The Gun Control Warchest

This could be an explanation for the shrill sound of desperation we’ve been noticing from the anti-gun camp lately:

They haven’t been raising any money for their Political Action Committee.  This is speculation, but my guess is they’ve been having to eschew fundraising for the PAC in order to keep their 501(c)(4) and (c)(3) activities afloat.  This is probably the most critical election for the gun issue for some time, and I would just imagine if they could be raising money, they would be.  Compare this to NRA’s war chest:

More importantly, if you go to yourself, and look at NRA-PVF’s top donors, you’ll see professions like “Machine Operator”, “Police Officer”, “Computer Technician”, “Engineer”, “Mechanic”, “Truck Driver”, “Art Teacher”.  Sure, you also have your attorneys, doctors, and businessmen, but think about how much $1000 dollars means to a truck driver?  Or an Art Teacher?   Meanwhile the Brady’s have raised not just a little money, but nothing.  Think about that, and what it says about where the passion is on this issue.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit users!  Sorry for the little hickup there in the server.  Seems getting linked by Glenn on a big primary election night is a rough deal on the server, especially when your post has images.  After a bit of performance tuning, we appear to be back in business.  Still need a faster server, though.

29 thoughts on “The Gun Control Warchest”

  1. Do this. Get a list of names of all the members of the Brady BoD plus significant contributors to their 501(c)4 and 501(c)3 then run them through various campaign finance disclosure databases. That is where the antis get their political influence, not directly through their PAC. What you will come up with is a group of people whose direct and indirect political expenditures put NRA to shame. It’s not even close.

  2. Why would someone donate 2,008 dollars? Did he try to make the donation match the year?

  3. Also, check out their cash on hand: The NRA started out with ~$1.9 million, and ended the year with $6.6 million. Brady started with $51,280 and ended with $48, 182. They’re hemorrhaging money, where as the NRA is rolling around in it.

    Finally, look at their contributions: Brady contributed $500 to political campaigns, 100% of it to Democrats. The NRA contributed $413,345, 77% of it to Republicans, and 23% of it to Democrats.

    Gee, I wonder why the NRA is more effective. :D

  4. Jacob, that may be the case, but I’m willing to bet the sheer number of NRA members make the NRA’s dollar a lot louder and go a lot further than a handful of rich people.

  5. NRA gets its influence because they represent real people and politicians know their $8 million came in the form of $20, $50, $100 donations.

    Brady, etc. gets their influence through sheer dollars controlled. One of the local antis held a fundraiser in ’04 for John Kerry at $2500/plate and raised more money in a couple of hours than NRA spends in the state over the course of several years including the salaries of their lobbyists. I know another anti who held a Clinton Senatorial fundraiser and brought in $750,000 in one night for Hillary.

  6. Jacob, was that money for Anti-Gun legislation specifically? Or are these groups more wide spread in their goals?

    I would assume the NRA is focused. Again, I would think that motivating 3 to 30 million people to vote on a specific issue holds a lot more weight than a million dollars to run two TV ads amongst a few people with many goals.

  7. The money was for political campaigns. This how they effectively “buy” clout with legislators. It costs a lot of money to run for state houses and even more for federal campaigns. Outfits like the Brady’s and their state affiliates are mostly fronts for politicians, professional activists and very wealthy donors with just a few average Joes out in front for window dressing. Consider that NRAs donations to members of Congress are in the $1000-$5000 range. To you and me that’s a lot of money. However, I know antis who write personal checks for more than NRA gives out. It can easily cost upwards of $500,000 or $1,000,000 or more to run for Congress. Politicians have to spend a huge amount of their time jonseing for cash and the antis are able to provide that. When the person who is able to put together a $2500/plate campaign fundraiser mentions they’re associated with the local antigun group, the group gets instant pull with the politician and a lots of others who want a piece of the cheese.

  8. Money specifics aside, the fact that both Clinton and Obama are out there lying through their teeth, trying to convince rural Americans that each of them is stronger on gun rights than the other speaks volumes, and pretty much tells you where mainstream America is on this issue.

    When was the last time a candidate touted his or her endorsement by a gun control organization?

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  10. Don’t count the antis out yet. While Brady may not be getting money now they may in the future. Keep in mind that the Dems have been collecting and spending tons of cash fighting each other and once they pick a candidate they can focus their money in other directions. Other PACs may take on the mantle of the antis such as, which is very well funded and makes what the NRA contributes look like a high school car wash fundraiser. The NRA provides many services (training, range maintenance, etc) with that money and not just political activity. MoveOn does nothing with their money but political activity. The NRA brings more cash in, but MoveOn spends more on politicians. Keep in mind that the NRA contributes 23% to the Dems while MoveOn contributes 0% to Republicans and MoveOn will chime in on any number of pet issues that the Dems have.

  11. Bruce says:
    “the fact that both Clinton and Obama are out there lying through their teeth, trying to convince rural Americans that each of them is stronger on gun rights than the other speaks volumes”.

    It is those of us who are “rural Americans” who are the LEGAL owners of guns.
    It is us who are the ones who will be deprived of our LEGAL possessions and NOT the criminals who will get whatever they want anyway by ILLEGAL means.
    I am firmly against the hysterical gun controllers who have no legitimate basis for confiscating my ALEGALLY owned guns.

    JACOB says:
    “I know another anti who held a Clinton Senatorial fundraiser and brought in $750,000 in one night for Hillary.”


    “However, I know antis who write personal checks for more than NRA gives out.”


    I’m originally from Chicago and now live in Wisconsin.
    Check out how many people there are with guns during deer season here.
    If guns are so “dangerous”, then why aren’t there hundreds of thousands of murders here??

  12. The left is arguably way better at laundering money than the NRA. If the NRA gives a candidate money, the left crows about him being “bought” by the gun lobby. If the Bradys persuade people to give a candidate a big pile of dough, you notice that while their fingerprints never appear on the bills, the candidate knows full well who arranged for the payment. He also knows that identifying himself as a “gun-grabber” will hurt his campaign, but if he can’t be tagged up front, the payback can come later.

  13. Examples:

    Susan Patricof, the one who held the 3/4 million fundraiser for Clinton, personally donated over $100,000 to the DNC during Hillary’s Senate campaign.

    Barbara Hohlt, co-founder of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and Executive Director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence, has personally given $9000 to Carolyn McCarthy.

    Liza Lowenstein, the one who held the $2500/person fundraiser for John Kerry with guests Vanessa Kerry and Chris Heinz in attendence, personally gave an additional $2000 to Kerry and $2250 more to the DNC during the same period.

  14. Bill you are exactly right. The NRA’s donations are much more unfront than the antis who funnel money and influence through the backdoor.

  15. Anti’s are anti till it is their rights and/or property which is in jeopardy.
    then there is not sufficient cheese to go along with the whine.

  16. Doug, the NRA dollars above are for their PAC, the PVF. This money is specifically donated for political purposes, and it does not include the membership dues of NRA members. The NRA’s annual budget is somewhere around $120 million, which includes the membership dues.

  17. Brady Campaign is small potatoes, they are the public face for larger efforts. The Joyce Foundation is the big money for the anti’s. The Joyce Foundation prefers to be a silent partner holding the big purse; whereas Brady is more of a PR organization. Every major anti-gun study that has been done got it’s funding from Joyce, including the famous ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ article in the 1980’s that redefined guns as a ‘health threat’.

  18. Or — and here’s a thought — the donation volume is low because the anti-gunners know they have a lock on this election and don’t need to bust a gut for it.

    None of the three presidential candidates is a win for the NRA. On the congressional level, the Republican Party has self-destructed sufficiently to guarantee continued Democratic hegemony.

    Sarah could afford to take a long vacation in the gun-free paradise of Jamaica until January, and (assuming she makes it back alive) could pretty much come home to occupy her own personal office in the White House.

  19. That presumes the only election is the presidency, which is not true. There’s plenty of downstream elections the Brady’s could use money on. There’s also the fact that McCain might not be a great win, but isn’t really a great loss either.

  20. I still believe that those groups also are pushing “progressive” ideas, gun control just being one part of the bigger plan (can’t push ideas on people that they don’t like when they can fight back now can we?).

    This dilutes their message. Here’s a bajillion dollars for your campaign, and we expect you do raise taxes, nationalize health care, subsidize all college tuition, feed the poor, oh yeah and take away those scary guns.

    Then you have the NRA (who, frankly, shouldn’t give a fracking dime to any politicians. That’s not how it’s supposed to work) who say “Here’s a couple of bucks. Oh yeah, and if you vote for that gun control measure, I’ll make sure all 3-30 million of my members know about it with 18 different mailings in one week. You know, those people who actually have to vote for you in order for you to keep your job.”

  21. “MoveOn does nothing with their money but political activity. ”

    Actually millions are being spend by on huge salaries and free rent.

    I found it very interesting to look at’s expenditures and see how may $100k+ salaries are listed. I counted 14 salaries of over $100k including payments for rent. Many more people were listed with salaries just under $100k.

    For contrast not ONE salary entry, of any amount, for the NRA PAC.

    Tell me again how the NRA is buying people off with wheelbarrows full of cash….

  22. The Gun Control lies of the Liberal Infidels are indeed difficult to stomach. However, as a Jewess in the US, I would like to remind everyone that criminals are stopped by FIREARMS, not by talk. And that America wasn’t won with a registered gun. That is why all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!

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