And Then There Were Three — Democrats. Plus 23 Republicans (with updated list)

Filed in National by on February 24, 2018

In the past 48 hours, four of the Democrats in Delaware’s General Assembly have donated the campaign donations they received from the NRA Political Victory Fund and/or the Delaware Foundation for Legislative Action, a local affiliate, to a charity for victims of the Stoneman Douglas high school shooting.

Those actions deserve applause and appreciation. While I have little doubt that the other Democrats will come around, that leaves 23 of the 26 Republicans in the General Assembly who have taken such donations in the past two+ years. Here’s the entire updated list as of Feb. 24:

Recipients of donations from the NRA Political Victory Fund. An asterisk designates those who have given their donations to a Stoneman Douglas victims fund:

*D Pete Schwartzkopf: $250, 4/23/15
*D Bethany Hall-Long: $350, 4/21/15
R Rich Collins: $100, 3/10/15
R Ruth Briggs King: $100, 3/10/15
R Gerald Hocker: $200, 3/31/15
R Steve Smyk: $200, 4/17/15
R Anthony Delcollo: $600, 9/20/16

Recipients of donations from the Delaware Foundation for Legislative Action, the political arm of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, which is affiliated with the NRA:

In 2017:

D Nicole Poore: $100
D Brian Bushweller: $100
D Larry Mitchell: $100
*D Trey Paradee: $100
R William Outten: $200
R Brian Pettyjohn: $100
R Greg Lavelle: $150
R John Walsh: $100
R Ernie Lopez: $225 (two checks)
R Ruth Briggs King: $100
R Jeff Spiegelman: $100
R Charles Postles: $100
R Kevin Hensley: $100
R Dave Wilson: $100
R Rich Collins: $100
R Joe Miro: $100
R Mike Ramone: $100
R Steve Smyk: $100
R Anthony Delcollo: $100
R Deborah Hudson: $100
R Bryant Richardson: $100
R Ron Gray: $100

In 2016:

D Bruce Ennis: $500 (two checks)
*D Andria Bennett: $500
*D Trey Paradee: $300 (two checks)
D Patty Blevins: $125
D Larry Mitchell: $100
R Anthony Delcollo: $600
R Charles Postles: $600
R Steve Smyk: $500 (two checks)
R William Outten: $500 (three checks)
R Joe Miro: $500 (three checks)
R Jeff Spiegelman: $500 (two checks)
R Dave Wilson: $400
R Ruth Briggs King: $400 (two checks)
R Kevin Hensley $400
R Cathy Cloutier: $370 (three checks)
R Deborah Hudson: $200 (two checks)
R Greg Lavelle: $100
R Dave Wilson: $100
R Dave Lawson: $100
R Ron Gray: $100
R Rich Collins: $100
R Gerald Hocker: $100
R Tim Dukes: $100
R Brian Pettyjohn: $100


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  1. This won’t mean anything if the D’s who gave back money don’t support an assault weapons ban.

  2. Trey Paradee, Andria Viola, Pete Schwartzkopf and Bethany Hall-Long have now gone public to announce that they will donate their NRA campaign contributions to a charity for the victims of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting.

    I know you all read this blog or, perhaps in Schwartzkopf’s case, has Mitch Crane read it for him. So, here’s my question:

    Who among you is now willing to come out and say that you will vote for the assault weapons ban? And, yes, that includes BHL, who could be called upon to cast the deciding vote in the Senate in her role as Lt. Gov.

    I look forward to your responses.

  3. chris says:

    Bethany Hall -Wrong will be hiding in the ladies room if that vote went to a tie in the State Senate.

  4. Alby says:

    Hey chris, maybe you ought to get to work on your fellow Republicans before you start making fun of the Democrats.

  5. Stewball says:

    Let’s take a step back on BHL here and look at the facts. In 2013, she voted for Beau Biden’s bill to keep guns away from people who are dangerously mentally ill. Before criticizing her, better make sure Dems like McBride and Townsend are on board with the assault weapons ban and Rep. Bentz’s bill based on Beau Biden’s 2013 bill. Neither of them voted for the 2013 bill. BHL did. Spare me the sanctimony and cheap shots. Her voting record is perfect on this issue.

  6. Alby says:

    Why must I check those records before criticizing her for having taken the money? Those are facts, too. And I applaud her for now giving it to a deserving cause.

    Voting records aren’t really worth much, as parties and politicians manipulate them exactly as you did, to cite them as “facts.” Being on the plus side of the gun lobby says a lot more to me, and being willing to be on the minus side does as well.

    But that doesn’t make her above criticism. Her husband was out of the house at 4 a.m. to steal somebody’s signs and she skated away claiming she knew nothing about it (I’m a heavy sleeper and I can tell when my wife leaves for the airport that early). She exonerated him by saying they were high-school sweethearts and he did it because he loves her so much!

    So spare me your sanctimony over “cheap shots.” I didn’t drink swill that cheap even in high school.

  7. puck says:

    So far neither the News Journal nor WDEL have covered the rejection of gun lobby money by these officials. You’d think it would be significant news on the politics beat.

  8. Alby says:

    You would think. I sent word of it to WDEL and the State News.

  9. jason330 says:

    Even a year ago it would have been possible to rationalize the NRA’s campaign contributions as coming from some legitimate, though misguided membership organization.

    It isn’t possible to continue to hold that view. Ennis, Poore, Mitchell and all those Republicans are keeping blood money in their accounts and have blood on their hands. The fact that the NRA supports mass murder, that they are a money laundering front for the Kremlin is beyond dispute.

    They are cogs in a machine that make school shootings a regular occurrence in this country.

  10. RE Vanella says:

    Gun fetishist death cult.

    Shame these people on the internet and in public.

    The Delaware Way, all your admonitions about hearing both sides & striking a balance & respect, is dead. Fuck you and yours.

    Self identified SPAs™ need to find some fucking courage & stand for something or stand down. Otherwise you’ll be run over.

    If you think this is all big talk accomplishing nothing, I encourage you to keep thinking it.

    (*Sober Pragmatic Adults)

  11. puck says:

    It is striking how small the contributions are. That tells me a number of things:

    It would be financially trivial to return the contributions. So if they don’t, they are making a real pledge of solidarity with the gun lobby.

    For those amounts the gun lobby isn’t actually trying to buy the legislator – the donations are symbolic, and get them on the legislator’s donor mailing list.

    If they keep the contributions, it is because they fear RWNJ voters. For Republicans, that is a realistic fear, for Democrats it is simple cowardice.

  12. puck says:

    The donations to the survivors are all good news, but we should examine the good news closely. It iseasy to make a donation to a Stoneman Douglas survivor’s fund; it is more difficult to renounce FUTURE contributions from the gun lobby.

  13. The Truth Hurts says:

    it’s too easy to disgorge the campaign contributions.

    Will these legislators renounce the NRA and Sportsmen’s Agenda which gave them their A+ ratings on the NRA-PVF?

    Stop attending wild game dinners?

    This sounds like pandering to me. I’ll believe it when I see their votes on bills adverse to the Sportsmens and NRA agendas.

  14. RE Vanella says:

    Good point. If any of these small time thieves and doofuses think it ends here they will be in for a funny surprise. Funny to me.

  15. jason330 says:

    We are working for the day when any NRA rating other than D or F is fatal to a political campaign. It isn going to happen overnight, but it is going to happen.

  16. Alby says:

    Funny thing about NRA grades — they’re almost all As or Fs. They’re so simpleminded they don’t understand the concept of the bell curve.

  17. jason330 says:

    By my count we are down to 1. I’m excluding people who have announced that they are quitting, because fuck those guys. So, only Bruce Ennis is an elected Dem still from the original list affiliated with the NRA. Using the DSN list, we are at 2 – Carson and Ennis.

    Is that accurate?

  18. Alby says:

    Also Mulrooney from the DSN list.

    And I’m NOT going to ignore Bushweller, who is the very definition of the kind of ass-sucking Democrat the state is well rid of.

  19. spktruth says:

    Stating you will give the money to a charity is cowardly. We need a letter from them stating they have resigned from the NRA membership and will never take another dime.