Theodore's World: NRA Issues Gag Order to Its Board Members on Elena Kagan

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June 28, 2010

NRA Issues Gag Order to Its Board Members on Elena Kagan

NRA Issues Gag Order to Its Board Members on Elena Kagan


Internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members are highlighting just how far the National Rifle Association has fallen.

The organization recently collaborated with the left to obtain a carve out of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation designed to silence bloggers and outside interest groups like tea party activists. This was a first amendment issue and the NRA gladly took a position and campaigned for its members to take a position on the DISCLOSE Act.

One of the NRA’s chief arguments was that it needed the carve out to be effective in its advocacy of Second Amendment issues. But here’s the problem: these internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association’s management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA’s board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.

That’s right: the foremost gun rights lobby in the nation is prohibiting its board from testifying in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings about the second amendment.

The NRA did issue a statement on Friday after the internal Senate email began leaking out informing people of the gag order. The statement noted Kagan’s problematic record on guns, but that’s just smoke and mirrors. Don’t believe them when they say they are working with Senators to investigate her record. If they were really working with Senators, they would have accepted an invitation to testify on the Kagan nomination when they were invited. The gag order on board members is not limited to providing testimony, but it prohibits board members from coming out against Kagan in their individual capacity.

If the NRA is really working with pro-guns Senators and Kagan is really hostile to Second Amendment rights, which she is, they will score her confirmation vote and actually make the score count this time, unlike they did on the confirmation of Sonya Sotomayor. With Sotomayor, they waited until several days after RedState began demanding a score and then, in effect, announced they’d score it and ignore it.

First they collaborated with the left to get the DISCLOSE Act through the House, now they are blocking their own from speaking out against Elena Kagan. Is this the deal the NRA cut with the left? They get a carveout and shut up their board?


NRA Discourages Board Members From Testifying Against Kagan

Politics Daily

On the eve of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan -- and for the second time in two weeks -- the National Rifle Association (NRA) is under fire from conservatives.

According to RedState's Erick Erickson, a prominent conservative blogger, "internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association's management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA's board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues" during the Kagan hearings.

It turns out that during the confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, the testimony of former NRA President Sandy Froman angered current NRA leadership, because she didn't obtain permission to appear at the hearing – and because she appeared as former President of the NRA (she's also a Harvard Law grad a practicing attorney). The situation worsened when several members of the NRA board of directors also signed a letter opposing Sotomayor.

As one prominent board member (who asked not to be named) told me, Chris Cox, the executive director of the association's lobbying arm, NRA-ILA, "was livid because he didn't 'authorize' them to speak directly to Congress." After the Sotomayor hearings, a letter was sent to all NRA board members reminding them they did not speak for the NRA or the board.

Of three NRA board members I contacted, only one confirmed "explicitly and directly" receiving any sort of directive that could be interpreted as a "gag order" regarding Kagan. But all three sources confirmed that NRA board members actively opposed to Sotomayor's confirmation have been severely chastised "to the degree that they would not speak out against Kagan" (as one board member – who requested anonymity – told me).

Because most members of the NRA's board of directors are also heavily involved in numerous other conservative organizations, it seems unusual the NRA would expect board members to remain silent on the Kagan nomination (in fact, many have already spoken out).

These conservatives also see the NRA as having become too much a part of the "Washington scene" in recent years.

It is also important to note that it was only after pressure from conservatives that the NRA agreed to "score" the Sotomayor vote. Deciding to score a vote is important because it means Senators who voted for confirmation received a lower grade on the powerful gun lobby's scorecard.

And this perception was reinforced just a couple of weeks ago when the NRA came under heavy public criticism from conservatives – including a member of their board of directors -- for working with Democrats on a "carve out" exempting the NRA from proposed campaign finance disclosure rules that conservatives view as limiting free speech.


Wild Thing's comment.......

I think the NRA has been infiltrated by the libs. This would never have happened 20 years ago. They need to clean house big time for one thing.

This proves the maxim - if an organization is not specifially conservative, it will eventually drift leftward.

If they go back to being what they used to be I would become a member again. BUT not until they do, it is hard enough to have to fight back aganist the left then to add in fighting back a group etc, that is supposed to be on the side of our Constitution.

The other day someone told me that The Second Amendment Sisters were right on top of the Katrina Gun Grab issue, immediately denouncing it and getting the ball rolling. The NRA came late to the party and as the big dog, got more credit than they deserved. I thought that was interesting, I didn't know that before.

Posted by Wild Thing at June 28, 2010 02:45 PM


It seems the NRA is making a pact with the Devil. They will loose members over this. There are other gun rights organizations which don't compromise like the NRA.

Posted by: BobF at June 28, 2010 04:40 PM

They must be under new management. What can they possibly get for making a deal with the Anti-christ. Somehow they must think they can bluff their way thrugh this and to the left.

The Supreme's ruled today that every American has the right to self-defense and hopefully will strike down the Chicago gun ban. I suppose the NRA opposes that too.

Posted by: Mark at June 28, 2010 04:41 PM

Hey, NRA, kissing left/libtard butt won't make 'em take your guns away last, you know!

Posted by: Anonymous at June 28, 2010 06:03 PM

BobF, you're right they'll lose at least one member, Me. I'll be donating my money to GOA.

Posted by: JohnE at June 28, 2010 06:58 PM

I'm sure their memberships are falling off like AARP's after their stance on the healthcare bill. GOA sounds like the best choice right now.

Posted by: Jim at June 28, 2010 08:19 PM

There has to be a lot of money and/or favors/promises, involved here.

Posted by: Sean at June 29, 2010 10:03 AM

Yes, join Gunowners of America. NRA is a lobby group making deals and raising money. Who knows how much of that money goes to "expenses". Also, f--- AARP. That is a liberal bunch. There is an alternate organization to AARP, but I don't know it's name.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at June 29, 2010 11:15 AM

The NRA goes Faust.

Posted by: Curmudgeon at June 30, 2010 02:43 PM