Congressional investigators have found yet another forged letter to a lawmaker — purporting to be from a local group, but really sent by the DC astroturf lobbying firm Bonner & Associates on behalf of a coal industry client — criticizing climate change legislation. That brings the known total to fourteen, sent to at least three different members of Congress.
The new letter is on the letterhead of an American Legion post in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Like many of the others, it was sent to Rep. Tom Perriello. It asks the Democratic congressman to “make sure the Waxman-Markey bill includes provisions to promote American energy independence, while protecting already cash-strapped constituents from increases in electricity prices.” It concludes, “Thank you for listening to concerns of vets in your district.”You can see the letter here.
A spokesman for the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which is probing the forged letters, told the Washington Post: “We have confirmed [that the letter is fake] directly with the person whose name was forged.”
A spokeswoman for the coal group on whose behalf Bonner was working, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, told the Post that it had brought the letter to the committee’s attention, but that it couldn’t confirm that the letter was forged, even after talking to the person whose signature is on it!
Bonner has blamed the forged letters on a temporary employee.
Late Update: Charles Santrock, the American Legion official whose name is on the letter, tells TPMmuckraker that he never signed on to ACCCE campaign, or spoke with anyone about the issue. He adds that the signature on the letter, which he was shown by congressional investigators, does not match his signature.