NRA Releases Candidate Grades for Pennsylvania

You can see here. It’s pretty much what I expected. Pat Toomey gets his grade reduced from an A to a C and loses his endorsement. In my local congressional race, it looks like Brian Fitzpatrick turned in a B questionnaire and is not going to carry an NRA endorsement. However, Fitzpatrick is running against Steve Santarsiero, whose F grade is really an understatement. Recall that Steve Santarsiero called for door-to-door confiscation of semi-automatic firearms. In other suburban Philadelphia races, Republican Pat Meehan is down to a B- with a D rated Mary Ellen Balchunis running against him. A race to watch is the sixth district, held by A rated and endorsed Ryan Costello, up against a D rated Mike Parrish. Costello is the only suburban district not running in mad fear of Bloomberg’s money. I cannot stress how damaging Bloomberg has been to gun rights in the Philadelphia suburbs, and that’s almost entirely because he brings more cash to the table than we can, and our local gun owners are not active enough in the issue politically to counter his money. It is not for lack of gun owners that we are losing ground, it is for lack of gun owners who give a shit enough to do something.

John C. Rafferty has drawn an endorsement with an A- grade in the  race for Attorney General. His Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro is D rated, and on his web site says that he plans to “Expand background checks to cover private sales of long guns.” I’m not sure how the AG has the power to do that, but there you go. We’d also continue to worry about our reciprocity agreements with other states with Shapiro in the AG seat. Also consider that the AG seat is a springboard for Governor.

9 thoughts on “NRA Releases Candidate Grades for Pennsylvania”

  1. AG: Rafferty hands-down. Shapiro is clearly anti-2A and proud of it.

    US House: Murphy is A-rated and running unopposed. He is big on mental health reform and is a reliable vote for our rights.

    US Senate: Toomey can go screw himself, C-rated or not I prefer not to go the “lesser of two evils” when the lesser evil still stabs you in the back.

    State House: Kortz is a good example of a pro-gun Dem. I don’t know much about this Rod Salka guy running against him but he decided to not return the NRA’s questionnaire, big mistake in my book. I don’t care what you say on social media, it’s not hard to fill it out and you’re running against an A+ incumbent.

    State Senate: Reschenthaler is A-rated and running unopposed, he filled his seat in a special election and despite his short time in the Senate he seems to be solidly pro-gun.

  2. “our local gun owners are not active enough in the issue politically”

    I’ve forgotten the details, but when a couple new groups turned up in the county several years ago, I investigated their people whose names appeared in the media and found a substantial amount of crossover with Tea Party activities and organizations.

    My assessment isn’t just that local gun owners aren’t politically active, but that those who are active have a faint smell of using the issue as a front for a broader agenda that perhaps all gun owners don’t share.

    From experience I have had a bellyful of things like, organizations that won’t consider a good pro-gun candidate unless he or she first has a pristine record on almost all the social conservative issues.

    In plainer words, I’m tired of gun rights sucking hind teat with most “conservatives'” real agenda, and I’m not about to waste my energy on them anymore. Perhaps other people have ceased being “active” for similar reasons.

    1. If that was after Sandy Hook, I was in meetings with the early leaders of that group (Concerned Gun Owner of Bucks County, at the time). Nothing was ever discussed other than gun rights, at least while we were there. My impression was they genuinely cared about the issue, and were shooters themselves. When we parted ways with the group was after the loons took it over, and those leaders we met with went off to found another group, which ended up part of Kim Stolfer’s coalition after all was said and done.

      1. “those leaders we met with went off to found another group, which ended up part of Kim Stolfer’s coalition after all was said and done.”

        I haven’t spent too much time on it, but I have taken a peek or two at Kim Stolfer’s group’s website recently, and it looks like Trump Campaign Headquarters. Which would be fine, if that was all about gun rights, but I saw an awful lot of gushing and defenses of Trump in the contexts of totally unrelated issues, and relatively little that was directly about guns. Given that Trump is mainly “me too” about Second Amendment issues — and seems prepared to stop and frisk the right kinds of people to take their guns away — that does not encourage me.

        I’ve spent too much time in the past holding my nose and tacitly supporting stuff that was contrary to my own ideology, in order to be a team player in coalitions that were never going to come an inch in my direction, and in the big picture, never accomplished anything to speak of for gun rights.

        I’m going to need to see a good deal more focus to ever become energized again.

        1. To try to be fair, I took a current peek at Kim Stolfer’s website, and the homepage looked pretty clean. But when I searched on “Trump” at that website, I got 445 hits, with a typical hit being an article like “Donald Trump Is Correct To Hit La Raza Judge For Latino Identity …”

          My point of course isn’t whether the sentiments expressed in that article, or all the others like it, are right or wrong, but that they have not a goddamned thing to do with gun rights — and that they are at an alleged “single issue” group’s website.

          (Well, two issues: “Firearms” [I guess] and “Crime.”)

          Anyway, returning to my original theme, I’m no longer surprised when broad-agenda people eventually digress from their nominal front issue, and wander off to hook up with another unfocused coalition.

          1. Somewhat in FOAC’s defense, most of the news articles I see posted on their site are merely sourced from elsewhere. But I do agree that it can dilute the message when you’re doing aggregation for everything being put out by the conservative media.

            I will also say I appreciate their voter guides, they generally go a bit deeper than the NRA at times, especially in off-year elections when you’re voting for state and county positions.

            1. This may be outdated lore, but while they may go deeper than the NRA at times, I had fallings-out with them in the past over them not going deep enough to remember that a Republican they were placing at the Right Hand of God, was someone they had been excoriating as Satan Himself only a couple years before; and concealing that fact under their new-found exuberance for him.

              I have personally seldom been surprised at their endorsements, that I found predictable but also questionable.

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