By Kathy Smiley
WASHINGTON (Eastern Colorado News) — An Armenian advocacy group is ratcheting up pressure on a local U.S. congressman, accusing him of being influenced by lobbyists for the Turkish government and calling for him to redirect certain campaign contributions to charity.
Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Golden, raised the ire of Colorado American Armenians last spring when he declined to cosponsor a House resolution recognizing that the Ottoman Turkish Empire committed genocide against Armenians from 1915 to 1923. The congressman, who represents the 7th Congressional District, has been a longstanding supporter of the Armenian cause, including cosponsoring the previous congressional session’s resolution, which is identical to the current version.
House Resolution 252, “Calling upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide and for other purposes, “was introduced March 17 with 135 cosponsors. It was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The resolution states the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians of whom 1.5 million were killed.
A “Timeline on Perlmutter and the Armenian Genocide” prepared by the Rocky Mountain Hye Advocates, an American-Armenian nonpartisan citizens group, states that in June 2009, “The Associated Press unveiled congressional contributions by military corporations lobbying for Turkey aimed at derailing the Armenian Genocide resolution. RMHA research discovers details of contributions to Perlmutter from two of these corporations.”
An October 23 RMHA press release called for an explanation from the Congressman.
Perlmutter denies allegations of influence-peddling.