Since most Americans would never dare question the business practices of Washington-area lobbying firms representing big corporate interests, this story may come as a surprise.
The well-known Washington firm Bonner and Associates, which helps organize grassroots-level support in the form of letters, phone calls, or e-mails for its clients' political interests, was called out last Friday for having forged letters arguing against the House energy bill -- passed last month -- under the names of an NAACP community leader and a Latino social services group. The firm sent these nearly identical letters, six in all, to Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello, of Virginia, claiming that the Waxman-Markey climate change bill would devastate lower class families' energy bills.
The firm's founder, Jack Bonner, claimed that it had already fired the "temporary employee" who forged these letters and apologized to the NAACP and Latino groups shortly thereafter.
Once this scandal broke, Congress announced its intention to investigate the firm's business practices to see just how widespread the forgery -- call it "fraud" if you like! -- went, or continues to go.
A total of 12 forged letters -- all appearing to come from local groups unhappy with a climate-change bill -- were sent to three congressional offices this summer by a Washington lobbying firm, according to the pro-coal group the firm was working for.
Since Bonner and Associates only produced "46 or 47" grassroots letters during its stint with the pro-coal group, it is safe to say that the pro-coal group will not be using Fakey McFakealots and Associates much more in its future contracting endeavors.