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  • About PennPIRG | PennPIRG
    candidates to raise money from everyday citizens making small contributions This report examines how the 2016 fundraising picture would look if a small donor campaign finance system were in place where small contributions were matched with limited public funds for candidates who agree to turn down large contributions Keep Reading Blog Post Consumer Protection House holds stacked hearing to attack retirement savings rule proposal Ed Mierzwinski The House Financial Services Committee is holding a typically stacked hearing one consumer side witness against four Wall Street backed lobbyists to attack the important retirement savings rule proposed by the Department of Labor The rule simply requires retirement advisors to put the customer s needs not their own compensation first Keep Reading Pages first previous 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 next last News Release PennPIRG Education Fund Tax Offshore Tax Dodging Blows a 2 1 Billion Hole in Pennsylvania Budget Federal taxpayers are not the only victims of offshore tax havens Tax havens deprive state governments of billions of dollars in badly needed revenues as well Based how much income is federally reported in each state and on state tax rates it is possible to calculate how much each of the state governments lose as a result of offshore tax dodging Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Democracy New Report Shows Impact of Big Money in the 2012 Election 32 Super PAC Mega Donors Match Total Giving of 3 7 Million Presidential Campaign Small Donors Nearly Half of TV Ads in Presidential Race Funded by Dark Money Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Democracy Philadelphia Organizations Citizens and Elected Officials Hold Press Conference and Rally to Overturn Citizens United Today at a press conference and rally a diverse coalition of more than 20 organizations elected officials faith groups and citizens gathered at LOVE Park and braved the cold to mark the third anniversary of the Citizens United court decision and call for the reversal of a big money system that favors powerful special interests over the public interest Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Tax Report Exposes How Taxpayers Bear Cost of Corporate Settlements A report released today spotlights a common practice where corporations that commit wrongdoing and agree to financial settlements with the federal government go on to claim such settlement payments as tax deductible business expenses Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Tax First Step to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff Close Offshore Tax Loopholes Many of America s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals use accounting gimmicks to shift profits made in America to offshore tax havens where they pay little to no taxes This tax avoidance costs the federal government 150 billion in tax revenue each year PennPIRG released new data illustrating the size of this loss with 16 dramatic ways 150 billion could be spent Keep Reading Pages first previous 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 next last Report PennPIRG Consumer Protection Big Banks Bigger Fees Over the last six months state PIRG staff conducted inquiries at

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/pap/about?page=8 (2016-04-27)
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  • About PennPIRG | PennPIRG
    citizen funded organization that advocates for the public interest and is a member of U S PIRG the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups Since 1970 state PIRGs have delivered results oriented citizen activism stood up to powerful special interests and used the time tested tools of investigative research media exposés grassroots organizing advocacy and litigation to win real results on issues that matter Across the country state PIRGs employ close to 400 organizers policy analysts scientists and attorneys and are active in 47 states with a federal lobby office in Washington D C On national issues that impact Pennsylvanians we also coordinate our efforts pool resources and share expertise so that we can have the biggest impact here in Pennsylvania and for the country at large PennPIRG Staff A Partial List PennPIRG is an advocate for the public interest When consumers are cheated or the voices of ordinary citizens are drowned out by special interest lobbyists PennPIRG speaks up and takes action We uncover threats to public health and well being and fight for the public s interest MIKE ROLES PennPIRG Field Organizer 215 732 3747 CONTACT BIO STEVE BLACKLEDGE Public Health Program Director 916 394 5413 CONTACT BIO ED MIERZWINSKI Consumer Program Director 202 546 9707 x314 CONTACT BIO CHRISTINE LINDSTROM Higher Education Program Director 617 747 4330 CONTACT BIO DAN SMITH Democracy Campaign Director 202 461 3822 CONTACT BIO CARLI JENSEN Toxics Campaign Director 732 659 1162 CONTACT BIO JOHN OLIVIERI 21st Century Transportation Campaign Director 617 747 4388 CONTACT BIO Funded By Our Citizen Members Thousands of PennPIRG members and supporters fund our staff so we can counter the influence of powerful special interests We conduct the research educate the public and advocate in the public s interest by making our case face to face with elected officials What s New Blog Post Testimony in Support of Smoke free Workplaces The U S Surgeon General Richard H Carmona issued a comprehensive scientific report which concludes that there is no risk free level of exposure to secondhand smoke The report finds that even brief secondhand smoke exposure can cause immediate harm and concludes that the only way to protect nonsmokers from the dangerous chemicals in secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking indoors For this reason PennPIRG supports a ban on smoking in restaurants bars private clubs and casinos Keep Reading Blog Post Tax Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes Testimony HB 1186 Phineas Baxandall To PennPIRG combined reporting is a basic issue of tax fairness and tax modernization that should be enacted regardless of the revenue consequences and regardless of whether the Commonwealth faces persistent budget deficits or surpluses Keep Reading Blog Post Democracy Reducing political access of powerful interests The new Congress deserves credit for quickly and strongly responding to the scandals of last year by passing sweeping changes to the rules that will reduce the special access of wealthy and powerful interests in Washington It was a critical first step We now urge you to finish

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/pap/about?page=58 (2016-04-27)
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  • About PennPIRG | PennPIRG
    coordinate our efforts pool resources and share expertise so that we can have the biggest impact here in Pennsylvania and for the country at large PennPIRG Staff A Partial List PennPIRG is an advocate for the public interest When consumers are cheated or the voices of ordinary citizens are drowned out by special interest lobbyists PennPIRG speaks up and takes action We uncover threats to public health and well being and fight for the public s interest MIKE ROLES PennPIRG Field Organizer 215 732 3747 CONTACT BIO STEVE BLACKLEDGE Public Health Program Director 916 394 5413 CONTACT BIO ED MIERZWINSKI Consumer Program Director 202 546 9707 x314 CONTACT BIO CHRISTINE LINDSTROM Higher Education Program Director 617 747 4330 CONTACT BIO DAN SMITH Democracy Campaign Director 202 461 3822 CONTACT BIO CARLI JENSEN Toxics Campaign Director 732 659 1162 CONTACT BIO JOHN OLIVIERI 21st Century Transportation Campaign Director 617 747 4388 CONTACT BIO Funded By Our Citizen Members Thousands of PennPIRG members and supporters fund our staff so we can counter the influence of powerful special interests We conduct the research educate the public and advocate in the public s interest by making our case face to face with elected officials What s New All News Report PennPIRG and the PFAW Foundation Democracy Outside Spending Outsized Influence The 2012 elections were by far the most expensive in history thanks primarily to the tidal wave of outside special interest money triggered by the Supreme Court s Citizens United decision The federal Senate and House races in Pennsylvania where outside groups spent nearly 12 million were no exception Keep Reading Report PennPIRG and Demos Democracy Billion Dollar Democracy The first presidential election since Citizens United lived up to its hype with unprecedented outside spending from new sources making headlines Demos and the PennPIRG Education Fund s analysis of reports from campaigns parties and outside spenders to the Federal Election Commission found that our big money system distorts democracy and creates clear winners and losers Wealthy Donors Over Average Citizens Special Interests Over the Public Interest Incumbents Over Challengers Grassroots Candidates Secret Spenders Over Voters Seeking Accountability Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Tax Report Exposes How Taxpayers Bear Cost of Corporate Settlements A report released today spotlights a common practice where corporations that commit wrongdoing and agree to financial settlements with the federal government go on to claim such settlement payments as tax deductible business expenses Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Tax Subsidizing Bad Behavior BP s recent 4 5 billion legal settlement with the Justice Department for its misdeeds in the Gulf oil spill was historic for being the largest ever criminal settlement But it was historic for another reason as well none of it is allowed to be tax deductible Unfortunately too many settlements for wrongdoing end up as tax deductions Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Tax First Step to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff Close Offshore Tax Loopholes Many of America s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals use accounting gimmicks to shift profits

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/pap/about?page=26 (2016-04-27)
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  • About PennPIRG | PennPIRG
    ED MIERZWINSKI Consumer Program Director 202 546 9707 x314 CONTACT BIO CHRISTINE LINDSTROM Higher Education Program Director 617 747 4330 CONTACT BIO DAN SMITH Democracy Campaign Director 202 461 3822 CONTACT BIO CARLI JENSEN Toxics Campaign Director 732 659 1162 CONTACT BIO JOHN OLIVIERI 21st Century Transportation Campaign Director 617 747 4388 CONTACT BIO Funded By Our Citizen Members Thousands of PennPIRG members and supporters fund our staff so we can counter the influence of powerful special interests We conduct the research educate the public and advocate in the public s interest by making our case face to face with elected officials What s New All News Reports Report PennPIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection Trouble in Toyland 2014 Among the toys surveyed this year we found numerous choking hazards and five toys with concentrations of toxics exceeding federal standards In addition to reporting on potentially hazardous products found in stores in 2014 this installment of the report describes the potential hazards in toys and children s products Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund and Demos Democracy The Dominance of Big Money in the 2014 Congressional Elections In 2014 large donors accounted for the vast majority of all individual federal election contributions this cycle just as they have in previous elections Seven of every 10 individual contribution dollars to the federal candidates parties PACs and Super PACs that were active in the 2013 2014 election cycle came from donors who gave 200 or more Candidates alone got 84 percent of their individual contributions from large donors Keep Reading Report PennPIRG and Consumers Union Public Health Prescription For Change Our September 2014 survey of physicians paints a grim picture of the growing problem of antibiotic resistant infections The overwhelming majority of surveyed doctors reported that one or more of their patients had been diagnosed with a presumed or confirmed case of a multi drug resistant bacterial infection in the past twelve months They also expressed concern about the use of antibiotics in livestock production facilities on healthy animals in order to promote growth and prevent disease Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Democracy Big Money Dominates in Congressional Primaries Our analysis of fund raising data from 2014 s congressional primaries examines the way these dynamics are playing out state by state across the country While some states show markedly more inequity than others the picture painted by the data is of a primary money race where large donors carry more weight than ordinary Americans Nationwide just under two thirds of all candidate contributions came from the largest donors those giving over 1 000 And fewer than 5 500 large donors matched the primary contributions coming from at least 440 000 donors nationwide Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Transportation Millennials in Motion Millennials are less car focused than older Americans and previous generations of young people and their transportation behaviors continue to change in ways that reduce driving Now is the time for the nation s transportation policies to acknowledge accommodate and

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/pap/about?page=16 (2016-04-27)
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  • About PennPIRG | PennPIRG
    state and local groups sent Congress a letter explaining why the idea of the CFPB needs no defense only more defenders Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection FCC NET NEUTRALITY ORDER PROTECTS THE OPEN INTERNET Today the FCC took not one but two critical actions to make sure that the Internet works for everybody First it issued a Net Neutrality order guaranteeing a free and open Internet This Internet freedom order will prevent the phone and cable companies from granting fast lanes or other preferences to already powerful firms The FCC also acted to override state laws that prevented local governments from building out broadband networks to compete with the phone and cable companies Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection USPIRG Commends Department of Labor s Rule On Conflicted Retirement Advice Today we joined President Obama Senator Elizabeth Warren CFPB Director Rich Cordray Labor Secretary Tom Perez and others at AARP as the President announced his strong support for a proposed Labor Department rule to close loopholes and to require Wall Street and other financial advisors to put consumers first when they give retirement advice Wall Street has already launched a misleading attack Read more to see our statement supporting the proposal which will put billions of dollars back into retirement accounts Keep Reading Pages first previous 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 next last Media Hit Consumer Protection Patriot News Report targets unsafe toys in time for holidays Consumer watchdog the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group announced this morning it s better if some toys are never purchased for under the Christmas tree Keep Reading Media Hit ABC 27 Pa group warns parents of dangers in certain toys HARRISBURG Pa WHTM A Pennsylvania consumer group is warning parents about to begin their holiday shopping that some toys even though they can be found on store shelves are not safe for young children Keep Reading Media Hit Consumer Protection CBS 21 Which toys to buy for Christmas that are safe for kids For the 26th year a research group has released their toy safety guide just in time for your holiday shopping Keep Reading Media Hit Consumer Protection Inquirer Consumer Blog Pointlessly dangerous toys 2011 edition Toys made with lead and phthalates continue to pose needless risks to U S children according to the annual Trouble in Toyland report from U S PIRG Its findings are worth keeping in mind this holiday season as you shop or unwrap gifts for your kids especially for the babies and toddlers most as risk Keep Reading Media Hit Consumer Protection PA Matters Despite Improvements still Trouble in Toyland The annual Trouble in Toyland report from the U S Public Interest Research Group shows there are still toxic toys on the shelves despite improvements Keep Reading Pages first previous 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 next last Report PennPIRG Education Fund Facts About Toll Road Privatization Across Pennsylvania cash strapped governments are

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/pap/about?page=14 (2016-04-27)
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  • 21st Century Transportation | PennPIRG
    S PIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection Make VW Pay Transportation Framework for VW Settlement Announced Statement by Mike Litt Consumer Program Advocate at U S PIRG Education Fund on todays announced VW settlement For more details on what a strong settlement agreement ought to look like please see the open letter that we released earlier this week with other consumer and environmental groups Keep Reading Media Hit Transportation 12 of America s Biggest Highway Boondoggles Given that expanding highways at great public cost doesn t improve rush hour traffic there are better ways to spend this money argue report authors Jeff Inglis of Frontier Group and John C Olivieri of U S PIRG They identify a dozen road projects costing 24 billion in all that are representative of the problem Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Education Fund Transportation Pittsburgh Region Mon Fayette Expressway Proposal Makes National List of Highway Boondoggles Wastes 1 7 Billion in Taxpayer Dollars The new study details how despite America s massive repair and maintenance backlog and in defiance of America s changing transportation needs state governments across the country including Pennsylvania s continue to spend billions each year on new and wider highways Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Education Fund Transportation Report Shows PA Urbanized Areas Driving Less Using Transit and Alternatives More A first of its kind report by PennPIRG Education Fund shows reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in Pennsylvania s urbanized areas including Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and greater use of public transit and biking Keep Reading News Release PennPIRG Education Fund Transportation New Study Finds Technology Enabling Americans to Drive Less In a first of its kind study PennPIRG compiled nation wide evidence on transportation apps and vehicle sharing programs and found that these advanced new tools have made it easier for Americans to drive less Keep Reading Pages 1 2 3 4 5 next last Report PennPIRG Education Fund Transportation Highway Boondoggles 2 Twelve proposed highway projects across the country slated to cost at least 24 billion exemplify the need for a fresh approach to transportation spending Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Transportation The Innovative Transportation Index This report reviews the availability of 11 technology enabled transportation services including online ridesourcing carsharing ridesharing taxi hailing static and real time transit information multi modal apps and virtual transit ticketing in 70 U S cities It finds that residents of 19 cities with a combined population of nearly 28 million people have access to eight or more of these services with other cities catching up rapidly Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Transportation Millennials in Motion Millennials are less car focused than older Americans and previous generations of young people and their transportation behaviors continue to change in ways that reduce driving Now is the time for the nation s transportation policies to acknowledge accommodate and support Millennials demands for a greater array of transportation choices Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Higher Ed Transportation A New Course Across America

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/issues/pap/21st-century-transportation (2016-04-27)
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  • Safe Energy | PennPIRG
    Issue Safe Energy Campaign for Safe Energy For decades PennPIRG has campaigned against nuclear power It s inherently dangerous potentially catastrophic and a terrible investment for our country Read more about Campaign for Safe Energy News Release PennPIRG Safe Energy Tragedy in Japan a Terrifying Reminder of the Risks of Nuclear Power Philadelphia PA Mar 16 Statement of PennPIRG State Director Megan DeSmedt in response to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Read more about Tragedy in Japan a Terrifying Reminder of the Risks of Nuclear Power Report PennPIRG Education Fund Safe Energy Unacceptable Risk As the eyes of the world have focused on the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Japan Americans have begun to raise questions about the safety of nuclear power plants in the United States American nuclear power plants are not immune to the types of natural disasters mechanical failures human errors and losses of critical electric power supplies that have characterized major nuclear accidents such as the one at Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan Indeed at several points over the last 20 years American nuclear power plants have experienced close calls that could have led to damage to the reactor core and the subsequent release of large amounts of radiation Read more about Unacceptable Risk Report PennPIRG Education Fund Safe Energy The High Cost of Nuclear Power Nuclear power is among the most costly approaches to solving America s energy problems Per dollar of investment clean energy solutions such as energy efficiency and renewable resources deliver far more energy than nuclear power Read more about The High Cost of Nuclear Power Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics Campaign for Safe Energy Democracy For The People Stop the Highway Boondoggles Close Corporate Tax Loopholes Making Health Care Work Protecting

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/topics/safe-energy (2016-04-27)
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  • Make VW Pay | PennPIRG
    Education Fund Consumer Protection Make VW Pay Leading Groups Send Criteria for Evaluating VW Settlement Four leading consumer environmental and public health organizations wrote an open letter in advance of the April 21 st deadline set by U S District Judge Charles R Breyer for a proposal that deals with Volkswagen s emission scandal Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection The Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule for Investment Advice U S PIRG federal legislative director Jerry Slominski on The Release of the Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule for Investment Advice Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection Financial Reform More Than 100 Groups Insist on No Riders in Spending Legislation The day before the White House is expected to release its fiscal year 2017 budget proposal a coalition of more than 100 groups including U S PIRG sent a letter calling on President Barack Obama and all 535 members of Congress to oppose any federal appropriations bill that contains ideological policy riders Keep Reading News Release U S PIRG Consumer Protection Letter to Congress 212 Groups Call On You To Oppose HR 4018 and Support a Strong Payday Rule Keep Reading Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 next last Report PennPIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection Trouble in Toyland For 30 years PennPIRG Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children Keep Reading Report US PIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection Mortgages and Mortgage Complaints Our sixth report analyzing complaints in the CFPB s Public Consumer Complaint Database evaluates mortgage complaints the number one source of complaints to the CFPB totaling 38 of nearly 500 000 complaints posted since 2011 Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection Trouble in Toyland 2014 Among the toys surveyed this year we found numerous choking hazards and five toys with concentrations of toxics exceeding federal standards In addition to reporting on potentially hazardous products found in stores in 2014 this installment of the report describes the potential hazards in toys and children s products Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection The Unfriendly Skies It seems as if every consumer has an airline problem story how they were trapped on the tarmac tricked by fees missed their connection or lost their bag What many consumers don t know is that they have a number of new rights as well as a right to complain both to the airline and to the government This report tracks five years of consumer complaints and highlights which airlines received the most complaints and what kinds of complaints were most common Keep Reading Report PennPIRG Education Fund Consumer Protection Debt Collectors Debt Complaints This is the fifth in a series of reports that review complaints to the CFPB nationally and on a state

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/issues/pap/make-vw-pay (2016-04-27)
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