Congressional investigators on Thursday uncovered yet another forged letter sent to a House Democrat purportedly from a local nonprofit but actually from a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm urging opposition to controversial climate change legislation.
The discovery means that at least 14 fraudulent letters were sent by Bonner & Associates, a subcontractor for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, to at least three different House Members in an effort to sway their votes on the climate change bill before it narrowly passed the House in June. All three Members represent swing districts and two are freshmen.
The fake letters are surfacing as part of an investigation by the Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee. Jeff Sharp, a committee spokesman, confirmed that the new letter sent to freshman Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) was forged by Bonner and ACCCE.
The letter carries letterhead from an American Legion post in Rocky Mount, Va., which is in Perriello's district. It urges the Democratic lawmaker, who unseated a Republican incumbent in one of last cycles biggest upsets, to make sure the climate change bill has provisions to protect already cash-strapped constituents from increases in electricity prices.
It concludes, Thank you for listening to concerns of vets in your district.
Sharp said the committee reached out and made contact with the American Legion post and confirmed that the letter was fake directly with the person whose name was forged.
The committee is continuing to review suspect letters it was provided by Bonner and ACCCE. In addition, said Sharp, investigators are looking for irregularities in anything related to [ACCCE] campaign materials.
Other lawmakers who received letters from Bonner include Pennsylvania Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper (D) and Christopher Carney (D). Bonner maintains that the forged letters were sent out by a temporary employee who is no longer employed by the firm.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.