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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Weissman’

Earlier this week, Public Citizen hosted a rally at the state capitol to raise awareness about the U.S. Supreme Court re-hearing Wednesday of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Representatives from Common Cause and Clean Elections Texas joined us, despite the rain and ominous weather.  Many thanks to our good government brethren for their support.

The Daily Texan was also on hand, and reported the following:

Public Citizen, a national nonprofit public interest group, organized the rally because officials said they fear a ruling in favor of Citizens United could possibly give corporations more leverage is raising funds for political campaigns.

…The group is concerned this case will allow corporations to spend freely on political advertising that will influence voters.

“The court has signaled that they would like to overturn the precedent of these cases,” Wilson said. “If we allow unlimited corporate ‘free speech,’ then everyone else will be drowned out.”

Well said, Wilson.

But we weren’t the only ones to show up.  Andy and David dressed up as corporate fat cats REAL, BONAFIDE corporate boogeymen came to protest our protest! Can you believe the gall?  But don’t worry.  From the looks of their faces, they didn’t get the turnout they were hoping for either.  Poor corporations, it rained on their parade…

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Check out this video to prove we ain’t lyin:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUGlj_a214Y]

Our new president, Robert Weissman, also had a few words to say about the Citizen’s United case:

Fate of Democracy Now in Supreme Court’s Hands

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Overturning the court’s precedents on corporate election expenditures would be nothing short of a disaster. Corporations already dominate our political process – through political action committees, fundraisers, high-paid lobbyists and personal contributions by corporate insiders, often bundled together to increase their impact, and more.

If the court rules to free corporations to make unlimited campaign expenditures from their treasuries, the election playing field will be tilted massively against candidates advancing the public interest. Candidates and elected officials will be chilled from standing up for what’s right. And officials who take on the narrow interests of particular corporations – over a facility siting decision, or a specific subsidy, for example – will face the risk of retaliation in the next election.

Corporations don’t vote, and they shouldn’t be permitted to spend limitless amounts of money to influence election outcomes.

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We  are pleased to announce that Public Citizen has a new President, so we cross-posted this from our mama blog, CitizenVox so y’all could get to know him, too.  Please to enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdtxoM6ghFI]

My name is Robert Weissman, and I am very excited to join Public Citizen as its new president.

For nearly 40 years, Public Citizen has pioneered cutting-edge advocacy on the crucial issues of the day. As a result, we all are a lot safer and healthier, our government works for more people and our democracy functions better.

But for all we’ve achieved, powerful corporate interests have managed to shape the policy agenda. On each of the top-line issues of the day – climate change, health care and financial re-regulation – corporate interests are blocking the changes we need for a more just and ecologically sustainable future. The majority whip in the Senate even says the banks “own the place.”

We can’t allow Big Business to continue to set the agenda and write the rules. And we won’t.

As we look forward to the challenges ahead, Public Citizen will continue to do everything it has done so well for nearly four decades.

We are going to do some other things, too. We will be more creative on the Internet. We will develop new ways to work with you, so that together we build new forms of citizen power. We will invest more in organizing people, both online and on-the-ground. Together, we will innovate ways to change the way Washington works.

For the past 20 years, I’ve worked on corporate accountability projects at Essential Action and the Center for Study of Responsive Law here in Washington, D.C. I’ve also edited a magazine, Multinational Monitor, which tracks the activities of multinational corporations and reports on the global economy. I’ve seen the panoply of organizations working on consumer, environmental and corporate accountability issues. Public Citizen has always stood out for its extraordinarily talented and committed staff, with deep expertise in a wide set of issues. I’m thrilled to join this team.

Public Citizen has also been unique for its fierce independence, its commitment to advancing the public interest across a broad issue spectrum, and its insistence on focusing on root problems and solutions. I promise that we’ll maintain those characteristics as we go forward.

For 27 years, Joan Claybrook provided Public Citizen with inspirational leadership, boundless energy and good humor, strategic vision and the force of her personality. She has been deeply committed to advancing health and safety, defending victims of corporate wrongdoing, and campaigning for a better and more responsive democracy. I am deeply honored to follow in her footsteps. She remains on our board and will continue to guide us.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for the generosity you have shown to Public Citizen. Your commitment and dedication are what allow this organization to thrive, and I hope it will continue for years to come. Public Citizen is an organization that belongs to all of us.

I am humbled by the enormity of the task ahead but know that with your help, we will build new forms of citizen power together. Please tell me what you’d like to see in Public Citizen’s future by posting a comment below or sending an email to [email protected]. I’d love to hear from you.

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