NRA plans $6.75 million in campaign ads

posted at 10:12 am on October 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The NRA has taken some criticism this month over its endorsements of individual Democrats in various Congressional races.  Politico, though reports today through its Morning Score e-mail bulletin that the NRA has a big budget for home-stretch campaign ads, and that the money won’t be distributed along bipartisan lines:

The National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign blitz on television and radio, and in the mail, to back up pro-gun candidates in House, Senate and governor’s races. The NRA-PVF has taken criticism from the GOP this cycle for endorsing a list of Democrats – including high-value candidates like West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland – but there’s no question which party is going to benefit more from this ad blitz. The total price of the first-wave offensive is $6.75 million, hitting targeted Senate races like the contests in Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin. The organization’s also investing in gubernatorial elections in Arizona, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, among other states.

Actually, this is nothing new for the NRA.  They have routinely endorsed candidates of both parties that are willing to support gun rights (and to vote for them as well).  Harry Reid routinely got NRA endorsements, because for all of his other flaws, Reid had been fairly good on gun rights.  In order to protect gun rights over the long haul, the NRA has wisely chosen to engage with both Democrats and Republicans in order to ensure that sudden shifts in power do not jeopardize the rights of gun owners — and that strategy has worked reasonably well over the last several decades.

However, when it comes to money, that’s a different story altogether.  Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported on the expenditures of outside political-action groups and where their campaign dollars went in the previous week.  The NRA came in sixth on the list, and 100% of their money went to the GOP:

This money will all go to Republicans as well.  In this season, groups play an all-or-nothing game, as this makes pretty clear.  In fact, the most bipartisan group on the list is … the Chamber of Commerce, which spent 15% of their dollars in support of Democrats while the White House demonized them for their supposed “foreign” influences.  The CoC engages both sides just as the NRA does, but obviously it didn’t do them any good in this cycle once Barack Obama and the Democrats decided to turn them into a boogeyman for the Left to shriek at, a role in which the NRA usually gets cast.


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Let hope the NRA supports ALL gun rights. Including NFA gun rights.

tx2654 on October 15, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Endorsing any demorat beyond maybe Zell Miller is stupidity, they will turn on gun owners in a blink if the opportunity arises.

I have no way to really dismiss the NRA because of my life membership, but at least I can refuse to give any more and instead donate to the GOA.

Bishop on October 15, 2010 at 10:16 AM

The nonsense of this gets lost in the choice of speaker.

I concluded long ago that the NRA did not stand for freedom.

tarpon on October 15, 2010 at 10:17 AM

The NRA must be praying that Obama starts publicly demonizing them so they can rake in the donations like the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads.

rsrobinson on October 15, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Charlton Heston; From My Cold Dead Hands. Long Version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ju4Gla2odw

canopfor on October 15, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Just curious – why is the National Association of Realtors in there at No. 10, giving 98% of its money to Democrats? I didn’t realise realtors were that political – unlike the trial lawyers or teachers.

And having the Democrats crash the housing market can’t have been good for business – or are they relying on Dems to create another bubble?

EnglishMike on October 15, 2010 at 10:20 AM

I have no way to really dismiss the NRA because of my life membership, but at least I can refuse to give any more and instead donate to the GOA.

Bishop on October 15, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Same boat, paddling along with you.

Extrafishy on October 15, 2010 at 10:20 AM

So,these would be Democrats who like guns!!
Just sayin!

canopfor on October 15, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Interesting that they are targeting both the PA senate and Gubernatorial races. The Senate is still a race, but the governors race is at +12 points for Corbett.

Maybe they will get some down ticket bang for the buck on the 8-9 contested house seats and the state assembly/senate.

forest on October 15, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Where is the Union money?

barnone on October 15, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Note numbers 7 and 8 on that list.

Vashta.Nerada on October 15, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Just curious – why is the National Association of Realtors in there at No. 10, giving 98% of its money to Democrats? I didn’t realise realtors were that political – unlike the trial lawyers or teachers.

And having the Democrats crash the housing market can’t have been good for business – or are they relying on Dems to create another bubble?

EnglishMike on October 15, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Yes

Vashta.Nerada on October 15, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Portman in Ohio doesn’t need the ads.

That said, can’t the NRA leave well enough alone in Ohio? Get out of the Ohio governor’s race. Strickland sucks, and we need Kasich in Columbus for crying out loud.

If they’re elected, we’ll see how gun-friendly an Obama puppet like Strickland and other Ohio Dems will be.

BuckeyeSam on October 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Note numbers 7 and 8 on that list.
Vashta.Nerada on October 15, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Union trash need their cups filled.

Bishop on October 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Just curious – why is the National Association of Realtors in there at No. 10, giving 98% of its money to Democrats? I didn’t realise realtors were that political – unlike the trial lawyers or teachers.

And having the Democrats crash the housing market can’t have been good for business – or are they relying on Dems to create another bubble?

EnglishMike on October 15, 2010 at 10:20 AM

In our area, they are supporting Joe Donnelly (D)…who is Pelosi’s lap dog. I guess they want more gubmint money going to people to buy homes…no skin off their back if the house gets repoed later…..

search4truth on October 15, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Endorsing any demorat beyond maybe Zell Miller is stupidity, they will turn on gun owners in a blink if the opportunity arises.

Bishop on October 15, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Kinda like all those “pro-life” Dems.

cartooner on October 15, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Well, it’s good to know NRA money is going to the GOP, but endorsing the Dem in states like WV and OH may end up doing more good for the Democratic party in the long run.

changer1701 on October 15, 2010 at 10:45 AM

NRA endorsed Pelosi-enabling Perriello (D, VA5). Perriello just got infusion of cash from moveon.org & now the SEIU has committed to $250,000 TV ad buy for him. (note to NRA: do you really want to be associated with these groups?)

I cancelled my NRA membership over this. Perriello voted for Obamacare, Stimulus & cap ‘n trade. His opponent, who I am supporting, Robert Hurt (R) has A rating with NRA for his tenure in Virginia State Senate.

roberthurtforcongress.com

kelley in virginia on October 15, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Actually, this is nothing new for the NRA. They have routinely endorsed candidates of both parties that are willing to support gun rights (and to vote for them as well). Harry Reid routinely got NRA endorsements, because for all of his other flaws, Reid had been fairly good on gun rights. In order to protect gun rights over the long haul, the NRA has wisely chosen to engage with both Democrats and Republicans in order to ensure that sudden shifts in power do not jeopardize the rights of gun owners — and that strategy has worked reasonably well over the last several decades.

Here’s the problem the NRA doesn’t get. A strong majority of liberal Democrats would love to see the 2nd amendment abolished. How many times in the political system does the Democrat leadership allow some in their party to vote against their majority on certain issues to protect them from bucking their district’s wishes and convictions? Strong case in point, BART STUPAK, and his abortion two-step. My point is, that while the NRA “believes” the Democrat they are endorsing is sincere in their convictions of supporting gun owner’s rights, it’s still the majority of Democrats that will support legislation to remove those rights, (this includes the “tit of tat” modus, “I’ll vote no on this one, and will vote yes on your pathetic idea). Does this make any sense to promote the liberal agenda as a whole, or any part of it?

I believe the NRA’s selective method will cause them to lose memberships, just like the VFW is losing theirs.

Rovin on October 15, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Not a member of the NRA but I have contributed to them through many purchases with Midway USA. The Institute For Legislative Action arm though is quite informative.

fourdeucer on October 15, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Why are realtors so pro-Dem?

exdeadhead on October 15, 2010 at 10:54 AM

search4truth on October 15, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Yes, housing subsidies artificailly increase demand, hence price, hence commission. Thanks.

exdeadhead on October 15, 2010 at 10:56 AM

As a long time hunter (sixty years) and gun nut – former NRA safety instructer, I must say that in disseminating money in America these days of real out-of-the-closet America-hating political parties, there are far more pressing issues to consider -if ultimately gun rights are to be secured, and those are the fundamental rights to life, and to liberty -both of which are openly threatened by the left. To give any Democrat money is to miss the larger picture and pure folly if you think they ultimately won’t go to supporting a party that wants very badly to control all of us.

Don L on October 15, 2010 at 10:58 AM

This p*sses me off. The NRA did a lot of damage by getting hot and heavy with Democrats like Strickland and Manchin and now they want some good press by spending money on GOP races.

myrenovations on October 15, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Didn’t renew my nra membership this year, just because of the Reid endorsement. Don’t understand the realtors position. Look at the mess Dodd and Frank have made in housing. They must have been promised a lot. (no pun intended)

Kissmygrits on October 15, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Too little too late. I guess the entire magazine will be dedicated to Sturm Ruger to make up financially.

darclon on October 15, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Red Wave? NRA?

Sounds like the perfect time for some Skeet Surfing!

commodore on October 15, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Bishop and Extrafishy- I’m in the same boat, but they got me to upgrade a couple more times, to endowment and millenium endowment. I wouldn’t categorically rule out supporting a Democrat, but how often is a pro-gun rights Demo running against an anti-gun rights Republican? As for supporting the occasional pro-gun incumbent Demo who has a better chance to win, I just don’t agree. Give the guy a fair grade, but financial support is another thing entirely.

Remember you have some extra influence as a life member. I still get come-ons to contribute, which I usually ignore, but when they’re up to something I don’t like, I send the thing back with a letter instead of a contribution. And I call up the Lifer division and pitch a bitch. I let them know the last time there will be no more membership upgrades if they continue to support candidates like Harry Reid. Don’t know if it does that much good, but it make s me feel better.

novaculus on October 15, 2010 at 12:20 PM

The only way to protect the 2nd Amendment is to destroy the Democrat Party, in total.

Any Donkey should be nuked out of WashingtonDC, period.

Brian1972 on October 15, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Why are realtors so pro-Dem?

exdeadhead on October 15, 2010 at 10:54 AM

They’re hoping the Dems will give them another “incentive” package to move even more home sales forward. They’re hurting bad right now. Of course, even if the Dems had the courage (ha!), it would only move more future sales forward, if at all.

Meanwhile, the underlying market problem continues.

karl9000 on October 15, 2010 at 12:33 PM

I call B.S. on the crap I hear about “I’m canceling my membership in the NRA because of this or that”. The House and Senate were handed to the Republicans by the NRA who completely screwed the pooch by spending like Democrats, and lost conservatives everything. The McCain/Feingold Act was a direct result of Rino/Demo fear of the NRA, and McCain was hung by his own Act in the last election, as were all conservatives/libertarians. As a real Life Member, I urge fence sitters to not piss on those who brung you to the dance the last time. Perfection is a goal, not a reality.

trl on October 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Why are realtors so pro-Dem?

exdeadhead on October 15, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Doing whatever they can to protect the mortgage deduction

phreshone on October 15, 2010 at 1:27 PM

I get bored by the predictable “I’m a life member – my NRA right or wrong” admonitions by members who would rather lecture than explain why the NRA engaged in such nefarious actions with its Democrat friends in Congress.

I have been a NRA member for many years and I am very concerned about the path that the NRA has recently charted.

Why isn’t the NRA endorsing the decidedly pro-gun Sharon Angle who is running against Senator Harry Reid whose accomplishments include making sure that Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were seated on the Supreme Court?

Would an NRA run by Charlton Heston not be endorsing Angle against Harry Reid?

Would and NRA run by Charlton Heston be engaging in secret deal-cutting with Congress to make it complicit in passing (or at least attempting to pass) the very anti-First Amendment DISCLOSE Act?

Of course not.

So the NRA lifers may want to answer these questions before they resume their usual lecturing.

I am still a NRA member, but I am fairly disgusted with its behavior this year.

molonlabe28 on October 15, 2010 at 5:10 PM

“Opening salvo”

scotash on October 15, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Resigning immediately from NAR. Long time member and beyond miffed that this organization is as ignorant as their actions. Amazing. There are many other real estate organizations. Would have thought you had intelligence.

highninside on October 15, 2010 at 6:56 PM