Fair Elections, Fuel Economy, Fast-Food Calorie Labeling, and More

Citizen Direct: The Newsletter of the Public Citizen Action Network

May 1, 2008

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Call on Congress to Support Fair Elections!Call on Congress to Support Fair Elections
Money, money, money. It seems that's all we hear in the news about the upcoming election. Fortunately, there's a solution: Public funding of elections. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) will soon introduce a House version of the bill introduced in the Senate: The Fair Eelctions Now Act. It's vital we get support for this reform.

Write Now | Learn More | Read the Blog Post

Public Interest Law

Federal Judge Upholds New York City's Fast-Food Calorie Labeling Rule

Federal Judge Upholds New York City's Fast-Food Calorie Labeling Rule. A federal judge ruled that certain fast-food and chain restaurants in New York City must comply with a requirement to disclose calorie information on their menus. This win paves the way for other cities to follow the Big Apple's lead.

Find out more about the win.

Are Auto Industry Profits Worth More Than Saving Lives?

Public Citizen Submits Comments to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Congress directed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a new standard for vehicle roofs that would help reduce the thousands of deaths each year from rollover crashes, but NHTSA didn't seem to understand. The agency has now proposed a rule that require stronger vehicle roofs but ignores the risks posed to people inside a vehicle when it rolls over. Read more about the proposed safety rule and the comments Public Citizen submitted to the NHTSA. Citizen Vox.

Citizen Vox Blog

Time for Devil in the Details to Go Digital

Public Citizen Needs Your Help to Pass the "Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act." Almost everything can be done electronically these days, but the Senate is currently wasting taxpayer money on paper and keeping voters in the dark about campaign dollars. The "Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act" would bring the Senate into the digital era by providing for more voter-friendly electronic disclosures. Information on donor identities and contribution amounts would also be available online immediately. Read more about this act and how you can get your senators on the record in support of it. Watchdog Blog.

Watchdog Blog


Columbia-Congress-Fast Track

What Happened, What We Will do, and What You Should Think. Public Citizen applauded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for reasserting congressional authority over trade by removing Fast Track treatment from the Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Read a statement from Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch Director Lori Wallach at Eyes on Trade. Then read our response to a letter from our White House staffer we received after posting Wallach's statement.

Eyes on Trade


Press Room

Take This Job and Ship It. A new analysis from the Economic Policy Institute shows 280,000 Pennsylvania jobs are highly susceptible to being offshored. Public Citizen said the analysis highlighted the need for new trade and tax policies, and recommended a number of steps to address the problem, including prohibiting the offshoring of work related to state and federal government contracts and replacing the now-defunct "fast track" trade negotiating authority with a new modern trade negotiating system. Read more about the analysis

Agency Should Hold Moving Companies AccountableAgency Should Hold Moving Companies Accountable. A proposed federal database that would allow the public to research complaints against interstate moving companies lacks important consumer information, including which companies have histories of holding customers' belongings hostage. Public Citizen filed comments with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in April, urging the agency to make changes to the database so that the information reported by the moving companies is relevant to consumers. Read the release

Big Oil Doesn't Need Subsidies As Profits Soar. Executives from the five largest oil companies operating in America testified before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in April. With the high prices of crude oil and the amount of money consumers have to pay at the pump, Public Citizen thinks these executive should explain why they should continue receiving billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks from the American people when that money could be spent on energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. Read the statement from Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy division.

Public Citizen Health Clinic: Good Health Policy Leading to Good Personal Health

Public Citizen Releases Annual Ranking of State Medical Boards.  In an analysis of state medical boards, Public Citizen found that the number and rate of serious disciplinary actions against physicians has decreased for the third consecutive year. This is a troubling trend that indicates many states are not living up to their obligations to protect patients from bad doctors. Read more about the analysis, based on data from the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), and read the full report

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