Durbin – Chipman Has “A Lot Of Issues”

File this Politico story under the “No Shit, Sherlock” label.

Senate Majority Whip and Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) said “there are a lot of issues” over David Chipman’s nomination to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Durbin goes on to say:

Durbin acknowledged Monday that the whip count “is not where we want it yet, but there’s always a chance.”…

“Members understand this is a highly controversial position,” Durbin said Monday. “It has been left vacant because Republicans and Democrats couldn’t find someone to fill the slot so it’s no wonder that we’re having some difficulty with it.”

What I read Durbin’s statement to mean is that he hasn’t been successful in convincing Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that the political fallout from supporting Chipman won’t be as bad as they think. They are still listed in the undecided column.

It is either that or the incentives that he is offering to them have not risen to the level where they will hop onboard. By incentives I mean support for pet legislation, campaign money, and the like.

If Durbin and Chuck Schumer were convinced they had 50 votes to confirm Chipman, the vote would have already been held. Since they don’t, Chipman remains in limbo. The longer it goes, the less likely he is to be confirmed. All it takes is for one non-Republican to come out against Chipman and the nomination will be withdrawn. One way to read Durbin’s interview with Politico is that he is signaling the White House it is time to pull Chipman’s nomination.

As to the issues surrounding David Chipman, I think that I and virtually every other gun owner in America would run out of fingers if we had to list them all.

NSSF Running Anti-Chipman Ads In ME And WV

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is running ads in both Maine and West Virginia against David Chipman to head BATFE. The ad asks viewers to contact their senators and ask them to vote against confirming Chipman.

According to the NSSF, this is first time they have run television ads on any subject.

From their press release:

“This is monumental for NSSF and it speaks to the importance the firearm industry places on protecting the 342,330 jobs and $63.5 billion economic impact this industry provides,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “David Chipman’s nomination is clearly a move to politicize the ATF. Voters in key states reject his nomination and those senators have been advised of those polls by NSSF. We are now taking our opposition to the public to remind their senators that Chipman’s nomination is a threat to jobs, revenue and not the least – the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their God-given Second Amendment rights.”

A reader of this blog made an interesting comment regarding Chipman. Given that virtually no one would be as bad as Chipman, his defeat would allow the Biden Administration to appoint another anti-gunner who would not be perceived as “bad”. The person still would be horrible for gun rights but wouldn’t be Chipman.

From DWB’s comment:

I have mixed feelings. There will be a Biden nominee for BATFE, and the nominee will be rabidly anti-gun. There is no doubt about that. The Senate cannot block a Biden nominee forever.

Which makes me wonder if we should call their bluff and let Chipman slide through. He will energize people for 2022. There is no better opponent than a polarizing jack-a$$ like Chipman. Heck, he even makes WLP and his cronies look useful.

The question for me is not “how bad is Chipman,” the question for me is who is on deck?

That is a conundrum. Is it better to have an ideologue like Chipman who isn’t even respected by ATF Special Agents as director and use that as the basis for energizing the base or to defeat him and have to worry about a stealth candidate?

AAF Research Report On David Chipman

The American Accountability Foundation has produced a 24-page research report on David Chipman. They have dug very deep into his background. It is well worth a read.

Some of the things that popped out at me were his divorce, how he tried to play the system to get relocation expenses, his change in behavior and views, and how he became increasingly both radical and anti-law enforcement.

Discussions with friends who used to work with him at BATFE were interesting. For example, a former BATFE agent who had been his friend had this – “but after he got divorced, and then joined AA, he because very self righteous and almost evangelical in views that he holds; no more competing ideas and middle ground, and more like once he gets in his head that something is “right” he pursues it with a passion and fury.” That leads to the question as to whether Chipman is a recovering alcoholic. If so, for how long? While that does not disqualify him for the position, it does raise questions on how he handles stress.

I would read the whole report and then contact my senators signifying my opposition.

Chipman-Research-Report

Did David Chipman Say Blacks Cheated To Pass Promotion Exam?

We know that David Chipman served as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division of BATFE. He served in that position from November 2006 until March 2009. While serving in that position, he is alleged by a fellow BATFE Special Agent to have made disparaging remarks about the number of African-Americans who had passed the BATFE promotion exam to be ASAC’s. That agent filed a complaint with the EEOC about the comment.

“Wow, there were an unusually large number of African American agents that passed the exam this time. They must have been cheating.”

The Daily Caller spoke with another former ATF Special Agent who said Chipman’s comments spread throughout the Field Division.

The former Detroit-based ATF agent, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, did not personally witness Chipman making the comment, but recalled colleagues talking about how Chipman “made this remark that all the African Americans must be cheating because there’s no way they could get these scores.”

“He made this remark in front of a bunch of witnesses,” the former Detroit-based ATF agent said. “It spread like wildfire at the agency. It got tremendous blowback, as it should. Here you have a middle manager saying something like that with absolutely no proof.”

Chipman was asked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) about any EEOC reports and responded that there had been two. He went on to add that they had been resolved without any finding of discrimination. Chipman then added that his ATF personnel file remains under the control of the Federal government.

Chipman has been very reticent about providing his personnel record for public review. According to Tom Jones, president of the American Accountability Foundation, this is a big red flag based upon his own 13 years serving as a Senate staffer. As a result, AAF filed a Freedom of Information Act request on April 20th requesting documents relating to “all complaints, grievances, requests for investigation, or investigatory documents related to employee misconduct, harassment, malfeasance, or other violations of the standards of professional conduct” concerning Chipman. They filed another request in May after being told his records had been sent to the National Personnel Records Center of the National Archives.

As you might expect out of the Biden Administration, this request has been stone-walled with no definitive answer. Thus, the American Accountability Foundation filed a Federal lawsuit in US District Court for DC seeking these documents. They are seeking a formal response from BATFE to either comply with or deny the request. They then ask for these documents to be released as they believe records are still being held within BATFE.

Do I think Chipman could have made these remarks? I do because I think he is arrogant enough to have made them and because too many other agents have some recollection of it. Do I think it probably was swept under the table at the time? Sure. The BATFE management has a history of protecting their fair haired children and it appears that Chipman was one of those.

The FOIA lawsuit is below:

D.D.C.-21-cv-01669-dckt-000001_000-filed-2021-06-22 by jpr9954 on Scribd

Keep The Pressure Up Against Chipman

Tomorrow is the committee vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on David Chipman’s nomination to head BATFE. If you haven’t contacted your own senators, do it now. In addition, contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as well. The alert from Grass Roots North Carolina has both their email contact and phone numbers.

Do it before it is too late.

THIS IS SERIOUS!!  ATF NOMINEE CHIPMAN  HAS MADE MILLION+ LOBBYING AGAINST YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS
IF THE CHIPMAN CONFIRMATION IS ALLOWED TO PASS IT WILL SPELL DISASTER FOR YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!

Joe Biden has found a special someone who hates your liberties as much as he does and wants to have that Waco Whacko head up the ATF or is it the “AFT” (to quote Biden).  

 CHIPMAN HAS MADE IN EXCESS OF A MILLION DOLLARS LOBBYING AGAINST YOUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!

When Chipman champions “gun safety” the real meaning behind the lie is ‘No firearm protection from criminals for you’ indeed, Chipman’s advice for you in these dangerous times is to”Buy stronger deadbolts for the exterior doors of your home”.  

Mr. Chipman sidled up with Mike Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety (safety for criminals only) and is a Senior Policy Advisor for Gifford’s ANTI-GUN GROUP.

What kind of a nut does Mr. Chipman have to be, to believe that the demoralized and defunded police will get to your home in time to save you in those precious seconds when death is at your door? He didn’t care about the children burned to death at Waco, no doubt he doesn’t care about YOUR safety either.

What level of fear (of someone or something) would it take to tempt any Senator to betray their oath to uphold the Constitution by confirming someone who is against YOUR right to keep and bear firearms to head up the ATF?  Chipman was unable (or unwilling) to describe to Congress what he considers to be an “assault weapon”-how could he possibly be qualified to lead the ATF ?   Someone who believes that firearms are scary and should be so heavily regulated as to make the Second Amendment useless is not qualified to do anything but lobby for the anti-gun left.

A stronger deadbolt is a road bump to disaster if you have no means to protect yourself from the criminal kicking in your door-or breaking your window. 

A FIREARM IS A SHIELD NOT A SWORD! Chipman’s worldview envisions an American populace without the means to protect itself-criminals would have no fear of immediate consequences. Senators who might vote to confirm this man must understand this danger-why would any Senator betray the Constitution they took an oath to uphold?  

 A VOTE TO CONFIRM CHIPMAN IS AN ANTI-GUN VOTE AND WE SHOULD TREAT IT AS SUCH.  CHIPMAN MUST NOT BE CONFIRMED!

IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!  

Call AND email Senators on the Judiciary Committee: The links below will take you to a website form. These are not email addresses. Just click on the link and it will take you to the form.
Dick Durbin, Chair  https://www.durbin.senate.gov/contact/email Washington, D.C. 20510  p: 202.224.2152 Springfield, IL 62703 p: 217.492.4062
Chuck Grassley    https://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact/questions-and-comments  Washington, D.C. 20510  P: 202.224.3744 Sioux City, IA 51101  P: (712) 233-1860
Patrick Leahy   https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact  Washington, DC 20510  p: (202) 224-4242 Burlington, VT 05401  p: (802) 863-2525
Lindsey Graham    https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=contact-form Washington, DC 20510   P: (202) 224-5972 Columbia, SC 29201  P: (803) 933-0112
Dianne Feinstein  https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me Washington, D.C. 20510    Phone: (202) 224-3841 Fresno, CA 93721 P: (559) 485-7430
John Cornyn  https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/node/5853  Washington, DC 20510    P: 202-224-2934 San Antonio, TX 78205 P: 210-224-7485
Sheldon Whitehouse  https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/contact/email-sheldon  Washington, DC 20510       P: (202) 224-2921 Providence, RI 02903 P: (401) 453-5294
Amy Klobuchar        https://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-amy  Washington, DC 20510     P: 202-224-3244  Moorhead, MN 56560 P: 218-287-2219  
Chris Coons  https://www.coons.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion  Washington, DC 20510    P: (202) 224-5042 Dover, DE 19901 P: (302) 736-5601
Ben Sasse    https://www.sasse.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-ben  Washington, DC 20510      P: 202-224-4224 Kearney, NE 68845 P: 308-233-3677
Richard Blumenthal    https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/contact  Washington DC P: (202) 224-2823
Washington, DC, 20510    P: (202) 224-2823
Josh Hawley    https://www.hawley.senate.gov/contact-senator-hawley  Washington, D.C. 20510     P: 202-224-6154 Kansas City, MO 64106 P: 816-960-4694
Mazie Hirono      https://www.hirono.senate.gov/share-your-opinion  Washington, DC 20510    P: (202) 224-6361
Honolulu, HI 96850 P: (808) 522-8970
Tom Cotton     https://www.cotton.senate.gov/contact/contact-tom   Washington, DC 20510     P: (202) 224-2353  Jonesboro, AR 72401 P: (870) 933-6223
Cory Booker    https://www.booker.senate.gov/contact/write-to-cory Washington, DC 20510       P: (202) 224-3224  Camden, NJ 08103 P: (856) 338-8922
John Kennedy    https://www.kennedy.senate.gov/public/email-me-form  Washington, DC 20510     P: (202) 224 462 Baton Rouge, LA 70809  P: (225) 926 8033
Alex Padilla      https://www.padilla.senate.gov/  Washington, DC 20510       P: (202) 224–3553 Fresno, CA 93721  P: (559) 497–5109 
Jon Ossoff        https://www.ossoff.senate.gov/contact/contact-form/ Washington, DC 20510    P: 202-224-3521 Atlanta, GA 30305 P: 470-786-7800
Marsha Blackburn   https://www.blackburn.senate.gov/email-me  Washington, DC 20510       P: (202) 224-3344 Jonesborough, TN 37659  P: (423) 753-4009

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: Do Not Confirm David Chipman ATF Nominee

Dear Senator___________
I am contacting you today to demand that the Biden nominee for leading the ATF be rejected without compromise. David Chipman has no business leading an agency that has as it’s mission statement “…to protect communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations….” when he is so dedicated to removing the legal means of citizens to protect themselves from criminals via firearms. 

David Chipman is as anti-Second Amendment as they come and there is no place more dangerous than a gun free zone as we can see in Chicago and many other American cities right now. David Chipman is a danger to my safety and that of my family.

I will continue to monitor this important issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina. Any vote for Chipman will be considered a vote against gun owners. 

Respectfully,

Keep Calling Senators!

If you wondered whether if calling your senators to oppose the Chipman nomination is having any impact, see the tweet below. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) was considered one of the squishy votes on the nomination that could go either way. She had now come out against David Chipman’s nomination to head BATFE.

From the article in the Bangor Daily News referenced in the tweet:

In a statement released by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine on Monday, Collins characterized Chipman’s background as “unusually divisive,” saying he had “made statements that demean law-abiding gun owners.”

“I am concerned that his confirmation would do significant damage to the collaborative working relationship that must exist between ATF, the firearms industry, sportsmen and women, and other law-abiding gun owners exercising their Second Amendment rights,” Collins said.

The calls are working. The Senate switchboard number is 202-224-3121. The operator will connect you to your senators’ office. I would also suggest calling their offices around the state. It will magnify the impact of the opposition to Chipman.

Finally, if you live in Arizona, West Virginia, or Montana, bombard Senators Sinema, Manchin, and Tester with your calls. Click on their names for the office phone numbers.

Judiciary Committee Vote On David Chipman Postponed

The Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to vote on the nomination of David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives today. As the video below notes, it has been posted until next Thursday.

While I cannot see any of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee voting against Chipman, I am willing to be surprised. I wonder if the delay was related to that or perhaps to the efforts to get Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) on-board with voting for Chipman.

I also saw this tweet, which somewhat vulgar, is really funny. I’ll let you click on the link.

With the one week reprieve, I suggest contacting your senators daily. The US Senate’s switchboard can forward your call to any Senator’s office. That number is 202-224-3121. You may want to also include other senators such as Manchin, Tester, Sinema, Murkowski, and Collins.

Judiciary Committee To Vote On Chipman Thursday

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for Thursday, June 17th, includes a vote of a number of nominees. Key among these will be David Chipman to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

If it goes as expected, the Judiciary Committee will have a tie vote with all Democrats voting for him and all Republicans voting against him. A tie vote would not normally result in a nominee being discharged from the committee. However, under the power sharing arrangement of the 117th Senate, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) as committee chair will report the tie vote to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Either of those two after consulting both Durbin and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) can then make a discharge motion to bring the nomination to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

This makes it all the more important that pressure be put on any wavering Republican such as Collins and Murkowski as well as on Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) to vote no on Chipman.

The US Senate’s switchboard can forward your call to any Senator’s office. That number is 202-224-3121. I would call the DC offices of my senators as well as the local offices in their home states. If you plan to call any of the wavering senators, I’m not saying to make up an address but if you have relatives in that state, I’d use it.

My, My, My! Isn’t This An Interesting Coincidence

After I posted about David Chipman attending one of the inaugural balls with his then fiancee’ Tara, I had a comment on the post saying they met while she was a secretary at BATFE’s Washington headquarters. With a little research, I find this isn’t totally accurate. While I don’t know how Chipman met his current wife, I do know she had worked at the BATFE since 1995 in one job or another.

According to her LinkedIn page, she started as a receptionist, became a writer-editor with them, moved over to the Treasury’s Trade and Tax Bureau’s Congressional Office, back to BATFE as a program manager, and finally advanced to Division Chief, Executive Secretariat Division where she currently works.

The Executive Secretariat Division does such things a publish the internal newsletter, handle correspondence, write speeches, and handle the archives of BATFE. They are also responsible for the BATFE’s historical program. Indeed, Mrs. Chipman served as the acting historian for at least a period of time according to this BATFE Facebook post. She is pictured along with then Columbus SAC Trevor Velinor.

Beyond the obvious nepotism issue that Mrs. Chipman faces if, god forbid, her husband is confirmed as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, there is the little issue of conflicts of interest. Ideally, BATFE employees would be scrupulously neutral when it comes to gun politics. However, we know this is an ideal and not reality.

Mrs. Chipman has jumped on-board with the Demanding Moms’ “Wear Orange” for gun violence (sic) program as seen in this picture.

Not surprisingly, she has also donated to the Cult of Personality Known as Giffords and has publicized it on her Facebook page. Her Facebook page has plenty of other progressive issues that she virtue signals about as well.

She is, of course, free to make donations to whom she wishes and to let the world know it in an unofficial manner. That said, it just reemphasizes the importance of making sure her husband is never confirmed to head BATFE. Even if she resigned if her husband was confirmed, she would still have his ear and use that to reinforce her progressive and anti-gun views.

Do ATF Special Agents Go To Inaugural Balls?

The headline poses an interesting question. One would assume or just maybe hope that special agents working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives would be non-political or even apolitical. They are considered “Further Restricted Employees” under the Hatch Act.

In the case of Biden’s nominee to head BATFE, that would be a wrong assumption.

Below you can see David Chipman with his fiancee’ Tara at a presidential inaugural ball in 2009 for President Barrack Obama. While probably not a violation of the Hatch Act, it is a bit unseemly.

In January 2009, Chipman was still the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division. A couple of months later he got a promotion to a SAC position in the Washington headquarters. I’m sure it is just a coincidence.

Would it surprise anyone to know that Chipman is such a non-believer in OpSec that I was able to find his home address, its Zillow value of $874,000, Facebook pages for him, his now-wife Tara, his ex-wife Micki, and his two kids.