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Date: June 16, 2010 From: Jason Haap, Cincinnati Beacon To: email@example.com, Chip@senatorchiprogers.com, firstname.lastname@example.org cc: Jon Rogers (Chief of Staff), Susan Henry (Legislative Assistant), James Dustin Baker (Georgia Liberal blog) Subject: media inquiry The Hon. Chip Rogers Capitol Office 314 B Coverdell Office Building Atlanta, GA 30334 Dear Senator Rogers, We haven't received a reply to the questions we e-mailed to you and to your brother Jon on June 7 and June 12 respectively: 1) On April 6, the Georgia Liberal blog reported that PCRM has identified you as their organization's Director of Government Affairs: http://galiberal.com/?p=9773 What date did you assume that position and who do you report to at PCRM? 2) Have you ever had a financial relationship with PCRM or any representatives of the organization? If so, would you please provide details? 3) From a letter you sent to Georgia Liberal, published in their April 6 article: Let me start by thanking you for bringing to my attention accusations about PCRM I have never read or knew anything about....In light of what you have presented I will take a serious look inside the overall organization and its history. If what you have presented is in fact true, I will no longer assist the organization. Would you please provide the details of your subsequent review? Did you discuss your concerns with any PCRM representatives and, if so, who were they? Did you decide to continue or terminate your relationship with PCRM? Whichever decision you made, would you please detail your reasons for doing so? 4) Are you registered as a lobbyist? If so, in which state(s)? Please feel free to provide any additional information you wish to submit. In the interests of providing you with additional relevant information, I'd like to respond this suggestion made by your brother in his June 12 e-mail: By the nature of your question, it would appear you are researching the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. My suggestion would be to contact them directly.
As it happens, for months the Beacon has made numerous good faith efforts to obtain a variety of information from your colleagues at PCRM: founder/president Neal Barnard MD; Andrew Weil MD, medical advisory board member; Elizabeth Kucinich, Director of Public Affairs; John J. Pippin MD, Senior Medical and Research Adviser; and Jeanne Stuart McVey, Media Relations Manager. Most of our correspondence may be found here: http://www.scribd.com/document_collections/2555909 As you can see, when we first contacted these individuals (or in Dr. Weil's case, his representative), nearly all enthusiastically agreed to answer questions for our article. But after we sent our questions, all of which were reasonable, all nearly failed to respond. The one exception was Dr. Barnard, who answered with a two-sentence brush-off that ignored all our questions. You may also wish to review this December 11, 2009 Beacon story about our correspondence with PCRM's Director of Diabetes Education and Care, Caroline Trapp MSN. As you can see, after agreeing to answer our questions, Ms. Trapp provided us with information that turned out to be false. When we subsequently asked her to explain why she provided false information, she failed to respond: http://bit.ly/6yZQCz Such behavior by physician executives and other senior staff working at an established, highprofile, multi-million dollar medical organization has been unexpected. In contrast, your letter to Georgia Liberal (published on April 6) in which you declared your intention to investigate concerns about PCRM was extremely responsive. With that in mind, this e-mail is a final attempt to provide you with every opportunity to respond to our questions. We look forward to receiving your answers by end of the day Friday, June 18. If you need more time, please advise. If we don't hear from you by then, our understanding will be that you don't intend to answer our questions. In the event that you're not near a computer and may miss this before Firday, I'm courtesycopying your staff. On his request, I'm also cc'ing James Dustin Baker of Georgia Liberal. Thank you for your continued attention and we look forward to your reply. Sincerely, Jason Haap The Cincinnati Beacon
cc: Jon Rogers, Chief of Staff Susan Henry, Legislative Assistant James Dustin Baker, Georgia Liberal