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Monday, December 09, 2019

GOP Defends NRA Despite Evidence Of Waste, Fraud, And Abuse


Rep.Steve Scalise, Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Photo by The White House

Republican lawmakers are calling a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday against the National Rifle Association an attack on gun ownership while ignoring the charges of "fraud and abuse" contained in the filing.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise tweeted in response to the suit: "Violent crime is skyrocketing in NYC. What's New York's Democrat Attorney General focused on? Launching politically motivated attacks against the Second Amendment & NRA. Make no mistake: Making it harder for law-abiding Americans to defend themselves is the far-left's agenda."

James' suit seeks to dissolve the organization and ban its officers from serving on nonprofit boards in the future.

The attorney general's 18-month investigation uncovered millions of dollars in spending on personal trips for NRA executives,
no-show contracts, and even organizational money going to pay for hair and makeup for the wife of chief executive Wayne LaPierre.

"The NRA's influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets," James said a statement announcing the lawsuit. "The NRA is fraught with fraud and abuse, which is why, today, we seek to dissolve the NRA, because no organization is above the law."

Rather than express concern that gun rights advocates' donations may have been misused to enrich NRA officials, pro-gun lawmakers attacked the lawsuit on Thursday and Friday as an assault on the right to bear arms.

Three Republicans urged the NRA to simply move from New York to their own states.

"Hey @NRA, there's plenty of real estate in Georgia and we love 2nd Amendment!" tweeted Rep. Barry Loudermilk.

"We'd love to have the @NRA in the Rushmore state," countered Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota.

"The NRA — National Rifle Association of America is America's oldest civil rights organization with over 5 million members.
We would love to have them move to Texas to continue the fight to defend the 2nd Amendment!" Rep. Lance Gooden urged on Facebook.

Others posted attacks on James and the lawsuit.

Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler tweeted: "The NY AG attacking the NRA is a classic example of Democrat elected officials putting politics above policy simply to appease their liberal base. The NY AG should be focused on going after criminals & combat the skyrocketing crime rate in NYC, instead of appeasing the far left."

"First Democrats wanted to defund the police, and now they are trying to eliminate your god-given rights enshrined in the Second Amendment. This attack on the @NRA is the latest step in their far-left agenda," tweeted Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn.

"This lawsuit is an abuse of power by Democrats who fear the support of the @NRA and all Americans who support the Second Amendment," said Rep. Bill Flores of Texas.

Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona claimed: "The radical left's political agenda is clear: they are trying to destroy your Second Amendment rights and erase the Constitution."

South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan called the suit "tone deaf."

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar urged James to focus on New York's handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes rather than "attacking the 2nd amendment rights of all Americans."

And Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said, "The left wants to cancel your right to own a gun."

None of the lawmakers' social media comments indicated any concern about the fraud allegations contained in the lawsuit.

The NRA's political action committee has distributed millions of dollars to political candidates, almost entirely to Republicans. Each of the members rushing to the groups' defense has received money from the NRA.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Otis Redding

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