Wednesday, February 24, 2010

UPDATED: What is the NRA's deal?

News has now come out that the NRA has endorsed Rep. Rick Boucher for his bid for re-election today.

From the Roanoke Times:

The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund has endorsed Rick Boucher in his re-election bid, according to Boucher’s campaign office.

The endorsement comes with an A+ rating based on Boucher’s voting record on the Second Amendment.

“I am pleased to again have the endorsement of the NRA. Throughout my service in Congress, I have strongly supported gun owners’ rights and have worked closely with the NRA and sportsmen in Southwest Virginia to ensure that those rights are protected,” Boucher said.
I find this a complete and utter injustice to the NRA's typical endorsement procedures. The GOP nominee has not been decided and will not be decided until the 9th District GOP Convention on May 22.

If you recall there was much controversy surrouding the NRA endorsement last fall in the 8th House of Delegates district which also surrounded someone involved in the 9th race- Delegate Morgan Griffith. If you missed this catch up hereherehere, and here

My understanding is that standard procedure for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action/NRA Political Victory Fund endorsement is after the nominees have been set for both the GOP and Dems that a questionaire is then sent to both candidates, they fill it out, send it back, its graded and they make their endorsement. They do make endorsements in primaries at times, like last year when Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was endorsed leading up to the GOP State Convention. I get that this is a big race but why change your typical procedure now? And why endorse Boucher when he is mostly likely getting ready to recieve a challange from someone who has also consistantly recieved an A+ rating from the group.

An A+ is described by the NRA as:

A legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.
I also understand the NRA likes Boucher, but it seems kind of messed up to me that you turn your back completely on someone who you spent $5,231  on in independent expenditures on to ensure he was re-elected to the House of Delegates less than six months ago and in addition have contributed a total of $24,200 to get him elected since 1996.

If the NRA was to endorse Boucher in August or September I would have said oh well. But something really smells funny about this endorsement given the fact that it was given in February as well as the fact that Boucher is about to be challanged by somone who has also recieved an A+ rating from the NRA in the past and the NRA state association has had things like this to say about him:
Delegate Griffith is reliable friend of gun owners in the Virginia General Assembly. As a member of the House Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee, he is one of the "go-to" legislators when we need to kill a bad bill and when a good bill needs to be moved out of committee.
UPDATE- Response from Griffith camp:
Griffith issued a response this afternoon, congratulating Boucher on the endorsement but questioning his commitment to Democratic leadership that has received much lower NRA ratings.

“The NRA has endorsed Congressman Boucher based on specific votes he has taken in Washington on issues of importance to sportsmen and gun owners,” Griffith said. “There is, however, one vote taken at the beginning of each Congress that the group does not compute into its ratings. And on that vote, for Speaker of the House, he has been placing in a position of power Nancy Pelosi, who clearly does not have a commitment to protecting the Second Amendment rights of Americans.

“I commit to the voters of the 9th District, I will never vote for a Speaker of the House who does not share my strong support for the Second Amendment.”

Griffith also touted the consistent “A” rating he’s received from the NRA during his tenure in the House of Delegates.

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