The the Sunshine In

November 27, 1972
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Here’s some good news for citizens who are struggling for open government and less secrecy in the dealings of bureaucrats and business lobbyists. It comes from Missouri and Massachusetts and in it there’s a model other states might emulate. The Missouri Public Service Commission has issued a ruling requiring trucking companies and utilities that it…

Is Meat Fit to Eat?

November 20, 1972
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Along with rising meat prices is mounting chaos in the regulation of meat and poultry for wholesomeness, safety and purity. Under the Wholesome Meat and Poultry Acts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is supposed to advance these objectives. Instead, proindustry USDA officials, industry lobbyists and state officials struggling to block federal inspection have devastated many…

the New Campus Activism

November 13, 1972
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Student activism has come a long way from that day in February 1960 when four Bible-carrying black students sat down at a lunch counter in North Carolina and refused to move until served. They and the thousands of white and black civil rights workers who followed their example ushered in a decade of campus social…

The Rise of Tax Reformers

November 6, 1972
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During the last, frantic day and night sessions of the 92nd Congress, the customary strategy of ramming through special-interest tax loopholes got under way. Under the direction of the powerful Tax Committee Chairmen, Congressman Wilbur Mills (D-Ark.) and Senator Russell Long (D-La.), the bills and their various legislative sponsors were lined up for lightening quick…

Buying Insurance

October 30, 1972
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State insurance commissioners have sharply different opinions on the auto and life insurance shopper’s guides distributed by Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Herbert S. Denenberg. In the four months since I requested these opinions from fifty‑one state insurance commissioners (including those of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), thirty-two have replied. Thirteen were negative on the…

Nixon and Big Business Block Consumer Bills

October 23, 1972
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In the closing days of the 92nd Congress, President Nixon unleashed a virulent, anti-consumer lobbying effort which succeeded in defeating or blocking major consumer protection legislation. All lip service to consumer interests in health, safety, and dollar value in the market place was swept aside as White House operatives lobbied along with corporate interests to…

Uncle Same, The Consumer

October 16, 1972
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Uncle Sam is the biggest consumer in the country. Federal agencies, military commissaries and PX’s regularly buy almost everything that ordinary consumers purchase — food, clothes, household appliances, drugs, autos, tires, light bulbs, detergents, blankets, and many other items. With these multi-billion dollar expenditures annually, there is very little testing done to determine what is…

Burger Claims CPSC Will Overburden Courts

October 9, 1972
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Two months ago, when a bill to establish an independent consumer product safety commission was at a critical juncture in the House of Representatives, a five‑page unsigned memorandum was quietly left at several members’ offices by a prominent Washington law firm. The memo took note of Chief Justice Warren Burger’s recent criticism of Congress in…

Information, Secrecy and OMB

October 2, 1972
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Information is the currency of democracy. Nobody understands this better than the omnipresent corporate lobbyists in Washington who work daily to keep control of crucial information and deny it to the citizenry. Behind every scandal coming out of Washington recently, from the misuse of campaign contributions to the big grain deal, there was involved suppression…

Consumer Bills

September 25, 1972
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With Congress in its stretch drive before adjournment, it looks as if only three consumer protection bills will be passed over the relentless opposition of corporate lobbyists, often in subtle concert with White House aides. The most important of these bills would establish a consumer protection agency to represent consumer interests before other federal regulatory…