- a candidate with an NRA "F" rating, our very own Robin Kelly
- a candidate who wears her NRA "A" rating proudly, Debbie Halvorson, and
- a candidate who has been trying her damnedest to obfuscate her own "A" rating by claiming an overnight conversion, Toi Hutchinson.
Neither Halvorson nor Hutchinson have volunteered either their 2010 or 2012 NRA questionnaires, and the NRA doesn't release them to the public. However, we got our hands on Hutchinson's 2010 answers, which you can find here. The document has been authenticated and is legit.
First thing you might notice is that it's a tedious 31 questions long, many with multiple parts. The NRA makes its candidates work for its endorsement.
She supports preempting Illinois cities from regulating guns within their borders. She opposes "state legislation requiring all firearm owners to register all their firearms" and a waiting period. She opposes legislation limiting the number of guns someone can buy, the banning of .50 caliber firearms, the "fingerprinting" of bullets so police can track down the gun that fired bullets in a crime, and the inclusion of serial numbers in bullet casings so they can be registered with their buyer. For an NRA that claims that it's the criminals we should be worried about, they sure are fighting hard to make sure we can't find the criminals.
Remember how the NRA is all about gun safety? Well, it opposes "mandating firearm-safety training for individuals to purchase or possess firearms," and Hutchinson agrees. She supports the NRA's push to get states to pay private landowners to open up their lands to hunters because Illinois is rich and has no pressing budgetary problems.
My favorite question, however, was this one:
Some animal “rights” organizations oppose the ownership of dogs as pets. They admonish people to never buy dogs from breeders or pet stores. Through so-called "puppy mill" legislation, they seek to regulate legitimate and caring breeders out of business. The proponents disingenuously claim that this legislation is intended to stop animal cruelty. Of course, animal cruelty laws already exist in Illinois and should be used to prosecute anyone who practices cruelty against animals. If dog breeders are driven out of business, hunters who use dogs must pay more for their animals, assuming they are still available, or quit hunting altogether. Would you oppose legislation that targets legitimate dog breeders as "puppy mills?"The NRA opposes legislation banning puppy mills because hunters may have to pay more for humanely raised dogs, and god knows, licensing dog breeders and subjecting them to health and safety regulations is just another assault on the Second Amendment! And Hutchinson's answer? "Yes, I would oppose such legislation."
The irony is that Hutchinson supported legislation banning puppy mills in Illinois in 2009, so that 2010 answer was either a pander to the NRA, or a change of heart. I emailed the campaign on Friday asking whether she still supported puppy mills but unsurprisingly received no answer.
Now that we know what it takes to get an "A" rating from the NRA, Robin Kelly's "F" looks even better. Join the 4,000+ who have already opted to send the NRA a message and contribute to Kelly today!