An Attack On The Freedom Caucus?

Thanks to court-ordered redistricting, I will now be back in the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina starting with this election. I was looking forward to having Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) as my congressman again. Unfortunately, he decided to retire and that set off a free-for-all, both Republican and Democrat, to succeed him.

We have been inundated with mailers, TV ads, and robocalls. You can’t drive past any corner without seeing a number of yard signs. The common theme in all the ads for the Republicans is that they are rock ribbed conservatives who are pro-gun and need to be sent to DC to fight for President Trump and his agenda.

The majority of the TV ads are for Republicans Chuck Archerd, Jim Davis, Dan Driscoll, and Lynda Bennett. It seems negative ads and mailers have been aimed specifically at Lynda Bennett accusing her of being a “never Trumper”.

I should note at this time that Bennett was endorsed by both Rep. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan of the Freedom Caucus. Meadows has been doing TV ads for Bennett as well. She was also recommended by Grass Roots North Carolina thanks to her perfect 100 on the GRNC survey, endorsement by Meadows, and connections to other pro-gun conservatives in the district.

When I started hearing some of the anti-Bennett ads, I started to pay attention to who sponsored them. They were coming from a super-PAC called Fix Congress Now. They accused her of being “a Never Trumper” which I found odd given her endorsement by Meadows. At the same time, this same group has been funding pro-Dan Driscoll ads.

The GRNC-PVF alert below lays out this in more detail. In full disclosure, I helped do much of the research for that alert.

First off, we have a group that claims to be ‘non partisan’ but is pushing more leftist pablum than Bernie Sanders ordering a nonfat latte. Stuff like open primaries, vote by mail, and “unity” candidates. You know those candidates who would sell out your Second Amendment rights in a heartbeat.

Seems like they wanted to besmirch liberty advocate Lynda Bennett in the primary for the 11th District with the proven false ‘NeverTrumper’ smear. The mailing against Bennett was from ‘Fix Congress Now’ connected to Jeffrey Carson of ‘Unite America’ from Colorado, of all places, so much for the hometown touch. They even share the same suite of offices in Denver.

Federal Election Commission records show that Fix Congress Now has gotten 100% of their funding from Colorado-based Unite America. Moreover, Fix Congress Now has spent a combined $424,000 as of this week to either oppose Lynda Bennett or to support Dan Driscoll.

Unite America has Everytown-endorsed former Congressman Carlos Curbelo of Florida and “independent” Greg Orman of Kansas as advisors. Orman, running on an anti-constitutional carry platform, sabotaged pro-gun Kris Kobach in the race for governor of Kansas allowing an anti-gun Democrat to win that red state.

Just Wednesday, Dan Driscoll even received a $5,600 maximum contribution directly from Unite America.

You have to ask yourself why would, Fix Congress Now and Unite America spend so much money to defeat a candidate endorsed by Congressman Mark Meadows. And why would they support a guy who only moved to the 11th District in the last month or so? Did they see in Driscoll a RINO who would say anything to get elected and who would support their leftist agenda?

Lynda Bennett has promised to replace Mark Meadows in the Freedom Caucus.

We should note that the only reason centrist Republicans in Colorado would spend $277,000 against a member of their own party would be to break up the Freedom Caucus by electing a more controllable Moderate, specifically Dan Driscoll.  

A quick search of the Federal Election Commission’s website shows that the only other candidate being opposed by Fix Congress Now is former California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly who is running for Congress in the 8th Congressional District of California. Donnelly, like Bennett, has been endorsed by the House Freedom Fund as well as Sen. Rand Paul.

Given super PAC Fix Congress Now has received 100% of their funding from Unite America, it is interesting to see what is their agenda. They list their goals as:

  • Independent Redistricting
  • Open Primaries
  • Ranked Choice Voting
  • Vote By Mail
  • “Unity” Candidates

This list of goals is not something any conservative candidate would support. Independent redistricting has been shown to favor Democrats as been shown by the California experience. Open primaries allow one side or the other to nominate the weakest candidate for the preferred candidate to face. Ranked choice voting is why Maine has two Democrats in Congress instead of a Democrat and a Republican. Vote by mail is just asking for fraud. Finally, unity candidates are rarely, if ever, pro-2A when push comes to shove.

Coming back to the race in the 11th District, I find it the height of hypocrisy for Fix Congress Now/Unite America to castigate Bennett as anti-Trump and then push their preferred candidate Dan Driscoll as being pro-Trump. While Driscoll might actually be pro-Trump, that would tend to go against everything Fix Congress Now/Unite America has stood for since their founding.

Tuesday we will find out if people in North Carolina and California were swayed by their fallacious advertising. I hope now. I wasn’t.

When A Demcrat Says He Won’t Ban Your Guns, Look Closer

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Phillip Price is the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina. He will be facing incumbent Rep. Mark Meadows (D-NC-11). I would be in Meadows’ district if I lived a mere 10 miles further south.

Price owns a company that deals in reclaimed lumber as well as continues to be a touring musician with his band called D. S. F. Earthcorps. He is also a self-proclaimed hunter and has been running the following ad on local TV stations saying no one is coming for his guns or your guns.

In a section on his campaign website called “Vision”, he devotes a page to “Common Sense & Guns” which features a banner photo of the Demanding Moms for Illegal Mayors. As he makes clear, he has their endorsement. Here is what he says on that page:

Gun Reform

Our schools, churches, movie theaters and concert venues are becoming targets for gun violence, and it is no longer enough to offer thoughts and prayers. We need change, and it is up to our elected officials to create it.

That’s why I support sensible gun reforms. I want to close the loopholes on background checks to buy weapons and ban gun purchases for those who have a history of domestic violence, violent mental illness or animal abuse. We must restore the ban on those semiautomatic weapons that have been used in so many attacks, and get rid of the large capacity magazines and bump stocks that make it even easier to hit multiple victims so quickly.

I’m a hunter and a gun owner and I stand with most Americans who already support these commonsense changes in policy.

After reviewing the campaign’s stance, I recently received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction, acknowledging my support for real reform.

If my vision reflects your vision, won’t you please volunteer or contribute to our campaign? Working together, our vision can become reality.

Not coming for your guns? Really? He says one thing on TV and figures he can tell the real story on his website because few people will read it.

Given his past run-ins with the law regarding marijuana possession, there are real questions as to whether he is a prohibited person or not. I don’t think most voters would take kindly to a prohibited person telling them they can’t have a semi-auto rifle, pistol, or carbine. Would you?

And They’ll Respect Us In The Morning

There are those great lies we all know. Things like “the check is in the mail”, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”, and “I’ll respect you in the morning.” I’d to add another that is quickly becoming all too obvious in the post-Las Vegas mass casualty event hysteria: “I’m a Republican, I respect the Second Amendment, and if you vote for me, you can be assured I’ll never vote for a gun control bill.”

Consider these comments from North Carolina Republican congressmen. All of these comments were published in the Raleigh News and Observer yesterday.

Rep. George Holding (R-NC-2)

“This is a way to circumvent the law, existing law, by sloppily converting a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. I think we ought to look at getting rid of those,” Holding said Thursday. “You’re purposely trying to circumvent the law.”

Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC-6).

If somebody, just like any other avenue, is circumventing that law, then I think it’s something we should take a look at it. My first impulse is that could be a problem,” said Rep. Mark Walker of Greensboro, who is chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

“At the same time, we don’t want to get to a place where any law we pass out of this House … targets more the law-abiding citizen then the criminal. We want to make sure that we’re protecting our society.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11). Meadows is also chair of the House Freedom Caucus which makes this doubly disturbing. (I met Mark for the first time at a gun show. He needed gun owners then to win in the primary runoff.)

Meadows said ATF may be able to change a rule or regulation that could solve the problem. The federal government allowed the sale of “bump stocks” in 2010.

“What enforcement capabilities are already in statute as it would relate to this? Is there a need for additional legislation?” he said.

Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC-3)

Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican who represents much of eastern North Carolina, said he hasn’t had much time to study the “bump stock” issue. He planned to look into it this weekend.

“I have a very great concern about all the shootings and the killings of the American people,” Jones said. “I am concerned, deeply concerned, but I don’t know what the next step should be.”

The statement by the NRA on bump fire stocks will be used by Republicans to give themselves cover. My problem with their statement is that it looks like pre-emptive surrender on a firearm accessory that has been already approved by the BATFE.

While that statement may just be a delaying tactic as Sebastian contends, I still think the optics of it are bad. Few people will actually parse the statement to see what the NRA actually said and will assume incorrectly that they are for a ban on bump fire stocks. As I wrote on Thursday, “However, if bump fire stocks are banned now what is to say that other gun parts such as adjustable stocks or standard capacity magazines won’t be banned later. If you open the door to the ban on one thing, don’t you open the door to the ban of anything firearm related?”

It is a slippery slope. Our opponents recognize this and it is a feature to them. As House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told a reporter, “”They’re going to say, ‘You give them bump stock, it’s going to be a slippery slope.’ I certainly hope so.”

In the meantime, call, write, and fax your senators and representatives. They need to hear from you now in very clear and unambiguous terms. Links for the four Republicans quoted are above. You can find your representative by putting in your zip code here.

Make Them Buy Their Ammo At Walmart

The House of Representatives passed an amendment to HR 2217 – the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014 – that forbids DHS from purchasing any more ammunition until they report to Congress on their previous ammunition purchases. The amendment passed Tuesday with a bi-partisan majority of 234-192. The amendment was proposed, I’m happy to report, by my Congressman, Rep. Mark Meadows (D-NC11).

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) proposed an amendment to the DHS spending bill for 2014 that would require the report to Congress before it can pursue plans to buy 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition. Meadows said the speed bump is a necessary reaction to news of the huge purchase, which alarmed many Americans and prompted conservative groups to suspect that the government was stocking up on the rounds to fight citizens.

“Given this large purchase, the American people and members of Congress rightfully had concerns and questions,” Meadows said. “This is a responsible amendment which ensures that Congress and the American people are aware of the necessity and the cost of ammunition prior to entering into new contracts for procurement.”

This amendment was opposed by Rep. John Carter (R-TX) who is Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations who said it was unnecessary based upon his talks with DHS officials and that it would interrupt the regular procurement process at DHS. I guess he means their solicitation for 30-30 Winchester and .45 Long Colt (sic) ammunition.

The roll call vote can be found here.

Rep. Meadows had more to say on the issue in this release:

A provision of H.R. 2217 requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit a report to Congress detailing its ammunition purchases by the time the president submits his next budget. Meadows’ amendment complements this reporting provision by prohibiting DHS from entering into a new contract for ammunition purchases until the report is submitted to Congress.

“Over the past year, many questions have been raised about vast purchases of ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” Meadows said. “Earlier this year, we learned that DHS solicited bids for 1.1 billion rounds of ammunition. This is more than ten times the amount that the department purchased in fiscal year 2012. Given current inventory, DHS has nearly 4,000 rounds for each employee trained and certified in firearms use.

“Constituents of the 11th District have repeatedly voiced their concerns to me about these purchases. Prior to committing taxpayer dollars for ammunition contracts, we must ensure that government agencies justify the necessity and cost to both Congress and the American people.”

The amendment passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 234-192.

I might have gone further than Rep. Meadows and included a provision that DHS have to buy their ammo over the counter at Walmart or their local gun shop. Oh, and they would have to abide by the usual limitations on purchases that the rest of us do including no more than 3 boxes of ammo per day at a time.

Rep. Mark Meadows On School Safety

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11), my Congressman, was on Cam and Company yesterday to discuss his bill that would reallocate monies to the existing Cops in Schools Program. HR 751- Protect America’s Schools Act of 2013 – would shift $30 million to the Cops in Schools program by reallocating $30 million in unobligated balances from NOAA. In other words, it would increase school security without raising the deficit.

Meadows’ bill currently has 11 co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

Rep. Meadows’ Response Is Good

I got the following response to a letter sent to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) who is my Congressman. Unlike some letters I’ve seen which speak of not wanting to “unnecessarily” infringing upon the Second Amendment, Meadows doesn’t believe additional laws will help. Moreover, he is pushing firearms training which I endorse.

Dear Mr. Richardson:

Thank you for contacting my office regarding your concerns over the possibility of increased gun regulation in light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. Your views are very important, and I appreciate you taking the time to share them with me.

When I heard about the tragedy that took place in Connecticut on December 14, 2012, I was shocked and deeply saddened over this senseless attack on innocent children, teachers and school administrators. As a father, I cannot begin to imagine the horror that those families are going through, as they grieve the loss of their children and loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with all of them during this difficult time.

Like most Americans, I am horrified by these crimes. The tragedy in Newtown has, once again, brought the debate over our Second Amendment rights to the forefront and has renewed assertions that more restrictive guns laws would have prevented the tragedy in Newtown and other violent crimes.

As a strong defender of the Second Amendment, I will always fight to secure the right of law-abiding citizens to purchase and bear personal firearms. I believe that the best way to prevent acts of violence is to resolutely enforce our criminal laws and to give our citizens proper guidance and training so that they are familiar with firearms and prepared to defend themselves should the need arise. I am working hard with local school officials and sheriff’s departments to figure out what additional measures we can take to ensure that our schools are as safe as possible.

The bottom line is that criminals and individuals who intend to do harm to others are not deterred by additional rules and regulations prohibiting gun ownership. Restricting the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families against harm by enacting strict gun-control laws would only further expose the innocent to violent crime.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. Your feedback and suggestions are always welcome. It is an honor to serve as your United States Congressman. If you have not done so already, please visit my website – – and sign up for my eNewsletter.

Mark Meadows
Member of Congress


I Think My Congressman Might Actually Get It

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) is a freshman Republican from western North Carolina. He replaced Rep. Heath Shuler (D) who retired to become a lobbyist for Duke Energy in Washington. After Obama’s gun control speech this morning, he released the statement below. I just spoke with his office in Washington and I think they get it.

Washington, D.C. – Representative Mark Meadows (NC-11) released the following statement after President Obama announced that he is moving forward with sweeping gun control measures.

“The recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut will never be forgotten. However, it is shameful that rather than having a serious discussion about the root of the violence behind the shooting, President Obama is using this tragedy as a vehicle for his own political agenda. He made his motives clear today when he used innocent children as the backdrop of his press conference.

“I am dedicated to preventing horrific incidents like the Newtown shooting from ever happening again, which is why I am committed to enforcing existing laws, examining issues like mental health and bolstering safety precautions in schools. We need to put politics aside and have meaningful conversations about the tragedy in Connecticut, but the president circumventing Congress and implementing his own rule of law is not the way to proceed. I encourage the president to change his course and sit down at the table with both political parties so we can prevent future tragedies.”

 While the release doesn’t mention the proposed AWB or magazine bans, the impression I got from staff was that he opposed it. I’ll just have to make sure that he gets a weekly call along with a letter for the foreseeable future. I think this is what we need to do with all our representatives in Washington.