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Old March 6, 2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
NRA political endorsements

A TFLer has repeatedly accused the NRA of being a Republican organization, manned by Republicans, for Republicans. He challenged me to find Democrats endorsed by the NRA. So, just using two prominent examples at the national level, and then the results from his state and mine:

(Edit: Full disclosure - I started adult life as a registered Democrat, then went Independent, then later Republican; these days, I'm an Independent as far as Missouri election classifications are concerned, but I am a Libertarian by philosophy; I don't really trust either big party. This does not mean that each party does not have general trends when it comes to gun control. For those who doubt that, look at who originated recent laws in NY, MD, OR, WA, CO, CT...)

First, from the "About PVF" page,

About PVF
Mission Statement
The NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is NRA's political action committee. The NRA-PVF ranks political candidates - irrespective of party affiliation - based on voting records, public statements and their responses to an NRA-PVF questionnaire.
From the same page,

NRA relies on a very simple premise: when provided with the facts, the nation's elected officials will recognize that "gun control" schemes are an infringement on the Second Amendment and a proven failure in fighting crime. The importance of this premise lies in the knowledge that, as one U.S. Congressman put it: "The gun lobby is people."
So, two national level Democrats who have been endorsed by the NRA in recent years:

Harry Reid, Senator, Nevada

John Barrow, Congressman, Georgia

In 2012, in Alaska races, the NRA endorsed two Democrats for State Senate:

Bill Wielechowski (A+ vs his opponent's A) and Donny Olson (A+ vs his opponent's A-);

and three Democrats for State House:

Scott J Kawasaki (A vs B-), Bryce Edgmon (A- vs A-, but got nod as incumbent), and Neal W Foster (A-, unopposed incumbent).

The NRA did endorse a lot more Republicans; however, in all those cases, either the Republican had a better pro-gun rating, or ran unopposed.

So much for gaseousclay's home state.

Meanwhile, in my new home state of Missouri, the NRA endorsed Chris Koster (D) over Ed Martin (R) for Attorney General. Both men had A ratings, but Koster's was based on a voting record; Martin, with no record, received his A based on responses he gave to an NRA questionnaire. The NRA backed the A track record, IE the Democrat.

In the Senate race, the NRA backed Todd Akin, (R) over Claire McCaskill (D), but McCaskill has earned an F rating from the NRA, with good reason. Based on her responses to my emails, thus far, she still backs whatever gun control legislation that survives committee.

In Missouri House races, no Democrat received NRA endorsement. Many of them had no track records, and had not answered the questionnaire. Those with track records had voted badly on gun rights, earning grades from F to C+. One Democratic candidate scored well on the questionnaire (an A) but was running against an incumbent who had an A voting record. As noted, the NRA favors incumbents and established records when tie votes occur.

In Missouri State Senate races, the NRA endorsed two Democrats, Paul LeVota (unopposed A grade), and Terry Swinger (A-). Significantly, Swinger's A- based on an actual voting record beat the A grade Doug Libla (R) had achieved solely based on his questionnaire. So, this was not even a tie, but the NRA favored the positive voting record over the questionnaire even when the voting record score was slightly lower (but still good).

In Missouri State House races, the NRA endorsed five Democrats, including another case where grades tied, but the Democrat had a voting record and the R did not.

So, as percentages go, does the NRA tend to favor Republicans? On the surface, yes, but that is because Republicans are generally more likely to oppose gun control legislation, and less likely to endorse or propose gun control legislation.

We've had some humdingers proposed this year in Missouri, but they have been killed rather quickly. Not surprisingly, they were all proposed by a cabal of Democrats from the St Louis area.

In cases where Democrats have established records of protecting the 2nd Amendment, the NRA has in fact endorsed them. Similarly, in cases where Democrats only had good grades from a questionnaire, they could still gain endorsements if their opponent did not have a proven record.

We could do this state by state, but I have other things to do.

The point is, politicians who establish themselves as pro-Gun will get good NRA grades and will probably get endorsements. Those who consistently vote against gun rights will get bad grades and no endorsements.

The only correlation between NRA grades/endorsements and political parties is that one party tends to pull a lot more anti-gun shenanigans.

Last edited by MLeake; March 6, 2013 at 03:25 PM.
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