In the wake of the forged letters scandal involving lobbyists for the coal industry, D.C. astroturf firm Bonner & Associates claimed to have reached out to Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) and several Virginia charities whose names appeared on the fraudulent letters. It turns out that Bonner never contacted Rep. Perriello or at least three of the groups it claimed to have informed about the letter forgery episode.
Bonner & Associates’ attorney Steven R. Ross of Akin Gump wrote in an August 12 letter to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming that Bonner took immediate action in late June once it learned of the scandal, which it has blamed on a rogue temporary employee. Ross stated in the letter that Bonner left messages with Perriello’s office on July 1st and that “on July 13, B&A staff succeeded in directly speaking with congressional staff for Rep. Perriello.”
But the Charlottesville Daily Progress reports that Rep. Perriello’s press secretary, Jessica Barba, has confirmed that Bonner & Associates never contacted Perriello’s office. “I asked everybody in our office, did anybody hear anything from them about this?” Barba said. “They hadn’t. Nobody in our office ever talked to them.”
This is a guest post by Gus Van Harten, professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and author of Sold Down the Yangtze: Canada's Lopsided Investment Deal with China. This post originally...