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Thursday, May 06, 2010

They bought freedom

Some people continue to make the claim that legislators are "Bought and sold" by the NRA.

It all evolved around legislation from last year that was struck down as unconstitutionally vague by an appointed activist judge. The result was new legislation that would not leave it up to a judge to decide what was a clear and what was not.

The legal team at the capitol said the 50% amendment was fraught with vague terms that could get the bill thrown out by a judge again. It was not well crafted. We were given a list of about half a dozen ways it could be possibly called unconstitutionally vague.

Was the NRA lobbyist in the room at our caucus meeting? Yes.
Did she speak on the bill? Not directly.

Joe McCord was on a tear about the "evil" NRA even before she spoke.

To my recollection I don't think the lobbyist even talked at all, except to respond to questions about endorsements by Joe McCord. I don't think she would have said anything had Joe had not brought her up. She was just sitting quietly in the back row of seats in the corner ready to respond to questions on the bill if needed.

To my recollection the grand sum of what she said was the NRA was not in support of the amendment, they would be scoring the vote and a vote the wrong way could hurt your score or rating.

Well duh! They are the NRA for Pete's sake! Of course they are going to score a vote on gun owner rights! And what would you expect them to do if you voted against their goals? Give you a higher score? Come on.

No threats were made. No bribes were offered. The lobbyist never came into my office to lobby the bill. That was it. When people voted they voted their conscience. If they didn't they violated their oath of office. If anything was "bought" they "bought" freedom for gun and restaurant owners with their vote.

At least with the NRA they tell you before the vote what to expect. With most every other group you have no idea until they send out a mail piece on you or it ends up in the paper.

Funny how that works. Some little environmental groups with virtually no membership sends out a press release and it is major news. Every year they get huge coverage from the press on their ratings. When someone scores well on an environmental score or survey are they considered "Bought and paid for"? No. They are hailed as a hero by the press. Bad score you are evil.

Meanwhile the NRA, Right to life and their millions of members get virtually no positive unpaid press from the media on their ratings. If they mention ratings it is almost as if they are shaking legislators down.

As I have often said, there is no reason to fear a vote or a rating if you are doing the will of your constituents. The only fear comes when you vote against what your constituents expect.

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