After DC lobbying firm Bonner and Associates reportedly sent a series of forged letters to members of Congress opposing Democratic cap-and-trade emissions legislation (part of its lobbying effort as a sub-subcontractor for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity), environmental groups and other climate legislation backers have opened a tip line for forgeries and other such anti-cap-and-trade skulduggery.
The National Wildlife Federation, the American Association of University Women, the Sierra Club, Center for American Progress Action Fund, and NAACP (whose Albemarle-Charlottesville chapter was impersonated in one of the letters, as was Creciendo Juntos) launched the tip line today. From National Wildlife Federation's press release:
Citizens calling 866-363-4648 will have the option of reporting if they themselves were a victim of a forged letter or have knowledge of one; if they have knowledge of or witnessed an event staged by the American Petroleum Institute or oil and coal interests under the guise of being a true citizen-grassroots event; if they were coerced to attend such an event or denied access to one; if they are energy company employees or contractors and want to leave a tip about unethical or possible illegal activity or if they want to report other instances of fraud or deceptive tactics including misleading ads, mailing, or calls they may have received.
Citizens can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff from NWF, NAACP or Center for American Progress Action Fund will review all tips that come in and take appropriate follow-up action.
The American Petroleum Institute wasn't related to the letters case; NWF has accused it of recently launching an anti-climate-legislation "front group."
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming who received one of the letters, is investigating...we'll see if any previously unsuspecting nonprofit groups come forward with leads.