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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Boosting the Impact of Small Donors

What if our campaign finance system encouraged 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.

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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.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Court Reinstates Case Against Bank That Aided Senior Citizen Fraud | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the 3rd Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision that had denied class action status to victims of a scheme targeting senior citizens who were suing Zions Bank and its payment processor affiliates for aiding the fraudsters. U.S. regulators led by the Department of Justice have been fighting this and similar schemes, yet powerful special interests have managed to create a false narrative in Washington, DC that has been picked up by opponents of consumer protection laws. They falsely claim that the government's target is "legitimate" payday lenders and gun dealers. Wrong, the target is financial crimes against consumers, many consumers.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

IRS Admits Data Breach Worse Than Thought, Will Congress Do Wrong Thing Anyway? | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the IRS has admitted that thieves accessed the personal information -- enough to allow them to take your tax refund -- of an additional 220,000 taxpayers, on top of the 114,000 reported in May. Meanwhile, we remain  concerned that Congress will use continued publicity about the Target breach and other breaches as an excuse to pass dangerous data security legislation. Dangerous? Yes, because it would only protect against limited financial identity theft harms, but eliminate stronger state protections against the harms posed by the IRS breach, the health insurance breaches and the OPM breach.

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News Release | Financial Reform

We Need a Watchog: On eve of committee vote, consumer group petitions for reform

SCRANTON, Oct. 20 – Local residents and statewide consumer group PennPIRG, the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group, called for meaningful financial reform in a petition demonstration in downtown Scranton today.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Health insurance industry getting desperate

The health-insurance industry is getting desperate. Funding a bogus study claiming that health-care reform will drive up the cost of coverage ("Health-plan Lobby's Tough," Oct. 13) is part of a last-ditch effort to derail reform. Despite the scare tactics, Congress is making headway.

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Media Hit | Health Care

Edinboro businesswoman visits Washington to discuss health-care reform

Zimmer is one of about 110 small-business owners traveling to Washington, D.C., to see their respective congressional leaders. Their trip is an effort by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group to show Congress that these business people want health-care reform.

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Media Hit | Financial Reform

Consumer relief

It is not getting much attention locally but the big banks, the mortgage lenders and the insurance companies are working to kill legislation in Washington that would give consumers much-needed protections in the financial marketplace.

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News Release | PennPIRG and Media and Democracy Coalition | Consumer Protection

Public Interest Groups Urge Lawmakers to Support Broadband Plan that Serves the Public Good

For this year’s OneWebDay PennPIRG and the Media and Democracy Coalition will release A Public Interest Internet Agenda and join Philadelphia residents for a policy panel discussion on the future of local broadband access.  The event is being held at 7pm in the University of the Arts as part of Philadelphia’s inaugural OneWebDay celebration.

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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