Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bonner/ACCCE Hearing: Don't Worry, No One Will Ever Fact-Check This!

That must have been part of the conversation Bonner & Associates President Jack Bonner and ACCCE President Steve Miller had on their way into the Congressional hearing on forged letters sent to elected officials in opposition to the Waxman-Markey clean energy and climate bill.

No, really, they must have thought that no one was interested in watching the hearing or fact-checking anything Bonner or Miller said at a hearing that looked into... well, flagrant dishonesty on the part of Bonner's and Miller's organizations.

But alas, we fact-checkers are here, and we were watching.

Whopper #1: Steve Miller Claims ACCCE Never Opposed Waxman-Markey Bill

Really? Seriously? This press release looks an awful lot like opposition:

The House did make important improvements to H.R. 2998. However, ACCCE cannot support this bill, as it is written, because the legislation still does not adequately protect consumers and the domestic economy or ensure that the American people can continue to enjoy the benefits of affordable, reliable electricity, which has been so important to our nation.
So, too, does the fact that they went out of the way to correct an article written about Waxman-Markey to reflect their opposition to the bill.

Clarification: This story was changed to state that ACCCE opposed Waxman-Markey. An ACCCE spokeswoman in an interview Wednesday said that ACCCE was not opposed to Waxman-Markey but later in the day said that was an error and ACCCE at the time of the vote opposed the bill.
In case that wasn't enough, Stevie "Wonder what else I can get away with?" Miller had another one for the Committee.

Whopper #2: ACCCE Never Engaged in Federal Lobbying Before 2008

That would be true, if changing your name magically meant that your past disappeared completely. Unfortunately it doesn't, so ACCCE's federal lobbying activities since 2001, back when it called itself Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, still count. Via TPM:

Online records show lobby spending by Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) -- the name that ACCCE previously used -- going back to 2001.

Maybe Miller is hanging his statement on the claim that ACCCE and ABEC are different organizations. But if so, that would be so misleading as to almost constitute an outright lie.
***UPDATE: See a video of this whopper here.***
According to the Steve Miller theory of interchangeable identities, I could rob a bank, legally change my name to Max Power, and get off scott free. Now that'd be sweet!

Call us crazy, but members of ACCCE's legal team might be spending a little time today doing some fact-checking of their own.

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