Letters sent to a member of the House of Representatives, under the guise of the NACCP and Hispanic advocacy groups opposing the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, were forged, according to various news reports.
The letters, sent to the office of freshman Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello, featured practically identical language, and were signed by a non-existent member of Latino group Creciendo Juntos, as well as five fake members of the Albemarle-Charlottesville branch of the NAACP, reports the Associated Press.
The letters were sent by Bonner & Associates, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., co-sponsor of the bill, is seizing on the headlines in order to begin an investigation by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “This fraud on Congress shows that some opponents of clean energy have resorted to forgery and theft to block progress,” Markey said, in a statement.
While Perriolo initially considered the ramifications of the letters, in the end he voted for the climate bill, a move that the Republican Party took him to task for, saying he showed an “utter lack of concern” for middle-class families he served.
Bonner & Associates has apologized to the groups whose identities it absconded, blaming the problem on a temporary employee.