The Dernogalizer

July 31, 2009

Scandal Brewing: Letters to Local Congressman opposing Climate Action were Forged

There’s a scandal brewing around letters sent from minority organizations in Virginia to Congressman Tom Perriello opposing the American Clean Energy and Security Act which was passed in the House in June.  Turns out the letters were forged! I had already heard that many of the phone calls made opposing climate action were coming from out of district, but this goes way beyond ordinary gimmickry.  This could potentially spell legal ramifications regarding trademark fraud, trademark violations, and false representation.  Two of the forged letters are claiming to represent the NAACP and Creciendo Juntos.  Legal action should definitely be pursued, and this can make for some great publicity of how shallow and corrupt the opposition to climate action is.  A good summary of the culprits and fallout.  Here are some notable excerpts from the article.

Update: Also, see the recent John Kerry statement on this.

Update:  Congressman Ed Markey announces investigation

“They stole our name. They stole our logo. They created a position title and made up the name of someone to fill it. They forged a letter and sent it to our congressman without our authorization,” said Tim Freilich, who sits on the executive committee of Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit network that tackles issues related to Charlottesville’s Hispanic community. “It’s this type of activity that undermines Americans’ faith in democracy.”

“This was not a ‘mistake,’” wrote Freilich, who is also legal director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center. “This was a deliberately and carefully forged letter that used the logo, address and name of Creciendo Juntos without authorization. Additionally, I understand from Ms. Hegyi that our organization was not the only Charlottesville-area organization whose reputations were used in an unauthorized manner to try to influence Congressman Perriello on this particular vote.”

M. Rick Turner, president of the local NAACP branch, said he checked his organization’s roster and found none of the five people who signed their name to the five faked letters.

“I am very appalled as the president that our organization has been misrepresented in this way by this bogus … letter,” Turner said. “I hope that whoever’s behind this will be brought to justice.”  In fact, Turner said, the NAACP supports the American Clean Energy and Security Act, as he said it would create good-paying jobs for blacks and reduce harmful emissions, particularly in urban areas.  “Clean energy creates jobs in the urban setting,” he said

“It’s very unfortunate that opponents of this bill would resort to deception and made-up letters,” she said. “Spreading false information is not healthy for real debate in our democracy. Congressman Perriello voted in favor of the bill because of its potential to create clean energy jobs, which is why the NAACP and many other groups supported the legislation in the first place.”

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4 Comments »

  1. […] noted a few days ago that a scandal was brewing when it was discovered that letters from local groups given to Congressman Tom Perriello opposing […]

    Pingback by The Scandal gets even Better! « The Dernogalizer — August 3, 2009 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

  2. […] evolving parts one and two appear to only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this scandal.  EnviroKnow has a […]

    Pingback by Now it’s up to 3 members of Congress Receiving Fraud Letters Paid for by Big Coal « The Dernogalizer — August 4, 2009 @ 12:49 am | Reply

  3. […] and the coal companies have had a scandal with forged interest group letters that had gotten better, and better, and better, and better….and better. […]

    Pingback by Coal Industry Fires Bonner, Oil Companies do Serious Astroturfing « The Dernogalizer — August 21, 2009 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

  4. […] coal companies have had a scandal with forged interest group letters that had gotten better, and better, and better, and better….and better. […]

    Pingback by And Better… « The Dernogalizer — August 29, 2009 @ 2:49 pm | Reply


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