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Congressional Panel Looks Into Fake Letters Sent To Congress Members

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A congressional panel is looking into fake letters sent to Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.), urging him to vote against a landmark clean-energy bill.

Perriello, a Democrat representing Virginia's 5th district, received 13 of the bogus letters. They went to two other congressmen as well. The letters were falsified to appear as though they were sent by community groups, including a local chapter of the NAACP and a seniors group among others.

But the Charlottesville Daily Progress newspaper reports the actual sender was working for a lobbying firm hired by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coal-industry group. The firm, Bonner and Associates, has said the temporary staffer responsible was fired immediately after the forgeries were discovered.

The letters urged opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the so-called cap and trade bill. It wound up passing in the House by a slim margin. The hearing before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is set for Thursday.

Matt McCleskey reports...

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