The N&O yesterday researched NRA contributions to North Carolina state legislators. Their article was inspired in large part due to a common refrain parroted by anti-gun rights legislator and readers that NC legislators who opposed gun restrictions were beholden to the “gun lobby.”
To their credit, the N&O examined campaign finance records for the last two and a half years to determine the amount of campaign contributions the NRA has doled out to candidates for state office.
The facts tend to bust the bubble of the ‘gun lobby’ narrative, as the total amount spent by the NRA on state lawmakers in NC since the beginning of 2017 came to $14,800. That’s for all NC state lawmakers combined. In two and a half years.
For some perspective, Tim Moore’s campaign alone reported bringing in more than $300k from donors in just the first six months of 2019.
Moreover, as a public service and because the N&O won’t, here’s a quick look at campaign contributions from the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) over the same time period:
Contributions to Candidates/Political Committees, 2017: $13,900.00
Contributions to Candidates/Political Committees, 2018: $186,532.81
Contributions to Candidates/Political Committees, 2019 midyear: $10,000.00
(P.S. – Civitas double-checked these same reports for the NRA and came up with a total of $15,800)
In other words, the NCAE contributed nearly 15 times as much money to state candidates than the NRA. Just last month, Civitas revealed the shockingly radical agenda of the NCAE’s parent organization, the NEA. By the way, the NEA funneled $350,000 to back Roy Cooper’s campaign for governor.
If citizens and the media want to examine powerful special interests in North Carolina politics, they’d be best served looking at the ones actually donating big dollars.
Finally, when discussing big money and special interest influence over politicians, its always important to remember this simple mantra:
The fewer things that politicians control, the less we need to worry about who controls the politicians.