The NRA Money Behind the Senate Judiciary Committee
National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has called the video game industry a “callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry.”
Many people might feel that this is a more apt description of the gun industry and LaPierre's own organization, which spends millions of dollars each year to buy influence and access in Washington in order to block any new gun safety legislation.
And we may get to see that influence in action on Wednesday, January 30th, when LaPierre appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing entitled, “What should America do about gun violence?”
Republican members of the committee and their leadership PACs have received at least $120,200 in contributions from the NRA’s PAC or NRA employees since the 1998 election cycle and beneftted from over $587,000 in independent expenditures since 2008, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics and Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Explorer. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the only Democratic member of the committee to receive an NRA donation, with his Green Mountain PAC PAC taking in $7,000 in donations
The biggest recipient of NRA largesse on the committee is freshmen Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). While he has received just $2,000 in direct donations from the NRA, the group spent $344,752 on independent expenditures to boost his campaign against former US Attorney General Richard Carmona (D) in the 2012 election. Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has received at least $17,850 in donations from the NRA PAC since 1998 and received $60,676 in assistance through NRA independent expenditures in his 2010 re-election.
Captain Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), will also testify. Kelly and Giffords recently created their own super PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, to assist politicians who support gun control reforms, after Giffords was shot in the head two years ago while speaking with constituents. They have yet to file any spending or fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission.