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Letter from Phil Radford to Senator Schumer-1

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Letter from Phil Radford to Senator Schumer-1 Powered By Docstoc
					

























































                        




























 































702
H
Street,
NW,
Suite
300,
Washington,
DC
20001


             
            
             

Tel:
202­462­1177

•

Fax:
202­462­4507






















             
            
             





December
3,
2009



Senator
Charles
Schumer

Senate
Committee
on
Rules
and
Administration

305
Russell
Senate
Of>ice
Building

Washington,
DC
20510





Dear
Senator
Schumer,



As
you
may
know,
on
Tuesday,
December
1st,
Newsweek
Magazine
and
the
American

Petroleum
Institute
(API)
co‐sponsored
a
controversial
“forum”
in
the
Mans>ield

Room
(S‐207)
in
the
US
Capitol
Building.
According
to
the
admission
of
public

relations
staff
at
Newsweek
and
several
news
accounts,
API
paid
Newsweek
enough

to
make
the
trade
group
eligible
to
co‐sponsor
an
“Executive
Forum.”
As
part
of

API’s
advertising
deal
with
Newsweek,
the
group’s
President,
registered
lobbyist

Jack
Gerard,
was
granted
the
only
non‐governmental
seat
on
the
panel
aside
from
a

Newsweek
editor.




After
reviewing
the
Senate
Rules
governing
events
held
at
the
US
Capitol,
I
believe

this
forum
violated
the
guidelines
governing
events
held
in
the
Senate
Wing
of
the

US
Capitol
or
in
Senate
of>ice
buildings.
I
am
writing
to
urge
you
to
investigate
this

matter
and
share
the
>indings
of
that
investigation
with
the
public.
Additionally,
I

hope
you
will
consider
the
greater
impact
that
this
type
of
conduct
could
have
on

the
public’s
perception
of
the
United
States
Congress.
The
United
States
Capitol
is

not
a
convention
center
with
rooms
available
to
the
lobbyist
who
signs
the
largest

check,
nor
is
it
a
venue
for
any
private,
pro>it‐making
company
to
promote
its

product.




The
Senate
Committee
on
Rules
and
Administration
provides
clear
guidance
for

events
held
in
taxpayer‐funded
facilities
like
the
Capitol:



              Commercial,
Promotional
or
ProEit
Making
Events

              *
Booking
and
use
of
Senate
space
for
any
commercial,
promotional,
or

              pro>it‐making
purpose
is
strictly
prohibited.

              

              *
No
signs,
placards,
photographs,
brochures
or
pamphlets
displaying
a

              group
or
company
name
or
logo
are
permitted.

              

       *
No
products
or
services
may
be
promoted
or
sold
on
the
premises.
No

       promotional
material
may
be
distributed
on
the
premises.

       

Several
members
of
my
staff
attended
the
“forum”
and
provided
the
details
below

that
prove
that
this
event
was
beyond
the
pale
of
acceptable
conduct
within
the

walls
of
the
US
Capitol.
You
will
>ind
attached
with
this
letter
documentation
of

many
of
the
claims
made
below.




The
“forum”,
which
was
moderated
by
Newsweek
columnist
Howard
Fineman,

featured
a
panel
that
included
Gerard
and
three
members
of
Congress:
Senator

Byron
Dorgan,
Representative
Edward
Markey
and
Representative
Fred
Upton.

Other
members
of
Congress
and
their
staff
also
attended
the
“forum”,
which

included
food,
wine,
and
beer
as
refreshments,
the
cost
of
which
was
presumably

covered
by
API’s
package
deal.
Despite
the
Senate
rule
banning
promotional

materials
and
company
names
and
logos,
the
Mans>ield
room
was
covered
in

brochures,
signs
and
other
materials
that
outwardly
promoted
API,
Newsweek
and

the
magazine’s
advertisers.
Examples
include:




    • At
the
beginning
of
the
“forum”
each
seat
was
covered
by
an
API
brochure

       that
featured
the
group’s
logo
and
included
the
tagline
“America's
oil
and

       natural
gas
industry
supports
over
9
million
jobs.
One
of
them
may
be

       yours."



    • Newsweek
provided
every
attendee
with
copies
of
its
magazine
and
other

       materials
that
included
paid
advertisements.


    • Posters
located
at
the
front
of
the
room
and
at
the
entrance
to
the
Mans>ield

       room
included
both
Newsweek’s
and
API’s
corporate
logos.


These
materials
appear
to
be
in
clear
violation
of
the
rules
banning
promotional

material
in
the
Senate
wing
of
the
Capitol
and
Senate
of>ice
buildings.
I
hope
you

share
my
shock
that
API
was
permitted
to
pay
Newsweek
for
the
opportunity
to

directly
in>luence
members
of
Congress
and
their
staff
with
brochures
and
other

information
just
steps
from
the
Senate
>loor.
It
is
equally
disturbing
that
Newsweek

was
permitted
to
use
the
room
in
the
>irst
place
and
to
distribute
copies
of
the

publication,
which
included
numerous
advertisements.




As
you
and
your
colleagues
debate
energy
and
climate
legislation
that
could
put
our

nation
on
the
course
to
a
new
clean
energy
economy,
I
hope
you
agree
that
it
is

critically
important
to
ensure
that
no
lobbyist
or
interest
group
is
able
to
buy
special

“pay‐to‐play”
access
to
in>luence
members
or
their
staff.
This
“Executive
Forum”

clearly
violated
the
“letter
of
the
law”
governing
events
at
the
US
Capitol
and
it

threatens
to
undermine
Congress’s
credibility
as
faithful
stewards
of
the
public

trust.



Finally,
it
is
worth
noting
that
members
of
my
staff
attempted
to
ask
Mr.
Gerard
on

camera
about
API’s
>inancial
relationship
to
Newsweek
regarding
this
event
and
he

repeatedly
refused.




I
hope
that
your
three
committees
will
investigate
this
matter
and
inform
the
public

about
these
troubling
violations
of
Congressional
rules
and
ethics
laws.

Sincerely,




                         

Phil
Radford

Greenpeace
Executive
Director



Encl:
Two
Photos
of
Newsweek
and
API
promotional
materials



CC:
Jack
Gerard,
American
Petroleum
Institute

Jon
Meacham,
Newsweek
Magazine

Sen.
Byron
Dorgan

Rep.
Edward
Markey

Rep.
Fred
Upton

Sen.
Robert
Bennett


				
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