NRA Shoots Down the Sen. Harry Reid Endorsement
The National Rifle Association through its political PAC, the NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF), announced Friday, August 27th, they would not be endorsing Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). In January of this year the PVF hinted they would be endorsing Sen. Reid because of his long standing support for firearm and Second Amendment issues.
Through the course of the year,a critical issue came forward regarding gun rights; the appointment of Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan. The NRA expressed very strong opposition to her appointment as well as last years appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The NRA announced during the confirmation processes these nominations would be graded issues in the PVF endorsement evaluation process.
The normal endorsement process is still weeks away. The PVF chose to go ahead and release this information early to end the rumors and speculation about the possible endorsement. These rumors were causing a great deal of pressure on the NRA as many conservatives had begun cancelling memberships to the NRA. It should be noted, NRA PVF is a single issue organization. Their mission is to protect gun rights only. They are not a Conservative organization, nor are they a Republican organization. Their endorsement singularly reflect a candidate’s record on gun rights issues. Traditionally, preference is given to incumbents, regardless of party, who have a strong record of supporting gun rights legislation.
Earlier this month, Texas Democrat Congressman Chet Edwards (TX-17) received the endorsement of the PVF. His opponent, Republican Bill Flores and Edwards both received an A rating. The endorsement was given solely on the basis of Congressional voting record. As a first time candidate, Flores has no voting record to judge. He has, however, received the endorsement of the Gun Owners of America and the Texas State Rifle Association reflecting his strong commitment to the 2nd Amendment and gun rights issues.
As a gun owner or person concerned about protecting the Second Amendment, what does the NRA endorsement mean and how should I treat it in my evaluation of candidates? In a case like the Flores/Edwards race where both candidates receive an A rating, and the endorsement is given solely on incumbent status, you should look at this and determine that your concerns about gun rights issues are well taken care of with either candidate, so move on to evaluating other issues of importance to you, such as jobs, economic growth and which candidate will reduce the size, scope and power of an overreaching federal government.
In other cases where there is a disparity of grades between the opponents, you need to conclude that your gun rights will be better protected by the candidate with the stronger grade and then determine where 2nd Amendment issues rank in your personal voting criteria.
The NRA has proven over the decades to be a strong supporter of gun rights and a solid protector of the 2nd Amendment. The announcement last Friday shows, once again, they stand strong on this issue and will not back down when faced with a powerful incumbent who votes the wrong way on an important gun rights issue.