Duped Or Didn’t Care?

After I posted about the indictment of Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell for theft from her own charity, I began to wonder about her campaign finances. One of the charges against her included failing to file a campaign finance report. What I found was interesting.

Johnson-Harrell was quoted in a fawning story by the Philadelphia Inquirer on her motivation to run for office as saying this:

“I ran because we need the bodies to stop dropping in every city across the nation,” said Johnson-Harrell, 53. “It’s our responsibility as legislators and leaders to do this.”

She made “gun violence” (sic) and gun control a centerpiece of her campaign in the special election. She was already known for having started the Charles Foundation to advocate for more gun control in memory of her murdered son. She was also the Vice Chair of Heeding God’s Call to Eliminate Gun Violence (sic). Thus, it was reasonable to assume she would get support from the gun prohibitionists.

And she did with a stirring endorsement from Everytown.

“After more than a dozen Moms Demand Action volunteers won elected office in 2018, I’m so excited to see yet another strong candidate emerge from our grassroots army of volunteers,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Movita Johnson-Harrell has been invaluable to our Pennsylvania chapter and I have no doubt that she’ll be an incredible leader at the statehouse, too.”

Endorsements are nice but modern campaigns run on money.

  • $500 – Ceasefire PA PAC
  • $250 – Shira Goodman, Executive Director, Ceasefire PA
  • $100 – Shawn Kraemer, President, Ceasefire PA
  • $100 – Bryan Miller, founder, Heeding God’s Call

Johnson-Harrell also received a $1,000 donation from Dana Bazelon of the Soros-bought Philadelphia DA’s Office and a $5,000 donation from the Committee for a Better Tomorrow which is the PAC for the Pennsylvania trial lawyers. She also received substantial donations from a variety of union-affiliated political action committees.

Johnson-Harrell’s financial issues were not a secret. Before she got the nomination by the Philadelphia Democratic Committee, she was grilled on her finances by ward leaders. Moreover, she only got the nomination because the more established candidates had issues with residency.

Going back to the headline, were those anti-gun stalwarts who donated to Johnson-Harrell duped by her? Or, could it have been that despite her known troubled finances, her fur coats, and her Porsche, they just didn’t care because they knew they would have a gun control advocate in Harrisburg? Would it have been, “Yeah, she’s a thief but she’s our thief” and the optics of having an African-American, Muslim woman who had family members murdered outweighed every thing else?

I doubt we will ever know and I know we would not get an honest answer if we asked.

Another Corrupt Anti-Gun Politician Indicted

Pennsylvania State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell (D-Philadelphia) was indicted yesterday on charges stemming from her theft of over $500,000 from a charity she founded.

The Philadelphia Inquirer details Johnson-Harrell’s anti-gun activism in this story.

Alyssa Biederman, Philadelphia Inquirer

The AP notes:

Johnson-Harrell, the first female Muslim member of the House, came to office with the intensely personal story of having endured the shooting deaths of her father, brother, cousin and 18-year-old son. She campaigned on a platform of ending gun violence, and is active in an anti-gun violence foundation named for her son Charles, who was shot to death in 2011.

The criminal complaint against Rep. Johnson-Harrell lists a variety of charges against her. They include two counts of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, perjury, two counts of tampering with public records, and reporting by candidates and political committees. 

In announcing the charges, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA) said:

Shapiro said the defendant personally spent more than $500,000 from Motivations Education & Consultation Associates, or MECA, on vacations, designer clothing, luxury car payments, real estate purchases, past-due mortgage payments, and other personal expenses.

“When corruption erodes the trust that is built between governmental entities and citizens, no one wins,” Shapiro said. “I’ve said time and time again as Attorney General that no one is above the law, no matter their position of power. And today is no different.”

“Representative Johnson-Harrell continuously diverted Medicaid and social security disability funds from her charity to help Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities for her own personal use. She spent almost $15,000 on clothing, including online shopping sprees at Ralph Lauren and fox fur coats. She traveled to Mexico, Orlando, Georgia and Maryland on lavish trips costing $16,000 of MECA funds,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “She spent $2,000 on overdue car payments on her Porsche. Another $4,000 on tuition for a relative. And, she spent almost $20,000 on overdue mortgage payments.”

Johnson-Harrell earned a salary of $89,000 while serving in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and had left a job with the Philadelphia DA’s Office as a victim’s advocate which paid $104,000 yearly. It is reported that her thefts from MECA continued while she was working for the DA’s Office as well as in her elected position.

According to her official legislative biography, Johnson-Harrell was a community college graduate who went on to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Ivy League University of Pennsylvania. Reading between the lines, with an age of 53 and her high school diploma date of 1997, she was an adult student when she completed her education. For someone her age, her high school graduation normally would have been in the 1984-85 time period.

Johnson-Harrell was elected in a special election in March to replace Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia). Rep. Brown resigned from office in December 2018 after being sentenced for bribery and other charges. The Attorney General’s Office says Johnson-Harrell will be pleading guilty and will resign from office effective December 13th.

The Difference Between Them And US

I received an email solicitation from North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic) yesterday. They were hoping I’d donate to them on Giving Tuesday. Of course, that was never going to happen. I’m on their email list only to see what the enemies of freedom are planning.

What really caught my eye was how they intended to use the money.

  • Contract with a lobbying firm that advocates for gun violence prevention every day at the NC General Assembly. They tell us when gun-related bills are on the move, so we can let you know when to call lawmakers and what to say.
  • Employ a community organizer to work with volunteers state-wide. For the first time, we had a staff member devoted to educating, organizing, and giving free gun locks from the mountains to the coast. 
  • Give volunteers more opportunities to get involved. In 2019, we’ve worked with supporters in key districts to meet with their lawmaker, write a letter to the editor, call other supporters to stop harmful bills, and much more!

Two of their key uses for donations are to hire a lobbyist and to employ a community organizer. These are the kinds of things that a not-really-grassroots type organization has to do. As Sean Sorrentino pointed out about NCGV a few years ago, they are now a subsidiary of Bloomberg’s gun control empire.

As many of my readers know, I’ve been active with Grass Roots North Carolina for a number of years. GRNC is the independent state-level gun rights group in North Carolina. It has no paid lobbyist, no paid community organizer, and indeed no paid anybody. We are an all volunteer organization that is really grass roots. Just as important, we get pro-gun bills passed and anti-gun bills killed. Our record isn’t 100 percent but we win a lot more than we lose or tie.

To sum it up, they want money for employees to curtail your rights while we are a group of volunteers using donations to advance firearm freedom.

Even My Local TV Station Is Talking About NICS Checks

When even your local mid-size market TV station is reporting on Black Friday NICS checks, you know it is a big deal.

Black Friday firearm sales appear to have very, very good. While the FBI’s NICS checks are also used for carry permit background checks (among other things), they still are a good indicator of trends in firearm sales.

According to a story posted by my local TV station, WLOS, there were 202,465 NICS checks run on Black Friday. Put another way, that is one every 4.85 seconds.

As USA Today notes:

The FBI fielded more than 200,000 background checks on Black Friday gun purchases, continuing a steady surge this year following a series of mass shootings that have renewed calls for more restrictive gun laws.

In all, the bureau posted 202,465 checks Friday, an 11% increase from last year and falling just short of the single-day record: 203,086 in 2017.

I would love to see the exact numbers for Virginia where many gun control proposals are sure to reach Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk. As it is, we do have the numbers for the entire month of November and they are up approximately 5,000 compared to 2018. It should be noted that virtually all the NICS checks in Virginia are for sales and not permit checks.

To put Virginia in context, let’s compare it to Georgia which has approximately 2 million more residents. Georgia’s NICS checks for only firearms for November 2019 totaled 29,826. Virginia, meanwhile, had a total of 56,661 checks for only firearms. If we needed any clearer evidence that fear of future gun control can drive sales, this is it.

NYSRPA Starts The Day At SCOTUS

The oral argument in the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association versus City of New York is the top of the calendar today for the Supreme Court. This marks the first Second Amendment case to reach this stage since 2010’s McDonald v. Chicago.

The oral arguments are being recorded. The Supreme Court also will make transcripts available. Both will be available on Friday after the Court’s regular conference.

For a more contemporaneous report on the proceedings without the mainstream media slant, Tom Gresham of Gun Talk was given media credentials to cover the case and will be posting on Twitter. His Twitter feed is found here. Alternatively, his Twitter handle is @guntalk. He also will be doing a Facebook livestream before and after the session. You can find it here.

All I can say regarding the case is to keep your fingers crossed. The US government has taken the position that the case is not moot. Paul Clement who will be arguing on behalf of the NYSRPA agrees in his response.

Personalized Pitches. Or Not.

I often get news or press releases for new products related to either the firearms or outdoor industry. I also sometimes get an article pitch asking to either post or at least link an article.

I got one of the latter from “Drake” this week. It had to do with Thanksgiving which is somewhat topical. “Drake” at least knew my first name so I’ll give him that.

Then there was this paragraph:

I noticed on your website titled [XXXXwebsite nameXXXX] that you’ve talked about Thanksgiving in the past, [XXXreferring page URLXXXX] so I assume you’re still interested in the topic. It only comes once a year, so I wanted to talk about our history of Thanksgiving.

Ooops!

To protect the guilty I’m not going to post a link to the article or mention “Drake’s” website.

Forgotten Weapons On The “Ballerina Molester”

The Argentine .45 ACP Ballester Molina was the first .45 that I ever bought. It was my first almost 1911. I couldn’t afford a 1927 Sistema or a real 1911 at the time.

I can’t forget who first called it the “Ballerina Molester” but I’ve always laughed at it.

Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons goes over the Ballester Molina and what makes it different and similar to the 1911.

The NRA’s Famous Whiskers

November marks the time of year when many normally clean shaven men grow out a winter beard and or mustache. Additionally, the Movember foundation who’s goal is to “change the face of men’s health has also successfully promoted the growing of a mustache in November to bring awareness to several men’s health issues including cancer and suicide prevention.    


So before the month of Movember comes to a close let us take a moment to recognize the first president of the National Rifle Association, the mustachioed civil war general, U.S. Senator and governor of Rhode Island Ambrose Burnside.  


As significant as his accomplishments were, he became most famous for his outstanding and uniquely styled mustache and side whiskers which became known as  “sideburns” an anagram of his name Burnside.  As a Union general who experienced his fair share of defeats, he was known to say of the Union troops, “Out of ten soldiers who are perfect in drill and the manual of arms, only one knows the purpose of the sights on his gun or can hit the broad side of a barn”.   This statement reflected the recognition of the need for more modern rifle training leading to the opening of the first modern rifle range in Queens NY.  


How very very much has changed in a 150 years!  

Shannon Tells A Whopper

The pantheon of lies include the check is in the mail, I’ll respect you in the morning, and I’m from the government and I’m here to help. Thanks to Shannon Watts, we can add another one to that list.

In an email to the Demanding Mommies as reported by Mother Jones, she wrote:

Watts said that Bloomberg’s entry into the race would “ensure gun safety remains front and center during the 2020 election season” but affirmed that nothing would be asked of its volunteers to support Bloomberg’s candidacy. “We are a single issue organization—but none of us live single issue lives,” Watts wrote. “I want to be clear that it is entirely your choice regarding how you spend your volunteer time in this election and which candidates you choose to support. Elevating the voices of all gun sense champions is part of what you do every day, and that should continue.”

Yeah, right. Tell me another one, Shannon. Without Bloomberg’s money backing you, Everytown, and the Demanding Mommies, you would be just another out of work PR executive who snagged a rich husband.

TV Ad Execs And Political Consultants Are Saying Hallelujah!

Move over Tom Steyer. There is another narcissist Democrat billionaire who wants to be President.

From a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, said he would join the Democratic presidential race despite facing a tough path to the nomination in a crowded 2020 field.

Mr. Bloomberg’s advisers have been drawing up plans to build his campaign staff, intending to focus on the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, which vote on March 3.

Many of the Democratic candidates have invested fewer resources in those states than in the first few nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The primary beneficiaries of Bloomberg’s largess would seem to be advertising executives and political consultants as he plans to spend big.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg plans to spend over $100 million on his campaign.

Ahead of his announcement, Mr. Bloomberg said he would spend $100 million on digital ads against Mr. Trump and another $15 million to $20 million on registering new voters.

He had also begun assembling a big staff for his campaign-in-waiting that was working out of the offices of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which oversees the former mayor’s charitable giving, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While the many media stories on Bloomberg’s presidential run mention his wealth, none so far mention gun control. However, Bloomberg himself does list that as one of the issues he will address in his campaign. It is number three on the list on his campaign website.

With all the money that Bloomberg plans to spread around, perhaps the gaggle of corrupt MAIG mayors will seek some of it in return for campaign support. That way then they can stop indulging in public corruption like the former mayor of Baltimore.