Public Citizen, the consumer advocacy group, needs help. This group, totally dedicated to defending democracy from corporate greed, has now come under fierce attack by Murray Energy, the largest private coal company in the country. In 2014, Public Citizen aired radio ads highlighting Murray Energy’s opposition to improved worker safety and clean air regulations. However, due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, which granted corporations like Murray Energy the same First Amendment rights as living, breathing human beings, the company is now claiming in a lawsuit that Public Citizen’s ads violated its privacy rights. In the suit Murray Energy claims it has suffered “mental anguish and emotional distress.” If it sounds “weird” for a corporation to claim this type “distress,” it’s because it definitely is very weird! I’m surprised the corporation didn’t claim that it suffered “physical pain and suffering,” since it considers itself to be a “person.”
Attempts by Public Citizen to have this ridiculous claim dismissed, or at least moved out of the same city where Murray Energy is located, were denied by the judge overseeing the case. Murray Energy has even gone so far as asking Public Citizen to cover the corporate giant’s legal expenses that it incurred keeping the case in its own backyard, demanding that the costs be taxed by the court against Public Citizen instead.
Despite the privacy rights claim being ultimately dismissed by the court, the corporation is now appealing on the grounds that, “Murray Energy should have the opportunity to assert that [Public Citizen] invaded its privacy ….” The full appellate brief was due in late August, but never doubt that Murray Energy will pull every trick in the book to bolster its attack on Public Citizen. Murray Energy’s sole objective is to keep Public Citizen and other consumer advocates from telling the truth about the corporation’s activities.
Unfortunately, Public Citizen has been consumed with defending itself from the outrageous claim made by Murray Energy. The lawsuit distracts the organization’s resources from its real work – and that’s to assure that our nation puts its hard-working people ahead of corporate greed and profits.
It is my sincerest hope that each of our readers will help Public Citizen continue its fight for real people in this country by making a generous contribution to the organization. You can get more information on the work of Public Citizen and its newsletter by going to www.Citizen.org. To make a donation to Public Citizen, either write a check to Public Citizen at 1600 20th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009, or visit its website and click the “Donate Now” button in the top right-hand corner of the home page. You will never regret helping Public Citizen, a group that accepts no corporate money, protect the rights of “real people.”
Source: Public Citizen
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