This week starts off with a bang. Once again, a Public Citizen expert will be participating in a discussion with notorious ex-superlobbyist Jack Abramoff. This time, we’ll be at the National Press Club. Lisa Gilbert, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, will be on a panel with Abramoff and United Republic President Nick Penniman. Our communications director, Angela Bradbery, will be live tweeting from the event, which starts at 7 p.m. You can follow her tweets at @citizenangela.
This week also may prove to be pivotal in moving the STOCK Act forward. Right now, two versions of legislation to ban insider trading by members of Congress and staffers are sitting in Congress. As Public Citizen’s government affairs lobbyist Craig Holman explains, the ball is in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s court. Sen. Reid just launched a new Facebook page this weekend and we are urging folks to leave him a message to stand up for Main Street, not Wall Street, and make sure a strong version of the STOCK Act passes!
Also today, we will be blogging about something that is not happening – that is the BP trial that was supposed to be starting today in New Orleans. BP has agreed to settle. But that’s not the end of the matter; the settlement related to private claims for losses from people in the Gulf Coast states. BP still has to deal with the government. We’ll weigh in on what we think the government should do. Stay tuned here and to Energy Vox for more on that.
And we’ll be getting the word out this week about our great new animated video highlighting our petition to break up Bank of America. Want to see Timothy Geithner dance? Here’s your chance.
Tomorrow in Vermont, more than 50 towns will vote on a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to say money is not speech and corporations are not people. The town meeting effort was coordinated by Public Citizen with a coalition of partners and State Sen. Ginny Lyons. Kudos to all involved for making such a strong statement about the need to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that said corporations can spend unlimited sums to influence elections.