Monday, October 05, 2015

What Can You Do About Congressmen Who Take Cash From The NRA And Vote For Its Deadly Agenda?


A national poll from Quinnipiac in July came up with some startling results: 92% of respondents favor background checks for all gun purchases, and that includes 86% of Republicans. 90% of independents and 91% of Democrats also support Congress passing laws preventing people with mental illness from purchasing guns. I'm not even sure why I referred to those results as "startling." Two decades ago, on May 3, 1995, then-President George H.W. Bush sent a letter of resignation to the NRA because of the dangerous extremism of Wayne LaPierre, the group's executive vice president, a position he still holds.

The NRA has successfully prevented any votes on gun legislation to come to the floor of the House since early 2011, and that was an amendment by Blue Dog NRA shill Dan Boren (OK) to prevent federal agencies from even investigating gun crimes committed with semi-automatic weapons. It passed 277-149, with 41 mostly conservative Democrats joining 236 Republicans. Most of the Democrats voting with the NRA and GOP that day have since been driven out of Congress, but 18 are still members and I want to mention three of them.

One, Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), is now the chairman of the DCCC and decides who to recruit for congressional seats and which candidates and incumbents to support and which to ignore. I know DWT readers sometimes wonder why the DCCC spends almost its entire budget on conservative candidates and actively discourages and sabotages most progressives. Just add this tidbit to the long list of reasons. And, by the way, the NRA sent Luján a $1,000 check for his support that year.

Another was Kurt Schrader of Oregon, currently chair of the Blue Dogs, and a proud recipient of NRA cash year after year. Voters in Milwaukie and the suburbs south of Portland, as well as in Beavercreek, Salem, Tillamook and throughout the Willamette Valley, ought to reconsider the support they've been giving Schrader in light of the mass murder at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg south along the 5 Freeway from his district. Without NRA shills in the Democratic Party like Schrader joining with the Republicans to protect and bolster the NRA agenda year after year, those students would still be alive today. As you can see in the new video from Brave New Films above, Schrader was one of the members of Congress they focused on as a recipient of NRA blood money.

And the third NRA-Democrat I want to mention is another Blue Dog, Henry Cuellar of Texas. A primary reason gun legislation never gets to the House floor is because it gets killed in committee. Here's a roll call from just a few months ago, June 24, 2015. It was an Appropriations Committee vote on a proposal by Nita Lowey (D-NY) to overturn an NRA legislative victory that prohibits funding for any Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research on gun violence. It was defeated 32-19.

At the time Lowey said, "When it comes to gun violence, this committee won’t give one dime for the CDC to conduct research on something that is killing Americans by the thousands." The Republicans' report stated that the reason the proposal was voted down was because "the restriction is to prevent activity that would undertake activities (to include data collection) for current or future research, including under the title 'gun violence prevention,' that could be used in any manner to result in a future policy, guidelines, or recommendations to limit access to guns, ammunition, or to create a list of gun owners."

As you can see in the roll call below, every single Republican voted NO. And almost all the Democrats voted for it. There were two exceptions: Henry Cuellar, once routinely referred to as George W. Bush's favorite Democrat, and Sanford Bishop, a right-wing Georgia Blue Dog who gets thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, endorsements and "A" ratings from the NRA-- in a black-majority district in southwest Georgia (Macon, Albany and Columbus) which Obama won with 59% of the vote against Romney.

Most of the House Democrats taking NRA blood money have been defeated-- either, like Tim Holden, in primaries where their NRA connection was a factor, or in general elections, like John Barrow, in which Democrats refused to keep backing them. Currently there are only five House Democrats still on the NRA blood-money payroll: Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA), Kurt Schrader (Blue Dog-OR), Timothy Walz (MN) and Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX).

And if you missed Libby Isenstein's NationalJournal report at the end of August, The States With The Most Gun Laws See The Fewest Gun-Related Deaths, it's something worth reading... if only so you'll have the ammo to beat your Hate Talk Radio addicted brother-in-law over the head with. And take a look at P.G. Sittenfeld's new video about the NRA. P.G. is running against two NRA shills, incumbent Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democrat Ted Strickland, both of whom have careers completely intertwined with the NRA's gun fanaticism.

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