Monday, November 9, 2009

ACCCE undermined "essential trust"

Much has been made over the last few months about the lies and frauds of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). But never have we really talked about the real damage these forged letters and subsequent denials can really cause. Just the simple fact that a group of their stature would even consider these tactics was shocking enough.

In this morning's Roanoke Times, however, Dave Solimini, of the Truman National Security Project penned an op-ed, with quotes from a particularly important legislator.

In his piece, Solimini details the situation, telling how quick the "big fish" were to point fingers at "an easily sacrificed small fry." He then also pointed out, however, that "none of the bigger fish tried to notify the targeted congressman until after the House voted on the bill." The bill, The American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed 219-212.

The main target of this fraud, Virginia Representative Tom Perriello, cast an "aye" vote.

But the attempted influence on Rep. Perriello was akin to identity theft (from the Roanoke Times):
"Stealing the names and reputations of community organizations and using them to pressure elected officials, though, is particularly poisonous to civic life -- in this case, a sneaky attack by corporate interests on the communication that needs to take place between government and governed."
At the recent hearings by the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Rep. Perriello was a witness, with a lesson for those who's credibility was being questioned (quoted in the Roanoke Times):
"Forgery and identity theft in attempting to influence members of Congress not only does a disservice to those who support the legislation, but also to those who oppose it. If members of Congress have to view voices of opposition with suspicion or doubt, it hurts the opposition's cause and our national debate as a whole. ... 'Astroturf' campaigns and the expanding corporate capture of government are not healthy for our democracy."
And so we were reminded one of those age-old bedrocks of morality we learn as children: that cheaters never prosper.

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