"Congressman Demands Answers on Forged Letters"

"A congressional chairman is demanding answers from a coal group about forged letters criticizing major climate legislation that were sent to three congressional offices ahead of the vote.

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity has acknowledged that the firm it hired through a subcontractor, Bonner & Associates, sent 12 forged letters purportedly from local nonprofit groups to the congressional offices.

In a letter Wednesday, Rep. Ed Markey, chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, demanded to know when the congressional offices were notified of the faked letters.

Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and one of the climate bill's primary sponsors, noted that a 'background document' put out by the coal group said it was first informed about the situation on June 24 -- two days before the House narrowly approved the legislation. He said the group 'chose to remain silent' until after the vote."

Frederic J. Frommer reports for the Associated Press August 5, 2009.

See Also:

Markey Wants Answers (Grist)

"Blame Game Continues" (Grist)

"Uproar over 'Astroturfing'" (Grist)

Bonner Has Decades-Long Astroturf Record (Think Progress)

Bonner Hasn't Filed Lobbying Disclosure Report Since 2001: Group (Sunlight Foundation)

Where Did Forged Letters Come From? (Tapped)

Sierra Club Asks Attorney General for Criminal Investigation (Treehugger)

"Former Employee: Bonner 'Just Got Caught This Time'" (TPM Muckraker)

"Bonner's White-Collar Sweatshop" (TPM Muckraker)

Thursday, August 6, 2009