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Pre-1999 - Duke Energy Employee Advocate

News - May 2001

"We must become the change we want to see." - Mahatma Gandhi


The enemies of democracy are flexing their muscles. A corporate front group calling itself Frontiers of Freedom has petitioned U.S. tax officials to revoke the tax-exempt status of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a major environmental organization ( If successful, the petition would put Rainforest Action Network out of business, and would open the door for lethal attacks on other environmental advocates. Frontiers of Freedom acknowledged to the WALL STREET JOURNAL that, if successful against RAN, "it will challenge other environmental groups."

Frontiers of Freedom was founded in 1995 by Malcolm Wallop, a former U.S. Senator (R-Wyo.) and "friend of vice-president Dick Cheney," according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The JOURNAL reports that Frontiers is funded by Philip Morris Companies, R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc., and the Exxon Mobil Corporation.

This latest corporate attack on freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of assembly, is not random. It is part of an accelerating campaign to replace representative democracy with control by corporate elites.

Now a new book, TRUST US, WE'RE EXPERTS! by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, provides a chilling, documented history of ongoing corporate efforts to use propaganda and "public relations" to distort science, manipulate public opinion, discredit democracy, and consolidate political power in the hands of a wealthy few.

The Big Idea behind the anti-democratic corporate-power movement is that people cannot be trusted to make political decisions because they are irrational, emotional, and illogical. This cynical view of humans is widely held by the public relations industry's experts but also by the scientific experts they employ to 'guide' the public. For example, physics professor H. W. Lewis (University of California, Santa Barbara), a well-known risk assessor, says people worry about non-problems like nuclear waste and pesticides because they are irrational and poorly educated. "The common good is ill served by the democratic process," he says. (pg. 111)

If people are not rational they cannot be guided by reason, so they must be manipulated through emotion, PR experts say (thus justifying their own propaganda services). For example, a spokesperson for Burson-Marsteller, a PR firm that manipulates the public on behalf of Philip Morris, Monsanto, Exxon Mobil and others, told the Society of Chemical Industry in London in 1989, "All of this research is helpful in figuring out a strategy for the chemical industry and for its products. It suggests, for example, that a strategy based on logic and information is probably not going to succeed. We are in the realm of the illogical, the emotional, and we must respond with the tools that we have for managing the emotional aspects of the human psyche... The industry must be like the psychiatrist..." (pg. 3)

The PR psychiatric manipulation industry is now enormous. Corporations spend at least $10 billion each year hiring PR propaganda experts (pg. 26) and our federal government spends another $2.3 billion or so (pg. 27) -- and these are no doubt underestimates. But these huge sums are not wasted -- they provide major benefits to the clients. For example, about 40% of all stories that appear in newspapers are planted there by PR firms on behalf of a specific paying client. Because most radio and TV news is simply re-written from newspaper stories, a substantial proportion of the public's "news" originates as PR propaganda. Naturally the connection to the PR source is edited out.

The COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW analyzed the WALL STREET JOURNAL and found that more than half its stories are "based solely on press releases" even though many carry the misleading statement, "By a WALL STREET JOURNAL Staff Reporter." Thus what passes for news these days is, as often as not, corporate propaganda. Tongue in cheek, Rampton and Stauber refer to the major news media as the disinfotainment industry.

Unfortunately, as Rampton and Stauber make crystal clear with example after example, all of this manipulation has devastating consequences for real people. The news media largely set the limits on public discussion, and thus on public policy debate. What is excluded from the news is often more significant than what gets inserted. For example, approximately 800,000 new cases of occupational illness arise each year, making occupational illness much larger than AIDS and roughly equivalent to cancer and all circulatory diseases, but most people have no idea that this is so. (See REHN #578.)

Combined with on-the-job injuries, work-related illnesses kill about 80,000 workers each year -- nearly twice the national death total from automobile accidents. In 1991 former NEW YORK TIMES labor correspondent William Serrin reported (but, notably, NOT in the NEW YORK TIMES) that about 200,000 workers had been killed on the job since the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970, and that an additional 2 million workers had died from diseases caused by conditions where they worked.[3] That's 273 work-related deaths EACH DAY, day after day after day. This corporate carnage is ignored by the news media, which prefer to keep us focused on yuppie SUV crashes, and crimes of passion.

During the same 20-year period, 1970-1990, an additional 1.4 million workers were permanently disabled in workplace accidents. Yet during those 20 years, only 14 people were prosecuted by the Justice Department for violation of workplace safety standards and only one person went to jail -- for 45 days for suffocating two workers to death in a trench cave-in.

PR experts "spin" stories for the media on the assumption that most reporters are too overworked (or too lazy) to search out the truth for themselves. But Rampton and Stauber exhaustively document that "spin" goes much farther than merely providing a "news hook," a viewpoint, or a few facts. Modern corporate propaganda involves purchasing scientific opinions and planting them in scientific journals (without, of course, mentioning the money connection to the corporate benefactor). Tobacco companies invented this technique, but now others are using it freely. For example, in the early 1990s, tobacco companies paid $156,000 to a handful of scientists to sign their names to letters written by tobacco company lawyers. The letters were published in the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, the LANCET, the JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE, and the WALL STREET JOURNAL, and were then cited by the tobacco companies as if they had been written by independent scientists. It's a systematic effort to pollute the scientific literature," says professor of medicine Stanton Glantz (University of California, San Francisco), a longtime critic of Big Tobacco. (pg. 199)

In 1999 drug maker Wyeth Laboratories commissioned ghost writers to manufacture ten medical articles promoting a combination of Wyeth drugs called fen-fen, as a treatment for obesity. Two of the articles actually got published in peer-reviewed journals. After fen-fen was pulled from the market for permanently damaging peoples' heart valves, lawyers for injured victims discovered that Wyeth had edited the articles to play down and occasionally delete descriptions of side effects caused by fen-fen. Prominent scientists put their names on these articles in return for fees as small as $1000 to $1500 -- and journal editors published the articles as if they represented independent scientific inquiry. Wyeth could then cite these "independent" studies to convince doctors to prescribe fen-fen.

In 1996, Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University examined 789 articles published by 1105 researchers in 14 leading life science and biomedical journals. In 34% of the articles, at least one of the chief authors had an identifiable financial interest connected to the research. None of these financial interests was disclosed in the journals. Krimsky said the 34% figure was probably an underestimate because he couldn't check stock ownership or corporate consulting fees paid to researchers.

Science, like democracy, depends crucially upon the free flow of information. When secrecy is imposed, errors go undetected and fallacies proliferate -- only to be discovered years later, if at all.[4] For example, secrecy has allowed the U.S. military to create a "pattern of exaggeration and deception" in its reports to Congress, just as secrecy allowed the military to waste more than $100 billion (!) in failed attempts to create a workable "star wars" missile defense system.[5] In 1993, a front-page story in the NEW YORK TIMES began, "Officials of the 'Star Wars' project rigged a crucial 1984 test and faked other data in a program of deception that misled Congress..." Secrecy invites deception and destroys democratic accountability.

Rampton and Stauber point out that "Corporate funding creates a culture of secrecy that can be as chilling to free academic inquiry as funding from the military. Instead of government censorship, we hear the language of commerce: nondisclosure agreements, patent rights, intellectual property rights, intellectual capital." (pg. 214)

A key feature of the corporate anti-democracy strategy of the past 20 years is reduced government funding for needed research, thus inviting corporate funders to step in. This is what "tax cut" really means. Tax cuts are not primarily aimed at giving families another $300 to spend -- they are mainly intended to reduce the capacity of governments to fund needed public services, such as medical research. As a result, corporations are asked to provide the funds and thus they gain an opportunity to influence the national research agenda and the results.

In 1994 and 1995 researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed more than 3000 academic scientists and found that 64% of them had financial ties to corporations. They reported in the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA), that 20% of the 3000 researchers admitted that they had delayed publication of research results for more than 6 months, to obtain patents and to "slow the dissemination of undesired results." "Sometimes if you accept a grant from a company, you have to include a proviso that you won't distribute anything except with its OK. It has a negative impact on science," says Nobel-prize-winning biochemist Paul Berg. (pg. 215) In 1999 Drummond Rennie, editor of JAMA, said private funding of medical research was causing "a race to the ethical bottom.... The behavior of universities and scientists is sad, shocking, and frightening," Rennie said. "They are seduced by industry funding, and frightened that if they don't go along with these gag orders, the money will go to less rigorous institutions," he said. (pg. 217)

In this rich, deep book, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber have painstakingly documented the specific techniques that PR experts and their corporate masters employ to deceive the courts, the legislatures, the media, educators, and the public. The next time someone accuses you of "chemophobia" or of relying on "junk science" you'll know you're dealing with corporate manipulators who are being guided by PR skanks. Their overriding goal is to discredit decision-making by the public and replace it with control by corporate elites. They know better, they're experts, trust them.

The final chapter of this important book tells us how to fight back. If you care about democracy, science or simple truth and want to know exactly how corporate elites subvert all three, this is the book for you.

Report: “Slavery In Electrical Contracting?”
Duke Energy Employee Advocate - May 29, 2001

You have heard about some of the appalling working conditions faced by migrant workers. These people are often illegal immigrants, who are in no position to buck the system. Some of their bosses take full advantage of the situation by paying low wages, making outrageous deductions from their paychecks, subjecting them to harsh working conditions, and generally abusing them. Migrant farm workers are especially susceptible to this oppression, but the abuse is not limited only to them. A new twist on this old game is now going on under the auspices of the federal government. It may have not been intended to work this way. But unscrupulous people are relentlessly at work to pervert every program, law, or situation to exploit the working population.

The latest twist is exposed by Joe Salimando in “Slavery In Electrical Contracting?,” published by The Electrical Distributor Magazine. He writes about the J-1 Visa Program: “The "J" exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences… I'm sick at heart about a guy getting a paycheck of $5.84 - not $5.84 per hour, but a paycheck in the amount of $5.84 for many hours of work.”

In actual practice, the program can place foreign workers in virtual slavery conditions, which ultimately leads to degraded pay, working conditions, and benefits for American workers. The foreign worker is only allowed to work for the one employer. He gets low pay, minimal benefits, and can face harsh working conditions. If he has any complaints, he gets shipped back to his country.

Naturally, there are companies seeking to exploit the situation. They are marketing their service of providing these foreign workers to American companies - for a fee. It is a lot like the pension consulting industry. They found a way to convolute the laws and take away much of the earned pensions from American workers. Pleased with themselves, they proceeded to market their dubious schemes to any gullible employer, and there were many. These cases are now working their way through the legal system.

Many American workers are ignorant of their rights. Many who are aware of their rights are just too intimidated by their employer to ever seek redress. Those aware of their rights, and willing to pursue their enforcement, will often spend years in the legal process.

Can you imagine how delighted many companies are to get foreign workers, who will probably have little understanding of American laws, cannot work for another company, will work for little pay, and are virtually guaranteed not to complain about any abuse?

Employers use the excuse of a “worker shortage” to participate in the visa program. The term “worker shortage” is a misnomer. There is never a worker shortage if the companies are willing to pay the price. But that is not what they had in mind. The term “worker shortage,” always means: “a shortage of cheap workers.” Have you ever noticed a shortage of CEO’s?

Duke Beset by Outage Outrage
The Charlotte Observer - By TED REED - May 26, 2001

At Ron Violette's home in the Poplar Trails subdivision in Concord, the power went off for seven hours last Saturday night. It came back soon after the Winston all-star race ended at nearby Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Violette said he can't help thinking there's a relationship. "It's just an amazing coincidence," he said. "I think Duke is trying to cover up something."

A week after two nights of power outages in Concord, Duke Power is still trying to dig out from the perception that it manipulated power supplies to favor the speedway at the expense of area residents.

"We owe our customers an explanation," Duke said in a statement issued Friday, which acknowledged that many customers believe the company diverted power from residential users to the speedway. "We did not do that," Duke said.

Additionally, the company has denied suggestions that the outages resulted from an inability to keep up with rapid growth in the Concord area.

The N.C. Utilities Commission, which oversees power distribution in the state, said there is no indication Duke favored one customer over another, and no shortage of power or transmission capability in that area.

But at a time of rising energy prices and a power crisis in California, consumers have doubts about power companies - especially one whose parent, Duke Energy, has been accused of manipulating prices in California. Duke has denied those allegations. "People may think this is California occurring in North Carolina," said UNC Charlotte economics professor Peter Schwarz. "They are concerned that maybe there's not enough power to go around here, that Duke has to make a choice, that money talks and that, therefore, they sent the power to the speedway."

"But, really, there's a big difference between California, where they don't have enough electricity, and a situation where a (transformer) goes down unexpectedly," Schwarz said. "The two situations are not the same. This was a random event."

Duke said 4,600 customers in the Harrisburg section of Concord, just southeast of the speedway, lost power for seven hours on Friday night, May 18. Those customers included the speedway.

Power failed when the substation shut down after the failure of a transformer bushing, which is an insulated cover protecting wires. The transformer alters the voltage of power taken from Duke's transmission system and delivers it to homes or businesses.

Duke shifted to an alternate transformer and restored power around 1 a.m. Saturday. But on Saturday night, there were two more power failures.

In one case, about 3,000 Harrisburg substation customers lost power for an hour when Duke altered its power routing to use a second substation. Later, some customers supplied by the second substation - including Ron Violette and other Poplar Trails residents - lost power for up to seven hours because a tree fell near the substation, knocking out lines.

Duke decided to use the second substation to bypass the standby equipment in use at the first substation.

"We were sitting there with 120,000 people at the speedway," said Duke spokesman Joe Maher. "Nobody wanted to run the risk of losing that (first) substation again."

Dennis Nightingale, director of the electric division of the public staff of the utilities commission, said Duke followed proper procedures in determining how to switch customers.

Nightingale also said Duke's franchise agreement with the state requires that it have reliable and adequate power and adequate transmission capability to supply the state's customers.

"They can't neglect or fail to maintain the system," he said. "If they did, they'd be called in by the commission, and there would be consequences."

In fact, much of the power in fast-growing Concord is supplied by the city-owned utility, which has seen its customer base increase to 24,000 from 15,000 in the past 10 years. Gordon Hinson, a supervisor for the city system, said the city serves the Concord Mills mall as well as the area near the speedway, with power it purchases wholesale from Duke.

Hinson said Duke serves the speedway itself because, when the facility opened in 1960, only Duke had power lines to the area.

But the logic of the explanations doesn't add up for Donald Beam, another resident of the Poplar Trails subdivision. Beam said his doubts about Duke were fueled by the series of differing answers he got each time he called Duke about the seven-hour outage.

Said Beam: "Being that I got so many different explanations, I think they just turned it off to supply the speedway."

In its statement, Duke said, "We had to make a difficult decision last Saturday, but it was the right one. We'll continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure safe and reliable service."

Power Failures Worry Speedway-Area Residents
The Charlotte Observer - By Courtney St. Onge - May 23, 2001

Neighbors of Lowe’s Motor Speedway are keeping candles handy and questioning Duke Power’s explanations for power outages during last weekend’s NASCAR races.

With another crushing crowd expected in southern Concord, some residents are worried about a repeat.

Judy Mitchell, who lives in a subdivision northwest of the racetrack, aid she realized on Sunday that the lights at her house had gone off Saturday a little after 7P.m., about the same time she said the speedway’s lights went on.

Mitchell and her husband have lived in the neighborhood about four year, she said, and had never had power problems during race week before.

“There’s a lot her now that wasn’t here four years ago,” she said. “They’ve built Concord Mills (mall), other businesses, subdivisions. If they haven’t maintained and kept up equipment enough to handle it, then say so.”

Duke official say the area is supplied with plenty of power and the power outage started with the coincidental failure of an insulator at a substation in Harrisburg Friday night, said Guynn Savage, a Duke Energy spokesperson.

Savage said the events were unfortunate, but they were neither part of an overall shortage of energy nor the result of power sales to other areas.

A ceramic insulator on a transformer at a Harrisburg substation sustained a small crack Friday evening, she said. The power system detected the crack and automatically shut down the equipment, the same way a house hold fuse or circuit breaker does, she said. That caused power outages for about 5,000 customers, including the speedway.

Hours later, utility workers shifted those customers to anther transformer within the same substation, she said. But Saturday evening, Duke officials were concerned about the load on the substation in Harrisburg, when one transformer still wasn’t operating, and decided to reroute about 3,000 customers through another substation.

That change caused some customers to lose power for 45 to 90 minutes Saturday evening, she said.

At the same time other customers lost power because of thunderstorms in the area.

Residents in Poplar Trails, the Mitchells’ subdivision, lost power about 7 p.m., Mitchell and other said. She called Duke Power near 9 p.m. and got a recording saying their power would return by 10:30. The lights come on again at 1:30 a.m., she said.

Savage said Poplar Trails residents were affected both by the rerouting of power and by unexpected weather problems, causing longer blackouts.

Duke Energy is talking to the state utilities commission about the outage, she said, and the company often does with large, unexpected outages.

Ginny Cadolino, who also live in Poplar Trails, said she plans to have friends over to watch Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 race.

“I guess I’ll get some candles,” she said, “I just don’t know what will happen.”

Duke Power Investigated
WBTV News 3 - May 22, 2001

The state utilities commission is demanding answers from Duke Power in a full report on the weekend power outages. Last Friday night a transformer blew, accidentally cutting power to the speedway and nearby neighborhoods. Saturday, Duke took many of those same neighborhoods off line, and switched them to another substation, to ease demand. The utilities commission got so many complaint calls, they launched this investigation.

This is News!
Duke Energy Employee Advocate - May 20, 2001

The article below, CEO cuts his perk from bank deal, really is news. It is almost of the "Man Bites Dog" Variety!

You just don't see too many executives declining any money, no matter how shaky the circumstances for receiving the money is. If they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar, that usually does not deter them from pocketing the cash.

Mr. Baker turned down an extra one-half million dollars per year, because investors questioned him about it. Amazing!

If certain executives of other corporations had an ounce of integrity, they would be giving the pension benefits back to the employees who earned them! Instead, they just keep rolling in the millions, and telling themselves what great leaders they are.

CEO cuts his perk from bank deal
The Charlotte Observer - By AMBER VEVERKA - May 19, 2001

Wachovia Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive L. M. "Bud" Baker will give up half a million dollars in annual retirement pay if his bank merges with First Union, Baker announced Friday.

Baker has amended his merger deal with Charlotte's First Union so it deletes any increase in his retirement pay, according to a statement released by Wachovia.

Under his current contract, Baker, who turns 59 next week, gets $1.5 million a year in supplemental retirement benefits. The merger agreement with First Union would have given him $2 million a year. In the statement, Baker said shareholders have asked him about the increase in benefits.

"It is painful to me to have anyone possibly feel that I would benefit personally at their or the company's expense," Baker's statement said. "The future of Wachovia and its value to shareholders, customers, employees and the communities it supports are too important to be put at risk by concerns regarding the compensation of any individual…"

Shareholder's Resolutions at Verizon
Duke Energy Employee Advocate - May 11, 2001

On April 27, The Patriot-News reported on the Verizon Annual Meeting. The employees did an outstanding job with their shareholder's resolutions. No, the resolutions were not approved; that is almost impossible. But they received a large percentage of the vote.

The proposal to ban interest on the Verizon pension fund surplus from being counted in with net income racked up 19 percent of the vote! The Securities and Exchange Commission recognizes 3 percent of the vote as significant enough to allow a new proposal to carry into the next year.

The proposal to require a majority of independent directors on the board drew 30 percent of the vote!

The proposal to require advance shareholder approval of "golden parachute" agreements for top Verizon executives amassed an outstanding 32 percent of the vote!

Such proposals usually have little change of being approved. They are often used as a publicity tool.

Congratulations to the employees and retirees on their efforts for pension and employment justice.

Critics Can Keep Web Sites
Public Citizen - Press Release - May 10, 2001

Pacifica Foundation Had Threatened to Sue to Force Groups To Take Down Sites Until Public Citizen Intervened

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In what is a point on the scoreboard for First Amendment rights, Pacifica Foundation has decided against suing to force three groups to dismantle Web sites critical of Pacifica.

The Foundation in February threatened to sue the groups, with whom it is embroiled in a controversy over the radio network. The Foundation demanded that Friends of Free Speech Radio in California, WBAI Listener Network in New York and the Free WPFW group in Washington, D.C., abandon the use of their domain names and relinquish the rights to those names by Feb. 19 or face legal action. In response, Public Citizen, which champions free speech rights on the Internet, announced it would represent the groups if Pacifica sued.

In a recent phone conversation, though, an attorney for Pacifica told Public Citizen Litigation Group attorney Paul Alan Levy that Pacific had decided not to sue. Levy today sent the attorney, Tanya Vanderbilt, of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. in Washington, D.C., a letter confirming the conversation. A copy is available at

"Companies are starting to learn that they can't bring these cases, because they're going to lose," Levy said. "The message is slowly getting out that free speech rights on the Internet are sacrosanct."

The creators of the Web sites (, and are embroiled in a controversy stemming from a conflict between Pacifica's management and station employees and members over the network's future. Pacifica had claimed that the use of the Web site domain names was a trademark infringement and could confuse people searching the Web for Pacifica's site. The foundation also claimed that the Web sites restricted Pacifica from conducting business on the Internet under its own name.

Those claims are baseless, Levy said. Trademark infringement occurs when a company's name is used in a misleading way to profit from consumer confusion, which is not the case here. Also, the First Amendment protects the kind of speech posted on the Web sites, he said.

"Pacifica threatened to bring this suit because it wanted to burden its critics with the time and expense of preparing a legal defense," said Robbie Osman, member of Friends of Free Speech Radio. "I would have hoped that before the Foundation threatened to sue, someone in the Pacific national office might have remembered that promoting fair and open debate has been at the very heart of Pacifica's mission since it was founded. By threatening this baseless suit, the Foundation has proved the most damning charge their critics have made against them."

Added Patty Heffley of WBAI Listener Network, "After observing the Pacifica Foundation up close, any positive actions they take must be viewed with suspicion. The good news here is that Pacifica isn't going to squander the listeners' money on an unwarranted suit."

Ricart Automotive Agrees to Settle Suit

Ricart Automotive Agrees to Settle Suit
Public Citizen - Press Release - May 10, 2001

Angry Ohio Customer Free to Create Anti-Ricart Sites This Summer

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ricart Automotive has agreed to drop a lawsuit it filed against an angry customer who created two anti-Ricart Web sites to log customer complaints about the dealership.

Ohio-based Ricart last year sued Ohio State University graduate student Robert F. Dalton, claiming that his sites violated trademark law, and Ricart quickly obtained a preliminary injunction against any use of the word "ricart" in Dalton's site names. Under a settlement agreement entered into this week, Ricart -- which spent nearly $100,000 on the case -- agreed to drop its suit and have the injunction dissolved in exchange for Dalton agreeing to relinquish the domain names of his sites, and

However, Dalton retains the right to create new anti-Ricart Web sites after July 3, 2001, using the word "ricart" in any portion of the domain name (except for the two relinquished domain names) and to include the Ricart name in his Web site "meta tags," a form of Internet code used to describe Web sites in a way that helps people using search engines locate Web pages in which they may be interested. For now, Dalton has posted the information on his sites at

"Clearly this is a victory for Mr. Dalton, who has every right in the world to post his thoughts about Ricart Automotive on the Internet," said Paul Alan Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen Litigation Group who is representing Dalton. Public Citizen has represented other Internet critics in similar First Amendment cases. "The First Amendment clearly protects the kind of criticism Mr. Dalton has posted."

Dalton created the Web sites after a dispute with the dealership over a 1997 Ford F-150 pickup truck he leased. Dalton felt cheated in the deal and has said misrepresentations were made to him about the warranty and his ability to return the truck. His site contains a wealth of information about complaints filed against Ricart with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, as well as consumer information alerting people to potential scams.

"This case was all about Ricart trying to keep damaging information about its business practices from becoming public knowledge," Dalton said. "I feel it was an honor and a privilege to convey the collective voices of Ricart's victims to a larger audience, and I am grateful for my lawyers' assistance in accomplishing that."

The case is yet another affirming the rights of angry consumers to post their gripes on the Internet. In one recent case, Alitalia dropped its case against a passenger who created a Web site to air his gripes about lost luggage. In another recent case, Pacifica Foundation decided not to carry out its threat to sue several groups that created anti-Pacifica sites.

Dalton is also represented by Columbus consumer lawyers Eric Willison and Alvin Borromeo.

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

Willison's Web site is

Take Down Your Web Sites or We'll Sue

CEO's Are Not Worth It
Employee Advocate - - May 4, 2001

How about this? Approximately a third of Wall Street analysts think CEOs are not worth their pay, according to a survey by Ketchum's Reputation Lab research unit.

75% do not believe CEO’s deserve their "golden parachutes."

It sounds like the analysts have the CEO’s pegged. Now, can you just imagine what investors and employees think of CEO’s?

News - April 2001