View Full Version : Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) recommends Greg Brannon

04-17-2014, 06:22 AM

http://www.grnc.org/documents/2014-Candidate-Evaluations-Sorted-by-Name.pdf (http://paracom.paramountcommunication.com/hostedemail/email.htm?CID=20018780855&ch=C33791BCB2DEFC149A6BA9C9C2A8105C&h=494ad4557ea6df3193ff55cbd329579d&ei=WvFX32LNy)


"Why did the NRA-PVF endorse Thom Tillis while GRNC-PVF recommends Greg Brannon?"

See the FAQ above: GRNC does not make "deals" for candidate evaluations, nor does GRNC-PVF advocate the likely winner in the interest of inflating our "win" ratio. Unfortunately, the NRA does both, including having a so-called "friendly incumbent" policy which favors a supposedly pro-gun (but often mediocre) incumbent against a superior challenger.

Although NRA-ILA director Chris Cox claims, “As Speaker of the North Carolina General Assembly, Thom was instrumental in passing two of the most comprehensive pro-gun reforms in state history,” in reality the NC Senate under President Pro Tem Phil Berger did the heavy lifting on House Bill 937 and, to a large extent, HB 650, the two reforms in question.

In early 2013, Speaker Tillis caused restaurant carry to be stripped from HB 17, passing a gutless bill out of committee and nearly triggering a floor fight from his own caucus, which uniformly supported restaurant carry. Only under mounting pressure from both GRNC and from within the Republican caucus did he finally relent and have Representatives Jacqueline Schaffer and Justin Burr draft HB 937, which in its original, mild form expanded concealed carry only to restaurants and within closed compartments of locked motor vehicles at institutions of higher learning.

Only once the bill left the House did the Senate turn it into (more than) what we have today. Thanks in large part to Sen. Berger and Judiciary Chairman Buck Newton, the Senate version dramatically expanded concealed carry to include more areas of municipal parks, all public educational institutions, parades and funerals, state government parking lots, and more.

In particular, the Senate version of HB 937 included repeal of our archaic, Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit law -- a law The Charlotte Observer found actually allows felons to retain previously issued permits. Under pressure from the NC Sheriffs' Association and the Governor, however, Tillis refused to simply concur with the Senate version, insisting the bill go to a conference committee to strip the measure.

Tillis' insistence on a conference committee nearly killed the bill. Only under significant pressure from GRNC and others, and after negotiations weakened purchase permit reform, did the Speaker move the bill -- and then only a few days before adjournment of the session. Without the conference committee recommendation, the bill would technically have remained alive for the 2014 session. But in reality, politicians would have refused to move it in an election year, just as they did previous restaurant carry legislation.

Did Tillis move the bill? Yes, albeit reluctantly. Would he be better for gun rights than Kay Hagan? Most likely. But is he a Second Amendment hero? As Hertz is fond of saying, "Not exactly."

"Why did GRNC-PVF recommend Greg Brannon over Mark Harris?"

Mark Harris is an honorable gentleman who would make a fine U.S. Senator. Unfortunately, trailing Tillis and Brannon in both the polls and fundraising, he is also being used by "mainstream" Republicans to divide the conservative vote and assure Tillis the nomination.

The GOP comprises three factions: Centrist "Country Club Republicans," religious conservatives, and libertarians. Faced with Tea Party challengers, "mainstreamers" like Karl Rove (who supports Tillis) are finding novel ways to retain their death grip on power. Perhaps most telling, former Congressman and GOP chairman Robin Hayes endorsed Harris even when his fundraising was at pathetic levels. And why is that telling? Because Hayes is good friends with Tillis.

Having spoken with Harris, I believe he is sincere when he says dividing conservatives is neither the intent of the campaign (and its supporters) nor its practical impact. Unfortunately, being sincere does not make one correct. Never forget that in past presidential races, Ralph Nader's biggest contributors were Republicans.