Within hours, Chairman Ed Markey's Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming announced an investigation into Bonner's activities to determine "the extent and scope of this activity." Soon after, the Sierra Club urged the Department of Justice to conduct their own investigation.
Yesterday, Energy & Environment Daily reported that the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) employed Bonner to do "limited outreach," just not the illegal kind of outreach. Pete Altman at NRDC's Switchboard blog had already flagged issues with ACCCE's lobbying expenditures:
This makes our discovery that ACCCE changed their lobby disclosure report for the 2nd quarter of this year even more interesting. As I mentioned in that post, ACCCE initially reported a whopping $11,317,625 for lobbying on climate issues in the US House and Senate (Original PDF here); then four days later ACCCE submitted a revised report, showing just $544,853 in lobbying expenses (Amended PDF here.)If you had a feeling that the mischief didn't end with Mr. Perriello, it seems you actually did pick something up from those pesky kids. E&E reports today (subscription required) that multiple instances of forged letters have been identified:
That's over $10.5 million that ACCCE suddenly realized it didn't want to report as direct lobbying. At first, we figured that must have been tv advertising. But now we have to wonder - maybe that money has something to do with Bonner and Associates?
The lobbying firm that sent forged letters opposing the House climate bill to at least three members of Congress was working on behalf of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, one of the top Washington, D.C.-based coal industry advocacy groups.One has to wonder, though: to what extent can Mr. Perriello take his "constituents'" criticisms seriously?
A total of 12 forged letters were sent out to three House Democrats -- Reps. Tom Perriello of Virginia and Kathy Dahlkemper and Chris Carney of Pennsylvania. Both Carney and Dahlkemper voted against the House climate bill (H.R. 2454), while Perriello supported the measure and has faced a storm of criticism from Washington Republicans and some constituents in the wake of its passage.
At this point, saying "more to come" would appear to be an understatement.