July 2016 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.

Court strikes two blows for transparency in immigration judges case

7/29/2016
Politico: Court strikes two blows for transparency in immigration judges case by Josh Gerstein - “Today’s decision recognizes the significant public interest in learning about complaints against immigration judges, particularly where the complaints concern on-the-bench conduct and judges who are repeat offenders. It’s an important step in holding EOIR accountable for addressing judges’ misconduct and in opening up the secretive complaint process to the public,” said Julie Murray of Public Citizen Litigation Group.

Giving students their day in court

7/29/2016
The Hill: Giving students their day in court by Michael Rose - For example, a report by Public Citizen found that some lenders have high interest rates and penalties, in violation of various state consumer protection laws.

Hillary Clinton, The Supreme Court And A Progressive Future

7/29/2016
The Huffington Post: Hillary Clinton, The Supreme Court And A Progressive Future by David Morris - On the third anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Public Citizen identified 140 cases decided between 2011 and 2014 in which the judges cited the Supreme Court rulings as justification for dismissing a class action.

SEC's Disclosure Review Draws Wide Feedback

7/27/2016
Bloomberg BNA: SEC's Disclosure Review Draws Wide Feedback by Rob Tricchinelli - In addition to the hundreds of unique letters, the agency received almost 10,000 copies of a form letter put out by Public Citizen calling for disclosure of political spending, overseas tax payments and sustainability. It also received more than 16,000 copies of a form letter by Americans for Tax Fairness asking for heightened foreign subsidiary and tax disclosures.

Hillary Clinton will not oppose the TPP, says Clinton friend Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

7/26/2016
Inquisitr: Hillary Clinton will not oppose the TPP, says Clinton friend Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe by Jake Johnson - Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization, has advocated strongly against the TPP. The TPP would, the group argues, “make it easier for big corporations to ship our jobs overseas, pushing down our wages and increasing income inequality” and “empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards.”  

What is TPP? Could the Trans-Pacific Partnership Intensify Income Inequality and Make Governments Subservient to Corporations?

7/26/2016
Inquisitr: What is TPP? Could the Trans-Pacific Partnership Intensify Income Inequality and Make Governments Subservient to Corporations? by Kim McLendon - Public Citizen explains that these disputes would be settled in tribunals before the World Bank and the United Nations. Both conservative and liberal elements within American Government have issues with this extra-judicial tribunal policy and the involvement of World Banks and the UN.  

Liberal congresswoman explains why she has some misgivings about solar leasing

7/26/2016
Grist: Liberal congresswoman explains why she has some misgivings about solar leasing by Ben Adler - At the time, Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, said that the broad concern about transparency in the rooftop solar industry is valid, but that the electric utility industry is only feigning concern over the issue as part of its broader campaign to undermine solar.  

Lobbyists Celebrate Democratic Party’s New Embrace at Convention

7/26/2016
TIME: Lobbyists Celebrate Democratic Party’s New Embrace at Convention by Jay Newton-Small - We do not believe this mistaken move from the Democratic Party is a harbinger of how a Clinton administration would handle revolving door issues,” said Robert Weissman, president of another watchdog group, Public Citizen. “The party platform contains a powerful commitment to ‘crack down on the revolving door between the private sector—particularly Wall Street—and the federal government,’ and candidate Clinton has made similar commitments. The Obama administration made some important progress in addressing revolving door issues, and we expect a Clinton administration to go further.”

Giant Corporations Are Reaping Billions From Federal "Small Business" Contracts

7/26/2016
Mother Jones: Giant Corporations Are Reaping Billions From Federal "Small Business" Contracts by Josh Harkinson - The watchdog group Public Citizen, which examined the issue last year, blames the inaction on the revolving door between government and major contractors, and on prodigious lobbying and political donations from Fortune 500 companies.

Powering Down

7/25/2016
Texas Observer: Powering Down by Gary Borders - Tom “Smitty” Smith, state director of Public Citizen, the consumer and environmental advocacy group, predicts the plants could shut down within five years. “They’re going to be too expensive to operate,” he said. “Obviously it’s going to be devastating to East Texas to have these plants devalued. … My heart goes out to them.”

Is Hilary Ready for a Progressive ‘Realignment’?

7/25/2016
The Nation: Is Hilary Ready for a Progressive ‘Realignment’? by Mark Green - Overcoming that opposition requires a new Congress with many new Democrats but also an administration working with citizen groups like Move to Amend, Public Citizen, and MoveOn to mobilize citizens to tell their elected representatives that elections can’t be auctions.

Who pays for convention pageantry?

7/23/2016
Denver Post: Who pays for convention pageantry? - Op-ed by Lisa Gilbert

The parties around the Grand Old Party

7/21/2016
The Boston Globe: The parties around the Grand Old Party by Annie Linskey -  “It is raising huge concerns for us,” said Lisa Gilbert, the director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, which is closely monitoring the parties. “It is a great way for companies to get access to elected officials and would-be elected officials.” 

New warning rule for users of generic drugs is left in limbo

7/21/2016
Los Angeles Times: New warning rule for users of generic drugs is left in limbo by David G. Savage - “Industry has screamed about this rule, and it looks as though they are bowing to the pressure,” said Dr.

Want to Build a Gas Pipeline? Be Prepared to Wait Years

7/21/2016
Bloomberg BNA: Want to Build a Gas Pipeline? Be Prepared to Wait Years by Jonathan Crawford - All that’s fine by Tyson Slocum, Washington-based director of energy at Public Citizen, who said regulators should vet pipelines more extensively, even if it means longer delays.  “The current environmental impact review is too limited,” Sl

Musicians, actors set to campaign against the Pacific trade deal

7/20/2016
The Hill: Musicians, actors set to campaign against the Pacific trade deal by Vicki Needham - Lori Wallach, head of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, said the "tour is part of numerous efforts to make sure the public understands what this is really about." Wallach, whose group has been in the forefront of trying to stop the TPP, said the effort to stop the 12-nation deal must go forward because Congress could still pass the agreement before the president leaves office.

State issues, money follow delegates to conventions

7/20/2016
The Baltimore Sun: State issues, money follow delegates to conventions by John Fritze - "Many business interests do not want their corporate logo associated with Trump, yet they still very much want to have a lobbying presence at the conventions," said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the Public Citizen advocacy group.

A Chamber for Big Business

7/19/2016
New York Times: A Chamber for Big Business by Dan Dudis -

Bristol-Myers pays $30 million to settle charges of giving doctors kickbacks

7/19/2016
Stat News: Bristol-Myers pays $30 million to settle charges of giving doctors kickbacks by Ed Silverman - The Public Citizen report noted, in fact, that pharmaceutical companies paid approximately $2.8 billion to settle various federal and state charges in 2014 and 2015, compared with $9.9 billion during 2012 and 2013. The most recent payments also amounted to the lowest two-year total since 2004 and 2005, according to its analysis.

Groups Agree on Existence, Not Quality, of Midnight Rules

7/18/2016
Bloomberg BNA: Groups Agree on Existence, Not Quality, of Midnight Rules by Cheryl Bolen -  But a new study by Public Citizen, a public interest advocacy group, said that economically significant rules approved in the final months of previous administrations were not rushed, but had taken an average

Report counters 'midnight rules' accusations

7/18/2016
The Hill: Report counters 'midnight rules' accusations by Lydia Wheeler - “This report destroys the myths about midnight regulations put forward by anti-regulatory forces,” Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said in a statement. “It is neither accurate nor credible to call rulemakings that take almost four years ‘rushed’ just because they’re finalized at the end of an administration.”

Political Conventions and Lobbyist Donations

7/16/2016
C-Span: Political Conventions and Lobbyist Donations - Craig Holman, Public Citizen's government affairs lobbyist, speaks about political convention funding

How Main Line political insiders made millions placing billions in public funds with outside firms

7/15/2016
The Philly Inquirer: How Main Line political insiders made millions placing billions in public funds with outside firms by Mark Fazlollah, Craig R. McCoy and Dylan Purcell - Craig Holman, a finance expert with Public Citizen, a national government-watchdog organization, said that when pay-to-play becomes business as usual, some firms avoid government contracting because of the corruption taint, and taxpayers get less for their money. "I've seen more pay-to-play scandals in Pennsylvania than any other state," Holman said. "It hurts government, it hurts taxpayers, and it hurts legitimate businesses."

State Medicaid program limits access to a drug treatment, upsetting advocates

7/15/2016
The Baltimore Sun: State Medicaid program limits access to a drug treatment, upsetting advocates by Meredith Cohn and Jean Marbella - The decision shows the validity of concerns expressed by some when Mitchell was appointed, said Craig Holman of the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen. "This is very much a conflict of interest," said Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the Washington-based group. "This is exactly what we had feared. This vastly provides financial benefits for a former client."

Public Citizen Says Abandon Proposal to Give For-Profit Corporation Authority Over Markets

7/14/2016
Morning Consult: Public Citizen Says Abandon Proposal to Give For-Profit Corporation Authority Over Markets by Asha Glover - In comments submitted to the CFTC, Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen’s Energy Program Director and a member of the CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee said the shift has “transformed the operational goals of exchanges.” Slocum said energy exchange giants CME Group, Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.

National survey shows jails ill-equipped to handle surge of mentally ill inmates

7/14/2016
Richmond Times: National survey shows jails ill-equipped to handle surge of mentally ill inmates by Sarah Kleiner -  “Jail personnel are challenged on a daily basis to try to provide care for these inmates that, as they put it, their training has not prepared them for,” said Dr. Azza AbuDagga, health services researcher for Public Citizen and the report’s lead author. 

Dangerous Diet Supplements Test FDA

7/14/2016
Bloomberg BNA: Dangerous Diet Supplements Test FDA by Steven M. Sellers - Sarah Sorscher, a consumer lawyer with Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group in Washington, D.C., agreed. “Even when the FDA does manage to build a strong case, as it did with USPLabs, penalties levied against a few businesses and individuals may not be strong enough to deter bad behavior across the industry,” said Sorscher, who focuses on health and safety issues.

Ford Windstar: An Oddball Recall That Didn't Fix Them All And Outraged Owners And Safety Advocates

7/13/2016
Forbes: Ford Windstar: Ford Windstar: An Oddball Recall That Didn't Fix Them All And Outraged Owners And Safety Advocates by Christopher Jensen - The danger that caused the recall is supposed to be eliminated, not mitigated, said Joan Claybrook, former head of Public Citizen who was in charge of the N.H.T.S.A.

Auto Safety Advocates Tell Obama To Stop Rush To Get Self-Driving Cars On Road; Pull Back Autonomous Vehicle Technology 'Guidance' Expected Next Week

7/13/2016
PR Newswire: Auto Safety Advocates Tell Obama To Stop Rush To Get Self-Driving Cars On Road; Pull Back Autonomous Vehicle Technology 'Guidance' Expected Next Week by John M. Simpson - The letter to Obama was signed by Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen and Former NHTSA Administrator; Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety; Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Safety and Reliability; and John M. Simpson, Privacy Project Director for Consumer Watchdog.

New U.S. bill to tax financial trading brings campaign issue to the fore

7/13/2016
Reuters: New U.S. bill to tax financial trading brings campaign issue to the fore by Lisa Lambert - The legislation is supported by Democratic Party stalwarts, including the AFL-CIO labor union federation, the Americans for Financial Reform coalition, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Communications Workers of America union, and advocacy group Public Citizen.

Warren's no-bankers push makes it into Dem platform

7/12/2016
Politico: Warren's no-bankers push makes it into Dem platform by Zachary Warmbrodt - “We are thrilled that electeds and candidates alike have begun to recognize the tangible impact of having strong positions on keeping personnel conflict-free,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. "Regulators should only be beholden to the public, not special interests and industry.”

Experts: Medical boards must get tough to curb ‘mind-boggling’ scope of problem

7/12/2016
Atlanta Journal – Constitution: Experts: Medical boards must get tough to curb ‘mind-boggling’ scope of problem by Carrie Teegardin and Danny Robbins - Dr. Sidney Wolfe, co-founder of the Health Research Group at the advocacy organization Public Citizen, said the AJC’s reporting highlights a problem that has long been ignored. “It’s mind-boggling how much the health care system fails when these cases arise,” he said, noting that his organization reached similar conclusions when it studied the issue in the late 1990s.

Dueling prosecutors tipped off HSBC to settlement terms in money-laundering case

7/12/2016
The New York Post: Dueling prosecutors tipped off HSBC to settlement terms in money-laundering case by Kevin Dugan - The report “raises questions that are so serious it may deserve a full congressional investigation,” Bartlett Naylor of Public Citizen said.

Pharma dollars went overwhelmingly to lawmakers opposing Medicare Part B overhaul

7/11/2016
Stat News: Pharma dollars went overwhelmingly to lawmakers opposing Medicare Part B overhaul by Ed Silverman - On average, those who signed the letters received 82 percent more in 2016 contributions than the rank-and-file who did not sign. And the correlation between support for the industry position and contributions raise “serious questions about whose interests our elected representatives are serving,” said Rick Claypool, a research director at Public Citizen, in a statement.

FDA FLOATS DRAFT POLICIES ON WHEN IT CAN ACCEPT GIFTS, BAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

7/8/2016
Bloomberg BNA: FDA FLOATS DRAFT POLICIES ON WHEN IT CAN ACCEPT GIFTS, BAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS by Bronwyn Mixter - Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, told me that he is most concerned about a small part of the advisory committee draft guidance that deals with nonfinancial conflicts of interest. He said that for the most part, financial conflicts of interest aren't controversial.

Special interests look to influence political conventions — discreetly

7/7/2016
The Center for Public Integrity: Special interests look to influence political conventions — discreetly -  “They want to show up, they want to rub elbows with everyone at the conventions, they just don’t want the corporate name out there,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for advocacy group Public Citizen, who has long tracked influence efforts at the conventions. “They’ll be looking for lower-key ways of doing the same thing they’ve always done.”

'Bird-dogging' convention parties

7/6/2016
Politico: 'Bird-dogging' convention parties by Isaac Arnsdorf -  "The Democratic and Republican national conventions — which were supposed to be publicly financed electoral events with reasonable ethics restrictions on influence-peddling by lobbyists — have turned into exclusively privately financed soirees funded by corporations, millionaires and billionaires, and lobbying firms that seek favors from the federal government," Public Citizen said in a statement.

In clinical trials, for-profit review boards are taking over for hospitals. Should they?

7/6/2016
Stat News: In clinical trials, for-profit review boards are taking over for hospitals. Should they? by Sheila Kaplan - “I think most ethical and other problems with IRBs and human subjects research oversight are not detected by FDA or OHRP,” said Dr. Michael Carome, a former senior official with the Office for Human Research Protections and now director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

New student debt rules trigger frenzy

7/6/2016
The Hill: New student debt rules trigger frenzy by Megan R. Wilson - “When you consider who this rule is designed to target — schools who engage in fraud … predatory schools are going to use that loophole to maybe give students a contract that maybe says in the fine print, ‘This is an optional contract, you do not need to sign these to enroll,’ ” said Public Citizen’s Julie Murray.

Despite What Media Says, TPP Isn’t About Free Trade — It’s About Protecting Corporate Profits

7/5/2016
The Intercept: Despite What Media Says, TPP Isn’t About Free Trade — It’s About Protecting Corporate Profits by Zaid Jilani - Concerns that the TPP would lead to even more job losses “are real and I think that the political discussion is responding to those concerns from both parties,” Melinda St. Louis, director of international campaigns at Public Citizen, told The Intercept. But, she noted, “I do think that the trade aspects of the TPP are a small part of it. It’s only six of 30 chapters that have to do with trade and goods really at all.

Lockheed's top government affairs official not registered as lobbyist

7/3/2016
Politico: Lockheed's top government affairs official not registered as lobbyist by Austin Wright - “I couldn’t even imagine how he could possibly justify not being a registered lobbyist," said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at the consumer-rights group Public Citizen. “If he’s spending more than 80 percent of his time doing things that are irrelevant to his contact with Congress and the Department of Defense, that just defies credulity." 

Now there’s one less way for Big Coal to screw over Americans

7/1/2016
Grist: Now there’s one less way for Big Coal to screw over Americans by Ben Adler - “One of the things Cloud Peak [Energy] and other coal companies were doing is selling to an affiliate at the mine mouth and then selling it in the export market at a significantly higher price,” says Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program. This new rule will allow the department to more accurately calculate the “market value” of coal, oil, and gas extracted on public land and make sure it’s getting paid fair royalties.

When Is a Guidance Document a Rule Change?

7/1/2016
Bloomberg BNA: When Is a Guidance Document a Rule Change? by Cheryl Bolen -  Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate at Public Citizen, said he had no concerns about agencies instituting different processes for guidance documents at their own discretion, as the Food and Drug Administration has done.