How Many Members Of Congress Does The NRA Own?
When right-wing huckster and NRA president David Keene went on CNN's State of the Union Sunday and boasted to Candy Crowley that Congress will not pass a ban on assault weapons, he was counting on the effect of the $16,147,440 his group spent in federal election in the 2012 election cycle alone to trump the expressed will of the American people. Of the direct legalistic bribes they made to office holders and candidates, 88% went to Republicans and 12% went to Democrats. Aside from the bribes, the NRA spent $10,765,834 in independent expenditures, mostly against Democrats or for Republicans, over $8 million. Never mind that their biggest congressional bets-- so not even counting the $7,126,824 worth of ads they ran against President Obama-- in November were all spectacular losers:
$537,667 for Richard Mourdock (R-IN)Also basically wasted were big PAC to PAC contributions they doled out to the RNC ($45,000), the Romney Victory Fund ($32,000), the NRSC ($30,000) and the Blue Dog PAC ($4,950). Hundreds of thousands were also given directly to the candidates they feel they can count on to be their firewall against the common sense regulations most Americans are clamoring for. That new poll linked above shows a clear plurality of voters believing gun laws are too lax and expecting Congress to do something about it. On the House side scores of congressmembers took big money from the NRA but these are the Members who took the biggest chunks directly from the organization, a pass-through for weapons and ammunition manufacturers:
$318,091 against Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
$210,799 against Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
$163,965 against Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
$141,549 against Tim Kaine (D-VA)
• Mark Amodei (R-NV)- $4,000So when Keene crowed to Crowley Sunday “I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get assault weapons ban through this Congress,” he was holding plenty of chits. Can the NRA beat back the assault against their main source of income?
• Larry Bucshon (R-IN)- $4,000
• Ben Chandler (Blue Dog-KY)- $4,000
• Howard Coble (R-NC)- $4,000
• Tim Griffin (R-AR)- $4,000
• Jeff Miller (R-FL)- $4,000
• Kevin Yoder (R-KS)- $4,000
• Morgan Griffith (R-VA)- $4,150
• Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)- $4,500
• Lamar Smith (R-TX)- $4,500
• Lee Terry (R-NE)- $4,500
• Scott Tipton (R-CO)- $4,500
• John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)- $4,950
• Dan Benishek (R-MN)- $4,950
• Quico Canseco (R-TX)- $4,950
• Tim Holden (Blue Dog-PA)- $4,950
• Steven King (R-IA)- $4,950
• Scott Rigell (R-VA)- $4,950
• Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $4,950
• Heath Shuler (Blue Dog-NC)- $4,950
• Cliff Stearns (R-FL)- $4,950
• Tim Murphy (R-PA)- $5,000
• Hall Rogers (R-KY)- $5,000
• Mike Ross (Blue Dog-AR)- $5,000
• Jon Runyon (R-NJ)- $5,000
• Mike Simpson (R-ID)- $5,000
• John Dingell (D-MI)- $5,000
• Paul Gosar (R-AZ)- $5,950
• Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)- $6,950
• John Carter (R-TX)- $6,950
• Raul Labrador (R-ID)- $7,100
• Eric Cantor (R-VA)- $7,450
• Mike Coffman (R-CO)- $7,450
• Jim Renacci (R-OH)- $9,900
• Steve Fincher (R-TN)- $9,900
Congress is exhibiting new energy to restrict production and sales of certain firearms, with some pro-gun members speaking out for the first time against the spread of assault weapons.
But it’s far from clear if there’s enough support, particularly among Republicans, to approve a broad ban on such type of military-style guns.
“I think we have the possibility, but it’s going to be difficult,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on CNN. He said prospects were better for Congress to push through restrictions on high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks.
Biden met with NRA officials last week as part of his efforts to reach out to all sides on the issue, but Keene described the meeting as disingenuous, saying that the administration had already made up its mind.
Keene insisted that new measures on assault weapons, as well as on high-volume magazines, would be ineffective in preventing gun violence, arguing instead that the focus should be on mentally ill people and curbing their ability to acquire guns.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday sharply disagreed with Keene’s assessment that the current Congress would not take action on assault weapons.
“No, I think he’s wrong,” Murphy said on CNN. Saying that he believed such a ban would have prevented the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Murphy said: “Newtown fundamentally changed things. The NRA doesn’t get this.”