A New York-based political action committee – funded and founded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg – has begun sending mailers to West Virginia residents, attacking lawmakers for supporting a conceal carry bill.
It may be the first but certainly won’t be the last mailer sent out over Senate Bill 347.
Sen. Chris Walters, R-Putnam, was kind enough to share the documents, which he received this week from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.
The group is the political arm of an organization that seeks to advocate for federal, state and local laws in hopes of preventing gun violence. The organization, which was founded in 2014, claims to have 2.5 million members.
According to the group’s year end Federal Election Commission filing, Everytown for Gun Safety Action spent $322,329 in independent expenditures between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014.
The ads aren’t just attacking Walters – they’re going after Sen. Art Kirkendoll, who also voted in support of the bill. Sens. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, and Ron Miller, D-Greenbrier, were the only two Senators who did not vote in favor of SB 347. In all likelihood, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund won’t go after them – but who knows, these PACs have a way of not caring about reality.
Walters is confident the ads will have no effect on the view his constituents will have of him.
Although Everytown for Gun Safety has sent out the first mailer, others are sure to join in, especially after several House of Delegates Republicans broke from the majority of their party when the bill was vote on yesterday.
Gun rights organizations, such as the National Association for Gun Rights – which sent people to literally video record the proceedings in the Senate Judiciary Committee – and the Citizens Defense League will likely get in on the snail mail action.
NAGR, which is a Colorado-based company, has sent mailers attacking legislative candidates throughout the country, including South Dakota, where I previously covered elections. The group dropped thousands of dollars into the pockets of candidates challenging those who refused to fill out a survey sent by NAGR, asking lawmakers to promise to defend gun rights, despite the fact that the same lawmakers received A-ratings from the NRA. If you’re curious about the group and the role they played in a few South Dakota races you can read more here.
The gun rights groups will likely target anyone who voted against SB 347. Their hit list could include Sens. Miller and Palumbo, as well as the 13 Republicans and 16 Democrats in the House who voted against it.
Those Republicans are: Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, and Delegates George Ambler, R-Greenbrier; Bob Ashely, R-Roane; Roy Cooper, R-Summers; John Ellington, R-Mercer; David Evans, R-Marshall, Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur, Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie, John McCuskey, R-Kanawha, Eric Nelson, R-Kanawha, John Shott, R-Mercer, Erikka Storch, R-Ohio; and Steve Westfall, R-Jackson.
Those Democrats are: Mike Caputo, D-Marion; Barbara Evans Fleischauer, D-Monongalia; Nancy Peoples Guthrie, D-Kanawha; Sean Hornbuckle, D-Cabell; Dana Lynch, D-Webster; Tim Manchin, D-Marion; Tim Miley, D-Harrison; Clif Moore, D-McDowell; Jim Morgan, D-Cabell; Don Perdue, D-Wayne; Linda Goode Phillips, D-Wyoming; Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha; Doug Reynolds, D-Wayne; Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha; Stephen Skinner, D-Jefferson; Patsy Trecost, D-Harrison.
Download (PDF, 827KB)
Download (PDF, 833KB)
Download (PDF, 1.11MB)