ProfNet Experts Available on Sequester, Taxpayer Relief Act, Citizens United, More

ProfNet Experts Available on Sequester, Taxpayer Relief Act, Citizens United,

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers and Media Industry Blog Posts

PR Newswire

Feb. 27

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  oWant to See Your Picture in the Heart of Times Square?


  oSequester Will Hurt People With Disabilities
  oThe Sequester's Potential Impact on Child Health
  oContrary to Coverage, Tax Legislation Makes Charitable Giving Advantageous
  oMcCutcheon is No Expansion of Citizens United
  oFCPA Italiano: Bribery a Concern in Italy, Too
  oExploring the Nuclear Waste Nightmare
  oWhite House's Strategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets
  oPost-Divorce Travel with Kids Can Pose Problems
  oBoeing 787 Dreamliner


  oVP and General Manager – Nexstar Broadcasting (VT)
  oInvestment Writer – Kiplinger Washington Editors (DC)
  oReporter – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)


  oSocial Media Week Recap: Digital Newsgathering Standards
  oTweet Your Way to a Feature
  oGrammar Hammer: In Search of the Elusive Semicolon



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Sequester Will Hurt People With Disabilities
Jennifer Dexter
AVP Government Relations
Easter Seals Office of Public Affairs
"Once again, people with disabilities are at risk in the ongoing federal
budget debate. The proposed across-the-board cuts or sequester that is coming
this Friday, March 1, will further limit already strained programs for
children and adults with disabilities and their families. Federal programs
like early intervention, special education, vocational rehabilitation,
housing, transportation and more are important to millions of Americans living
with disabilities and their families. These programs don't just provide
services to people with disabilities -- they provide a lifeline for millions
of families. Across-the-board cuts are not the solution. Easter Seals knows
every year more than a million young children go unidentified with
disabilities and developmental delays. If Congress doesn't stop the cuts, tens
of thousands of young children who rely on early intervention services will no
longer be able to benefit from the effective program, putting even more
children at risk. Ignoring the needs of our nation¹s children significantly
limits their potential for success as adults. It will also have a lasting and
negative impact on the economy. While we need to get our nation's fiscal house
in order, there is real danger if we don't do it in a thoughtful, considered
and balanced way. Across-the-board cuts are not the solution. We can't throw
the good out with the bad."
Media Contact: Kristen Barnfield,

The Sequester's Potential Impact on Child Health
Richard E. Rupp
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
"In the state of Texas alone, an estimated 9,730 fewer children will receive
preventative vaccines for disease if the government sequester goes into effect
this Friday. That could have tremendous public health implications and set
back the state's comprehensive vaccine efforts. Texas, a forward-thinking
state in regard to vaccines, devotes valuable funding to ensure effective
childhood immunizations are available largely free of cost. We anticipate any
cuts to these initiatives, both in Texas and to similar programs across the
nation, will greatly affect a family's access to these vaccines. In a day and
age where we have the tools to prevent numerous life-threatening illnesses,
the long-term fallout of such action is unfathomable."
Rupp is professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch at
Galveston and director of clinical trials and clinical research at the
institution's Sealy Center for Vaccine Development. Rupp has more than a
decade of experience working with schools to provide immunizations to students
and improve vaccination rates in children and teens. The Sealy Center for
Vaccine Development at UTMB is one of the most comprehensive vaccine centers
in the United States, with leading programs in vaccine research, development,
policy,  and education.
Media contact: Olivia Goodman,

Contrary to Coverage, Tax Legislation Makes Charitable Giving Advantageous
Harvey Wallace
Managing Member and Co-Founder
Brown Smith Wallace
"Contrary to what you might have heard, in certain situations for high-income
taxpayers, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 actually increases the
benefit for giving to charity. While the budget deal did not create a specific
limitation on deducting charitable contributions, the general limitation on
itemized deductions (the Pease limitation), was brought back and made
permanent. Charitable giving remains a matter of personal choice; however,
your decision should not be based on misguided tax advice or rumor."
Wallace earned the designation Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) from the
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the designation
Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) from the National Association of Certified
Valuation Analysts. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants, Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants, and
National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts. He is based in St.
Louis, Mo.
Media Contact: Nina Kult,

McCutcheon is No Expansion of Citizens United
Chris Gober
Political Legal Consultant
Gober Hilgers PLLC in Dallas
"The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case challenging a federal
restriction on the total amount of money that individuals may contribute to
federal candidates and political committees over a two-year period. Although
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is being criticized as an effort to
expand the 2010 Citizens United decision, striking down the biennial limit
could actually serve to reduce the impact of Citizens United because there
would be less need for super PACs and additional funding would be made
available to political party committees. While contribution limits to
candidates and political committees would remain intact, removing the biennial
limit would allow individuals to contribute to a greater total number of
candidates and committees of their choice. I suspect the Supreme Court will
strike down the biennial limit because it does not address the same level of
quid pro quo concerns that the Court has previously used to justify limits on
direct contributions."
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

FCPA Italiano: Bribery a Concern in Italy, Too
Tom Fox
FCPA and Compliance Ethics Lawyer, Blogger
Tom Fox Law in Houston
"When U.S. corporate executives worry about complying with Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act rules, they usually think about bribes requested in some African
or Latin American country. But Italy should be on the FCPA radar too. Former
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, now running for re-election,
recently gave a troubling television interview stating bribery is a necessary
part of doing business under certain regimes. A compliance practitioner should
watch for tolerance of corruption like this. An ex-prime minister saying such
a thing puts all on notice that something may be amiss. The time is now to
assess risks of doing business in Italy. We've been warned."
Media Contact: Mary Flood,

Exploring the Nuclear Waste Nightmare
Dr. William Alley
Author, "Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste"
In response to the recent leak at the Hanford nuclear reservation in
Washington: "The latest leaking tank at Hanford is yet another reminder that
the United States has no long-term plan for what to do with the 70,000 tons of
spent nuclear fuel and the high-level defense waste scattered across 121 sites
in 39 states. The administration now proposes to start over, this time using a
consent-based approach. [But] with the power to regulate lands, highways,
water, etc., states can be formidable opponents. In spite of this, the new
consent-based plan barely mentions the role of states."
As former chief of the Office of Groundwater for the U.S. Geological Survey,
Alley led the USGS study of the Yucca Mountain site from 2002 until it was
shut down by President Obama in 2010. He and his wife Rosemarie co-authors of
the book, "Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste," are the
go-to experts on the issue of nuclear waste disposal and the surrounding
controversies worldwide. They also have intricate knowledge of the history of
the nuclear waste debate, the problems it is causing around the world, and the
policy nightmare it poses to governments and thousands of affected
communities. They are located in San Diego and are both available for
interviews. You can read their recent article in New Scientist here:
Media Contact: Rachel Ewen,

White House's Strategy to Mitigate the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets
Robert Atkinson
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
"The recent revelation that a major cyberattack campaign on U.S. corporations
may have been orchestrated by the Chinese military is just the latest example
of the use of intellectual property theft to hurt American companies and the
American economy. The development of a national strategy to reduce the theft
of trade secrets by foreign nations or foreign companies will help U.S.
businesses and the workers employed by them." Atkinson is the co-author of the
book "Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage" and the report "The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly of innovation Policy." He is based in Washington,
ProfNet Profile:
Media Contact: William Dube,

Post-Divorce Travel with Kids Can Pose Problems
Jeff Anderson
Family Law Attorney
McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing L.L.P. in Dallas
"One of the most common questions divorcing parents want answered is whether
they or their ex-spouses are allowed to take their child out of the state or
country and, if so, under what circumstances. Divorcing spouses are able to
travel with their kids unless there is an order from the court prohibiting it.
The main prohibition against taking your children outside of the state is if
you're trying to change the child's primary residence. And, of course, if the
travel could put the child in danger, a parent should take quick legal action
to prevent it. The standard is what is in the child's best interest, and that
is always the judge's highest priority. However, regardless of what the judge
has put in writing, common sense tells us to always notify the other parent
when we take children out of the state and certainly out of the country."
Media Contact: Rhonda Reddick,

Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Mohan Ponnudurai
Industry Solutions Director
Sparta Systems
"Boeing is presenting to the FAA a short-term fix to get the 787 Dreamliner
aircraft cleared to fly by April 1. However, the FAA is facing scrutiny for
the original 'special conditions' under which B787 was certified. Therefore, I
am quite skeptical that the FAA would clear the B787 to fly again with mere
procedural changes as interim or short-term fixes." Ponnudurai is a leading
enterprise quality and aerospace expert. He worked as an aerospace and
avionics engineer for more than 12 years, and was recently honored as a "2013
Pro to Know" by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine. He has a bachelor of
engineering in mechanical and aeronautical engineering and an MBA.
Media Contact: Stephanie Beadell,



Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors
and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  oVP and General Manager – Nexstar Broadcasting (VT)
  oInvestment Writer – Kiplinger Washington Editors (DC)
  oReporter – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)

See more listings here.



Following are links to other news and resources we think you might find
useful. If you have an item you think other reporters would be interested in
and would like us to include in a future alert, please drop us a line at

    part of Social Media Week, Muck Rack and the Associated Press hosted a
    panel, "Digital Newsgathering Standards." The discussion centered on
    user-generated content, content verification, and reporting accuracy
    during a time when there is pressure to release news as quickly as
    possible. Panelists included representatives from Sawhorse Media,
    Associated Press, Edelman, and Poynter. You can read a recap of the panel
  oTWEET YOUR WAY TO A FEATURE. Social media has changed the way journalists
    gather and report hard news, and the same holds true for feature
    reporters. Our latest #ConnectChat (our series of Twitter-based chats)
    featured author, adjunct professor and former NY Daily News reporter
    Nicholas Hirshon. You can read a recap of the chat here:
    grammar rules, the proper usage of a semicolon stumps even the most
    seasoned writers and grammatical pros. This week, Cathy Spicer (aka the
    Grammar Hammer) explores the right and wrong ways to use a semicolon:


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