Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Democratic Party Unity, The NRA, The DCCC And Mary Ellen Balchunis


As we mentioned yesterday, the head of the DSCC, Jon Tester, was one of 3 Democrats-- the other two being NRA shills Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin-- to have crossed the aisle and voted with the Republicans to defeat an amendment by Chris Murphy that aimed to expand background checks on gun sales to include sales at gun shows and on the Internet. The Senate also failed to pass a proposal to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists, a huge victory for gun manufacturing lobbyists, who have spent $1,776,541 this cycle so far, bribing legislators ($1,732,800 have gone to Republicans and $43,741 to right-wing Democrats). The dozen biggest recipients of gun industry bribes so far in the cycle:
Ted Cruz (R-TX)- $159,856
Rand Paul (R-KY)- $70,531
Marco Rubio (R-FL)- $44,480
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)- $34,000
Ron Johnson (R-WI)- $33,925
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)- $28,295
Joe Heck (R-NV)- $22,550
Paul Ryan (R-WI)- $22,205
Ryan Zinke (R-MT)- $21,613
Martha McSally (R-AZ)- $19,576
John McCain (R-AZ)- $19,500
Richard Burr (R-NC)- $19,300
Both Heitkamp and Manchin have accepted gun-maker blood money this cycle-- as has Ben Ray Lujan, head of the DCCC.

I might mention at this point that Lujan identified PA-07 in the Philly suburbs as a must-win district if the Democrats are to have even a remote shot of winning back the House in an anti-Trump tsumnai. Lujan, in fact, helped recruit some guy to run against the progressive grassroots candidate in the district and Lujan and his DCCC cronies gifted him with Red-to-Blue status, helped him raise money and worked ferociously the prevent the grassroots candidate, Mary Ellen Balchunis, from raising any money. The nonentity Lujan recruited outspent Mary Ellen $239,391 to $45,541 but she kicked his worthless ass-- and that of his DCCC enablers 74-26%. At which time Lujan and Nancy "when women win" Pelosi removed PA-07 from the DCCC target list and from their Red to Blue page and signaled Republican Pat Meehan that as far as they were concerned, the district is his for the next two years.

Last week, after the slaughter in Orlando, Mary Ellen told her supporters that "Meehan and the House of Representatives did nothing to help stop the senseless violence" and she called on him "to stand up and have the courage to lead on the issue of common sense gun legislation. I challenge Congressman Pat Meehan to co-sponsor the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015-- H.R. 4269. Meehan voted against this legislation in 2015. This legislation would have saved lives. Instead, last week, Pat Meehan doubled down on his refusal to support the legislation." She continued:
If H.R. 4269 had passed, according to its sponsor, U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline, ". . . then Orlando gunman Omar Mateen would not have been able to buy the rifle he used in the attack. (Authorities say Mateen used a Sig Sauer MCX rifle.) Mateen would have been able to buy another type of gun, but the attack might not have been as lethal if he wasn't able to purchase a weapon "used on the battlefield to kill as may people as possible."

The victims and their loved ones in Orlando and all gun tragedies deserve our prayers, but they also deserve action. Congressman Meehan's failure to act to support the Assault Weapons Ban in the wake of this tragedy is simply unacceptable.  His position defies common sense and displays a woeful lack of courage and leadership.

Furthermore, I am challenging Pat Meehan to affirmatively tell the people of the 7th District that he will support legislation that takes the following actions.
Prevent people being investigated by the FBI or on the No Fly List from buying firearms, known as "No-Fly, No Buy" legislation.
Stop the sale of military style assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips.
Close the gun show loophole by making background checks mandatory for all people looking to buy a gun.
Keep guns out of the hands of those convicted of hate crimes.
Pat Meehan won't take action to make our streets safe, but I will. These assault weapons are made to hunt only one thing - people-- and they should be taken off the streets. There is talk and there is action. The only action we are seeing is from the people who are killing innocents. Meanwhile, Pat Meehan and Congress sit on their hands. They are responsible for making laws-- laws that keep us safe. They are failing to do that. Pat Meehan needs to do his job or resign.

According to the Washington Post, out of the 18 congressmen in Pennsylvania, Pat Meehan receives the fourth amount of money from the National Rifle Association.

I was a Million Mom Marcher in 2000 and have long been a advocate for sensible gun reform. At the Million Mom March, one of the best banners there said "Tell Congress To Stop Taking Bribes From The NRA." It is even more important today. Campaign contributions should never take precedence over the lives of individuals. These are common sense solutions to help prevent gun violence. I challenge Pat Meehan to take vital steps including calling for a discharge petition to get these bills out of committee and on the floor for a vote.  And then pass this smart and common sense legislation to prevent violence.
Pretty strong for a Democratic Party congressional candidate-- and Pelosi and gun lobbyist bribe taker Lujan continue to refuse to get behind Mary Ellen's campaign for the PA-07 congressional seat.

After the votes Monday, Mary Ellen wrote "I will never take a penny from the NRA. Because of that, they will go to war to against me... Meehan stands with the NRA-- not the people of the 7th District... [T]he U.S. Senate turned a blind eye to the majority of Americans who want common sense laws to stop gun violence. Once again, Washington has failed us. Congress refused to stand up to the NRA bullies and take action to keep our streets safe.  No matter how many tragedies, those in Washington can't seem to get their priorities in order."

So why is the DCCC, controlled by Pelosi and run by Steve Israel and Ben Ray Lujan siding with Pat Meehan in PA-07. Were their feelings hurt when grassroots Democrats in the district defeated their handpicked recruit-- hurt enough to give up on a winnable-- must-win-- seat? Mary Ellen, who identifies as a member of the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party, has a personal relationship with Hillary Clinton, who she admires and who she endorsed and worked for during the Pennsylvania primary. Now Pelosi and Lujan and Israel and whining every day about Democratic Party unity in the face of Trump. OK, but is that a one way street? Mary Ellen won the primary-- by a massive landslide. Why does the DCCC continue to refuse to help her and continue a policy of telling Democratic donors to not fund her campaign? Can you step up for Mary Ellen by clicking the thermometer?
Goal Thermometer

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At 12:22 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Burton said...

Did you miss the part in the section about "keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists" that would have utilized existing and future watch lists for identifying same?

The problem with using tragedy as a political football—and let's be honest, that's exactly what this was/is—is that bills get written on the fly that contain problematic language that, on reflection, should never be allowed to pass because it all too often gets used as the proverbial camel's nose. Now is the worst possible time to address the issue of firearms regulation, but it plays well with the voters so it's a win-win no matter which side loses.

It's why we have the PATRIOT Act, after all.

Bernie Sanders continues to take flack for voting against a regulation bill, but his reasons for doing so showed a much better comprehension of the long-term potential of the section he couldn't support than too many people give him credit for.

Knee-jerk legislation benefits only those who can use it to obtain or retain power. If we seriously intend to do something about guns, then our best choice is to wait till after next January when there will hopefully be enough progressives in Congress to not only work out something that doesn't screw the people over but stands a decent chance of being passed.


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