Bruce Murphy
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The NRA Loves Ron Johnson

Wisconsin U.S. Senator has gotten $1.3 million in donations, just behind Mitch McConnell.

By - May 30th, 2022 09:16 am
Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ron Johnson. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The NRA loves Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, almost as much as it loves Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. An analysis by the Brady Center of the senators getting the most lifetime donations from the National Rifle Association shows Johnson has gotten $1,269,486, ranking him 15th highest among senators, just behind McConnell, who ranked 14th, with $1,283,515 in lifetime donations.

Both ranked well ahead of outspoken gun rights advocate, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who received just $176,274, but far behind the number one senator on the list, Mitt Romney, who has received an incredible $13.6 million in lifetime donations from the NRA.

The NRA, an aggressive opponent of gun control measures, “spent $3.22 million to benefit the political campaigns of senators who oppose gun safety legislation” in 2019 and $2.20 million in 2020, according to the Brady Center, which advocates for gun control legislation. Its figures include “direct and indirect support, including political spending independent of any coordination of said campaign.”

A lawsuit filed last year also charges that the NRA spent $35 million in in illegal campaign contribution — in the form of coordinated communications efforts — to help elect seven Republicans, including Johnson.

The NRA gives Johnson an “A rating,” noting “Ron Johnson has a proven record of support for our Second Amendment freedoms and will continue to oppose the anti-gun agenda of Barack Obama, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton.” Its ranking notes a long list of gun control bills Johnson has opposed, including a ban on semi-automatic weapons and universal background checks.

The NRA has backed Johnson since he first ran for office in 2010, spending more than $300,000 on his behalf that year, when he defeated incumbent Democrat and gun control advocate Russ Feingold.

And Johnson has again come to the rescue of the NRA in the wake of the recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, for comments opposing legislation to require universal background checks and blaming the latest shootings on “wokeness” and critical race theory.

“We’ve stopped teaching values in so many of our schools,” Johnson said in an interview on Fox Business Network with host host Neil Cavuto. “Now we’re teaching wokeness. We’re indoctrinating our children with things like [critical race theory], telling some children they’re not equal to others and they’re the cause of other peoples’ problems.”

In response, Cavuto noted that school shootings “have been going on long before CRT and wokeness.”

But Johnson countered with this: “I think [critical race theory] has been going on under the radar for quite some time as well, wokeness has been, liberal indoctrination has been. This is a much larger issue than what a simple new gun law—it’s not going to solve it.”

The comments generated stories by CNN, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Daily Beast, Politico and the Independent in the UK, whose story had the best headline: “Senator who has received $1m from NRA runs into a locked door trying to avoid Texas shooting questions.” Johnson also made news by walking away from a CNN reporter and refusing to answer a question about whether legislation requiring universal background checks was needed.

The four Democrats running for U.S. Senator in Wisconsin all blasted Johnson, with Tom Nelson offering this: “He has had 11 years to do something about gun violence in this country and he has done nothing. Blood is on his hands.”

Mandela Barnes said Johnson made those comments to distract from the $1.2 million he has taken from the gun lobby, saying “Johnson and his gun lobby-funded colleagues are the reason we haven’t been able to pass commonsense gun reform.”

Sarah Godlewski also criticized Johnson and the gun lobby, while calling for comprehensive background checks, red flag laws and a ban on high-capacity magazines, noting that most Americans support those measures.

Alex Lasry offered this slap down: “Doing nothing has resulted in one thing: more dead children, and the people of Wisconsin are tired of having a do-nothing Senator in Washington.”

Johnson’s comments to CNN also got panned by Democratic Governor Tony Evers, who called the senator’s comments “breathtaking,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Evers noted that a 2019 poll from Marquette University Law School that found 80 percent of Wisconsin residents support expanded background checks for gun sales.

One thought on “Back in the News: The NRA Loves Ron Johnson”

  1. ringo muldano says:

    Tom Nelson is right about RoJo with blood on his hussy hands. Fitzy, too, ran the end around for false electors and has blood on his hands with dead capital cops during Jan. 6th insurrection.

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