DP.com: Forged letters to congressman anger local groups

Now this should anger you too. Seems as if a lobbying firm is astroturfing their grassroots in targeting Congressman Perriello:

In a letter notifying Perriello’s office about the matter, Freilich said he was “offended” by Hegyi’s characterization of the forged letter as a “mistake.”

“This was not a ‘mistake,’” wrote Freilich, who is also legal director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center. “This was a deliberately and carefully forged letter that used the logo, address and name of Creciendo Juntos without authorization. Additionally, I understand from Ms. Hegyi that our organization was not the only Charlottesville-area organization whose reputations were used in an unauthorized manner to try to influence Congressman Perriello on this particular vote.”

After being notified of the bogus Creciendo Juntos letter, staffers in Perriello’s office realized that the wording of the letter sounded familiar.

The staffers dug through the stacks of thousands of letters, e-mails and faxes Perriello received about the bill — the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 — and found five more forged letters, these purportedly from the Albemarle-Charlottesville branch of the NAACP.

M. Rick Turner, president of the local NAACP branch, said he checked his organization’s roster and found none of the five people who signed their name to the five faked letters.

Now that’s ridiculous… “mistake” isn’t enough.

UPDATE: Waldo Jaquith piles on:

This is just an evil thing to do. Such missives from constituents are important to legislators. They shouldn’t have to question whether those letter-writers actually represent the organizations that they claim to represent (or even exist). The amount of work that would necessary to verify such communications would be enormous, a huge waste of government resources. Can you imagine if Perriello had been moved to vote against this bill because of one of these letters—and if his vote was the deciding vote—only to later find out that this group that he knows and trusts felt completely the opposite about the issue? I have to wonder if laws aren’t being broken here. If this isn’t illegal, it should be.

I believe we have a name for this sort of misrepresentation — fraud.

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