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K Street Files: Myths Vs. Facts

Correction Appended

With the health care debate in full swing, the nation’s largest seniors’ group has taken to the airwaves over concerns that AstroTurf firms and lobbying groups are taking advantage of seniors in an effort to thwart reform.

[IMGCAP(1)]AARP launched an ad campaign on Aug. 9 to try to dispel what it called health care myths and assert what it says are health care facts. The multimillion-dollar print, television and online ad buy is continuing into September, AARP spokesman Andrew Nannis said.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there, from death panels to rationing— of medical care, Nannis said. “When any misinformation is out there, especially on issues as important as health care, it’s important to step up and correct the record.—

The seniors group is also holding 60 telephone town halls on health care in August and September and has a mailer going out after Labor Day to 8 million people.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is also raising the red flag over seniors who are duped, part of his investigation into letters that a Bonner & Associates employee apparently forged before the June 25 House vote on the Waxman-Markey bill.

Markey uncovered a falsified letter Tuesday purportedly sent on behalf of Charlottesville, Va.-based Senior Center Inc. to Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.).

“We’ve seen fear-mongering with our nation’s senior citizens with health care and now we’re seeing fraud-mongering with senior citizens on clean energy,— Markey said in a statement.

Seeing Green. Crowell & Moring is strengthening its environmental bench, adding seven new attorneys and opening an outpost in Alaska, just as the cap-and-trade debate is about to take center stage in the Senate.

The firm is bringing on five partners from Patton Boggs and two senior hires from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior.

The additions include John Martin, the former co-chairman of Patton Boggs’ environmental group; Michael Bogert, a former senior Department of Energy official and regional administrator of the EPA’s Region 10 office; and Robert Meyers, a former acting assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

Amy Chasanov, Susan Mathiascheck, Kyle Parker and Duane Siler are also joining the firm from Patton Boggs.

Patton Boggs spokeswoman Rebecca Carr said the core of the firm’s environmental practice “remains intact.—

Correction: Aug. 19, 2009

An earlier version of this K Street Files, titled “Connie MackIII Rumored to Be Martinez Replacement,— erroneously implied that Mack was rumored to be the replacement for Sen. Mel Martinez, who has announced he will resign. Mack has been mentioned as one of several possible replacements, and published reports have said that he was not interested.

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