Non-profit

Public Citizen Foundation

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1263996

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $11,499,954
Expenses: $9,997,426
Assets: $14,112,117

Formation:

1992

President:

Robert Weismann

The Public Citizen Foundation is an advocacy organization founded in 1992 to support the lobbying of Public Citizen. Public Citizen is a left-of-center advocacy organization founded by Ralph Nader that opposes the free-market interests of American business owners. [1] The Foundation, located in Washington D.C., provides administrative and financial support to Public Citizen, in addition to running its own research and media programs with a focus on health, environmentalism, and limiting business rights.

Activity

Public Citizen Foundation has numerous projects which focus on advocating for left-of-center health policy, promoting environmentalism, and monitoring corporate and government activity. [2] The Foundation also funds Public Citizen, with grants totaling $4.7 million in 2016. [3]

Health and Environment

In 2016, the Foundation organized three projects on health and environmental policy, with the largest being the Health Research Group. The research group spent $883,924 in 2016 and focused on providing consumer medical education, along with promoting universal, government-funded health care. [4] [5].

Environmentalism is also a target of the Public Citizen Foundation. In 2016, the Foundation organized an “Energy Program” which cost $216,903. [6] This program included educating the public about the effects of climate change and providing information about environmentalist energy resources. Public Citizen Foundation refuses to support the use of nuclear power. [7] Alongside its own activities, Public Citizen awarded some small grants in 2016 to outside organizations. In 2016, the Foundation awarded its largest grant of $48,610 to the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Service, a far-left environmentalist organization. [8]

Public Information

Congress Watch was the Foundation’s largest project in 2016, on which the Foundation spent over one million dollars. [9] Congress Watch monitors the United States Congress and tracks donations which come from interest groups. [10] Congress Watch also tracks “corporate welfare” expenditures. [11] Despite its insistence that money corrupts politics, the Foundation itself spent $560,662 on lobbying in 2016 and spent nearly $2.5 million on lobbying between 2013 and 2016. [12]

Congress Watch publicly supports anti-business legislation as well. Congress Watch expressed support for a bill that would require senior Wall Street executives to defer parts of their compensation for 10 years to pay for penalties from the 2008 financial crisis. [13] Congress Watch officials also advocate for heavy regulation of innovative projects in technology, calling on Congress to force Facebook to end the development of its cryptocurrency, Libra. [14]

Global Trade Watch was the Public Citizen Foundation’s second largest program in 2016 with a $989,287 budget. [15] Global Trade Watch provides information to the public which advocates against global trade agreements, focusing most recently on the renegotiating of the North American Free Trade Agreement by President Donald Trump. [16][17] Global Trade Watch “exposes” corporations who support NAFTA for outsourcing jobs to developing countries, and it has used free trade to advocate for a global “floor” of social welfare to be imposed on any country seeking to enter a trade agreement. [18][19]

People and Funding

The President of the Public Citizen Foundation is Robert Weissman, who also serves as President of Public Citizen. Weissman is the former director of Essential Action and editor of Multinational Monitor, a left-of-center magazine that tracks corporate activity around the world. [20][21] Weissman also served as a public interest attorney at the Center for Study of Responsive Law, another Nader-founded organization. [22] Weissman has a history of fighting for left-wing causes as one of the leaders of the protests against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in 2000. [23]

Sidney Wolfe is a physician and founder of the Public Citizen Foundation. [24] Wolfe has been openly distasteful of members of the Trump administration and critical of the Food and Drug Administration approving any new opioid painkillers. [25][26]

References

  1. “Public Citizen.” Influence Watch. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/public-citizen/. ^
  2. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Line One. ^
  3. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Five, Section Two. ^
  4. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  5. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  6. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  7. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  8. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  9. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  10. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  11. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  12. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Two, Section A. ^
  13. “Watching Wall Street, Gabbard Introduces Accountability Act.” Big Island Now. July 24, 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://bigislandnow.com/2019/07/24/watching-wall-street-gabbard-introduces-accountability-act/. ^
  14. Biggs, John. “US Watchdog Groups Call for Congress to Put a Freeze on Facebook’s Libra.” CoinDesk. July 02, 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.coindesk.com/us-watchdog-groups-call-for-congress-to-put-a-freeze-on-facebooks-libra. ^
  15. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  16. Marans, Daniel. “Companies Backing NAFTA Overhaul Outsourced Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs.” HuffPost. May 02, 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/companies-backing-donald-trump-nafta-overhaul-outsourced-jobs_n_5cca10aee4b0913d078c2c1a. ^
  17. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Three, Section Four. ^
  18. Marans, Daniel. “Companies Backing NAFTA Overhaul Outsourced Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs.” HuffPost. May 02, 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/companies-backing-donald-trump-nafta-overhaul-outsourced-jobs_n_5cca10aee4b0913d078c2c1a. ^
  19. Block, Daniel “Free Trade For Liberals.” Washington Monthly. July 13, 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/july-august-2019/the-case-for-a-progressive-atlantic-trade-alliance/. ^
  20. “Robert Weissman.” Public Citizen. 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.citizen.org/about/person/robert-weissman/. ^
  21. “Robert Weissman.” Public Citizen. 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.citizen.org/about/person/robert-weissman/. ^
  22. “Robert Weissman.” Public Citizen. 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.citizen.org/about/person/robert-weissman/. ^
  23. Weissman, Robert. “Beware Facebook’s Libra: A Corporate Surveillance Leviathan With No Precedent Outside the Realm of Science Fiction.” Common Dreams. July 18, 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/18/beware-facebooks-libra-corporate-surveillance-leviathan-no-precedent-outside-realm. ^
  24. Public Citizen Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990), 2016, Part Seven, Section A. ^
  25. Higgins, Eoin. “After Trump’s Former FDA Chief Quietly Joins Pfizer Board, Warren Calls for Resignation ‘Immediately’.” Common Dreams. July 02, 2019. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/07/02/after-trumps-former-fda-chief-quietly-joins-pfizer-board-warren-calls-resignation. ^
  26. Satel, Sally. “Opinion | The FDA Was Wise to Approve a New Opioid.” The Wall Street Journal. November 08, 2018. Accessed August 01, 2019. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fda-was-wise-to-approve-a-new-opioid-1541636193. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Annie Leonard
    Board Member

Associated Organizations

  1. Public Citizen (Non-profit)
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 1992

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Sep Form 990 $11,499,954 $9,997,426 $14,112,117 $3,530,822 N $9,666,029 $1,619,928 $270,103 $435,278
    2015 Sep Form 990 $10,501,162 $10,103,175 $11,968,362 $3,374,351 N $8,284,714 $1,587,417 $319,937 $455,818 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990 $11,011,452 $10,267,831 $12,522,956 $3,669,446 N $8,482,924 $2,125,526 $210,705 $330,724 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $10,782,633 $10,315,321 $11,783,441 $3,778,189 N $8,280,779 $2,101,043 $170,198 $216,793 PDF
    2012 Sep Form 990 $8,726,604 $9,976,084 $11,107,020 $3,698,926 N $6,398,766 $2,105,427 $173,328 $212,033 PDF
    2011 Sep Form 990 $7,887,663 $8,841,661 $11,860,740 $3,598,186 N $5,464,670 $2,100,237 $197,570 $198,907 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Public Citizen Foundation

    1600 20TH ST NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20009-1001