Waxman-Markey Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Select Committee, 202-225-4012

Waxman-Markey Forged Letter Investigation Update: 5 More Letters Revealed, Dozens Still Must be Verified

Faked Letters From Elderly Services and Senior Centers; Chairman Markey Demands Full Review of Remaining Letters

WASHINGTON (August 18, 2009) – A Congressional investigation has discovered five new letters fraudulently sent without consent to Congress on a key energy and climate vote. These new letters purport to represent elderly services organizations and senior centers.

Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the letters today as part of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming’s ongoing investigation into the extent of fraudulent letters sent by Bonner & Associates — a so-called “astroturf” group subcontracted by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity — to influence members of Congress on the recently-passed Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill.

The five letters revealed today brings the total number of fraudulent letters to 13, now representing 9 different community groups. The letters released today were staged to appear as if they were sent by groups representing senior citizen services like the non-profit Erie Center on Health & Aging. Previous letters already made public were from the Charlottesville NAACP chapter, Creciendo Juntos, a hispanic advocacy organization, the Jefferson Area Board on Aging, and the American Association of University Women.

The letters released today are also the first set to show that letters were sent to Pennsylvania members Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) and Christopher Carney (D-Pa.), along with Tom Perriello (D-Va.). A full list of all the letters, with links to copies of the documents, is included below.

“We’ve seen fear-mongering with our nation’s senior citizens with health care, and now we’re seeing fraud-mongering with senior citizens on clean energy,” said Chairman Markey. “Lately, democratic debate has been deceptively debased by fake facts and harsh rhetoric. We must return to an honest discussion of the issues, and ensure that this sort of campaign does not further poison the well of trustworthy debate.”

The letters were sent to the Select Committee in response to investigatory letters to Bonner & Associates and ACCCE. Dozens of letters still remain that must be verified as genuine or false–all told, 58 letters were sent to the three members of Congress. Chairman Markey has called on ACCCE and Bonner & Associates to fully verify whether the remaining several dozen letters were sent under false pretenses, or if they represent the views of the signers.

Below is a list of all fraudulent letters now received by the Select Committee:

Perriello:
Senior Center Inc., Charlottesville, VA
Creciendo Juntos, Charlottesville, VA [previously made public]
Jefferson Area Board on Aging, Charlottesville, VA [previously made public]
American Association of University Women, Charlottesville, VA [previously made public]
NAACP-Charlottesville, Charlottesville, VA [5 letters] [previously made public]
NAACP-1, NAACP-2, NAACP-3, NAACP-4, NAACP-5

Dahlkemper:
Slippery Rock Senior Center, Slippery Rock, PA
Erie Center on Health & Aging, Eire, PA
Butler Senior Center, Lyndora, PA

Carney:
Dunmore Senior Citizens’ Center, Dunmore, PA