Watchdog Releases Report Slamming Rhode Island No-Bid Contract Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a report criticizing Rhode Island for a costly no-bid crony contracting process that will determine the future management of the Rhode Island Lottery. The current technology and video-slot producer International Game Technology PLC (IGT) is requesting a twenty-year contract extension without the state considering competing proposals by rival companies. TPA’s report finds that a more competitive bidding approach would save the state more than $1 billion over 12 years.

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Taxpayers Lose With Rhode Island Lottery Contract

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) has conducted an evaluation of the costs (as well as pro- jected benefits) of IGT’s and Camelot’s proposal in an attempt to quantify the impact of different contract scenarios on taxpayers and the state of Rhode Island. In addition, TPA analyzes the poten- tial consequences of Rhode Island pursuing a no-bid contract process for lottery services. While this analysis is comprehensive, there are additional factors to consider when comparing IGT’s proposal with a more competitive approach. For instance, the state is documented to have overpaid IGT for lottery central system services, which this research brief does not address. Therefore, TPA considers its estimates to be conservative.

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TPA Leads Coalition of 31 Groups Telling Sen. McConnell to Oppose Any “Green New Deal” Legislation

Today, TPA and 30 additional free-market groups sent a letter to Senator McConnell urging him to oppose any legislation containing language that would implement aspects of the "Green New Deal." According to the American Action Forum, the "Green New Deal" plan would cost Americans anywhere from $51.1 trillion to $92.9 trillion, or $316,010 to $419,010 per household, over ten years.

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Taxpayer Watchdog Announces Fort Dodge, Iowa Ad Campaign Highlighting Broadband Boondoggles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) announced the start of a TV and online advertising campaign in and around Fort Dodge, Iowa highlighting the high costs and myriad issues associated with taxpayer and ratepayer-funded government-owned broadband networks (GONs). The move follows Fort Dodge City Council’s proposal to establish a taxpayer-funded broadband “utility,” to be decided via referendum on November 5. Politicians and administrators of similar networks have typically promised residents fast, reliable internet access, but these projects have often resulted in significant taxpayer expenses and poorly-targeted services. The ad campaign features “Mr. Sluggish,” a new character that illustrates the expense and slowness of GONs.

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Watchdog Condemns Bill that Would Weaken Key Intellectual Property Protections

WASHINGTON, D.C.​ – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) expressed alarm at Rep. Cicilline’s (D-RI) proposal to limit critical intellectual property (IP) protections for medications. Recently introduced, “​The Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act​” would embolden the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to quash “anticompetitive” practices by drug companies outside of due process and the rule of law. Rep. Cicilline’s bill would make it considerably more difficult for drug producers to make critical improvements to medications subsequent to Food and Drug Administration approval.

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Reforming the FDA: Saving Money, Saving Lives

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the approval and regulation of prescription drugs, tobacco products, medical devices, and food items. With a $5.7 billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2019 ($2.6 billion from various user fees), the agency falls short in providing Americans adequate access to the products they need or want. The prescription medication approval process remains languid and demands increasingly-outdated statistical guidelines from drug sponsors. The agency’s “tobacco product” evaluation process focuses more on fear and risk-aversion than evidence-based policy making, and bizarrely includes products such as electronic cigarettes that do not contain tobacco. The FDA often has food guidelines based on politics and hysteria rather than science.

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Watchdog Group Praises Appeals Court Ruling on Open Internet

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) praised the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for largely upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2017 repeal of Title II rules. Released on October 1, the ruling allows the FCC to maintain light regulatory rules that have allowed the internet to prosper and internet providers to increase access and services. The court, however, bars the commission from preempting state attempts to create their own Title II-style arrangements.

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Watchdog Praises Trump Administration for International Postal Victory

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) praised the Trump administration’s efforts to reach an agreement at the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) “Extraordinary Congress.” The deal forged by the United States and other member-states will protect taxpayers and consumers by allowing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to set its own postage rates for inbound packages, without the U.S. withdrawing from the 192-country agency.

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