There have been a bunch of developments regarding the Bonner & Associates astroturfing of Rep. Tom Perriello’s office that are worth calling up.
- Bonner & Associates still says that a temp is at fault, and they fired him. They also say that they discovered the fraud, not Perriello.
- Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) is launching a congressional probe of these forgeries, wanting many of the same questions I asked.
- The Sierra Club is already running ads accusing “Dirty-Energy Washington Lobbyists” of being behind this.
- The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity says that they hired Bonner & Associates to astroturf for them, though they describe it as “outreach.” Grist Kate’s Sheppard also points out that article that Bonner & Associates was caught doing the same thing in 2002, forging a letter from a black charity on behalf of PhRMA.
- Think Progress has put together a timeline of Bonner’s 23-year history of astroturfing.
- A former employee of Bonner tells Talking Points Memo’s Zachary Roth that this is just how Bonner & Associates works. They put a huge amount of pressure on badly-paid temps to get signatures from community groups and turn a blind eye when they forge names to meet their quota.
- Paul Blumenthal at the Sunlight Foundation points out that Bonner hasn’t filed a lobbying disclosure form since 2001.