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As the Foundation's founder, Harvey Rosenfield is one of the nation's foremost consumer advocates. Trained as a public interest lawyer, Rosenfield authored Proposition 103 and organized the campaign that led to its passage by California voters in 1988 despite over $80 million spent in opposition (still a record).
He has co-authored groundbreaking initiatives on HMO reform and utility rate deregulation (Proposition 9, 1998). Rosenfield is the author of the book, Silent Violence, Silent Death: The Hidden Epidemic of Medical Malpractice. (Essential Books, 1994). (Essential Books, 1994)
Rosenfield, who established FTCR in 1985, has worked for the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Congress, in private practice, as a staff attorney for Ralph Nader's Public Citizen Congress Watch and as the Program Director for the California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG).
Rosenfield graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and obtained a joint Law and Masters degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University
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FTCR's President is an award-winning and nationally recognized consumer advocate. Court is the author of Corporateering: How Corporate Power Steals Your Personal Freedom And What You Can Do About It (Tarcher/Putnam, June 2003)-- which Publisher's Weekly says is "keeping the muckraking tradition alive." (www.corporateering.org) He is also co-author of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat To Your Health (www.makingakilling.org)
The Los Angeles Times calls Court "a tireless consumer advocate." The newspaper's review of Corporateering calls the book "eye-opening" -- "crisply written and lucidly argued." The Wall Street Journal said of Court, "He's notorious for his dramatic, sharp-tongued attacks on the health- and auto-insurance industries, and on any politician who takes their campaign cash."
Court helped to pioneer the HMO patients' rights movement in the United States, sponsoring successful laws in California and aiding them elsewhere. Court regularly contributes commentary to the Los Angeles Times, as well as other newspapers, and often appears on major national television and radio news shows.
Court has also worked as an advocate for the homeless and as a community organizer. He has a degree in history from Pomona College.
FTCR's Litigation Director, Pamela Pressley heads up FTCR's legal advocacy and regulatory efforts. Through challenges to insurance industry rate hike proposals Pressley is responsible for saving California policyholders $62 million in 2003. She has taken on law-breaking officials, representing the People of California in a conflict of interest case against a Public Utilities Commissioner.
Additionally, Pressley has enforced the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, obtaining fines against junk faxers and has submitted briefs to the Court of Appeal to enforce that federal law. Pressley also leads FTCR's efforts to enforce Proposition 103's mandates to protect California insurance policyholders against discriminatory practices and premium overcharges, including through rulemaking proceedings before the California Department of Insurance and court actions.
Pressley received her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA and her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law. Before joining FTCR, Pressley worked for CALPIRG as their Consumer Attorney and as a staff attorney for the Center for Law in the Public Interest, a non-profit, public interest law firm specializing in consumer, environmental and civil rights advocacy and litigation.
In addition to being FTCR's Executive Director, Doug Heller is the Foundation's lead legislative and regulatory advocate on insurance and energy issues. Heller spearheaded the two-year battle for the nation's strongest whistleblower protections, which are now California law.
In the past year, Heller has worked with patient rights groups around the country speaking to lawmakers and media about the necessity of insurance regulation and the injustice of restrictions on the legal rights of victims of medical negligence. Heller has authored numerous reports on issues such as energy deregulation, medical malpractice and insurance industry low-balling. He is a participant in a number of California insurance and consumer oriented boards and panels.
Heller led the 2001 lobbying effort against a legislative bailout of California electric utilities. Through both advocacy work and community outreach, Heller has been the state's consumer leader in the effort to implement and expand the nation's first low-cost auto insurance program for low-income motorists.
Prior to advocacy work, Heller was an FTCR organizer, training and managing volunteers. After receiving his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, Heller spent two years as a public school teacher in rural Louisiana.
Jerry Flanagan is FTCR's lead advocate on healthcare reform and personal privacy issues and is recognized as one of California's leading analysts of legislative efforts to address those issues. He is responsible for overseeing the California Health Consensus Project's (www.calhealthconsensus.org) development and implementation.
Flanagan has recently organized a series of televised town halls throughout California, including one produced for PBS. He has also devoted significant time to research and advocacy on the issues of energy deregulation, clean water and campaign finance reform. Prior to joining FTCR, Flanagan worked for 7 years with the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) in New Jersey and California. With PIRG, Flanagan wrote and won passage of one of the nation's strongest HMO accountability measures, which was signed into law in New Jersey on July 30, 2001.
Recently, Flanagan wrote a report, "A Cure for Rising Health Care Costs - Prescription Drug Buying Pools", that outlines a plan to eliminate inefficiencies in the state's procurement of prescription drugs with the effect of saving hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Flanagan received a BA in Social/Cultural Anthropology and in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley.
Consumer Advocate Carmen Balber has been with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights for three years. Through media outreach, citizen organizing and public education, Balber ran the campaigns to pass the nation's strongest conflict of interest protections, the Oaks Project's Taxpayer Protection Acts, in five cities across California. Balber coordinated citizen organizing efforts in FTCR's successful grassroots campaign to block a legislative utility bailout in 2001, including leading a three-week volunteer lobbying effort in Sacramento at the end of the 2001 legislative session.
More recently, Balber has spearheaded FTCR's corporate reform campaign, leading the ongoing effort to pass Corporate Three Strikes legislation in California. Balber coordinates FTCR's public education efforts on medical malpractice, personal privacy issues and corporate accountability throughout the country.
Before joining the Oaks Project and FTCR, Balber served as Assistant Canvass Director for the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (COPIRG). She holds a B.A. in Politics from Pomona College.
Lawrence Markey, Jr.
Lawrence Markey, the FTCR's newest staff attorney is responsible for a wide range of taxpayer and consumer litigation. Mr. Markey is involved in bringing litigation against insurance companies violating various consumer protection laws, cell phone companies bilking consumers, junk fax broadcasters, and government officials with conflicts of interest.
Prior to joining the FTCR, Mr. Markey was an associate in the Los Angeles office of Dewey Ballantine LLP.
As a third year law student, Mr. Markey brought qui tam lawsuits against junk faxers who bombarded his home fax machine. He became one of the few consumers to collect a judgment against the nation's worst junk faxer, Fax.com. Mr. Markey later testified against a Fax.com Vice President in a regulatory proceeding brought by the Attorney General of California.
Prior to entering the legal profession, Mr. Markey practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with the firm of Deloitte & Touche, LLP. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California and Michigan Law School.
FTCR's office manager and advocate, Mark Reback has been with the organization for four years. Reback maintains FTCR's websites and provides the advocacy and legal departments with research and administrative support. Reback also is responsible for maintaining FTCR's consumer complaint program and is often the primary contact for members of the public looking for consumer assistance.
In addition to his work with FTCR, Reback is an accomplished rock drummer/musician who performs and records regularly around Southern California. His main current project is the new wave pop-punk band The Checkers, who were nominated by the LA Weekly for "Best New Artist 2004". Reback holds a B.A. in Business - Marketing from Colorado State University.
David Fink has been a consumer advocate and organizer with the Foundation since 2003. He has helped organize the community to support insurance reform and protection of one of the nations strongest consumer and environmental protection laws.
Recently he has worked on the problem of skyrocketing prescription drug prices while organizing two train trips to take seniors over the border to buy their drugs. The Rx Express West Coast and East Coast saved the seniors on average 60% over what they would pay in the U.S. for the same exact drugs. The two three day trips got over 300 media hits. David has lobbied both Federal and State governments to adopt a policy of bulk purchasing similar to Canada.
Prior to joining FTCR David did extensive volunteer work with a local environmental group, homeless shelter and after school-program. He received with a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication Studies from Cal-State Northridge.
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