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A letter to our Readers: Join our petition to end corruption now!

By       Message James Murtagh     Permalink

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Dear Op Ed News Readers: We need your help to pass Whistleblower Protection, and end corruption!

I have been writing to you for the last year, urging passage of the most important anti-corruption bill in US history. This bill would protect the public, protect our patients, protect free speech, protect our way of life. In short, this bill, the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) must be passed immediately. Versions have passed House and Senate. Now, we are just inches from the finish line, to have a glorious victory for good government. But we need you to make this happen. 

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Readers of OpEd news are among the best informed and most savvy of the nation. I believe that every single reader should contact us and join the petition to pass the WPA. Every reader should get every local advocacy group, every rotary group, every faith group, every reading group. In short, we need every group in the country that favors a return to American democracy to support the WPA. 

 Op Ed readers don't just talk the talk, they walk the walk. That is why I know each of you wants to be part of the coming victory.

182 good government groups have already joined. But Op Ed readers could generate ten times this number overnight. Why not start a chain email? Please send this article to ten local organizations each. Then, ask each group to send the article to ten more. There is no reason we can't reach every local group in the country. We have the national groups signed on. Now we need the local chapters. That is where the power is.

Come on Op Ed Readers! Let's show our muscle!

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Contact: Tom Devine, GAP Legal Director  202.408.0034 ext 124, cell 240.888.4080

Contact: Adam Miles, GAP Legislative Representative 202.408.0034 ext 132, cell 202.276.2007  

It is now urgent that every single local and national group that favors good government sign the bipartisan demand to pass the Whistleblower Protection Act! We need you! Please contact your rotary, your local advocacy group, your local coalition. American free speech, American democracy, and our society's integrity are on the line. 

Here is the letter. Read it. Endorse it. Pass it to everyone. Thanks.

182 Public Interest Organizations Support Swift Action to 

Restore Strong, Comprehensive Whistleblower Rights 


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September 8, 2008 


To: Sen. Joseph Lieberman; Sen. Susan Collins; Sen. Daniel Akaka; Sen. George Voinovich; Rep. Henry Waxman; Rep. Tom Davis; Rep. Todd Platts; Rep. Chris Van Hollen 

The undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, write to support the completion of the landmark, eight-year legislative effort to restore a credible Whistleblower 

Protection Act.  We offer our support to expeditiously conclude the process of reconciling House and Senate passed versions of this vital good government legislation, H.R. 985 and S. 274.   

Unfortunately, every month that passes has very tangible consequences for scores of whistleblowers who still lack viable legal rights. In just the first three months of this year, since both chambers passed their versions of the legislation, whistleblowers have a 2-49 win-loss record in initial decisions from administrative hearings at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).  For final rulings by the MSPB, the record is 2-53 under the current Chair. Since January, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which has a monopoly on appellate review, has ruled against whistleblowers in another thirteen consecutive decisions on the merits, leaving a track record of 2-203 since October 1994 when Congress last strengthened the law! 

We stand ready to provide any information that would help expedite the process, and to help you come to agreement on any unresolved issues. Any compromise should protect several critical provisions, which have already passed with overwhelming support.  It is crucial that the final bill:  

• Grant employees the right to a jury trial in federal court; 

• Specifically protect federal scientists who report efforts to alter, misrepresent, or suppress 

federal research; 

• Extend meaningful protections to FBI and intelligence agency whistleblowers; 

• Strengthen protections for federal contractors, as strong as those provided to DoD 

contractors and grantees in last year’s defense authorization legislation; 

• Extend meaningful protections to Transportation Security Officers (screeners); 

• Neutralize the government’s use of the “state secrets” privilege; 

• Bar the MSPB from ruling for an agency before whistleblowers have the opportunity to present evidence of retaliation; 

• Provide whistleblowers the right to be made whole, including compensatory damages; 

• Grant comparable due process rights to employees who blow the whistle in the course of a government investigation or who refuse to violate the law; and 

• Remove the Federal Circuit’s monopoly on precedent-setting cases. 

We know that your offices share the commitment of every group signing the letter below 

and we deeply appreciate the years of effort to create more accountability in government.  Please let us know how we can participate to expeditiously complete this badly needed good government reform. Once the reconciled version becomes law, the real winners will be the public! 


Adele Kushner, Executive Director 

Action for a Clean Environment 

Dan Lawn, President 

*Alaska Forum on Environmental Responsibility 

Susan Gordon, Director 

*Alliance for Nuclear Accountability 

Rochelle Becker, Executive Director 

Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility 

Gil Mileikowsky, M.D. 

Alliance for Patient Safety 

Linda Lipsen, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs 

American Association for Justice (AAJ) 

Mary Alice Baish, Acting Washington Affairs Representative 

American Association of Law Libraries 

F. Patricia Callahan, President and General Counsel 

American Association of Small Property Owners 

John W. Curtis, Ph.D., Director of Research and Public Policy 

*American Association of University Professors 

Christopher Finan, president 

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression 

Caroline Fredrickson, Director, Washington Legislative Office 

American Civil Liberties Union 

Michael D. Ostrolenk 

*American Conservative Defense Alliance 

Dr. Paul Connett, Executive Director 

*American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc. 

John Gage, National President 

American Federation of Government Employees 

Charles M. Loveless, Director of Legislation 

*American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 

Mary Ellen McNish, General Secretary 

*American Friends Service Committee 

Caitlin Love Hills, National Forest Program Director 

*American Lands Alliance 

Jessica McGilvray, Assistant Director 

*American Library Association 

Alexandra Owens, Executive Director 

American Society of Journalists and Authors 

Patricia Schroeder, President and CEO 

*Association of American Publishers 

Ms. Bobbie Paul, Executive Director 

Atlanta WAND (Women's Action for New Directions) 

Samuel H. Sage, President 

*Atlantic States Legal Foundation, Inc. 

Jay Stewart, Executive Director 

*Better Government Association 

Matthew Fogg, First Vice-President 

*Blacks in Government 

Nancy Talanian, Director 

Bill of Rights Defense Committee 

Diane Wilson, President 

*Calhoun County Resource Watch 

William Snape, Senior Counsel 

Center for Biological Diversity 

Charlie Cray, Director 

Center for Corporate Policy 

Gregory T. Nojeim, Senior Counsel and 

Director, Project on Freedom, Security & Technology 

Center for Democracy and Technology 

Joseph Mendelson III, Legal Director 

*Center for Food Safety 

J . Bradley Jansen, Director 

Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights 

Paul Kurtz, Chairman 

*Center for Inquiry 

Robert E. White, President 

*Center for International Policy 

Merrill Goozner, Director 

Integrity in Science 

Center for Science in the Public Interest 

Linda Lazarus, Director 

Center to Advance Human Potential 

Craig Williams, Director 

*Chemical Weapons Working Group & Common Ground 

Leonard Akers 

*Citizens Against Incineration at Newport 

Evelyn M. Hurwich, President and Chair 

Circumpolar Conservation Union 

David B. McCoy, Executive Director 

Citizen Action New Mexico 

Doug Bandow, Vice President for Policy 

*Citizen Outreach 

Deb Katz, Executive Director 

Citizens Awareness Network 

Barbara Warren, Executive Director 

*Citizens' Environmental Coalition 

Elaine Cimino 

*Citizens for Environmental Safeguards 

Laura Olah, Executive Director 

*Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger 

Anne Hemenway, Treasurer 

*Citizen's Vote, Inc. 

Rick Piltz 

*Climate Science Watch 

John Judge 

Coalition on Political Assassinations 

9/11 Research Project 

Zena Crenshaw, 2nd Vice-Chair 

3.5.7 Commission on Judicial Reform 

Sarah Dufendach, Vice President for Legislative Affairs 

Common Cause 

Clarissa Duran, Director 

Community Service Organization del Norte 

Joni Arends, Executive Director 

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety 

Lokesh Vuyyuru, MD, Founder 

*Concerned Citizens of Petersburg 

Daniel Hirsch, Member, Executive Committee 

Concerned Foreign Service Officers 

Matthew Fogg, President 

Congress Against Racism & Corruption in Law Enforcement (CARCLE) 

Ellen Bloom, Director of Federal Policy 

Ami Gadhia, Policy Counsel 

Consumers Union 

Cathy Harris, Founder, Executive Director 

*Customs Employees Against Discrimination Association 

Mary Elizabeth Beetham, Director of Legislative Affairs 

Defenders of Wildlife 

Sue Udry, Director 

Defending Dissent Foundation 

Ben Smilowitz, Director 

Disaster Accountability Project 

James J. Murtagh, Jr., President 

*Doctors for Open Government 

Thea Harvey, Executive Director 

*Economists for Peace and Security 

Lisa Walker, executive director 

Education Writers Association 

Gregory Hile 


Chuck Broscious, President 

Environmental Defense Institute 

Judith Robinson, Director of Programs 

*Environmental Health Fund 

Peter Montague, Ph.D, Director 

*Environmental Research Foundation 

John Richard 

Essential Information 

George Anderson 

Ethics in Government Group (EGG) 

Steven Aftergood, Project Director 

Federation of American Scientists 

Marilyn Fitterman, Vice President 

Feminists For Free Expression 

Ellen Donnett, Administrative Director 

*Fluoride Action Network 

Andrew D. Jackson, Asst. Campaign Coordinator 

Focus-On-Indiana for Judicial Reform 

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director 

Food and Water Watch 

Bob Darby, Coordinator 

Food Not Bombs/Atlanta 

Andy Stahl 

*Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE) 

Tom Ferguson, Coordinator 

Foundation for Global Community/Atlanta 

Ruth Flower, Legislative Director 

Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) 

Conrad Martin, Executive Director 

Fund for Constitutional Government 

Karyn Jones, Director 


Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution  

Gwen Marshall, Co-Chairman 

Georgians for Open Government 

Denny Larson, Executive Director 

*Global Community Monitor 

Paul F. Walker, Ph.D., Legacy Program Director 

Global Green USA 

(The US Affiliate of Green Cross International, Mikhail Gorbachev, Chairman) 

Bill Owens, President 

*The Glynn Environmental Coalition 

Tom Devine, legal director 

Government Accountability Project 

Molly Johnson, Area Coordinator 

Grandmothers for Peace, San Luis Obispo County Chapter 

Alan Muller 

*Green Delaware 

Jenefer Ellingston 

Green Party of the United States 

James C. Turner, Executive Director 

HALT, Inc. -- An Organization of Americans for Legal Reform 

Tom Carpenter, Executive Director 

Hanford Challenge 

Helen Salisbury, M.D. 

Health Integrity Project 

Vanessa Pierce, Executive Director 

*Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah) 

Gerry Pollet 

*Heart of America Northwest 

Doug Tjapkes, President 

*Humanity for Prisoners 

Scott Armstrong, Executive Director 

*Information Trust 

Arjun Makhijani, Ph.D., President 

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research 

Donald Soeken, President 

Integrity International 

Michael McCray, Esq., Co-Chair 

International Association of Whistleblowers 

Mory Atashkar, Vice President 

Iranian American Democratic Association 

Mark S. Zaid 

James Madison Project 

John Metz, Executive Director 


Brett Kimberlin, Director 

Justice Through Music 

Elizabeth Crowe, Director 

*Kentucky Environmental Foundation 

Tom FitzGerald, Director 

*Kentucky Resources Council, Inc. 

James Love 

*Knowledge Ecology International 

Jonathon Moseley, Executive Director 

*Legal Affairs Council, Fairfax Virginia 

James Plummer  

Liberty Coalition 

Greg Mello, Executive Director 

*Los Alamos Study Group 

Jill McElheney, Founder 

Micah's Mission 

Ministry to Improve Childhood & Adolescent Health 

James Landrith, Founder 

The Multiracial Activist 

Marsha Coleman-Abedayo, Chair 

*No FEAR Coalition 

Larry Fisher, Founder 

National Accountant Whistleblower Coalition 

Tinsley H. Davis, Executive Director 

National Association of Science Writers 

Dominick DellaSala, Ph.D., Executive Director of Programs and Chief Scientist 

*National Center for Conservation Science & Policy 

Joan E. Bertin, Esq., Executive Director 

National Coalition Against Censorship 

Russell Hemenway, President 

*National Committee for an Effective Congress 

Sally Greenberg, Executive Director 

National Consumers League 

Terisa E. Chaw, Executive Director 

National Employment Lawyers Association 

Andrew Jackson 

National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. 

Paul Brown, Government Relations Manager 

National Research Center for Women & Families 

Sibel Edmonds, President and Founder 

*National Security Whistleblowers Coalition 

Pete Sepp, Vice President for Policy & Communications 

National Taxpayers Union 

Colleen M. Kelley, National President 

National Treasury Employees Union 

Steve Kohn, President 

National Whistleblower Center 

Amy Allina 

National Women's Health Network 

Terrie Smith, Director 

*National Nuclear Workers For Justice 

Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director 

NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby 

Ron Marshall, Chairman 

New Grady Coalition 

Rick Engler, Director 

New Jersey Work Environment Council 

Alice Slater, Director 

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, New York 

David A. Kraft, Director 

Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) 

Michael Mariotte, Executive Director 

Nuclear Information and Resource Service 

Jay Coghlan, Executive Director 

*Nuclear Watch New Mexico 

Gwen Lachelt, Executive Director 

*Oil & Gas Accountability Project 

Sean Moulton, Director, Federal Information Policy 

OMB Watch 

Patrice McDermott, Executive Director 

Paul Loney, President 

*Oregon Wildlife Federation 

Ellen Paul, Executive Director 

*The Ornithological Council 

Joe Carson, Chair 

P. Jeffrey Black, Co-Chair 

OSC Watch Steering Committee 

Judy Norsigian, Executive Director 

Our Bodies Ourselves 

Betsy Combier, President and Editor 

Former Special Agent Darlene Fitzgerald 

Patrick Henry Center 

Paul Kawika Martin, Organizing, Political and PAC Director 

Peace Action & Peace Action Education Fund 

Bennett Haselton, Founder 


Rev. Paul Alexander, Ph.D., Director 

Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice 

Vina Colley, President 

*Portsmouth/Piketon Residents for Environmental Safety and Security (PRESS) 

David Banisar, Director, FOI Project 

Privacy International 

Robert Bulmash, President 

*Private Citizen, Inc. 

Ronald J Riley, President 

Professional Inventor's Alliance 

Danielle Brian, Executive Director 

Project On Government Oversight 

Ellen Thomas, Executive Director 

Proposition One Committee 

David Arkush, Director, Congress Watch 

Public Citizen 

Jeff Ruch, Executive Director 

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility 

Lucy A. Dalglish, Executive Director 

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press 

Kirsten Moore, President and CEO 

Reproductive Health Technologies Project 

Tim Little, Executive Director 

*Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment 

John W. Whitehead, president 

The Rutherford Institute 

Adrienne Anderson, Coordinator 

Safe Water Colorado and Nuclear Nexus Projects 

Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center 

(Whistleblower Anderson v Metro Wastewater) 

Angela Smith, Coordinator 

*Seattle Healthy Environment Alliance (Seattle HEAL) 

Dr. Roland Chalifoux 

The Semmelweis Society International (SSI) 

Rufus Kinney 

*Serving Alabama's Future Environment (SAFE) 

Shane Jimerfield, Executive Director 

*Siskiyou Project 

Andrea Shipley, Executive Director 

*Snake River Alliance 

Matthew Petty, Executive Director 

*The Social Sustenance Organization 

Clint Brewer, President 

Society of Professional Journalists 

Kevin Kuritzky 

The Student Health Integrity Project (SHIP) 

Daphne Wysham, Co-Director 

Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN) 

Jeb White, Executive Director 

Taxpayers Against Fraud 

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director 

*Tri-Valley CAREs 

Communities Against a Radioactive Environment 

Paul Taylor 

Truckers Justice Center 

Francesca Grifo, Ph.D., Director 

Scientific Integrity Program 

Union of Concerned Scientists 

Dane von Breichenruchardt, President 

U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation 

Dr. Joseph Parish 

*U.S. Environmental Watch 

Gary Kalman, Director, Federal Legislative Office 

U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S.PIRG) 

Dr. Jeffrey Fudin, Founder 

Veterans Affairs Whistleblowers Coalition 

Nada Khader, Foundation Director 

*WESPAC Foundation 

Gloria G. Karp, Co-Chair 

*Westchester Progressive Forum 

Mabel Dobbs, Chair 

Livestock Committee 

Western Organization of Resource Councils 

Ann Harris, Executive Director 

We the People, Inc 

Janet Chandler, Co-Founder 

Whistleblower Mentoring Project 

Linda Lewis, Director 

Whistleblowers USA 

John C. Horning,  Executive Director 

*WildEarth Guardians 

Kim Witczak 


Cc: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid 

 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell 

 Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

 House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer 

 House Minority Leader John Boehner 


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James J. Murtagh, Jr. is a doctor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, and the Medical Director of several sleep laboratories in Southern Ohio. Dr. Murtagh extensively writes on medical ethics. Dr. Murtagh is the founder of a new (more...)

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