Robert Weissman

Robert Weissman

Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. Weissman was formerly director of Essential Action, editor of Multinational Monitor, a magazine that tracks corporate actions worldwide, and a public interest attorney at the Center for Study of Responsive Law. He was a leader in organizing the 2000 IMF and World Bank protests in D.C. and helped make HIV drugs available to the developing world.

 

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Corporate and Congressional Disasters
Corporate crime and wrongdoing is an everyday fact of life in the United States and around the world. Still, the last year has been remarkable for a series of high-profile, deadly corporate disasters: the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that killed 11 workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the deadly explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine, and unintended acceleration of Toyota cars.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010
BP CEO Supports a Boycott?
Does BP CEO Tony Hayward want millions of people to take the BP boycott pledge ? Admittedly, it seems unlikely. Yet, how else can you explain a company CEO who before and during what is now the worst oil spill in U.S. history provokes consumers with comments like this:
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Friday, May 21, 2010
Boycott BP
Why? Because BP must pay. Eleven oil workers are dead. One of the largest oil spills in U.S. history continues to worsen. BP's oil gusher at the floor of the Gulf of Mexico may be 100 times worse than BP first estimated (and 20 times worse than the company presently claims). 100 times!
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Break Up the Banks: By the Numbers
Any time in the next couple days, the Senate may consider a measure, sponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Ted Kaufman, D-Delaware, to break up the biggest banks. It's a vital step to strengthening the economy and rescuing our democracy. It's past time to break up the big banks. They take on too much risk and endanger the financial system. They benefit from unfair subsidies and the assurance that the government will bail them out in times of trouble. They have far too much political influence and threaten our democracy. Evidence:
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Friday, February 12, 2010
A Disadvantaged Class? The Corporate Speech Index
One of the most astounding passages in the Supreme Court's mind-boggling decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission -- the January decision holding that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend as much as they choose from their treasuries to support or oppose candidates for elected office -- is this:
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Friday, January 22, 2010
Shed a Tear for Our Democracy
Yesterday, in the case Citizens United v. FEC, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence election outcomes. Money from Exxon, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer and the rest of the Fortune 500 is already corroding the policy making process in Washington, state capitals and city halls. Now, the Supreme Court tells these corporate giants that they have a constitutional right to trample our democracy.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010
Massachusetts and the Populist Imperative
It takes a special skill for a Democrat to lose a federal election in Massachusetts. But whatever the failings of the candidacy and campaign of Martha Coakley, the Democratic senate candidate in Massachusetts, the Democrats' loss of the Massachusetts Senate seat held for almost half a century by Edward Kennedy, following the party's November loss of the New Jersey gubernatorial race, suggests the need to focus more on the broader context, and less on individual shortcomings.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009
(A Little Bit of) Wall Street Reform
Four hundred forty-two days after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, the U.S. House of Representatives has finally passed financial reform legislation. The long delay between the onset of the financial crisis -- a direct consequence of a quarter century of deregulation -- and the passage of Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 did not well serve the cause of reform. As time passed, public anger over the Wall Street bailout became more diffuse. And Wall Street relentlessly continued its campaign to undermine meaningful efforts at reform.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009
Reflections on Glass-Steagall and Maniacal Deregulation
Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the repeal of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and related legislation. It is an anniversary worth noting for what it teaches us about forestalling financial crises, the consequences of maniacal deregulation, and the out-of-control political power of the megafinancial institutions.
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Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The Medicare-for-All Moment
There is only one solution to the twin problems of escalating health care costs and the epidemic of the uninsured: a Medicare-for-All, single payer system. Unfortunately, the healthcare debate on Capitol Hill has evolved without serious consideration of the Medicare-for-All single payer health proposal. There are many reasons for this, but one is that many who actually support Medicare-for-All have claimed that the proposal is "not feasible."
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