director at Public Citizen, the consumer watchdog group. The FDA proposed such a rule in response to the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. “The solution is to give all drug manufacturers – both brand-name and generic – responsibility for labeling,” she tells us.

Proposed Bill Would Make It Illegal to Penalize Businesses That Take Action Against Negative Reviews Online

4/30/2015
NBC: Proposed Bill Would Make It Illegal to Penalize Businesses That Take Action Against Negative Reviews Online by Samantha Tatro - Public Participation Project, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Federation of America and Public Citizen have come out in support of the bill.

Opinion: When CEOs bet against their company, the shareholder loses

4/29/2015
MarketWatch: Opinion: When CEOs bet against their company, the shareholder loses by Elliot Blair Smith - The grassroots group Public Citizen chastised the commission last month, in a letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, for taking five years to implement a simply worded provision of Dodd Frank law. “The proposed rule essentially restates the statute,” Public Citizen wrote, adding, “there is little for the Commission to decide. The chair must simply press the ‘go’ button.” I agree—and stipulate the rule does not go far enough.

New draft of medical innovation bill boosts NIH funding

4/29/2015
Modern Healthcare: New draft of medical innovation bill boosts NIH funding by Darius Tahir - But consumer watchdog Public Citizen called the NIH funding a horse trade “providing perks to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to approve medications and devices faster based on weaker evidence.”

Congress May Delay Predatory Lending Protection For Military Personnel

4/29/2015
The Consumerist: Congress May Delay Predatory Lending Protection For Military Personnel by Chris Morran - Advocacy group Public Citizen says the attempt to delay the reforms is “unconscionable” and that it is a “sign of just how indebted certain members of Congress are to corporate interests that a critical, commonsense regulation that is needed to protect our national security can be sacrificed in service to the predatory lending industry.”

House Republicans Want To Block Predatory Lending Protections For American Troops

4/29/2015
Huffington Post: House Republicans Want To Block Predatory Lending Protections For American Troops by Zach Carter - "It is unconscionable," Public Citizen President Robert Weissman said in a written statement. "It is a sign of just how indebted certain members of Congress are to corporate interests that a critical, commonsense regulation that is needed to protect our national security can be sacrificed in service to the predatory lending industry."

New Law Would Ban Companies From Penalizing Customers Who Write Negative Reviews

4/29/2015
The Consumerist: New Law Would Ban Companies From Penalizing Customers Who Write Negative Reviews by Chris Morran - “Too often, a consumer shares a negative customer service experience with others, then learns that according to the fine print in the boilerplate contract, he may not criticize the business publicly, including writing an online review,” says Scott Michelman of Public Citizen, who has helped represent consumers in non-disparagement cases. “Companies use these unjust terms to bully dissatisfied customers into silence.”

Firms Paid Bill Clinton Millions As They Lobbied Hillary Clinton

4/28/2015
International Business Times: Firms Paid Bill Clinton Millions As They Lobbied Hillary Clinton by Andrew Perez, David Sirota and Matthew Cunningham-Cook - Federal ethics rules aim to discourage officials and their spouses from accepting gifts from interests “seeking official action” from a government agency. But the rules do not apply to speaking fees, said Craig Holman an advocate for tightened ethics structures at Public Citizen, a watchdog group in Washington.

Shuster: No thought of recusing himself from FAA bill over personal relationship

4/28/2015
Politico: Shuster: No thought of recusing himself from FAA bill over personal relationship by Heather Caygle - Government watchdog groups have said Shuster’s relationship with Rubino is troubling — Craig Holman of Public Citizen called it a “huge, huge, tremendous conflict of interest” — and have expressed doubt that it’s enough for his office to have enacted a policy precluding his girlfriend from lobbying him or his staff.

Senate committee approves Vitter chemical safety bill

4/28/2015
New Orleans Times-Picaynne: Senate committee approves Vitter chemical safety bill by Bruce Alpert - Susan Harley, deputy director for Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division, said the bill doesn't do enough to ensure chemical safety. "Instead of making it easier for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to classify toxic chemicals and restrict harmful products, the Udall-Vitter legislation puts just as much effort into giving some chemicals a green light as it does keeping toxic chemicals off store shelves and out of our homes," Harley said.

Nine things you might want to know about the massive Pacific trade deal

4/28/2015
Al Jazeera: Nine things you might want to know about the massive Pacific trade deal by E. Tammy Kim - Advocacy group Public Citizen argues that this would put the world’s 1 percent on the same footing as nations and cost millions in taxpayer dollars.

Ethics Watchdogs Question Fraser's Energy Holdings

4/27/2015
Texas Tribune: Ethics Watchdogs Question Fraser's Energy Holdings by Jay Root and Jim Malewitz - “Troy Fraser is the poster child for why we need significant conflict of interest reforms and far better disclosure,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen of Texas. “Because our ethics rules don’t require full disclosure of the value of his assets, we don’t know the extent of his conflicts.”

Trans-Pacific Partnership Puts Harvard Law School Rivals on Opposite Sides, Again

4/27/2015
New York Times: Trans-Pacific Partnership Puts Harvard Law School Rivals on Opposite Sides, Again by Jonathan Weisman - In the early 2000s, after Michael Froman decamped from the Clinton Treasury Department for Wall Street, he called his old law-school colleague Lori Wallach, now an anti-globalization activist, with an unusual proposal.

Technology Creates 'Blind Spot' in Physician Credentialing

4/26/2015
MedPage Today: Technology Creates 'Blind Spot' in Physician Credentialing by Tinker Ready - Michael Carome, MD, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group, a watchdog group that tracks drug and device safety, says, "Hospitals want the newest device so that they can promote and market themselves as having the most advanced technology."

Pacific trade deal ‘suicide’ for U.S.

4/25/2015
Washington Examiner: Pacific trade deal ‘suicide’ for U.S. by Kenric Ward - Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach said on C-Span's "Washington Journal,” that such measures would never get through Congress.

Big Bank 'Crime of the Century' Results in Guess What? No Jail Time for Anyone

4/24/2015
Common Dreams: Big Bank 'Crime of the Century' Results in Guess What? No Jail Time for Anyone by Deirdre Fulton- - "Law enforcers found repeated examples of manipulation as they investigated the bank," said Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate in Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division, on Thursday.

Campaign finance debate heats up ahead of 2016

4/24/2015
CNN: Campaign finance debate heats up ahead of 2016 by Theodore Schleifer - "2016 will be a watershed election," said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the pro-reform group Public Citizen, pointing to Graham and Clinton endorsing a constitutional amendment.

Obama Hits the Warpath Over TPP

4/24/2015
The Nation: Obama Hits the Warpath Over TPP by George Zornick - In this way, as Public Citizen has noted, the TPP process is a significant a step back from NAFTA when it comes to fast-tracking.

FEC decision may allow more foreign money in U.S. votes, critics say

4/24/2015
Reuters: FEC decision may allow more foreign money in U.S. votes, critics say by Michelle Conlin and Lucas Iberico Lozada - Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a reform group, said the FEC deadlock on banning foreign money in U.S. elections raises concerns that foreign influence in American candidate and ballot measure campaigns could rise. "The 'dark money' phenomenon that has flooded elections since the 2010 Citizens United decision has made it easy for foreign interests to secretly launder money into candidate elections," he said.

Public Citizen Pans 'Cures' Draft, Offers 5 Alternatives To Revamp Bill

4/24/2015
Inside Health Policy: Public Citizen Pans 'Cures' Draft, Offers 5 Alternatives To Revamp Bill - As House lawmakers and their staff work to negotiate final details of a second version of the Energy and Commerce Committee's 21st Century Cures legislation, Public Citizen says the January Cures discussion draft misses the mark and offers five ways to improve the measure by incorporating ideas the group says have been ignored by Congress.

Gotham Needs Batman. Washington Needs Mary Jo White.

4/23/2015
The Huffington Post: Gotham Needs Batman. Washington Needs Mary Jo White. - Op-ed by Lisa Gilbert

State contracting safeguards only as good as the enforcement

4/23/2015
Houston Chronicle: State contracting safeguards only as good as the enforcement - by Brian M. Rosenthal - Tom "Smitty" Smith of the Austin-based advocacy group Public Citizen Texas, said for 30 years he has seen a cycle after scandal: "things get tight for awhile, and then you have a progression of agencies becoming laxer, and then there are complaints that the regulations are too burdensome and then there are exceptions and then it's time to do it all over again."

Exposing anonymous Yelp reviewers

4/23/2015
The Washington Post: Exposing anonymous Yelp reviewers by David Post - Paul Levy, over at Public Citizen, has an interesting discussion of a recent decision by the Virginia Supreme Court in a case (Yelp v Hadeed Carpet Cleaning) involving the right to speak anonymously.

7 vets, including 1 in Virginia, sue to get their own military records

4/22/2015
Daily Press: 7 vets, including 1 in Virginia, sue to get their own military records by Hugh Lessig- Stichman's group is representing the defendants along with Public Citizen, - a non-profit consumer advocacy group. Rachel Clattenburg is the Public Citizen attorney handling the case. "Those veterans have a right to get access to those files," she said.

Bernie Sanders Is Kind Of Filibustering Obama's Trade Agenda

4/22/2015
Huffington Post: Bernie Sanders Is Kind Of Filibustering Obama's Trade Agenda by Zach Carter - "It's a very brave tactic," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, one of the leading opponents of Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

VA Sued for Making Vets Wait Two Years for Records

4/21/2015
Fox Business: VA Sued for Making Vets Wait Two Years for Records by Elizabeth MacDonald - “Disability benefits are critical for veterans suffering from injuries sustained in service to their country,” said Rachel Clattenburg, the Public Citizen attorney handling the case, in a statement. “Forcing a combat-wounded veteran to wait hundreds of days for records to apply for disability compensation is unacceptable. This lawsuit is not just about records; it is about ensuring that our country keeps its promise to its service men and women, and their families.”

Business group sees thousands of US jobs from Pacific trade deal

4/21/2015
Reuters: Business group sees thousands of US jobs from Pacific trade deal - Consumer group Public Citizen says trade agreements over the last 20 years have led to a net loss of nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs in the United States and depressed wages.

Conservatives complain about regulatory delays, yet vote for roadblocks

4/21/2015
The Hill: Conservatives complain about regulatory delays, yet vote for roadblocks - op-ed by Robert Weissman

Ghost of NAFTA haunts proposed Pacific Rim trade deal

4/21/2015
Los Angeles Times: Ghost of NAFTA haunts proposed Pacific Rim trade deal by Don Lee - To be sure, soaring imports from Mexico widened the U.S. trade deficit and contributed to factory closures and dislocation of workers. By Public Citizen's tally, more than 845,000 U.S. workers were approved for federal aid because their jobs were deemed lost to imports from Mexico and Canada in the 20 years since NAFTA went into effect at the start of 1994.

Vets Refuse To Wait Any Longer, Sue The VA For Medical Records

4/21/2015
The Daily Caller: Vets Refuse To Wait Any Longer, Sue The VA For Medical Records by Jonah Bennett - “Disability benefits are critical for veterans suffering from injuries sustained in service to their country,” said Public Citizen attorney Rachel Clattenburg in a statement. “Forcing a combat-wounded veteran to wait hundreds of days for records to apply for disability compensation is unacceptable. This lawsuit is not just about records; it is about ensuring that our country keeps its promise to its service men and women, and their families.”

Vets Sue VA Over Access to Medical Records

4/21/2015
Government Executive: Vets Sue VA Over Access to Medical Records by Kellie Lunney - “Although the requests were made as long as 26 months ago, the VA has neither produced the requested documents nor denied the requests,” stated the complaint, filed in federal court on April 20. The veterans, who are represented by Public Citizen and the National Veterans Legal Services Program, are seeking “a declaration that the VA has unreasonably denied responding” to their request for access to their records, as well as “an order requiring the VA to produce the requested records within 20 days of the Court’s order.”

VA Sued for Delays in Providing Veterans With Health Records

4/20/2015
Military Times: VA Sued for Delays in Providing Veterans With Health Records by Bryant Jordan - Rachel Clattenburg, an attorney for Public Citizen, said the lawsuit "is about ensuring that our country keeps its promise to its service men and women, and their families."

Lawsuit demands VA turn over missing medical records

4/20/2015
Navy Times: Lawsuit demands VA turn over missing medical records by Leo Shane III - "Forcing a combat-wounded veteran to wait hundreds of days for records to apply for disability compensation is unacceptable," Rachel Clattenburg, a Public Citizen attorney handling the case, said in a statement.

America Is Better Than The Trans-Pacific Partnership

4/20/2015
Talk Radio News Service: America Is Better Than The Trans-Pacific Partnership - According the research of Public Citizen, “The TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations, empowering them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations.”

Ethics Legislation Headed to Senate Floor

4/20/2015
The Texas Tribune: Ethics Legislation Headed to Senate Floor by Jay Root - Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of the consumer group Public Citizen of Texas, said that at a time when Gov. Greg Abbott has declared ethics reform a legislative emergency, lawmakers appear to be moving in the opposite direction. "This is shaping up to be the worst session for ethics in 30 years," Smith said.

Fast-Track Authority For President: 4 Key Facts About Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership

4/20/2015
International Business Times: Fast-Track Authority For President: 4 Key Facts About Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership by Matthew Cunningham-Cook and David Sirota - "Fast track" is the term that describes legislation now under consideration in Congress that would allow Obama to implement international trade pacts with far less congressional input than normal. In practice, it would drastically reduce the capacity of Congress to amend trade agreements -- something that Congress has the power to do in almost every other circumstance. If Congress decides to approve the fast-track bill, it “would delegate away Congress’ constitutional trade authority,” analysts at Public Citizen, a watchdog group leading the fight against the fast-track bill, wrote.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal

4/18/2015
CSPAN: Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal - Lori Wallach talked about recently introduced legislation introduced that would give President Obama special authority to expedite, also known as"fast track," negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Court prevents Yelp from turning over user data

4/18/2015
The Hill: Court prevents Yelp from turning over user data by Julian Hattem- - “If Hadeed turns to California courts to learn the identities of its critics, those courts will require it to show evidence to meet the well-accepted First Amendment test for identifying anonymous speakers,” Public Citizen attorney Paul Alan Levy said in a statement. “And so far, Hadeed has not come close to providing such evidence.”

Wham! Bam! Comic Book Ads Target SEC Chairwoman

4/17/2015
CQ Roll Call: Wham! Bam! Comic Book Ads Target SEC Chairwoman by Ben Weyl - “We wanted to have people talking about this as they’re going into work,” says Susan Harley, deputy director of the Congress Watch division at Public Citizen, which is helping to pay for the ads along with Avaaz, Common Cause, U.S. PIRG, Greenpeace, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Communications Workers of America.

Proponents File More Than 100 Proposals Calling for Political Spending Transparency

4/17/2015
Bloomberg BNA: Proponents File More Than 100 Proposals Calling for Political Spending Transparency by Yin Wilczek - Susan Harley, deputy director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division, said the coalition remains hopeful that the agency may still act. “We remain very positive that we will see action from the SEC moving forward,” Harley said. More than one million comments have been submitted to the agency in support of the rulemaking, “so we do believe” that the commission “cannot stand silent in the face of that amount of public pressure,” she said.

Developer jailed for kickbacks among Menendez contributors

4/17/2015
Associated Press: Developer jailed for kickbacks among Menendez contributors by Josh Cornfield - Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen, described the Barry contributions as a "coordinated, orchestrated bundling campaign."

Will This Trade Deal Block Some Generic Drugs from the U.S.?

4/17/2015
The Fiscal Times: Will This Trade Deal Block Some Generic Drugs from the U.S.? by Rob Garver - The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen says this: "Provisions in the TPP would expand patent monopoly rights, limit flexibilities, and facilitate abuse of the patent system. Longer, broader, and stronger monopolies mean reduced generic competition and higher drug costs for families and national health programs."

Virginia Supreme Court allows Yelp to keep IDs of online critics private

4/16/2015
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia Supreme Court allows Yelp to keep IDs of online critics private by Frank Green - Paul Alan Levy, the Public Citizen attorney representing Yelp, said that “although we were hoping the court would rule on both jurisdictional and First Amendment grounds, this is still an important win.”

Yelp won’t have to turn over names of anonymous users after court ruling

4/16/2015
The Washington Post: Yelp won’t have to turn over names of anonymous users after court ruling by Justin Jouvenal - “If Hadeed turns to California courts to learn the identities of its critics, those courts will require it to show evidence to meet the well-accepted First Amendment test for identifying anonymous speakers,” Levy wrote in a statement.

If Elizabeth Warren Were Running for President, This Would Be Her Agenda

4/16/2015
The Nation: If Elizabeth Warren Were Running for President, This Would Be Her Agenda by George Zornick - Under no conceivable set of circumstances could most of this happen in the current political climate. Rather, it's a world Warren wants to see—"She has outlined what a functional Congress and a willing president could do," Bartlett Naylor, the financial policy advocate for Public Citizen, told The Nation.

Edwards attacks Senate rival Van Hollen on trade

4/16/2015
The Baltimore Sun: Edwards attacks Senate rival Van Hollen on trade by John Fritze - "This is the one issue where there's really just a bright-line difference between them," said Lori M. Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, which has opposed the deals.

Coal Companies That Lobbied To Repeal West Virginia Mining Regulations Accused Of Federal Safety Violations

4/15/2015
IBT: Coal Companies That Lobbied To Repeal West Virginia Mining Regulations Accused Of Federal Safety Violations by Cole Stangler - “They know they’re coming and they still thumb their noses at the health and safety agencies,” said Keith Wrightson, a worker and safety health expert at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. “It’s disgusting.”

Special courts for foreign investors

4/15/2015
The Hill: Special courts for foreign investors by Simon Lester and Ben Beachy - But this is not your standard partisan congressional battle. Inside Congress and out, criticism and support for this parallel legal system, known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), crosses the political spectrum. Analysts with the Cato Institute and Public Citizen usually stand on opposing sides of trade policy issues, but we find common ground in opposing this system of special privileges for foreign firms.

BNP Paribas Wins U.S. Reprieve to Operate as Asset Manager

4/15/2015
Bloomberg: BNP Paribas Wins U.S. Reprieve to Operate as Asset Manager by Paul Panckhurst - The Labor Department rejected arguments from a group called Public Citizen that opposed the exemption, needed for overseeing pension assets. The waiver involves “stringent conditions,” the department said in a decision in the Federal Register.

Obama’s evolution on trade will put him at war with his party

4/15/2015
The Washington Post: Obama’s evolution on trade will put him at war with his party by David Nakamura - Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, referred to the piece as Obama’s “Hamlet” essay — attempting to argue both sides and signal that he was not a reflexive “no” like many Democratic colleagues.

Public Citizen Criticizes FDA For Rejecting Blood Pressure Drugs Black Box Warnings

4/14/2015
AboutLawsuits.com: Public Citizen Criticizes FDA For Rejecting Blood Pressure Drugs Black Box Warnings by Irvin Jackson - Public Citizen officials say those warnings are not enough. “Public Citizen strongly believes that only a black box warning can adequately alert the remaining physicians prescribing combination therapy to its dangers,” Dr. Sammy Almashat, a researcher with Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, said in a press release. “Burying such a warning deep within the medications’ physician labels, as the FDA is currently doing, guarantees that hundreds of thousands of patients will continue to unknowingly be exposed to these preventable harms.”

Texas Senate OKs ending breaks for wind energy

4/14/2015
The Texas Tribune: Texas Senate OKs ending breaks for wind energy by Jim Malewitz - “Today Sen. Troy Fraser snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,” Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of the Texas office of the consumer safety group Public Citizen, said in a statement Tuesday. “Since renewable energy is the least expensive way to reduce climate pollution, it could have been an important tool in our efforts to comply with pending federal rules.”

Four bills aim to prevent another West explosion

4/14/2015
Associated Press: Four bills aim to prevent another West explosion by David Warren - Tom “Smitty” Smith, state director for the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said it’s likely at least one of the bills will pass this session. He’s testified in favor of legislation requiring that the public, along with local and state authorities, be told where ammonium nitrate is kept. “It assures that average citizens have the right to know where ammonium nitrate is stored and thus are able to make informed decisions on how to protect themselves,” Smith said.

Hillary Clinton Is Still Too Cautious on Campaign Finance Reform

4/14/2015
The Nation: Hillary Clinton Is Still Too Cautious on Campaign Finance Reform by John Nichols - “This move reflects the basic reality – recognized by the vast majority of Americans – that our democracy is being stripped away by a handful of Citizens United –enabled billionaires and giant corporations,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “It is also directly responsive to a rising grassroots movement demanding that the Constitution be amended to overturn Citizens United and restore We the People as sovereign.”

US Labor Dept to let BNP manage retirement funds after guilty plea

4/14/2015
Reuters: US Labor Dept to let BNP manage retirement funds after guilty plea by Douwe Miedema - In a filing slated to be formally published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, the Labor Department refuted arguments made by the Public Citizen advocacy group, which had asked the deparment to reject the French bank's application in order to help deter future criminal misconduct.

Ex-lawmakers swing through the revolving door

4/13/2015
USA Today: Ex-lawmakers swing through the revolving door by Fredreka Schouten - "They are cashing in on their Rolodexes," said Craig Holman of the left-leaning advocacy group Public Citizen, one of the watchdog organizations that pushed for ethics rules in 2007 that banned lobbyist-funded travel and gifts and tightened restrictions on post-congressional employment. Even without talking to their former colleagues, former members of Congress "can provide a lobbying shop with valuable insider information," he said.

Will Obama Shine Light on Dark Money?

4/10/2015
Bloomberg View: Will Obama Shine Light on Dark Money? by Jeanne Cummings - Lisa Gilbert, director of the Congress Watch Division at Public Citizen, and other coalition members began organizing their eight-week lobbying campaign after Obama's January State of the Union address, in which the president lamented the prevalence of "dark money" in campaigns. The coalition has held more than 60 rallies in 30 states, with more planned.

McCabe Offers Little New Information After Response Delay Impedes Confirmation

4/10/2015
Bloomberg BNA: McCabe Offers Little New Information After Response Delay Impedes Confirmation by Anthony Adragna - “[This is an issue] that Congress has created by not being able to confirm presidential nominations efficiently and effectively,” Amit Narang, Public Citizen's regulatory policy advocate, told Bloomberg BNA. “On substance, this isn’t a big deal in my eyes. I don’t believe that official confirmation by the Senate would make her more effective in her current role, although could potentially give her more perceived authority and legitimacy at the margins.”

New NAFTA Rulings Favor Corporations Over Community Values, Environment

4/9/2015
Common Dreams: New NAFTA Rulings Favor Corporations Over Community Values, Environment by Ben Lilliston - These corporate rights cases, known as Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), are rapidly on the rise, says Public Citizen. And based on leaked text from the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) posted last month – they could become even more common in the years to come.

Pro-regulation groups hopeful about Schumer

4/9/2015
The Hill: Pro-regulation groups hopeful about Schumer by Lydia Wheeler - “I think he’s shown in the past that he’s willing to get personally engaged when it comes to issues that leave the public vulnerable,” said Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen.

Is faster better? Critics of House bill question risks of speeding FDA approval of drugs, devices

4/8/2015
Modern HealthCare: Is faster better? Critics of House bill question risks of speeding FDA approval of drugs, devices by Steven Ross Johnson - Vijay Das, a healthcare advocate at the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, in Washington D.C., said many Democratic lawmakers see the bill in its current form as too “deregulatory,” catering to the interests of the drug and device industries.

Compromise could get ethics bill moving again

4/7/2015
Houston Chronicle: Compromise could get ethics bill moving again by Mike Ward - "This perpetuates the problem, because now you will move these cases back in a home county where a courthouse cabal will not go after a state rep or other official because they are part of that local group," said Tom Smith, Texas director of Public Citizen, a government-watchdog group. "They will have every reason to protect one of their own."

Stanley Kutler Battled the ‘Luxuriant Privilege’ of Imperial Presidents

4/7/2015
The Nation: Stanley Kutler Battled the ‘Luxuriant Privilege’ of Imperial Presidents by John Nichols - Kutler knew that the real story was being suppressed. So, in 1992, with Public Citizen, the historian sued the National Archives to force the release of the thousands of hours of White House conversations that Nixon and his associates had sought to conceal.

YouTube Kids app criticized as deceiving

4/7/2015
Associated Press: YouTube Kids app criticized as deceiving by Anne Flaherty - Groups that signed the letter were the Center for Digital Democracy, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Children Now, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Consumers Union, Corporate Accountability International and Public Citizen.

The shareholders are restless at Bank of America

4/6/2015
MSN News: The shareholders are restless at Bank of America by Ronald Orol - In a way, BofA has already become the target of an activist, though of the smaller less well-known variety: Bart Naylor, Public Citizen's financial policy adviser, succeeded in persuading the Securities and Exchange Commission to let shareholders of the $162 billion market cap bank vote on whether a committee of independent directors should explore splitting off noncore businesses.

Reid's exit removes obstacle to Yucca nuclear waste site

4/4/2015
The Hill: Reid's exit removes obstacle to Yucca nuclear waste site by Timothy Cama - Allison Fisher, outreach coordinator for Public Citizen’s energy campaign, said the national conversation about nuclear waste is moving toward “consent-based” proposals, in which local officials would have to approve a project. “That’s just not going to happen with Yucca Mountain,” she said.

Campaign finance groups chide IRS chief

4/3/2015
The Hill: Campaign finance groups chide IRS chief by Bernie Becker - But Public Citizen, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 told Koskinen in a Friday letter that it was the IRS that allowed 501(c)(4)s, which where at the center of the agency's Tea Party controversy, to be involved in politics.

New Database Compiles State Plans' Regulations and Laws

4/2/2015
Occupational Health & Safety Online: New Database Compiles State Plans' Regulations and Laws - "This database shows that some state OSHA plans have been proactive and issued numerous regulations and laws that are a model for what is possible in other states and at federal OSHA," said Dr. Sammy Almashat, a researcher with Public Citizen's Health Research Group, who created the database along with Keith Wrightson, worker safety advocate with Public Citizen's Congress Watch division, by contacting the state plan offices. They obtained a $50,000 grant from PHLR to conduct the research.

New website shows state v. federal OSHA regulations

4/2/2015
ISHN.com: New website shows state v. federal OSHA regulations - “This database shows that some state OSHA plans have been proactive and issued numerous regulations and laws that are a model for what is possible in other states and at federal OSHA,” said Almashat.

An SEC Superhero to Vanquish Citizens United

4/1/2015
Truthout: An SEC Superhero to Vanquish Citizens United - "Corporate political spending requires particular investor protections because it exposes investors to significant new risks," said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division. Public Citizen is a co-founder of the Corporate Reform Coalition. "Corporate political spending choices may diverge from a company's stated values or policies, or may embroil the company in hot-button issues. Investors have a right to know what candidates or issues their investments are going to support or oppose."

Broken FEC is making a mockery of campaign finance laws

4/1/2015
Sacramento Bee: Broken FEC is making a mockery of campaign finance laws - Op-ed by Craig Holman

Obama’s fast-track plan hits bumps in trade-dependent Washington state

4/1/2015
McClatchy: Obama’s fast-track plan hits bumps in trade-dependent Washington state by Rob Hotakainen - Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C., said they’re significant because they represent public opinion in “a place where trade is a big deal.” And she said grass-roots opposition is growing across the nation.

Questions Over Travel, Other Benefits at Center of Probes of US Lawmakers

4/1/2015
Voice of America: Questions Over Travel, Other Benefits at Center of Probes of US Lawmakers by Jeffrey Young - But one official at the better-governance group Public Citizen says the commission's very structure and present nature may make it difficult for that body to take action in both cases. "The FEC is comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans" and needs four votes to make a decision, Craig Holman, a Public Citizen lobbyist, told VOA via email.

Advocacy groups release database of State Plan regs

4/1/2015
Safety and Health Magazine: Advocacy groups release database of State Plan regs - “We hope the database will be a useful resource for workers, employers, researchers and regulatory officials alike, allowing them to more easily identify states with certain standards and compare them with existing federal OSHA rules,” Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate for Public Citizen, said in a press release.