OH-Sen: NRA Could Pull Support For DeWine
by Scott Shields, Wed Aug 10, 2005 at 10:42:08 AM EDT
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"The feeling I get from a lot of gun owners statewide is there are a lot of folks who have a loyalty to one party or another [who] are starting to look at that a little differently, with the Tafts, the DeWines, the Voinoviches," Kaleda added, referring to Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and Ohio Sen. George Voinovich, both Republicans. Now, a willingness to back Ryan does not mean that the NRA will support any Democratic candidate for any seat in Ohio. For example, likely Senate candidate Rep. Sherrod Brown isn't a favorite of the NRA, with a 2004 rating of 0%. And Ryan is a Democrat, but he's a pro-gun, anti-choice conservative Democrat. However, the NRA's negative comments about "the Tafts, the DeWines, the Voinoviches" suggest that they might be thinking of just sitting out upcoming races in the state, if not fully endorsing Democratic challengers.
Many of you are obviously thinking back to the recent special election in OH-2, when the NRA ditched Paul Hackett, one of their own members, to endorse Jean Schmidt. But consider their comments when they did it. Their reasoning for the endorsement was that Schmidt had a record of voting for NRA-backed legislation and Hackett had no such record, for or against. In fact, the group's director of public affairs, Andrew Arulanandam, went out of his way to clarify that the endorsement "shouldn't be construed as casting aspersions on her opponent."
I'm not suggesting that any Democrats go out of their way to seek NRA support. But open hostility from the NRA and their politically active voting members is something that we can do without. And with Democratic prospects in Ohio looking pretty good, we're going to need as much help -- or at least as little opposition -- as we can get.