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7x57
06-15-2010, 11:08 AM
There seems to be an eruption of anger at the NRA among certain conservatives, and I didn't find any discussion of it here. I am trying to get ready for a trip, but I thought it was worth taking the time to post a link, especially as it almost mirrors the outrage here at Chris Cox over the McDonald orals:

http://www.redstate.com/rs_insider/2010/06/15/national-rifle-associations-first-amendment-sellout/

For those that don't know, RedState is a shared blogging site, more structured than Calguns but with some of the rowdy take-no-prisoners flavor. It is also quite influential.


National Rifle Association’s First Amendment Sellout

The National Rifle Association just sold out your First Amendment right to participate in the democratic process. Sources on the Hill tell RED STATE that House Republican members are “furious” that the National Rifle Association (NRA) for negotiating a special provision exempting the NRA from a new campaign finance reform measure racing through Congress.

Roll Call describes the campaign finance reform measure as follows:

The bill, officially the DISCLOSE Act, comes in response to the high court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in January that struck down many restrictions on political communications and thegroups that fund them. The proposal would bulk up disclosure, political coordination and disclaimer requirements, and impose new limits on political involvement by government contractors and foreign governments.

Evidently, the NRA has inserted a provision in the bill that would exempt organizations under 501(c)(4) of the IRS code that qualify under certain conditions. The conditions apply to the NRA and were clearly crafted by the NRA. This special interest carve out for the NRA has sent Republicans in the House into a rage. Expect House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to unload all they have against the Democrat, and NRA enabled, attempt to restrict First Amendment rights of all Americans to participate in the electoral process.

Under the DISCLOSE Act, 501(c)(4) organizations would be limited in political communications, unless they qualify for a special exemption. Of a group satisfies the following conditions (that fit the NRA’s description like a trigger lock on a gun) then they are allowed to participate in First Amendment activity:

* Established under 501(c)(4) for 10 years;
* 1 million or more dues-paying members;
* Members in all 50 states;
* No more than 15% of funding from corporations or unions; and,
* Does not use corporate or union money for campaign related expenditures.

A senior staffer on the Hill tells RED STATE that “the NRA apparently believes that the 2nd Amendment is the only constitutional amendment that matters. They don’t care about the 1st Amendment. Their selfish actions will help this bill to pass.” This rage is well founded because the NRA are hypocrites on the matter. On Thursday, January 21, 2010, the NRA issued a statement about the Citizens United v Federal Elections Commissionpraising the Supreme Court for “removing unconstitutional restrictions on the NRA’s ability to speak freely at election time.” The DISCLOSE Act is an attempt by Members of Congress to overturn parts of that Supreme Court holding. The NRA’s recent actions evidences a will on the part of the NRA to sell out the 1st Amendment right of free speech for all in order to protect a 1st Amendment carve out for themselves.

For the NRA, a group who is fighting to protect the rights of all Americans to exercise their constitutionally recognized natural right to “keep and bear Arms,” to sell out on another constitutionally recognized right is an outrage. It also destroys their credibility on Capitol Hill. Why would the NRA cave on the natural right of people to participate in the electoral process? It is because they are insiders and part of the illness plaguing Washington, D.C. elites.

The most recent actions of the NRA is enraging so many principled conservatives. It is shocking that David Keene, a veteran of the conservative movement and head of the American Conservative Union, would not have put a stop to this madness in the lobbying arm of the NRA. Wayne LaPierre’s is Obama-like in his propensity to take actions that are contrary to his public statements. Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President said about the Citizens United case as recently as January the following (please put on a BS flack jacket before reading):

This ruling is a victory for anyone who believes that the First Amendment applies to each and every one of us. The majesty of free speech is that any American can roll out of bed and speak as freely as The New York Times, NBC or politicians. This is a defeat for arrogant elitists who wanted to carve out free speech as a privilege for themselves and deny it fo the rest of us; and for those who believed that speech had a dollar value and should be treated and regulated like currency, and not a freedom. Today’s decision reaffirms that the Bill of Rights was written for every American and it will amploify the voices of average citizens who want their voices heard.

Great rhetoric — too bad it is complete BS. Wayne LaPierre should be ashamed of himself. You know who else should be ashamed? Chris Cox, chief lobbyist and principal political strategist for the NRA for coming up with such a terrible strategy to protect the NRA at the expense of the Constitutional right of all Americans not members of the NRA.

Erick Erickson wrote yesterday on RS the reasons why the NRA is selling out the Constitution in the name of self preservation:

This is just the NRA not wanting competition for itself. If they were really committed to freedom, let alone the second amendment, they should be encouraging more freedom loving, second amendment loving organizations to rise and fight. Instead, they are collaborating with the left to shut out competition.

Moe Lane also had an excellent post on RS titled “Deja Vu: the NRA and the Democratic crockodiles.”

Members of the NRA need to understand that an internal Tea Party may be in order to right the ship. The NRA has shown signs of weakness over the past few years and they seem more interested in protecting their right to participate in the democratic process than the right to “keep and bear Arms.” Tea Party rage should hit the elites in the conservative movement when they sell out their principles in the name of political expediency.


FWIW.

7x57

jamesbtowle
06-15-2010, 11:12 AM
The wires from coast to coast are burning up about this issue...has anyone seen a formal response from the NRA?

bwiese
06-15-2010, 11:43 AM
Funny, I don't see anything wrong with this: there's a bill out there; NRA is making
sure it won't affect gun politics.

And they appear feel the bill may be likely to pass and want to avoid problems.

You're just seeing Republicans being anti-NRA because they lose an edge with the Dems
and/or can't beat them on this - and this may be a bit of payback to the John McCain faction
too.

If the Republicans cared about free speech they'd not have supported the Patriot Act,
etc.

Please never confuse Republican politics with gun politics.

Rekrab
06-15-2010, 11:48 AM
Looks like the NRA is using evil to fight for good. I don't like it, but I think I'd do the same.

bwiese
06-15-2010, 11:49 AM
Looks like the NRA is using evil to fight for good. I don't like it, but I think I'd do the same.

Yep. It's called winning.

zinfull
06-15-2010, 12:39 PM
Maybe some people might notice that the first is not as protected as they think. They may also realize what the 2nd is going through and decide to support both.

jerry

It is National Rife Association
not National Reading Association.

7x57
06-15-2010, 12:40 PM
I disagree. It's going to hurt us next time we don't think we're big enough to fight the whole world alone, because we look hypocritical. In fact, it *is* hypocritical. Which is particularly ironic because IIRC the NRA fought McCain-Feingold and lost, and it was someone else fighting for their own speech that saved the NRA's speech.

it also strengthens the right to regulate, with a carve-out purely as a matter of legislative preference. That was part of the Citizen's United case, that the carve-out for books and the press was purely statute, and the government argued that if they had written the bill differently they would have had the power to regulate those too. You'd think the NRA, of all people, would understand that it is much easier to come back and amend away your promises later, and that it's often easier to buy off part of the opposition so as to defeat them in detail later.

Plenty of the other objections in some of those articles were in fact about Republican politics (and those I argued against, in fact, such as complaints about supporting pro-gun Democrats), but at face value this is not. And you haven't got much credibility with me if you objected to the NRA's meddling with McDonald and argued strongly that you didn't want JLS horse-trading your interests away with other friends, but don't have a problem with the NRA saying speech doesn't matter if they get a carve-out that is purely statutory. There is also the problem that the unfortunate proximity of this discussion to other, less legitimate criticisms is going to add credibility to what amounts to the GoA's advertising copy. I don't particularly like anything that legitimises the GoA's anti-NRA fundraising efforts, even incidentally.

Or was it *not* OK, after all, to support P&I incorporation primarily because, as was quite clearly the case with many, it was good for other issues some people regard as issues of freedom? At some point, you'll have to send me the memo of which issues can be mixed with the NRA's and who gets to do the mixing.

Two caveats:

First, reading it again (I don't have time for this!) I suspect the context is that this is what the buzz is among Democratic staffers on the hill. I suspect Erick posted about it now because the NRA hasn't taken an official position yet.

Second, there may be back-story that needs to be considered. I'd like to think there is something better going on under the surface, buit the NRA doesn't consult with me on strategy. That said, they don't consult with a lot of other people whose support we want either, and on the surface this smells bad. They will *only* judge the NRA based on the surface.

7x57

PEBKAC
06-15-2010, 2:47 PM
On principle I object, I mean in theory the NRA should stay out of the first amendment and such and carving out exemptions seems a little...well it reeks of backroom deals and such.

On the other hand, the purpose of the NRA is to promote gun rights and crush its enemies, so that we see them driven before us and may hear the proverbial lamentations of their women etc. This fits that agenda ~perfectly~ and thus on practicality I am a bit of a fan. The more money the NRA can pump into promoting things we need and fighting the proverbial monkeypoop laws that seem to crop up the better.

Though I am worried about how much this could hurt things in the short term, or possibly the long term. It gives people we don't want with ammunition some ammunition they can actually use.

navyinrwanda
06-15-2010, 2:48 PM
The NRA DISCLOSE Act exemption makes perfect sense for an organization that sees itself as a legislative lobby for the parochial interests of its membership. In this sense, the NRA (http://home.nra.org/classic.aspx) is no different from the AARP (http://www.aarp.org/), NFIB (http://www.nfib.com/), AIPAC (http://www.aipac.org/), AFL-CIO (http://www.aflcio.org/), AAJ (http://www.justice.org/), CUNA (http://www.cuna.org/), AFBF (http://www.fb.org/), the “other” NRA (http://www.restaurant.org/), ABA (http://www.aba.com/), NEA (http://www.nea.org/), AHIP (http://www.ahip.org/), or PhRMA (http://www.phrma.org/), etc., etc.

Each one of these interest groups works hard to influence congressional legislation and government policy for the benefit of their members. Why should the NRA be any different? When Republicans are in power, the NRA works with Republicans on the Republican's legislative priorities to make sure that the interests of NRA members are considered; when Democrats are in power, they work with Democrats for the same purpose. It's why the NRA is called the “gun lobby” by most newspapers.

The NRA isn't a civil rights organization (that would be the ACLU (http://www.aclu.org/)), nor is it a libertarian think tank (that's the Cato Institute (http://www.cato.org/) or the Reason Foundation (http://www.reason.org/)), nor is it a libertarian public interest legal organization (like the Pacific Legal Foundation (http://www.pacificlegal.org)), nor is it specifically focused on litigating for greater gun rights (like the Calguns Foundation (http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/)).

Much of the consternation among gun owners about the NRA proceeds from a misunderstanding about its purpose. And the recent court victories on behalf of the right to keep and bear arms contributes to this confusion. The NRA has traditionally viewed the judiciary as virulently anti-gun (and with good reason). Just because the Heller case established an individual right doesn't mean that Congress (or state legislatures) can't still cause trouble for gun owners.

Maybe the NRA should change its focus; maybe another organization will rise up and become the champion for gun rights in the courts (like the Calguns Foundation). But that doesn't mean that gun owners should stop lobbying legislators. And it doesn't mean that the NRA shouldn't take advantage of every opportunity to influence any bill that might affect it or its member's interests.

FirstFlight
06-15-2010, 3:21 PM
Looks like the NRA is using evil to fight for good. I don't like it, but I think I'd do the same.

And as BWiese sez: Its called winning!

And I agree 100%

OleCuss
06-15-2010, 3:37 PM
I'm having trouble seeing what the NRA is doing wrong on this.

I see the NRA as an organization which is and must be devoted to protecting our right to keep and bear arms. If they are not violating someone's constitutional or other legal freedoms as they pursue that particular part of our civil rights - then they should have at it.

I'd also note that the NRA really doesn't need the additional bureaucratic overhead that the new requirements would entail.

Not a single scummy thing about what the NRA is doing. It might be scummy that legislators are going along with the NRA's desire for exemptions - but that doesn't make what the NRA is doing scummy.

Mstrty
06-15-2010, 3:38 PM
Ok calguners we are just 950,000 members short to qualify for this exemption ourselves. Lets get busy:D

BigDogatPlay
06-15-2010, 3:44 PM
Please never confuse Republican politics with gun politics.

I'd add the caveat to never confuse any political party's politics with gun politics.

2A is not an exclusively Republican or exclusively Democrat issue. We have friends on both sides of the aisle, and we have enemies on both sides of the aisle. The goal, for NRA and for us, is to get as many friends of ours as we can elected.... on both sides of the aisle.

While I would like to see a lot of the money taken out of politics, or the running for office part anyway, there is still that pesky First Amendment to think about. And I find it offensive that anyone or any organization is restricted in any way from having it's voice heard.

yellowfin
06-15-2010, 4:25 PM
2A is not an exclusively Republican or exclusively Democrat issue. We have friends on both sides of the aisle, and we have enemies on both sides of the aisle. The goal, for NRA and for us, is to get as many friends of ours as we can elected.... on both sides of the aisle.. The problem is that the goal of getting them elected is short sighted--they're in there, then what? We've been vastly too undemanding of them too much of the time to where we don't get from them but a tiny sliver of what should be done. NFA still around after 76 years, GCA still around after 42 years, then the barrel ban, '86 Ban, only JUST now getting what, a measly national park carry restoration, maybe Amtrak? DO SOMETHING REAL.

stix213
06-15-2010, 4:30 PM
I agree with Bill on this one. If the NRA thinks a bill that will restrict them has a good chance of passing, why are we supposed to be mad at the NRA for getting them exempted? Yeah they could make a big grand stand against this bill instead, or every single bill that could be deemed to constrict any right Americans have, but why do we want our NRA dues going to fight causes unrelated to gun rights?

FullMetalJacket
06-15-2010, 4:46 PM
They're grabbing the influence they can.

I agree. It's called winning.

There are no shortage of 1st Amendment defenders out there; if this measure survives challenges, better the NRA has a good position within it. If not, no harm done.

bwiese
06-15-2010, 8:39 PM
See the other threads on NRA response and the McClatchy article.

It turns out this isn't really about 'free speech' etc. - it's about (properly) protecting NRA's membership information.

The NRA is a unique membership organization getting most of its funds from individuals as opposed to corporate donations. Given the uniqueness of its base - as opposed to lobbying for, say, a corporation, this exemption is indeed good and maintains gunnies' privacy.

anthonyca
06-15-2010, 8:48 PM
See the other threads on NRA response and the McClatchy article.

It turns out this isn't really about 'free speech' etc. - it's about (properly) protecting NRA's membership information.

The NRA is a unique membership organization getting most of its funds from individuals as opposed to corporate donations. Given the uniqueness of its base - as opposed to lobbying for, say, a corporation, this exemption is indeed good and maintains gunnies' privacy.

I am glad the NRA is looking out for it's interests, but it is still wrong that smaller groups are descriminated against.

SAN compnerd
06-15-2010, 8:53 PM
See NRA response here:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=312247

Sinixstar
06-15-2010, 9:10 PM
Here's my problem with this.

Maybe this is just me - but when I read the constitution, and the Articles of Confederation, and all those fun things - what I see is a form of government designed to protect the individual. The red state article makes it out like the disclose act is about restricting individual rights. This isn't about individuals. This is about corporations and collective groups who do not necessarily have the individual's best interests at heart. I'm not going to get into a huge drawn out rant on this topic - but I will say this:
If you believe in something enough to spend millions of dollars backing it, buying ads, etc etc - you should believe in it enough to stand up and say "This is who I am, and this is what I believe in".

I'm also curious - if instead of "Citizens United v FCC" - if it was say, MoveOn.org vs FCC fighting the same cause - would groups like RedState be so up in arms, or would they be standing up applauding the NRA for trying to "protect the little guy from those dangerous liberals"?

RRangel
06-15-2010, 10:05 PM
Here's my problem with this.

Maybe this is just me - but when I read the constitution, and the Articles of Confederation, and all those fun things - what I see is a form of government designed to protect the individual. The red state article makes it out like the disclose act is about restricting individual rights. This isn't about individuals. This is about corporations and collective groups who do not necessarily have the individual's best interests at heart. I'm not going to get into a huge drawn out rant on this topic - but I will say this:
If you believe in something enough to spend millions of dollars backing it, buying ads, etc etc - you should believe in it enough to stand up and say "This is who I am, and this is what I believe in".

I'm also curious - if instead of "Citizens United v FCC" - if it was say, MoveOn.org vs FCC fighting the same cause - would groups like RedState be so up in arms, or would they be standing up applauding the NRA for trying to "protect the little guy from those dangerous liberals"?

All you need to do is look at the supporters of the bill and the fact that the FCC is itching to regulate the internet. This will hurt the grassroots who don't have the resources of larger organizations. Larger more financially resourceful groups can ride the bill out.

Moveon.org would not be fighting against the FCC because it goes against the very sycophantic fervor of the left. If anything they support anti-freedom restrictions because "the ends justify the means."

Sinixstar
06-16-2010, 9:07 AM
All you need to do is look at the supporters of the bill and the fact that the FCC is itching to regulate the internet. This will hurt the grassroots who don't have the resources of larger organizations. Larger more financially resourceful groups can ride the bill out.

Moveon.org would not be fighting against the FCC because it goes against the very sycophantic fervor of the left. If anything they support anti-freedom restrictions because "the ends justify the means."

You're not really addressing the substance of what I said, or what I asked.
Talking points and ideology are great - except they don't answer questions.

RRangel
06-16-2010, 9:35 AM
You're not really addressing the substance of what I said, or what I asked.
Talking points and ideology are great - except they don't answer questions.

Oh, but I certainly am. It's always about individuals because they need representation which this bill will deny them. That is its very intention. You can't have one without the other.

cmaynes
06-16-2010, 9:52 AM
has this been posted? I received it on the 16th-



Statement From The National Rifle
Association On H.R. 5175, The Disclose Act

The National Rifle Association believes that any restrictions on the political speech of Americans are unconstitutional.

In the past, through the courts and in Congress, the NRA has opposed any effort to restrict the rights of its four million members to speak and have their voices heard on behalf of gun owners nationwide.

The NRA's opposition to restrictions on political speech includes its May 26, 2010 letter to Members of Congress expressing strong concerns about H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act. As it stood at the time of that letter, the measure would have undermined or obliterated virtually all of the NRA's right to free political speech and, therefore, jeopardized the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding American.

The most potent defense of the Second Amendment requires the most adamant exercise of the First Amendment. The NRA stands absolutely obligated to its members to ensure maximum access to the First Amendment, in order to protect and preserve the freedom of the Second Amendment.

The NRA must preserve its ability to speak. It cannot risk a strategy that would deny its rights, for the Second Amendment cannot be defended without them.

Thus, the NRA's first obligation must be to its members and to its most ardent defense of firearms freedom for America's lawful gun owners.

On June 14, 2010, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged that H.R. 5175 would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA, that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on political speech. As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill.

The NRA cannot defend the Second Amendment from the attacks we face in the local, state, federal, international and judicial arenas without the ability to speak. We will not allow ourselves to be silenced while the national news media, politicians and others are allowed to attack us freely.

The NRA will continue to fight for its right to speak out in defense of the Second Amendment. Any efforts to silence the political speech of NRA members will, as has been the case in the past, be met with strong opposition.

---nra---

yellowfin
06-16-2010, 9:54 AM
Wasn't prevention of obstruction of political speech one of the most principle reasons we have the 1st Amendment in the first place?

Nihonto Chicken
06-16-2010, 10:22 AM
FWIW, here's the email response I got today from Campaign For Liberty (organization backing Ron Paul). I can't speak for Campaign For Liberty proper, but I surely trust Ron Paul a lot more than I trust the NRA. Again, a case of ethics versus expediency, the latter of which has trashed US finances, government and personal freedom, IMO.

______________________________________
June 16, 2010

Dear Campaign for Liberty Member,

Once again, free speech and political liberty are under attack in Congress. And this time they have a surprising (to some) assailant -- the National Rifle Association.

In a minute, I'll give you links to the sorry story and ask you to tell the NRA and your congressman you OPPOSE the freedom-killing DISCLOSE ACT, with or without the NRA's deal.



You see, if there is one thing the establishment hates, it is watching its hand-picked candidates be held accountable for their records on liberty issues.

They want their Big Government power grabs to go unnoticed.

After watching some of their favorites go down in flames in race after race these past few months and seeing their statist schemes like Cap and Tax grind to a halt as a result of a massive uprising by liberty-loving Americans, they plan to strike back.

In a move that has dire consequences for our First Amendment right to freedom of speech and for Campaign for Liberty's ability to fight for our freedoms, incumbent politicians have colluded with a super-sized establishment lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, to push H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE ACT, or as I like to call it, the "Establishment Protection Act," through the House of Representatives as soon as this week.

According to Politico, the NRA bargained for an exemption for itself and other large, established groups while trampling the rights of private citizens, new groups (like Campaign for Liberty), and small organizations.


As John Bresnahan reports, "The proposal would exempt organizations that have more than 1 million members, have been in existence for more than 10 years, have members in all 50 states and raise 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations... The NRA, with 4 million members, will not actively oppose the DISCLOSE Act, according to Democratic sources."

RedState's Erick Erickson mentions one of our Regional Conference sponsors when saying, "I support Gun Owners of America, which is a consistent and uncompromising defender of the second amendment, not a weak little girl of an organization protecting itself while throwing everyone else under the bus."

Another pro-gun organization friendly to Campaign for Liberty, the National Association for Gun Rights, said in a national email, "And frankly, this craven deal by the NRA will damage our gun rights and our free speech rights."

As we hold politicians accountable and put them on record with our issue discussion program, the Establishment Protection Act will force organizations like C4L to turn over the names of their "top" donors for exercising our First Amendment rights.

You see, they are targeting groups like Campaign for Liberty because they think their "right" to hold office is more important than your rights to privacy and free speech.


Campaign for Liberty has experienced tremendous growth this past year, and the establishment knows we are out there every day fighting back against its statist power grabs.

They watch as we inform you which candidates support the Constitution and which candidates refuse to take a stand on liberty issues.

And they know we won't play their Washington game of trading principle for power. They want to silence us once and for all by going after our donors.

Campaign for Liberty will not be silenced, and we will lead the fight against the Establishment Protection Act so you have the right to speak freely without your name and personal information being turned over to Big Brother.

Call Representative Lois Capps at 202-225-3601 right away and INSIST they uphold your First Amendment right to free speech and vote against H.R. 5175, the Establishment Protection Act.

After you contact your representative, call the NRA headquarters at 1-800-672-3888 and their Legislative Action group at 1-800-392-8683 and let them know how you feel about their move to stab freedom organizations in the back.

Sincerely,



John Tate

President


P.S. Thanks to all you’ve done for liberty, the establishment is scared, and it’s not pulling any punches to keep organizations like C4L from speaking out.

If you are able, please consider chipping in $10 today toward C4L’s efforts to push back against the statist agenda and guarantee legislation like H.R. 5175, which should be called the Establishment Protection Act, is soundly defeated.

bwiese
06-16-2010, 11:22 AM
This law is gonna pass, and NRA just wanted to protect its members.


Screw Ron Paul's invalid opinion.

Ron Paul = GUN FAIL. Purity does not override the practical. I will always remember his uninformed vote on PLCAA. (Now, the "Ron Paul is Jesus" crowd wil come out and yell at me.)

I guess RP wants every NRA member's info to be public. What about the NRA members that want to be quiet, in harsh states like NY/NJ/MD, to avoid involuntary LE interaction?

Remember, NRA stickers or cards can be triggers for LE interaction (a TSA guy at Long Beach Airport *****ed about my NRA card when showing ID, and there's the folks reporting getting 3rd degree for having NRA stickers on their truck). Do we want membership lists public so cops are more aggressive on search/inquiry matters?

F**k no. Friggin' idiot.

Gray Peterson
06-16-2010, 12:28 PM
Will this effect CGF, CGN, CCRKBA, SAF, or CRPA?

Nihonto Chicken
06-16-2010, 12:30 PM
Screw Ron Paul's invalid opinion.

Ron Paul = GUN FAIL. Purity does not override the practical. I will always remember his uninformed vote on PLCAA..

Ron Paul's position on the PLCAA is another example of fundamental principles versus expediency, with Mr. Paul choosing the former. Here's his position via Lew Rockwell:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul91.html

Excerpt: "In conclusion, while I share the concern over the lawsuits against gun manufacturers, which inspired HR 1036, this bill continues the disturbing trend toward federalization of tort law. Enhancing the power of the federal government is not in the long-term interests of defenders of the Second amendment and other constitutional liberties. Therefore, I must oppose this bill."

Whether or not one is in favor of or opposed to the Disclose Act, it is ethically difficult to argue that it is okay for most organizations with a few selected exceptions, of which one may be yourself. Seems to me that our major financial and political systems have been pretty much gutted by "practicality" (special rules for special people). Probably best we just agree to disagree on the value of ethics and purity versus expediency and practicality. :cool:

bwiese
06-16-2010, 12:36 PM
Will this effect CGF, CGN, CCRKBA, SAF, or CRPA?

Prob not CGF. We 'lobby' very very little (and only on certain issues' details) and are restricted by our c(3) status anyway.

CGN? It's a public free-speech forum with hundreds of thousands of unorganized participants sometiems even expressing contrary opinions.
It's not really a 'body' though sometimes the fishies can swim in the same general direction.

I'm unclear how this'd affect CRPA at state level.

bwiese
06-16-2010, 12:42 PM
Ron Paul's position on the PLCAA is another example of fundamental principals versus expediency, with Mr. Paul choosing the former. Here's his position via Lew Rockwell:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul91.html

Excerpt: "In conclusion, while I share the concern over the lawsuits against gun manufacturers, which
inspired HR 1036, this bill continues the disturbing trend toward federalization of tort law. Enhancing the
power of the federal government is not in the long-term interests of defenders of the Second amendment
and other constitutional liberties. Therefore, I must oppose this bill."


(If you're gonna argue, get the spelling right: it's principles not principals. The latter run schools. Many of us distrust the validity of opinions of folks who can't be bothered to use words properly.)

Translation:
"I'm my own little me and hold out, drama-queen style, for this how-many-angels-
dance-on-a-head-of-a-pin purity position - so much so I was willing to risk the failure
of the whole US consumer gun industry due to BS lawsuits."
And extension of Federal powers over gun rights is the way we get restored RKBA in our states. Y'know, little thinks like Heller and McDonald.

Somebody please wake him with reality.




Probably best we just agree to disagree on the value of ethics and purity versus expediency and practicality. :cool:Call me and let me know when there's ever been ethics and purity in politics - or, for that matter, football.

rimfire78
06-16-2010, 12:49 PM
Well I hope that the only "members lists" you guys are on are NRA related, and you're not members of any smaller groups that congress for any other reason. - It's a big world out there.
Anyone who HELPS diminish your 1st amendment rights, to preserve your 2nd isn't doing you any favors.
I'm gong to call NRA and voice my opposition.

bwiese
06-16-2010, 1:02 PM
Well I hope that the only "members lists" you guys are on are NRA related, and you're not members of any smaller groups that lobby congress for any other reason. - It's a big world out there.
I'm gong to call NRA and voice my opposition.


Perhaps you should call CONGRESScritters and voice your opposition to the WHOLE BILL.

The NRA is not at fault. They can only fix the bill in regards to themselves.

7x57
06-16-2010, 1:13 PM
It turns out this isn't really about 'free speech' etc. - it's about (properly) protecting NRA's membership information.


This much is true--except that for the NRA the two issues are intertwined because their membership list is a de-facto gun registration list.


The NRA is a unique membership organization getting most of its funds from individuals as opposed to corporate donations. Given the uniqueness of its base - as opposed to lobbying for, say, a corporation, this exemption is indeed good and maintains gunnies' privacy.

I don't have much time to be here, but I was at the computer printing out some laws for the states we'll be travelling through.

The above is terribly short-sighted. The exemptions listed would not even apply to any of the NRA state affiliates. And once again, because the restrictions are absolutely arbitrary and have nothing to do with any essential issue, they can be changed at any time. What you have just advocated is making at least some of the NRA's member list protected only by congressional forbearance.

Trusting congress never backfired before, I guess. :rolleyes:

7x57

rimfire78
06-16-2010, 1:29 PM
Perhaps you should call CONGRESScritters and voice your opposition to the WHOLE BILL.

The NRA is not at fault. They can only fix the bill in regards to themselves.

Well obviously.
Here's what bothers me... If the NRA is powerful enough to have successfully pushed a provision through, they're also powerful enough to have pushed back on the whole bill, and not negotiated throwing our rights to free speech and assembly under the bus.
They're spending our money.
I understand that you think their obligation is only to one cause, but think about all the ways the 1st and 2nd are dependant upon one another.

kcbrown
06-16-2010, 1:42 PM
And extension of Federal powers over gun rights is the way we get restored RKBA in our states. Y'know, little thinks like Heller and McDonald.

Somebody please wake him with reality.


So...

We're going to leverage federal power over the states in order to win against the states, and otherwise stand by and let federal power grow unchecked. That's okay, because such unchecked growth in federal power makes it possible for us to win against the states, right?

What then, pray tell, are we going to leverage against the feds and their (thanks in part to our lack of opposition) unchecked power, hmm?


Using evil in order to win for good is something to be done when there is no other choice, because it always has an unpleasant price.



With respect to this particular bill, I have no idea if the NRA is making the only play they can or not. You seem to think that this bill will automatically be passed no matter what. If that's true then the NRA may be making the only play they can, but only if that's true. But if that's true then that raises serious doubts in my mind about your prior claims that the NRA has sufficient power to stop any anti-gun bill that might be considered, since the NRA clearly didn't/doesn't have enough power to stop this bill.

7x57
06-16-2010, 2:02 PM
Using evil in order to win for good is something to be done when there is no other choice, because it always has an unpleasant price.


I more or less agree with this. If we're going to claim that we're about our Constitutional rights, then we're going to have to be careful about horse-trading away the rights we need to advocate for gun rights. (And being "outed" as a supporter of the NRA is chilling for our speech.) Otherwise, we should just say we're about guns no matter what the law is. We don't say that.


With respect to this particular bill, I have no idea if the NRA is making the only play they can or not. You seem to think that this bill will automatically be passed no matter what. If that's true then the NRA may be making the only play they can, but only if that's true. But if that's true then that raises serious doubts in my mind about your prior claims that the NRA has sufficient power to stop any anti-gun bill that might be considered, since the NRA clearly didn't/doesn't have enough power to stop this bill.

What this may be about is giving the pro-gun democrats a "pass" to vote for it without endangering their NRA rating. Californians may not realize just how many Democrats from the South and West who live and die by their NRA rating. The NRA knows this, and will occasionally promise not to rate a certain vote if they think it does more harm than good to force them to choose between their NRA rating and their own leadership.

The other thing people don't seem to have understood is that this is likely to have a very real cost in terms of our friends, because it is playing right into the hands of the GoA's anti-NRA marketing machine.

It's also hit the WSJ now, I gather, but I don't have a link as the one I saw was behind the paywall. No big surprise--the people yelling were the people who tend to be mysteriously slightly ahead of the curve. Perhaps some think there are no consequences when it's your friends yelling, but this increases my sense that this will cost us more in the long run than it will gain in the short run.

I really would like to see an analysis of what this will do to the NRA state affiliates, none of which I imagine has four million members or is active in all fifty states. My sense was that it definitely applied to them, but maybe someone who isn't packing can see whether that's really the case.

We can always hope that someone else will eventually get it struck down too.

7x57

7x57
06-16-2010, 2:04 PM
Perhaps you should call CONGRESScritters and voice your opposition to the WHOLE BILL.


This is certainly good advice, though I'm not sure that Babs and Feinstein would not be even happier voting for something if they knew people like me disliked it.

7x57

Nihonto Chicken
06-16-2010, 2:09 PM
If you're gonna argue, get the spelling right: it's principles not principals. The latter run schools.

Yup, I actually caught that on a re-read and changed it prior to finding your response, embarrassing, should have proofed it better. :o

Many of us distrust the validity of opinions of folks who can't be bothered to use words properly.

Yeah, I know the feeling.

... and there's the folks reporting getting 3rd degree ...

Verb would better be plural. ;)

I just have a problem with doing the wrong thing for the "right" reason. The CIA removal of Mosaddeq and substitution of the Shah in Iran seemed to be quite a practical and expedient move at the time, though the oil was nationalized anyway twenty years later, and here we're still paying for the resultant political turmoil some fifty-odd years on, and now looking at nuclear ramifications. Speaking of British Petroleum, it made a number of practical and expedient decisions in bringing its Macondo well on line. It seems that "practical and expedient" often has a nasty habit of coming back and biting us on the butt big time.

nicki
06-16-2010, 2:38 PM
This is a dammed if you do, dammed if you don't proposal.

The NRA is a "gun rights" organization and many of the leaders in the NRA focus on "only gun rights".

While it may be good that the "NRA" got an exemption for itself, I personally have issues with carving up the bill of rights.

I personally feel that this is a step backward and ultimately will come and bite us in the rear.

If we are not willing to protect the 1st amendment rights of unpopular speech, unpopular views and unpopular individuals or groups, then we trully don't have "Political Free Speech".

I'm in a jam in that although I strongly support the 2nd amendment, I just can't support this because I support the WHOLE BILL OF RIGHTS.

All I can say to the NRA is I don't like this, but I will continue my support for what because right now, they are effective at what they do.




Nicki

bwiese
06-16-2010, 2:49 PM
Well obviously.
Here's what bothers me... If the NRA is powerful enough to have successfully pushed a provision through, they're also powerful
enough to have pushed back on the whole bill....


1. Not necessarily.

2. The NRA is single-focus; 'fix the issue at hand'.
Let the ACLU worry about the other issues, and they may be
able to incorporate a broad swath of actors to fight this.

bwiese
06-16-2010, 2:52 PM
With respect to this particular bill, I have no idea if the NRA is making the only play they can or not. You seem to think that this bill will automatically be passed no matter what. If that's true then the NRA may be making the only play they can, but only if that's true.

I believe so.
The court decision preceding this bill got a lotta screaming from the unions, etc. The Republicans weren't able to stop the healthcare bill, so I imagine they can't stop this bill either.

But if that's true then that raises serious doubts in my mind about your prior claims that the NRA has sufficient power to stop any anti-gun bill that might be considered, since the NRA clearly didn't/doesn't have enough power to stop this bill.

I believe they can stop any GUN bill.

GUN issues are at the bottom of the heap now.

And pro basketball players don't change their careers to, say, soccer.

RRangel
06-16-2010, 4:34 PM
I believe so.
The court decision preceding this bill got a lotta screaming from the unions, etc. The Republicans weren't able to stop the healthcare bill, so I imagine they can't stop this bill either.



I believe they can stop any GUN bill.

GUN issues are at the bottom of the heap now.

And pro basketball players don't change their careers to, say, soccer.

If this bill is passed soon it could to take effect before critical elections. The courts could take too long and then the damage is done.

H.R. 5175 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&dbname=cp111&sid=cp111jBk3J&refer=&r_n=hr492p1.111&item=&&&sel=TOC_102813&)



SEC. 403.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

Except as otherwise provided, this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect upon the expiration of the 30-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall take effect without regard to whether or not the Federal Election Commission has promulgated regulations to carry out such amendments.

In the senate with S.3295 (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c111oAntYz:e106907:).

SEC. 503. EFFECTIVE DATE.

Except as otherwise provided, this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect upon the expiration of the 30-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall take effect without regard to whether or not the Federal Election Commission has promulgated regulations to carry out such amendments.

7x57
06-16-2010, 4:34 PM
All I can say to the NRA is I don't like this, but I will continue my support for what because right now, they are effective at what they do.


I hope no one construed any of my posts to say anything else. I have always said that there is no substitute for the NRA, and that goes for when they irritate me too.

In fact, part of my complaint is precisely that it gives the appearance of credibility to the GoA's anti-NRA fundraising copy and all the naysayers who believe it, and the last thing we need is a weakened NRA. I'm not concerned with what is being said in the gun-rights community as much as what is being said by gun-friendly people outside the movement. We don't need them deciding that GoA is a viable alternative to the NRA, because they carry some weight with people who don't way attention to results.

However, the NRA is big enough not to be fatally damaged by anything I say on the internet. :D

7x57

warbird
06-16-2010, 8:17 PM
I find it distrubing that the largest gun organization is willing to abandon other smaller gun organizations on the pretext it is a one issue organization when it is not. It partcipates in washington politics and speaks on behalf of it's members so it uses many of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights at one time or another to get it's points across. One thing is clear when it comes to the NRA. People on this site are either open minded or in lock step with the organization and nothing in between. But when people are that much in lock step with an organization I question their foresight, judgement, and trust. People did not question the Nazi's and look what happened. If so much heat had not been brought on the NRA in articles from writers, many who are NRA members, this bill would have gone through very quietly. Now the NRA is apparently pulling a "Marriott" and issuing letters backing off their original negotiated position.

Gray Peterson
06-16-2010, 8:39 PM
I find it distrubing that the largest gun organization is willing to abandon other smaller gun organizations on the pretext it is a one issue organization when it is not. It partcipates in washington politics and speaks on behalf of it's members so it uses many of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights at one time or another to get it's points across. One thing is clear when it comes to the NRA. People on this site are either open minded or in lock step with the organization and nothing in between. But when people are that much in lock step with an organization I question their foresight, judgement, and trust. People did not question the Nazi's and look what happened. If so much heat had not been brought on the NRA in articles from writers, many who are NRA members, this bill would have gone through very quietly. Now the NRA is apparently pulling a "Marriott" and issuing letters backing off their original negotiated position.

Did we just have a Godwin's Law incident occur here?

rimfire78
06-16-2010, 8:51 PM
:This is a dammed if you do, dammed if you don't proposal.

The NRA is a "gun rights" organization and many of the leaders in the NRA focus on "only gun rights".

While it may be good that the "NRA" got an exemption for itself, I personally have issues with carving up the bill of rights.

I personally feel that this is a step backward and ultimately will come and bite us in the rear.

If we are not willing to protect the 1st amendment rights of unpopular speech, unpopular views and unpopular individuals or groups, then we trully don't have "Political Free Speech".

I'm in a jam in that although I strongly support the 2nd amendment, I just can't support this because I support the WHOLE BILL OF RIGHTS.

All I can say to the NRA is I don't like this, but I will continue my support for what because right now, they are effective at what they do.




Nicki

I agree

dantodd
06-16-2010, 9:03 PM
The NRA could not stop the bill by opposing it but could get it amended to protect its members .

NRA had two options:
A) Oppose bill and lose
B) Protect NRA members and neither support nor oppose bill

Would you really rather they had simply opposed the bill and then handed over their membership list?

Now, if you believe the NRA supported the bill you have a legitimate gripe. I, for one, do not buy into that.

N6ATF
06-17-2010, 11:09 AM
http://www2.vcdl.org/cgi-bin/wspd_cgi.sh/vcdl/vadetail.html?RECID=4031905&FILTER=

The NRA is fully prepared to sell out grassroots gun organizations across the nation, including VCDL, to the anti-gun Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives by not fighting a bill that will gag the free speech of those who criticize members of Congress.

The NRA, in a news release included below, has said it will turn a blind eye to H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act, since it exempts the NRA.

Bottom line: the NRA has been bought off.

Here is the criteria in the bill for an exemption:

* More than 1 million members
* Has been in existence for more than 10 years
* Has members in all 50 states
* Raises 15 percent or less of their income from corporations

It appears the ONLY gun organization to meet that set of criteria would be the NRA - not GOA or SAF or CCRKBA, much less VCDL.

VCDL rarely criticizes another gun organization, but on this issue we cannot, and must not, hold our tongues.

Let me not mince words - this appears to be an unholy alliance between Nancy Pelosi and the NRA, which would wipe out the NRA's competition.

If you snuggle up with a rattlesnake you are going to get bit. The NRA is playing a fool's game if they think they will survive this unscathed. Nancy Pelosi is not their friend now, nor will she ever be.

For their own self-interest, the NRA is apparently choosing to drive, or at least ride in, the bus that is going to run over the rest of us.

The NRA must NOT turn a blind eye to this scheme and MUST fight it to the bitter end. Either all gun-rights organizations are protected or none are protected. We hang together or we will surely hang separately.

The irony of the NRA's position is that if they anger enough gun owners, they could fall below the magic one million member mark and then they would lose their exemption and end up being crushed under the same bus that they threw us under.

FirstFlight
06-17-2010, 12:08 PM
Take a look at this. I think this guy must be heading up an anti-gun organization. Ain't he nasty?


The National Association For Gun Rights

I have some good news and some bad news to share with you about the NRA free speech sell out.

First, the good news.

Our pressure is working. It appears the momentum behind the anti-free speech DISCLOSE Act may be losing steam. Grassroots outrage over the NRA’s sickening attempt to cozy up to anti-gun Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi is slowing down the bill.

Today, Forbes is reporting that Democrats are feeling the heat over their devils’ pact with the NRA.

That is good news, but the bad news is worse…

Establishment leaders from both parties may very well try to sneak this legislation through when we least expect it.

In my 17 years as a gun rights lobbyist I’ve seen it all. They may try to change the name of the bill, change the bill number, sneak it through as an amendment to another, unrelated bill, or even force a midnight vote on the legislation.

These sort of back-room histrionics are common place in Washington D.C.

Let me remind you of what’s at stake.

Liberal Democrats want to silence conservative groups like the National Association for Gun Rights.

The DISCLOSE Act is a direct attack on your First Amendment right to petition Congress and mention legislation or voting records during election season.

You and I both know that election season is the best time to hold politicians accountable for their anti-gun votes. The DISCLOSE Act is designed to silence grassroots conservative activists LIKE YOU and protect the fat-cat politicians in Washington.

Without free speech, our Second Amendment rights are certain to perish.

Understand that the DISCLOSE Act will affect every political organization you belong to, on any and every issue. It’s destruction of liberties is without parallel in American history, and sure to lead to tyranny.

Now, until this week, the DISCLOSE Act appeared doomed, but the NRA struck a deal with anti-gunners Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer (the Senate sponsor) and Harry Reid. In exchange for exemptions from the bill’s outrageous and expensive disclosure requirements, the NRA now tacitly supports the anti-free speech DISLCOSE Act.

In exchange for thirty pieces of silver, the NRA has agreed to play Judas and betray the rights and freedoms they have long claimed to support.

This sell-out is so bad that even NRA board members are now calling it for what it is: a vile inside deal.

NRA Board Member Cleta Mitchell told today's Washington Post: “This is not just ‘disclosure.’ It is a scheme hatched by political insiders to eradicate disfavored speech. There is no room under the First Amendment for Congress to make deals on political speech, whether with the NRA or anyone else.”

We may have temporarily stalled the onslaught against our rights, but the battle is far from over.

If we ease up now, the anti-gun Democrats and their toadies in the NRA will quietly push the DISCLOSE Act through Congress and silence your First Amendment right to defend your Second Amendment rights.

That is why we must redouble our efforts and continue to put pressure on the NRA and your members of Congress to oppose this outrageous attack on our First AND Second Amendment rights.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Call your Congressman and your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121. Demand that they publicly oppose the anti-free speech DISCLOSE Act (H.R.5175)


Call the NRA at (800) 672-3888 and tell them to stop pandering to liberals. Tell them to denounce the DISCLOSE ACT for what it is, an attack on both our First and Second Amendment rights.


Chip in $5, $10 or $15 to help the National Association for Gun Rights fight against the DISCLOSE Act.
can’t stress how critical the next 48 hours may be for the future of this legislation. We may have temporarily stalled this legislation, but this is just a skirmish. We must continue to press our advantage until we’ve won the battle.

Please call your Congressman and your U.S. Senators and tell them to publicly oppose the anti-free speech DISCLOSE Act (H.R.5175).

Your immediate action is invaluable, and vital!

For liberty,



Dudley Brown
Executive Director

bwiese
06-17-2010, 12:13 PM
While (above post) VCDL has been useful in VA politics, it's a bit naive about national politics.

Disclose Act will pass - there was enough traction after Citizens' United that a Republican minority who can't even stop trillions in healthcare overspending will again similarly fail to beat.

So it's not a matter of stopping the bill - unless the "NRA rider" actually helps do that, in an underground way - it's their duty to not have their 4-5Million membership roster (plus prospects list) 'registered'.

Scott Connors
06-17-2010, 12:21 PM
[QUOTE=7x57;4458871]I disagree. It's going to hurt us next time we don't think we're big enough to fight the whole world alone, because we look hypocritical.

This evokes a slight sensation of deja vu. When Bush 41 issued the presidential order banning the importation of certain "assault weapons" back in 1989, political pundits said that this was in part payback from the Republicans for the NRA's refusal to support Judge Boark's nomination to the Supreme Court. Of course this came back and bit them in the butt because they underestimated how far many gun-owners will go to penalize a politician who they believe has betrayed them, even if it means that an anti-gunner gets elected. The Republicans might want to remember that if and when they decide to get back at the NRA.

bwiese
06-17-2010, 12:54 PM
The Republicans might want to remember that if and when they decide to get back at the NRA.

Bingo, sir!

kcbrown
06-17-2010, 1:00 PM
While (above post) VCDL has been useful in VA politics, it's a bit naive about national politics.

Disclose Act will pass - there was enough traction after Citizens' United that a Republican minority who can't even stop trillions in healthcare overspending will again similarly fail to beat.


And yet, you claim the NRA is capable of stopping any anti-gun bill, implying that it can do so no matter how much traction it may have.

What specifically about anti-gun bills makes them so special that the NRA can stop them no matter how much support they would have sans NRA intervention, but they cannot stop this? Why does the NRA have so much more clout with respect to anti-gun bills that they don't have against anything else?

How exactly does that work, and why?

Needless to say, and as you can tell, I'm mightily confused.

bwiese
06-17-2010, 1:44 PM
And yet, you claim the NRA is capable of stopping any anti-gun bill, implying that it can do so no matter how much traction it may have.

What specifically about anti-gun bills makes them so special that the NRA can stop them no matter how much support they would have sans NRA intervention, but they cannot stop this? Why does the NRA have so much more clout with respect to anti-gun bills that they don't have against anything else?


1. Anti-gun bills are just bad bad politics now. The bodies on the floor from 1994 turnover still resonate politically.

1. Gun bills are recognized as NRA's domain. They also have a fair reputation on the Hill for being a single-subject player (regardless
of press perceptions).

3. NRA may well not have enough power to kill a highly popular
non-gun bill directly. They do have the power/respect to:
(1) modify generally non-gun-related bills to kill bad gun wording;
(2) to sometimes 'mark up' a non-gun bill to get useful pro-gun action
(CCWs in national parks glued onto Obama's credit-card bill, for example).
(3) possibly kill a bill by putting a real smelly-stinky proviso in it.

The path and extent of these matters are determined by committees and which committe chairs (and/or key staff) are favorable to NRA.

yellowfin
06-17-2010, 5:07 PM
The bodies on the floor from 1994 turnover still resonate politically.You mean the bodies of Schumer, Pelosi, McCarthy, Feinstein, etc.? Last I checked they still feel invincible.

bwiese
06-17-2010, 5:17 PM
You mean the bodies of Schumer, Pelosi, McCarthy, Feinstein, etc.? Last I checked they still feel invincible.

Have they done anything antigun lately?

Last time I checked they had CCWs in National parks run up their arses, and had gun transport on Amtrak shoved down their throats. In fact they may actually (I don't have details) voted for some of these actions -certainly on the credit card bill.

I'm also speaking on a national 'balance of power' pro-gun basis.

As individuals, there is no chance Pelosi will be replaced by anyone better; Schumer probably not. Feinstein? Perhaps, though we could end up with the equally-bad Tom Campbell.

yellowfin
06-17-2010, 7:04 PM
True, but relatively inconsequential. If we had the chance, why did they play the lowest cards in the hand?

Deadred7o7
06-18-2010, 1:42 AM
:lurk5:

Kharn
06-18-2010, 3:37 AM
Their name is the National Rifle Association, not National Republican Association.

Al Norris
06-18-2010, 5:38 AM
I posted the following, a few minutes ago, over at TFL.

From The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/17/AR2010061705859.html), there is this:
One of President Obama's top legislative priorities is in serious doubt after top House Democrats' attempt to satisfy the National Rifle Association backfired badly.

Top Democrats abandoned plans for a Friday vote in the House on the legislation, known as the Disclose Act, after liberal groups and members of the Congressional Black Caucus rose up against the deal with the NRA. A lobbying blitz by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups also undermined support for the legislation, aides said.

There is much more about this from Politico.com (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38713.html) this morning:
Hatched over the last few weeks by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) with backing from House Democratic leaders and the White House, it was a legislative maneuver rich with the kind of irony that often goes unremarked in Washington - a classic back-room special interest deal to help pass a bill that would require heightened disclosure of special interest spending on campaign ads.

The idea was to neutralize opposition to tough new campaign spending rules from one particularly powerful special interest group, the National Rifle Association, by exempting it as well as the left-leaning Sierra Club and the ecumenical Humane Society and AARP from certain disclosure requirements in the bill. But while the maneuver was effective in getting the NRA to back down, the deal sparked a backlash that pitted big-money special interest groups, including some traditional allies, against each other, and turned fence-sitters and even some supporters of the bill into opponents.

Short of the votes needed for passage in the House, the bill was pulled Thursday night by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

....

Still, he said his team “tried to talk to them (the NRA) at some length about this,” but was told the group had determined its position based on an assessment of its members’ interest and wasn’t open to changing it.

“I would suggest to you that they have decided that protecting the Second Amendment right is their mission and cutting a deal on the First Amendment to ensure their capacity to protect the Second Amendment was more important to them, the result of which was to toss overboard roughly 100,000 other associations,” asserted Josten.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the criticism his group has received from the right – including being blasted as hypocritical, “arrogant and elitist” by the Wall Street Journal editorial board – hasn’t changed the group’s commitment to its neutrality to the bill – provided the carve out remains intact.

“We did what was in the best interests for the NRA and the Second Amendment and we would do it again,” he said. “We do not take positions on bills that do not affect us.”

Josten asserted the NRA’s neutrality “strengthened the unions” and “undercut” the business community headed into the 2010 midterm elections.

Politics is a very dirty game. A game the NRA is good at. We may never know if this was the exact outcome that the NRA wanted. Regardless, the bill now appears to be dead.

RRangel
06-18-2010, 6:16 AM
Politics is a very dirty game. A game the NRA is good at. We may never know if this was the exact outcome that the NRA wanted. Regardless, the bill now appears to be dead.

It's not dead until it's dead. The so called "healthcare reform" was supposed to be dead. Everyone needs to keep an eye on this and contact their reps accordingly.

FirstFlight
06-18-2010, 1:56 PM
And this is what Timothy P. Carney of the Washington Examiner has to say about it.

Timothy P. Carney: NRA isn't the villain in the free-speech fight
By: Timothy P. Carney
Examiner Columnist
June 18, 2010
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the 138th National Rifle Association of America meeting (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) (Getty Images)


Congressional Democrats, to avert a clash with the National Rifle Association, have crafted a blatantly unfair amendment to an already cynical and probably unconstitutional bill regulating political discourse. The amendment, crafted by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., exempts a handful of the most powerful lobbies -- including the NRA -- from proposed burdensome disclosure requirements.

It's a shameful moment for the House of Representatives -- especially the Democratic majority, and particularly Van Hollen. On the right, though, the ire is mostly aimed at the NRA for agreeing to drop its opposition to the bill because of the carveout.

But the facts paint an ambiguous picture as far as the NRA's culpability.

The NRA's chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, on May 26 wrote every House member, attacking the DISCLOSE Act for creating "a series of Byzantine disclosure requirements that have the obvious effect of intimidating speech."

Cox wrote, "there is no legitimate reason to include the NRA" in the bill's reporting and disclosure rules. Democrats say the bill is about curbing the political influence of corporations, which sometimes form nonprofit front groups to run issue ads. This bill aims to expose the real money behind such ads. The NRA, however, doesn't hide behind front groups.

The NRA's objection derailed the bill just before it was expected to pass.

Rep. Heath Shuler, a pro-gun Democrat from a conservative North Carolina district, responded with a proposal to exempt membership-based nonprofits from the bill. This would protect the NRA, Human Rights Campaign, Americans for Tax Reform, and many other groups.

Apparently, for Democratic leadership, that defeated the purpose. Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, wrote his own amendment, exempting only the largest membership groups. It was a carve-out for the NRA.

So the NRA lobbyists were now faced with a bill that neither regulated guns nor regulated the NRA. Just as the NRA doesn't take a position on cap-and-trade measures or abortion bills, it decided it wouldn't take a position on the DISCLOSE Act.

The right exploded in anger. Other nonprofits felt abandoned. Some NRA board members felt betrayed. The conservative rank-and-file felt an ally had behaved selfishly to the detriment of the movement.

But the center-right is not some monolithic force with identical interests. The Chamber of Commerce supported the stimulus and cash for clunkers. National Right to Life didn't oppose the House health care bill. ATR was silent on the partial-birth abortion bill.

An analogy: I've read reviewers critique a book for not covering some topics they find important. Such criticism is silly, because it boils down to this: Even though the author wrote the book he said he would write, the reviewer wishes the author had written a different book than he wrote.

Today, some conservatives wish the NRA were a different organization than it is. It is not a conservative lobby. It is not the right's American Civil Liberties Union.

It is a gun rights group. On some occasions, the NRA has pushed pro-gun legislation that is anti-conservative -- such as bills limiting private property owners from prohibiting legal guns.

The NRA hasn't endorsed Van Hollen's crooked bit of cynical politicking, and it isn't critiquing anyone who fights the bill. It has just decided not to use gun-rights money to oppose a speech-rights bill.

And of course, the real villain here is Van Hollen, who -- in the name of curbing the special interests -- gave the biggest special interests a free pass.

But even faced with these valid arguments the NRA's walking away from this fight is hard to swallow. As NRA board member Cleta Mitchell puts it, the First Amendment is a principle, not merely an issue.

Also, Van Hollen's deal is so clearly unfair, and the NRA, by dropping its objection to the bill, is indirectly using unfair means to protect gun rights.

NRA lobbyists say they are just looking out for their members. In this case, that means abandoning friends.


Timothy P. Carney is The Washington Examiner's lobbying editor. His K Street column appears on Wednesdays.



Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/op...#ixzz0rF4PCpdX

Fyathyrio
06-18-2010, 6:00 PM
OK, let me see if I understand...

NRA opposed this odius bill when they learned of it and how it would affect their membership.

NRA could not stop it in May, so they struck a deal to protect their membership. The deal also happened to protect some other organizations with a wide variety of interests such as Sierra Club, AARP, ect.

Because of the NRA's actions, multiple smaller organizations suddenly became aware of this bill and it's impact to their memberships.

Because of the NRA's actions, the outcry against this bill from these disparate groups suddenly thrust into an alliance has killed it for the time being.

Once these multiple organizations took up the charge, the NRA was able to back off and save resources for future issues.

Why are you upset at the NRA again?!?

Al Norris
06-18-2010, 6:39 PM
Why are you upset at the NRA again?!?

Ummm.... Because he forget how to play chess? :cool2:

dfletcher
06-18-2010, 7:06 PM
OK, let me see if I understand...

NRA opposed this odius bill when they learned of it and how it would affect their membership.

NRA could not stop it in May, so they struck a deal to protect their membership. The deal also happened to protect some other organizations with a wide variety of interests such as Sierra Club, AARP, ect.

Because of the NRA's actions, multiple smaller organizations suddenly became aware of this bill and it's impact to their memberships.

Because of the NRA's actions, the outcry against this bill from these disparate groups suddenly thrust into an alliance has killed it for the time being.

Once these multiple organizations took up the charge, the NRA was able to back off and save resources for future issues.

Why are you upset at the NRA again?!?

I'm happy at the results and it was an interesting ride.

Interesting to see things are not as they appear in DC, sometimes even more so than usual.

Interesting to see NRA use expedient and perhaps DC wise tactics to to create circumstances "incompatible with life" for this bill to proceed.

Interesting to see some of the reactions to NRA tactics, from individuals and other groups.

It seems to me the conventional approach would be to fight the bill in its entirety - that would be my reaction and had NRA done so I think there would have been in general a healthy "good for them!" response. Perhaps there are times when "that man behind the curtin" knows what he is doing?

1st5
06-18-2010, 7:11 PM
Basically they are turning the dems against themselves by taking this stance. Now that the NRA has the deal in their favor the anti gunners don't want the bill to pass giving the NRA exemption. So now liberals are calling in and congress critters are saying that this bill will not pass as long as NRA has the exemption. So, the anti 1st bill dies because the pro 2nd NRA did their job. Remember...the 2nd exists to protect the 1st. Mission accomplished in this case.

Fyathyrio
06-18-2010, 7:21 PM
One thing I found pretty odd was the amount of people willing to condemn the NRA based on stories written with an obvious agenda from the MSM that they often claim to distrust. Once several sources had weighed in with differing opinions, and the facts became clearer, it was much easier to see the whole picture.

Sam Adams
06-18-2010, 7:34 PM
Here is a very clear take on the Disclose Act by David Keene - 1st VP of the NRA. In all of the confusion, he makes it easy to understand why the NRA took the position it did, and why it was an excellent strategy. Thank you Cool Gun Wife for finding this for us.




Also, Pelosi pulled the legislatin today because her coalition had fallen apart. She can still bring it up, but many think it is done.


http://www.nraila.org/keeneresponse/ (http://www.nraila.org/keeneresponse/)

JimWest
06-18-2010, 7:45 PM
Anyone catch the WSJ article today?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704289504575313030277318678.html?K EYWORDS=potomac+watch

campperrykid
06-19-2010, 2:47 AM
There are winners and there are whiners.
The NRA , SAF , and Calguns are winners . They don't bad mouth each other in a feeble and pathetic attempt to expand their market share.

Sam Adams
06-19-2010, 3:53 AM
There are winners and there are whiners.
The NRA , SAF , and Calguns are winners . They don't bad mouth each other in a feeble and pathetic attempt to expand their market share.

Well said.

FirstFlight
06-19-2010, 2:41 PM
OK.....and the NRA sums it up this way....
Setting The Record Straight On The “DISCLOSE Act”


Friday, June 18, 2010


We appreciate the concerns some NRA members have raised about our position on H.R. 5175, the “DISCLOSE Act.” Unfortunately, the mainstream media and other critics of NRA’s role in this process have misstated or misunderstood the facts. We’d like to set the record straight.

We have never said we would support any version of this bill. To the contrary, we clearly stated NRA’s strong opposition to the DISCLOSE Act (as introduced) in a letter sent to Members of Congress on May 26 (click here to read the letter).

Through the courts and in Congress, the NRA has consistently and strongly opposed any effort to restrict the rights of our four million members to speak and have their voices heard on behalf of gun owners nationwide. The initial version of H.R. 5175 would effectively have put a gag order on the NRA during elections and threatened our members’ right to privacy and freedom of association, by forcing us to turn our donor lists over to the federal government. We would also have been forced to list our top donors on all election-related television, radio and Internet ads and mailings—even mailings to our own members. We refuse to let this Congress impose those unconstitutional restrictions on our Association.

The introduced version of the bill would also have prohibited political speech by all federal government contractors. The NRA has contracts to provide critical firearm training for our Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The bill would have forced us to choose between training our men and women in uniform and exercising our right to free political speech. We refused to let this Congress force us to make that choice.

We told Congress we opposed the bill. Consequently, congressional leaders announced they would exempt us from its draconian restrictions on political speech. If that happens, we will not be involved in final consideration of this bill in the House. If it doesn’t, we will strongly oppose the bill.

Our position is based on principle and experience. During consideration of the previous campaign finance legislation passed in 2002, congressional leadership repeatedly refused to exempt the NRA from its provisions, promising that our concerns would be fixed somewhere down the line. That didn’t happen; instead, the NRA had to live under those restrictions for seven years and spend millions of dollars on compliance costs and on legal fees to challenge the law. We will not go down that road again when we have an opportunity to protect our ability to speak.

There are those who say the NRA should put the Second Amendment at risk over a First Amendment principle. That’s easy to say—unless you have a sworn duty to protect the Second Amendment above all else, as we do.

The NRA is a non-partisan, single-issue organization made up of millions of individual members dedicated to the protection of the Second Amendment. We do not represent the interests of other organizations. That’s their responsibility. Our responsibility is to protect and defend the interests of our members. And that we do without apology.

Today, the fate of the bill remains in doubt. The House floor debate has repeatedly been postponed. Lawmakers and outside groups who once supported the bill, or took no position—including the Brady Campaign—have now come out against it because of the announcement regarding NRA. The outcome in the Senate is even murkier, as anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has announced her strong opposition to the proposed change.

No matter what may happen now, NRA members can be assured that protection of gun owners’ interests will remain NRA’s top priority. Please check in regularly at www.nraila.org for the latest news on this issue.








Copyright 2010, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 800-392-8683

1859sharps
07-03-2010, 5:34 PM
Please never confuse Republican politics with gun politics.

that should go in your sig line Bill...though I doubt it will do any good. No matter how many times it is brought up most gun owners who are Republican cling to the misguided belief that just because the Republicans typically vote against gun control that they are the "party of hope" in terms of the Second Amendment.

looking back we got the '89 assault weapons ban because a Republican Governor signed the bill and Arnold (a Republican) has signed a few bills that have hurt...so much for Republican alone meaning friend of the 2nd.

I am not a registered Democrat, but I have no illusions that simply being Republican means they are pro 2nd amendment.

But then I also tend to be a one issue voter...to me, the first and second amendments together are what keeps us free. they protect the ability to express decent and to defend one's self with words or other means. we lose those rights, the other issues we currently have before us (abortion, budgets, immigration etc) become no so important. we would have bigger issues to deal with.

abusalim81
07-04-2010, 2:27 AM
Funny, I don't see anything wrong with this: there's a bill out there; NRA is making
sure it won't affect gun politics.

And they appear feel the bill may be likely to pass and want to avoid problems.

You're just seeing Republicans being anti-NRA because they lose an edge with the Dems
and/or can't beat them on this - and this may be a bit of payback to the John McCain faction
too.

If the Republicans cared about free speech they'd not have supported the Patriot Act,
etc.

Please never confuse Republican politics with gun politics.

Exactly! +1