GOA's Voter Guide Out

How GOA is Exposing Those Lying, Flip-flopping Politicians

  

The 2012 elections have now entered the homestretch. The candidate debates are ramping up, and politicians all over the country are blanketing the airwaves with lies about their legislative records.

It’s not a new problem. Remember the now-infamous quote from presidential hopeful John Kerry about the Iraq War: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

How GOA is Exposing Those Lying, Flip-flopping Politicians

  

The 2012 elections have now entered the homestretch. The candidate debates are ramping up, and politicians all over the country are blanketing the airwaves with lies about their legislative records.

 It’s not a new problem. Remember the now-infamous quote from presidential hopeful John Kerry about the Iraq War: “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Rarely has a politician exposed himself more shamefully than the Massachusetts Democrat did back in 2003. With that single quote, Senator John Kerry gave the Bush reelection team an incredible gem as he pigeon-holed himself as the ultimate, flip-flopping politician.

Of course, everyone knows that most politicians do what Kerry did -- they are just a lot better in disguising their duplicity.

And for that reason, Gun Owners of America has just posted its biannual Candidate Rating -- something the organization has done for more than two decades -- to help gun owners ferret out those lying politicians who “voted for your gun rights before they voted against them.”

Take a recent issue. At the urging of GOA, members asked their U.S. Senators to support “constitutional carry” legislation in the Congress which will allow gun owners to carry their guns throughout the country (in many cases without a permit).

Politicians love to hide their views when responding to these kinds of requests, and they will use a plethora of techniques to conceal their real agenda. One technique is to simply lie and make themselves appear like they agree with the gun owner.

Consider a recent letter from Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri to a GOA activist who is a constituent in her state. Asked whether she would support this pro-gun legislation to allow gun owners to carry their guns across the country, McCaskill said:

“I strongly support legal and safe gun ownership by law-abiding citizens and have consistently voted to uphold this constitutional right.

“For example, in the 111th Congress, I voted to permit gun owners to carry firearms in their checked bags when traveling on Amtrak trains and to require the National Park Service to honor state gun laws when gun owners enter National Parks in their states.

“I am pleased that both of these common sense provisions, which enhance the ability of sportsmen to enjoy activities like hunting, have become law. Please know that I will continue to support the right of law-abiding citizens to safely own firearms.”

McCaskill’s quote is filled with so many whoppers, it could supply all of the Burger King customers in her state for an entire month.

There is not enough room to deal with all of them here, so let’s just take her claim that she supported repealing the Amtrak and National Parks gun bans.

Did Claire McCaskill really vote to repeal two gun bans in the previous Congress? Hardly. You see, this is where McCaskill -- who is F-rated by GOA -- pulls a “John Kerry,” essentially saying: “I supported gun rights before I opposed it.”

When these two pro-gun provisions came before her as stand-alone amendments, McCaskill opposed them. For example, she voted against the amendment to repeal the National Parks gun ban which was added to a credit card “reform” bill. (Senate Roll Call #188, May 12, 2009.)

Later on, she supported the underlying credit card bill so, presumably, Sen. McCaskill must think this allows her to say she helped repeal the National Parks gun ban -- even though she voted against it when it was a stand-alone amendment.

In other words, she supported the National Parks gun ban before she “opposed” it.

Sen. McCaskill also voted against the amendment to repeal the Amtrak gun ban on her first opportunity. (Senate Roll Call #145, April 2, 2009.)

How then can she claim she supported repealing the ban on Amtrak trains? Well, this is where it gets tricky. After the first amendment never made it to the President’s desk, the leader of this repeal effort, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, offered this amendment to yet another bill.

McCaskill did vote in favor of that amendment, but then she later voted against the underlying bill -- essentially trying to kill the repeal effort.

This means that McCaskill voted against the gun ban repeal … before she voted in favor of it … before she voted against it. Did you follow all that?

Considering politicians’ tendency to obfuscate, how is a gun owner to know where his member of Congress really stands on the Second Amendment? To be honest, it’s a full-time job tracking down the voting records of all the candidates.

And this is why Gun Owners of America surveys all the candidates for Congress. It’s why we rate Congressmen, not on what they say, but on how they vote. It’s why we try to put a Candidate Rating into as many gun owners’ hands as we can prior to the election.

So if you want the most complete Congressional Candidate Rating that scores Second Amendment issues, click here to see it.

Print it out. Copy it. Distribute it around. Email it to all your pro-gun family and friends.

GOA is committed to helping millions of gun owners around the country make informed choices when they go to the polls this fall. Because when it comes to our Second Amendment rights, you can’t just go on what the politicians are telling you!

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Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications for Gun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members.