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JULY 23, 2002
10:15 AM
CONTACT:  Working Group on Corporate Accountability
Stephen Kent, 845-424-8382 or 914-589-5988 (cell)
or Abby Luby, 914-528-0743 or 914-671-9590 (cell)
Interview Opportunities with Experts on Corporate Accountability
Observers Charge House-Senate Conference Heavily Lobbied by Industry
WASHINGTON - July 23 - News Advisory:

The Working Group on Corporate Accountability, a coalition of some 120 NGOs, labor, environmental and civic organizations, has assembled a "truth squad" of informed experts offering broadcast and print interviews analysing corporate reform legislation under intense negotiation in closed-door House-Senate conference committee, with a vote expected Thursday. As markets continue their record slide amid WorldCom's bankruptcy filing and lack of investor confidence in reforms, many experts are calling for the conference to be made public and for intense lobbying by the accounting industry to weaken the bill to receive more public scrutiny.

Interview resources include members of Congress, laid off WorldCom and Enron workers and leading independent experts who can discuss technical and political dimensions of the reform bill, including how it would and would not reform accounting practices, impose penalities on corporate wrongdoing, how it would fail to reform abuses of employee pensions, overseas tax havens, corporate governance, whistleblower rights, reporting on employee stock options, and whether it would offer any mechanism at all for making financial restitution to victims of corporate crime. Available interview guests on the provisions and omissions of the bill include, among many others:

-- Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), named to the House Senate conference committee on the reform bill and on the Financial Services Committee, lead sponsor of the Enron Employee Pension Recovery Act.

-- Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), member of the House Ways & Means Committee, longtime proponent of reforming corporate tax shelters.

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a leader of the Progressive Caucus, outspoken advocate of stronger corporate reform.

-- WorldCom workers across the US via Kathy Roeder of the AFL-CIO, which is working with the overwhelmingly non-union workers laid off by WorldCom and Enron, demanding the current low ceilings on their severance be raised, and that laid off workers be the first in line for back pay and severance whenever bankrupt corporation funds are disbursed.

-- Ralph Estes, former Arthur Anderson partner, expert on accounting reform , professor emeritus at American University author, Tyranny of the Bottom Line, Why Corporations Make Good People Do Bad Things;

-- Ralph Nader, former Green Party presidential candidate, consumer advocate and founder of Citizen Works,

-- John Cavanagh, director, Institute for Policy Studies, expert on globalization, can comment on options reporting regulations, analogies to 1929, co-author, Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order and A Field Guide to the Global Economy,

-- Scott Klinger, co-director , Responsible Wealth, a project of United for a Fair Economy, author of the new report, "Titans of the Enron Economy: 10 Habits of Highly Defective Corporations"

-- Kevin Danaher, co-founder, Global Exchange, author/editor, Democratizing the Global Economy, Globalize This! and Corporations Are Gonna Get Your Mama;

-- Ed Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director, US Public Interest Research Group,

-- Barbara Roper, Director of Investor Protection at the Consumer Federation of America;

-- Tom Devine, Government Accountability Project (GAP), and Beth Daley at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), both experts on whistleblower provisions of corporate reform legislation.

For a complete list of available guests and contact information, call 845-424-8382.

When & Where:
These and many other interview resources are based in major cities, can conduct interviews via phone or remote, or in-studio. They are available July 23 to 26, and the list will be updated subsequently.

Working Group on Corporate Accountability


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