The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence released its scorecard Monday naming the 12 “worst of the worst” political candidates who the gun control group says have taken money from gun lobbyists.
The group produced a video calling the candidates “lapdogs” for taking gun money in exchange for voting against background checks and other measures pushed by gun control groups.
Representatives Pete Sessions, R-Texas; Steve Chabot, R-Ohio; Duncan Hunter, R-California; Lee Terry, R-Nebraska and Steve Stockman, R-Texas, received “lifetime achievement awards” from the Brady Campaign for taking the most money from the gun lobby. All candidates are incumbents.
It may come as no surprise that the first three candidates received endorsements — Stockman got high marks — from the National Rifle Association’s political action committee, the Political Victory Fund.
Sessions is running for a seat in Texas’ 32nd Congressional District and received an A-plus. Chabot, candidate for Ohio’s 1st Congressional District; Hunter, running for California’s 50th Congressional District; Terry, vying for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District and Stockman, running in Texas’ 36th congressional district race received A ratings from the gun PAC.
The PVF rates candidates based on their voting records, public statements and responses to a questionnaire containing a range of questions on the topic of guns and gun policy. Guns.com requested a copy of the questionnaire from the NRA, but that request was declined because the organization does not want the document public, the NRA said.
GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, was called out by the gun control group for voting against the Manchin-Toomey amendment, which would have required background checks for most gun sales.
GOP 2016 presidential hopefuls Paul Ryan, R- Wisconsin; Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, also received low marks from the Brady Campaign, as indicated on its scorecard website by a dollar sign rating showing the amount of money received from the gun lobby.
Ryan snd Cruz received three of five dollar signs from the Brady scorecard, indicating the candidates have received anywhere between $20,000 and $45,000, according to the gun control group. Rubio received one dollar sign rating, meaning he could have received up to $10,000 from gun lobbyists, according to the scorecard.
Though overwhelmingly present in the Brady scorecard, Republicans weren’t the only ones named to have taken money from the gun lobby. Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia took in some $71,750 from lobbyists, according to the gun control group. The Brady Campaign called out 281 of the 113th Congress who have taken gun money since 1990, many of which were Democrats. According to Brady, Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., D-Georgia, received $40,850; John Barrow, D-Georgia, $32,200 and John D. Dingell, D-Michigan, took in $51,700.
A Guns.com analysis of endorsements from organization on both sides of the gun debate showed an overlap, with two Democratic candidates both receiving the nod from gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety and passing grades from the NRA. Staci Appel is running for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, and Valerie Longhurst, for Delaware’s 15th. Longhurst declined to comment after several requests this month. The NRA also declined to comment.
On the issue of guns, Appel has voted in favor of permitted concealed carry and against firearms possession for domestic abuse perpetrators. She was also against school police carrying guns.
Longhurst co-sponsored a bill prohibiting individuals with certain mental health conditions from having a firearm and is a proponent of hunting license restrictions for felons.
Appel and Longhurst weren’t unique in that several thousand Democrats nationwide were given at least a passing grade by the NRA. Many received As and Bs.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA has so far given Sessions $2,500, Chabot $2,000, Terry $2,000, Stockman $1,000 Hunter $3,000, Goodlatte $4,950, McConnell $9,900, Ryan $2,250, Rahall $3,500, Bishop $1,000, Barrow $4,950, during this election cycle.
Other top contributions from the NRA include Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, $9,900 and Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, $9,900.
The NRA has contributed more than $673,000 to campaigns this election cycle and lobbied with some $1.88 million. The group’s outside spending totaled approximately $24.8 million in 2014 so far, of which $12 million was spent for Republican candidates and $13 million against Democrats.