So the Brady Campaign has the "Gun Guys" bragging to their email list (which still seems to consist mostly of pro-gun bloggers) that they're "holding legislators accountable" in Illinois for voting against gun control. There are a few things they're NOT telling you about their mailing campaign against Dennis Reboletti in his race for the Illinois House of Representatives:
1. Reboletti voted against the bill that would have imposed another background check on buyers of handguns in Illinois. That was redundant, because Illinois already requires both gun sellers and buyers to record their FOID card information, and you can't get a FOID card without undergoing a background check in the first place. The Bradies know this, as Days of Our Trailers has already pointed out; they gave Illinois a higher score on their "report card" because it requires the FOID and background checks (the grades are not required to correlate with reduced levels of violent crime committed with guns, which is lucky, because Illinois would be dead last in its region if that were the standard.)
2. The Brady Campaign has already sent out almost identical mailers against Reboletti once this year. They resulted in a flood of phone calls and emails to Reboletti's office . . . in SUPPORT of Reboletti. The Brady Bunch succeeded only in making it clear to Rep. Reboletti (and Rep. Cole, the other legislator they targeted last time) that they had absolutely no influence. Actually, it seemed clear that having the Brady Bunch as an enemy is an excellent way to build support in Illinois.
3. The Brady Bunch is trying to make a big deal out of their opposition to Reboletti, but that's not the big story. The bigger story is that the NRA and the ISRA are endorsing Reboletti this year. At first glance, if you don't follow the politics of firearms, this may seem like a wash. The Bradies are agin' him, and the NRA is fer him, so they cancel each other out, right? Wrong. The NRA is huge, connected, well-funded, with a membership in the millions. The Brady Campaign doesn't have members; it has a few donors. Those donors are relatively wealthy compared to NRA donors, and a few are immensely wealthy--for individuals. But the NRA has millions of donors, and they add up. An endorsement from the NRA is a huge gain compared to the small bite taken out by having the Brady Bunch in opposition.
Personally, I'm going to send Representative Reboletti some cash with a note explaining that anyone the Brady Bunch hates this much has to be doing something right. Then I'm going to settle back and see who's next. Sandy Cole was the other target last time, but she seems to be running unopposed this year, so we'll have to wait and see what comes up.