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September 17, 2010 12:22 AM UTC

Betsy Markey Gets NRA Endorsement

  • by: Colorado Pols

The National Rifle Association (NRA) will endorse Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey in CD-4 in what is a major blow to the campaign of Republican challenger Cory Gardner, who has been trying to cast Markey as a straight-up liberal in Congress. As The National Review reports:

Her opponent Cory Gardner’s campaign manager Chris Hansen flatly told Battle ’10, “The NRA told us they were endorsing Betsy Markey.”

Calls to NRA-PVF regarding an imminent endorsement in CO-4 were not immediately returned. There is some consensus that the NRA’s political arm has developed an “incumbent endorsement policy” in contested, non-open seats. A source for Battle ’10 said that the rule likely is not a hard-and-fast guideline, but given two choices and an incumbent with an adequate rating, the NRA will most likely endorse that person, regardless of party…

…Markey voted for the NRA-friendly DISCLOSE Act, which exempts large non-profits like the NRA from disclosing their donors, pending the organization’s completion of certain criteria that, in this version, favored large national groups like the NRA. Garnering only 219 votes to pass, Markey’s vote was consequential to the success of the DISCLOSE Act.

The strangest part of this story is that it was Gardner’s campaign that essentially broke the news to the media about Markey’s pending endorsement. Good call, there, Gardner campaign manager Chris Hansen! Way to be the one to break the news that the NRA will support your opponent!

This news comes a day after it was revealed that the NRA was endorsing Democratic Rep. John Salazar in CD-3.


75 thoughts on “Betsy Markey Gets NRA Endorsement

    1. The debate you refer to was convenient enough, but it didn’t include all the candidates.  Since the other two are on the ballot, and are campaigning, voters should have the opportunity to hear them, as well as the Big Guns.

      1. So its Markey’s job to ensure that her opponents have a soapbox to stand on?  She is outright advocating for candidates she is running against. Why doesnt she provide some ad time for them on TV? Would that be OK?

        Beyond that, Dems should stop acting like they are champions of these nut job 3rd parties!  CUT THE CRAP!  We all know why she is doing this, and wouldnt be doing this if there was a chance votes would be sucked from her.  Just because she is a Dem doesnt make this any crappier.  This is bad for dialogue, and everyone knows it.

        This is an example where even supporters of hers need to cry foul.

  1. J. Salazar and B. Markey have not voted the Democratic line while in office. In fact Markey is a proud Blue Dog. I think the NRA sees the necessity of protecting what they have considering the possible volatility of this election.  Bet on Gardner, a politician who has not nailed down any issue? Or, bet on the current holder of the seat who votes R on many bills?

    Not surprising to go with the knowns.

    1. If Markey wins, she will continue to court them.  She is a Blue Dog and needs the NRA’s support.  If Gardner wins, it will be a miracle if he get anything less than an “A” rating from them in the future.  In the NRA’s 2008 ratings, only 2 republicans got failing grades, and one of them was Mike Castle (where have I heard that name recently?).  Gardner knows which side the bread is buttered on.  The NRA risks nothing by not endorsing him in this election.

  2. Did you not get your coffee today? The NRA ceased to be a right leaning organization with their little stunt in the DREAM Act. Not to mention flirting with Harry Reid. Gun owners are flocking from the NRA to the GOA (Gun Owners of America), which has endorsed Gardner I think. Either them or RMGO (Rocky Mountain Gun Owners).

    1. But which of these organizations is more recognizable to the average voter? (hint: The one that begins with an ‘N’ and ends with an ‘A’).

      And guess what? Right-wing conservatives who are really familiar with the differences you outline are already voting for Gardner anyway.

      The NRA endorsement is hugely important because it makes Markey look more moderate to the moderate-right swing voters that Gardner needs in order to win.  

      1. I will take it upon myself to drive over and investigate the NRA headquarters. It is about 5 miles from my temporary location. They have a newly remodeled firing range for me to set my base of operations in.

        My report will follow.

      2. Those familiar with the NRA and it’s shenanigans will vote for Gardner anyway. For everybody else, it’s not going to make a difference in their vote either way.

        1. This about how the endorsement of the NRA moderates Markey’s image. This is about what the NRA endorsement does for her image overall.

          The NRA endorsement in and of itself is not what makes this so critical. It’s much, much harder for Gardner to try to convince moderate swing voters that Markey is an extreme liberal if she has the NRA’s endorsement.  

          1. most — or any — voters will make their decisions based on third-party endorsements. I think Markey has a difficult time holding onto the seat because it’s traditionally not a Democratic one (e.g. Markey took Greeley in ’08…that won’t happen in ’10) and because she’s cast some bad votes for most of her district (Fort Collins excluded).

          2. Markey is toast and nobody thinks Gardner is going to do anything other than support second amendment rights.  The NRA has its own incumbent protection racket.  

            If the NRA had supported Gardner would it have made any difference?  A major blow?

            Markey’s liberal image is defined by her voting record, not whether she packs heat.

            1. .

              The NRA’s top priority is the NRA and holding onto as much political power as they can.  

              An NRA member that thinks the NRA is fighting for her or him is being bamboozled.  

              The NRA would endorse Obama if they thought it would help them keep some of their political influence.  They have the same core principles as ACORN, dressed up in conservative language.


              1. they get $ as long as they are perceived to have political power

                they get $ when they convince their membership that ammo is expensive and guns are expensive because President Obama was elected

                the other gun groups threaten NRA so the NRA presently is doing more for gun owners than they have in 40 years, helping to finance ranges, etc.

                the NRA, and all the other gun groups, benefit greatly whenever ANY kind of weapon is controlled, whenever a gun owner successfully protect themselves, whenever a Columbine or VA Tech happens

                political power is important, I won’t minimize that, but they need only enough to be relevant

        1. We’re actually coming back from the overreach, which was Obama. Clinton would have held power for years and established Carville’s permanent Dem majority. That’s the one bright spot in Obama winning the presidency – he’s directly responsible for the birth of the Tea Party.

    1. Again, to our point above — the NRA endorsement is important because it hurts Gardner’s “Markey is an extreme liberal” narrative and makes Markey look more moderate. Getting an endorsement that would be expected to go to a Republican is huge. Getting endorsements that you are expected to get (like Gardner and the RMGO)…not so much.

      1. Might mean something to the fringe.

        They don’t mean much to average voters.

        NRA is good enough for “not liberal crazy” to average voters.

        But then, Ellie, you’re smart enough to know that already.

        1. RMGO and GOA folks live in the land of the 20ish percent who were polling in favor of GWB in December 2008. They’ll vote “R” down the line without a second thought (or a first one).

          1. Poor us.  We’re too stupid to know what’s good for us.  How sad that us poor, poor rubes need enlightenment that only a basement-dwelling elitist can show us.

            1. Laughing Boy, I can’t resist . . . .

              If you’re voting for the folks with the “R” after their name, then you’re lining up with the people who, let’s see now . . .

              Got us into an unnecessary war (and lied to do it).

              Took a big budget surplus and turned into a gigantic budget deficit.

              Decided that 200-plus years of tradition and law against torture just had to go.

              Thought the job of Congress was to try to intervene in one family’s medical decision-making.

              Managed to conclude that never mentioning birth control in sex education classes might be the best way to lower the number of teen pregnancies.

              Shall I continue? There’s so much more over there in wingnut land!

              Yes, Laughing Boy, one does have to question the extent to which lever-pullers for the “R” team are thinking.

              1. Because I’m just so stupid and beneath you.

                Please don’t ask me why you are going to get your philosophical ass kicked in November by us bitter gun and bible-clingers.

                1. Cycles dude. Politics happen in cycles. People fail to remember the past so we are all doomed to repeat it. That’s why I’m going to get my philosophical ass kicked in November not because your or yours are right. We’ll play the “limited government” and “lower taxes” album again with the same sorry results. Then it will be the Left’s turn when people are weary of the anti tax and spend R’s who can’t stop spending in the face of tax cuts. Just like always, they’ll talk big but just succeed in driving the deficit higher and services lower. Like the sun sets in the West this too shall pass.

                  1. You are so right….except going through this cycle is deeply painful, especially as I go into the (Fool’s) Golden Years.  And thinking of my grandkids coming of age into this long night of economic and social terror.

                    My parent’s generation (she’s 93) learned first hand about the results of Corporatist/Republican/Plutocratic policies, and the Liberal/Democratic/New Deal policies that brought us back to a truly Great Society (Sorr, LBJ.) They understood, through WWII especially, that working cooperatively, taxing the bejeesus out of the rich, and willingness to tax oneself for betterment of the community made for a strong middle class and America.  The fifties and sixties were truly The Golden Age of the Middle Class.

                    Note my sig line……

  3. Is it possible that the Gardner campaign released the information early so that it could get its supporters to put pressure on the NRA to change their endorsement?  Pols, this is a possible rational explanation for why the Gardner campaign released this information.

    1. It certainly worked against Harry Reid. It looked like the NRA was going to give him the endorsement after Harry freed up Fed Land for a new Shooting Range near Vegas. But when enough people freaked out, they ran from Harry with great speed.

  4. The National Rifle Association (NRA) will endorse (Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey in CD-4) (Republican Ken Buck for the US Senate) in what is a major blow to the campaign of (Republican challenger Cory Gardner)(Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet), who has been trying to cast (Markey) (Buck) as a (straight-up liberal)(extemeist) in (Congress)(Senate).

    Just keepin’ it fair and balanced.

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