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"You do this if you think no one is going to investigate,” says a former federal regulator.
Republicans’ illegal methods of obtaining and keeping power are being exposed, week by week, month by month. Voter suppression, gerrymandering tactics, and campaign violations that the courts have found to be illegal, are in the news regularly; and now, as we watch and read about the Trump campaigning illegalities, we find that the National Rifle Association also appears to be involved in unlawful activity to get people helpful to the NRA elected to the Senate.
The wounding that the United States is taking from the Trump Administration has been possible because the House and the Senate, for two long years, assisted in Trump’s chaotic removal of safeguards and assists that were in the people’s interests, and substituted THEIR interests instead. How those legislators got into those positions, and maintained their presence there, appears to have been due to illegal activity in campaigns.
This post is how The NRA and Republican candidates most likely coordinated political advertising - unlawfully - on behalf of Republican candidates for the Senate. (Campaign finance law does not allow outside groups like the NRA to share election-related information, including advertising strategy, with candidates that they support.)
As candidates gear up for the 2020 elections, it is important to expose all illegalities that have compromised our elections. The Russians and their cyber-war against the United States’ elections is big, especially as we learn that they were aided and abetted by Americans in their despicable interference in our processes; but so are those American citizens who get power for their organizations by using illegal campaign tactics - in this case the NRA.
Documents Show NRA and Republican Candidates Coordinated Ads in Key Senate Races
JANUARY 11, 2019 6:00 AM
The National Rifle Association appears to have illegally coordinated its political advertising with Republican candidates in at least three recent high-profile US Senate races, according to Federal Communications Commission records. In Senate races in Missouri and Montana in 2018 and North Carolina in 2016, the gun group’s advertising blitzes on behalf of GOP candidates Josh Hawley, Matt Rosendale, and Richard Burr were authorized by the very same media consultant that the candidates themselves used—an apparent violation of laws designed to prevent independent groups from synchronizing their efforts with political campaigns.
In December, the Trace and Mother Jones reported on a similar pattern of coordination between the NRA and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. In that case, Trump and the NRA hired affiliates of the same company—National Media Research, Planning and Placement—to direct their ad spending. Employees of that firm, operating under different corporate identities, placed ads for both Trump and the NRA on television stations across the country, with the apparent goal of reinforcing each other’s message.
Representatives of National Media, operating under the name Red Eagle Media, also bought ads on behalf of the NRA in support of some of the group’s preferred Senate candidates, and simultaneously bought ads for those Senate candidates while acting as a supposedly separate entity called American Media & Advocacy Group (AMAG). In at least 10 instances across the Missouri, Montana, and North Carolina races, FCC records show that ad purchases for both the NRA and the Senate campaigns were authorized by National Media chief financial officer Jon Ferrell.
Campaign finance laws bar outside groups from sharing any election-related information—including advertising strategy—with the candidates they support. While it is not illegal for independent groups and campaigns to use the same vendors, the Federal Election Commission requires consultants to prevent staffers from sharing information, usually through the creation of internal “firewalls.”
“All evidence points to coordination,” said Larry Noble, the general counsel of the FEC from 1987 to 2000, in response to a detailed description of the documents. “It’s hard to understand how you’d have the same person authorizing placements for the NRA and the candidate and it not be coordination.”
Ann Ravel, who served on the commission from 2013 to 2017, says the straightforward manner in which the NRA and Senate campaigns aligned ads in these cases “goes to show how weak the campaign finance system is.”
“There is so much documentary evidence that it wouldn’t even require a lengthy investigation,” Ravel said. “Some cases are hard to prove, but this, on its face, is so obvious. I would not think that there is any basis for not at least investigating the matter.”
Noble agreed: “What this reflects is the FEC’s lack of enforcement and the lack of respect that the NRA and the vendor are showing toward the FEC and the law. You do this if you think no one is going to investigate.”
Read the entire article to see how evidence has been unearthed showing how each of three U.S. Senators seems to have illegally been helped by the NRA in their election campaigns.