What Are You Doing With Your Newly Discovered Enthusiasm?

By the comments posted on this blog, I’m assuming most people are as thrilled as we are with the Colorado recall results. With the new enthusiasm, I’m curious to know how people are thinking they might turn that into action in their own backyards. If you have ideas for how you might step up your own local election activism in coming months, please post. It would be interesting to see what kinds of races you guys think are winnable.

For myself, I plan on contacting a local mayoral race after my mother & grandmother go home from their visit next week. Why the local mayoral race? Because it’s winnable with some extra energy and resources, and it’s in opposition to a MAIG mayor.

In fact, all Pennsylvania gun owners who have a little extra spring in their step today might want to look at the local races on the ballot this November to see if there’s a MAIG opposition candidate who could use a hand distributing literature or putting together yard signs.

40 thoughts on “What Are You Doing With Your Newly Discovered Enthusiasm?”

  1. I’m jumping in on this post as (at present) the most recent one on the Colorado thread.

    I woke up about 7:00 AM and immediately turned on the TV to click through the network news. I encountered not a single mention of the recall. My wife and I went out for breakfast, and I watched the news crawlers on the TV at the diner. No mention. I listened to the car radio on the way out and home. No mention. I glanced through the local paper. No mention to be found.

    By the time I got to my keyboard I was elated, because I knew if the mainstream press wasn’t reporting it, it meant it had to have gone gun owners’ way. I was of course right!

    OK, now to the question of what to do: First and foremost, spin it our way and don’t let it be forgotten. Part of that is, that while the left will of course dispute it, our fellow travelers on the right will be trying to spin things that it was really about their pet issues — whatever those may be. Don’t let them get away with it, either.

    Stay pure RKBA. And my advice to our friends in Colorado is, don’t let the victorious Republicans forget who brought them to the dance. Don’t let people who triumphed on the coattails of the RKBA, first turn their attentions to their other issues. It would not be the first time such and issue-switch has happened following a successful election.

    1. Wish that was possible. He has the support of the state GOP, and unfortunately they are pretty powerful in the party here. It took forever for somebody to try to primary Spector.

      Corbetts problem is he has given the media tons of stuff to fuel the hate. And he isn’t countering effectively at all. He is great on the gun issue, but as a politician he sucks.

      1. I’ve been out of the candidate game so long I’ve forgotten, and things may have changed since then anyway, but — what are the ballot access requirements for a major party, statewide candidate (like governor) in PA? Even though they can usually manage getting all their necessary signatures just a party committee meetings, I seem to recall they used to make things pretty easy for themselves, ballot-petition-wise.

        It might be possible to get a Republican gubernatorial candidate on the ballot just by private initiative, if he or she was popular enough. Second choice might be a right-leaning independent candidate for the fall election. I do not know what the signature requirements for statewide independents and minor parties will be in 2014, but it’s sure to be tens of thousands of signatures.

    1. He’s actually not my mayor. But, I live a stone’s throw from his borough. We drive through his borough every day, so that counts as our community, too. :) I’ll let you know when I get more information. In the meantime, there’s a big fight in the Virginia’s governor’s race that could use more support. Bloomberg just inserted himself there to try and pull the gun control candidate over the finish line.

      1. Please do. Although I live in Western Pa., I live in one of the most pro-Democrat sections of Pittsburgh so trying to get traction on this issue with the politicians for whom I’m a constituent is a tough cause. Instead, I engage the issue on a person-by-person basis, and send my money to districts where it might make a difference. So I’ll be glad to chip in a few bucks for a worthy candidate who has a shot at winning….especially in Pennsylvania

        1. Smithgall in Lancaster has a good chance at winning. He has the hispanic vote, which is large in the City. In fact, the only reason he is running was because people wrote him in. He didn’t even want to run at first.

        2. I would take a look at the small towns right around you. Western Pennsylvania was the core of MAIG in Pennsylvania for a long time, and many of those mayors are still in office. Here’s a post with a list of many mayors who are up this year. Check to see if they have challengers now. As is mentioned in the post, one of the Allegheny County races was won by the MAIG mayor by less than 10 votes last time around.

          Those aren’t all of the MAIG mayors in Pennsylvania who are up, but it’s a good number of them.

  2. One “problem” with being a resident of AL is that there aren’t many local targets of opportunity on the gun front, especially now that we have pre-emption, shall issues, etc etc. I’m not exactly sure what the next avenue of attack is here…

    1. Open carry if you don’t have it already.

      Removal of training requirements.

      Reduction of the cost, and increase in duration of carry license (PA is $20 for five years with no training required).

      Two-tier Vermont-friendly constitutional carry.

      More favorable terms in state law with regard to the use of force, as well as stronger civil immunity for justified uses of force.

      Restrict how the police can dispose of firearms: Require them to be sold to the public (perhaps through local dealers on a consignment basis), and forbid their destruction.

      Outlaw, or heavily regulate “buybacks.”

      Simplify/eliminate laws relating to the transport of firearms. (PA’s laws regarding transportation are extremely draconian for those without an LTCF)

      Stronger preemption of firearms laws. In PA, we have preemption, but it has no teeth and is therefore widely ignored because there is no specific penalty for violations. Furthermore, district attorneys generally refuse to acknowledge that the generic offense clause (PA title 18 section 6119) of the same statute applies to the preemption clause (PA title 18 section 6120).

      Legislate standing for violations of preemption. Often, when courts want to avoid setting precedent they’ll try to dismiss cases for lack of standing. Generally, this means that you need to actually have been prosecuted under the specific provision that violates preemption before you have standing to challenge the relevant provision. With a properly written statute, it’s possible to grant standing to even those who have not been prosecuted under the offending provision.

      Legislate expanded (or blanket) reciprocity. I was in Alabama at the end of February, and at the time AL did not recognize my PA LTCF.

      There is still plenty to push for, and given the nature of our political system there likely always will be.

    2. You can also push for the reduction/elimination of gun-free zones.

      This takes the form of statutes specifically stating that those with state-recognized carry licenses are specifically allowed to carry in schools and state/local government facilities.

      Another aspect is to remove any statutes that allow businesses to sign themselves as “gun free.”

      On the latter point, as far as I’m concerned certain aspects of “private” property rights cease to apply when a business is open to the general public.

      1. This takes the form of statutes specifically stating that those with state-recognized carry licenses are specifically allowed to carry in schools and state/local government facilities.

        Right result; wrong approach. Instead, any laws that prohibit such carrying should simply be repealed. That’s the way it is here in WA, with respect to both open carry and to carrying in government offices. Don’t counter bad law with more exceptions and eccentrics and epicycles, just clean up what you have leaving a better, and smaller, body of state law.

        1. While I agree with you in principle, the key issue in this specific instance is federal law. Due to the language of the federal prohibition on carry in K-12 schools, it is necessary that states specifically grant individuals license to carry in schools.

          Since we were talking specifically of what can be done on the state level, the pragmatic answer to this issue is to amend state statutes to note that such carry is an enumerated right.

  3. For me, we have a MAIG mayor close to us- Gray in Lancaster City. I can’t vote there since I don’t live in the city, but I think I’m going to volunteer to help out his opponent.

    1. You might want to look around to other small towns to see if there are other MAIG mayors who have opposition. They would probably be easier to beat. But, Gray would be a great political victory since he’s Bloomberg’s local MAIG leader.

  4. I forgot to ask: Republican commissioner Peggy Littleton was alleging massive voter fraud a couple days ago. Has anyone heard whether she plans to continue pursuing that?

    1. From what I saw, she wasn’t alleging “massive voter fraud,” but certainly raising concerns about how some rules were apparently not being followed. I don’t know if she’s still following up on that or not. According to an interview on Cam & Company yesterday, there is a group that was looking into some people who appear to have lied on their same day registration affidavits. They signed documents claiming that they moved into Colorado at least 21 days prior, but posted information on public social media sources that indicates they only moved into the state in recent days. The person who said they found concerns there did say they planned to continue looking into such issues after the race.

    2. I answered my own question, which was admittedly somewhat (darkly) tongue-in-cheek.

      I see no evidence that Peggy Littleton is pursuing it, but more than a little ironically, now the Democrats are. Are they picking up a theme that Republican Littleton handed to them?

      The Rs and Ds would be hilarious in their predictability, if I didn’t have to live with their residues — which makes them not very funny at all.

      I seem to recall Littleton alleging that ballots in numbers the order of magnitude of ten thousand were dropped off in an irregular fashion. That seemed intended to suggest something pretty “massive” to me.

      I just can’t help observing how truth seems to be a function of the ox being gored.

      1. I believe she said she saw tens, not tens of thousands. I think you’re cynicism is getting to be a bit too much in assuming the very worst of people all the time.

        UPDATE: Assuming you’re talking about the video I posted, she said she witnessed two people and the other person said they had come across reports of seven people, who dropped of tens of ballots. If you have evidence from other places that shows she is claiming tens of thousands of ballots, then feel free to share it. But I haven’t seen anything like what you’re accusing her of claiming.

        1. You are right. My excuses are, shooters ear (which I’ve had since about age 16, and it hasn’t improved) and a crappy laptop speaker that passes frequencies pretty much in my worst ranges. And their dramatic, pending-doom backdrop music on that video. When she said “ballots” it sounded for all the world like “thousands” when I first heard it.

          But I also took the time to check on some top-level background on the lady who was making the claim (of tens, not tens of thousands) and with all due apologies, my cynicism remains safely intact. I can only operate from life experience.

          1. I didn’t mean to be too harsh on you, but I think your targeting of her just because she happens to be a party member was unfair and far too harsh given the lack of evidence in your accusations. Party members are people, too. They can witness questionable acts as much as the next person.

            1. I don’t want to make this a debate, and I’ll never fault you for calling me on something when I’m straight-up wrong. For my part, high-frequency hearing loss aside, I was guilty of the human foible I often accuse others of, i.e., hearing what they want/expect to hear.

              That said: I thought that video was very clearly produced as a partisan propaganda piece; not that there’s anything wrong with that. But, I thought granting credibility as news, information from a partisan propaganda production, was at best being a tad too trusting — a different manifestation of hearing what we want or expect to hear.

              1. Just because something has a partisan bent doesn’t mean that the people speaking are lying. I never claimed that the video was completely non-partisan, and I also didn’t say it was straight up fact. I did say that concerns were being raised. Just because a person has a voter registration with a major party doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be trusted at all. The fact is that partisans are more interested in being involved with the system than the vast majority of independents. That doesn’t mean they are all lying at every turn. They are people, too.

  5. I sent an e mail to the mayor of Chester, Delaware county, Lansdale Borough and the Mayor of Swartmore Borough. I was polite and pointed out the story and truth of Colorado recall and the weakness of Bloombergs promises. Maybe they haven’t got the message I moved to California.

    Start working with NRA here in California sometime.. No one returns e mails here.

  6. Another reason to target municipal elections is that is where most state legislators got their start. If we can prune out the gun prohibitionists early, it will save a lot of money later.

    1. Amen to that. Pennsylvania gun owners have stopped MAIG members from reaching state offices and from winning a Congressional seat.

      1. But we didn’t stop the MAIG plant from winning the AG race with the announced intent of gutting reciprocity….

        1. No, but she was never a MAIG member. I specifically cited membership above. That doesn’t mean I believe MAIG is powerless here, as I’ve expressed my concern about them many times.

          Based on comments we’ve seen here, the reason Kane appears to have won is that there are lots of Penn State fans who honestly are willing to vote against gun rights if the candidate will make them feel better about the whole Sandusky affair. That’s not saying every Penn State fan will, but we’ve had commenters who admit that their feelings on the issue overwhelmed their feelings on gun rights. She also didn’t touch the gun issue outside of Philly, and several people have said that most gun owners never knew she was anti-gun. That’s a failing on the parts of gun rights activists in those areas. I mean, we do what we can here to highlight these issues and the otherwise ignored MAIG candidates, but we can’t drive out to the middle of the state every day campaigning on this issue.

          This gets back to the issue that people need to be minding their own backyards.

          1. “most gun owners never knew she was anti-gun. That’s a failing on the parts of gun rights activists…”

            I honestly forget: Did we get an Orange Card from the NRA on that race? I’m leaning toward thinking we did, but it could be a false memory. A statewide race for AG would have deserved one.

            1. Yes, there was an orange card mailer. It just seems many people didn’t read it this time around. I suspect that it’s because that election happens with the presidential election, too many lower information voters on our side assume they know what the card says and didn’t notice the other races. Or, they figured that the AG wasn’t in charge of anything on guns and cast their vote for her anyway.

          2. My views on the Kane campaign may be biased, but I was seeing and hearing campaign adverts (radio, TV, and internet video) for/against her for what felt like six months leading up to the election.

            Of the adverts I saw and heard, roughly 95% were the following:

            Against her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgdwX2UtLnc

            For her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTPczzpTwiE

            These ads were seemingly everywhere; I find it hard to believe that there is anyone in the Philadelphia area who didn’t see them dozens of times.

            1. Believe it or not, Pennsylvania has more voters than just those in the Philadelphia region. I know, stunning news. The gun control ads only appeared in the Philly market. They did not play anywhere else. Let’s take a random county that’s considered part of the conservative “T” of the state – Elk. I picked it randomly on a map. Mitt won 57% of the vote there, with Tom Smith taking 55%. Yet Kane won that county by 6 points. You want another example? Let’s go the other way to Columbia County. Mitt walked away with 56%, and Tom Smith took 53%. Kane won the county with 50% of the vote – 3 points over the GOP candidate.

              Just because you hear something in your market doesn’t mean that everyone else is hearing the same thing. That’s the beauty of the internet and political tracking sites, they give us these details and let us know what the opposing side is up to. Kane knew that she couldn’t run on a gun control platform outside of the Philly market, so she didn’t. She just didn’t talk about it, and apparently not many gun owners in those parts of the state cared enough to find out. Or, worse, they may have actively decided that their gun rights just aren’t worth that much. We had a commenter here say that if he was still living in PA, he would consider voting for a candidate running on a semi-auto ban platform than vote for his gun rights.

  7. I’m planning a run, possibly for mayor of my suburban town about an hour outside of Detroit which has a vocal supporter for MAIG. I’m young, new to the 2a community but what I’ve seen, certainly recently in my local area is a dire need for a pendulum swing back towards liberty in general, I spoke out at a council meeting against them when drafted a resolution for the repeal of SYG (Regarding you know what)to be sent to the capitol. I’m only one guy, and save for one council member, Possibly outgunned, but I’ve put them on notice locally. So I’m preparing for a rodeo ;)

    PS, thanks guys for the raffle ticket last month :) Hope I win!


    1. Good luck! Please check in and keep us informed of your campaign pursuits.

    2. My advice is to get a campaign committee of vetted, true friends to help you. Then, when people with “experience,” who you aren’t familiar with, come forward to “help” you, submit their advice to your trusted committee before taking it.

      I’ll give you the warning (which Bitter and Sebastian will second) that I’m a world-class cynic, but, a lot of the “establishment,” from both parties (including the one you choose to run under) may try to subvert you for motives that won’t be readily apparent. The most obvious is, a “new broom sweeps clean” and every establishment has rooms it would prefer to remain unswept.

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