Readers of OpEd know that the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) is a top priority for more than 182 public interest groups who want to protect patients, taxpayers, and to end corruption.
Now, electronic petitions are being launched to enlarge the ability of citizens and groups to get involved in this historic legislation. These petitions can be easily accessed, and can be easily verified. Every citizen who signs on to the web can accelerate our drive to tell Congress the public has had enough. We want integrity in healthcare, in defense, in mortgage lending, and in all important public interest sectors.
One New York patient activist Josephine Carol Cicchini has gone to the street, and gathered 12,502 signatures by herself. This extraordinary effort by a single individual has rarely if ever been matched. For more information about Cicchini and her group, see http://www.leapforpatientsafety.org. More importantly, see her petition and join the 12.502 citizens who demand an end to HMO corruption.http://www.petitiononline.com/patients/. (See attached text of petition)
Cicchini really shows how one person can make an incredible difference. "We need a thousand Cicchinis to ensure that every American knows that their health and democracy itself is on the line." stated Dr. James Murtagh, co-chair of the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW). "We are proud to have her as a member, and as a spearhead of patient groups that want to get involved in improving quality care in hospitals. We can't do it without the support of patient groups. Cicchini is a real catalyst for change."
Electronic Democracy in Action!
Inspired by Cicchini, public interest groups are synergistically submitting electronic petitions to pass the WPA.
Letter from Leading Public Interest Advocate Tom Devine, Esq:
As readers of OpEd News know, the House and Senate passed bills to restore protections for government employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, and abuse by veto-proof margins last year, but the houses have yet to agree on a final bill. Now is the time to show negotiators, leadership, and other interested Members of Congress that it is a priority to pass a strong final bill before recess. Thank you to all the 200+ groups that have signed the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) sign-on letter! Now this action can be extended to you and your members, even if you did not join the group letter. Public Citizen, on behalf of the Make it SAFE Coalition and other whistleblower supporters, has launched an online Citizen’s Whistleblower Petition (and posted additional resources) at www.WhistleblowerAction.org.
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If possible, please help us spread the word about the campaign- and add signatures to the petition- by posting it on you site and blog, and distributing it out to your listserv. Public Citizen’s Action Alert is below.
Government Accountability Project
And the Coalitions determined to pass the WPA
September 16, 2008
In recent years we have experienced unprecedented secrecy and abuse of power in the federal government. Scientific research has been altered or suppressed, government contractors have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, and national security documents have been falsified. Witnesses to these breaches of the public trust cannot blow the whistle without fear of reprisals endangering their careers and their lives.
But we are close to ending the intimidation and retaliation against those who speak up on our behalf.
You can help! Add your name to our growing list of citizens standing up for those who stand up for us. Tell Congress: make the government work for us!
Last year, both houses of Congress passed strong whistleblower protection bills. But because they didn't negotiate and pass a compromise between the two bills, the legislation still isn't final. Now there is renewed support for members of Congress to put aside partisan politics and finish the job for the American people by passing a strong compromise bill.
Government employees and federal contractors who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse play a critical role in protecting us. Yet, unbelievably, they have less protection than many corporate employees enjoy. For this reason, too few government employees are willing to take the risk of blowing the whistle on wrongdoing. Those who come forward often suffer as a result -- and so do we as our tax dollars are wasted and our government is hijacked.
So far more than 200 public interest organizations have signed on to urge Congress to change the status quo - and now you can too. Show your support for honesty and accountability!
Go to www.WhistleblowerAction.org and Sign the Citizens' Whistleblower Petition Today!
The Action Team