Holder's Critics Are NRA's Paid Congressional Gunslingers

October 31, 2011 3:50 pm ET — Brian Powell

In the wake of the unfolding scandal surrounding the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' (ATF) failed gun trafficking program, Operation Fast and Furious, the Daily Caller has been eagerly soliciting demands from members of Congress for Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation. Seventeen Republicans, 11 of them freshmen, have responded, all calling for Holder's head. This smattering of Republicans represents areas as diverse as Florida, California, Illinois and Idaho, but they do have one common thread: the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has had the attorney general in its sights for months and has contributed money to all but one of the 17 Republicans.

This election cycle alone, the NRA has contributed $19,950 to the Republicans going after Holder, including $6,950 to the vocal Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). Lifetime contributions to these Republicans exceed $133,000. The chart below is derived from a search of NRA contributions listed at OpenSecrets.org (as of October 31, 2011):

NRA to Republicans

The NRA has long been obsessively focused on Operation Fast and Furious, and has been diligently using the story to undermine the ATF. This is not surprising given NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre's past description of ATF agents as "jack-booted thugs." The NRA's congressional lapdogs are following in the footsteps of LaPierre, who called for Holder to step down months ago.

The NRA's voice on the matter is hardly credible given the organization's adherence to radical conspiracy theories and distorted facts regarding the operation and its relationship to gun policy in America. LaPierre has suggested that (independent of government gunwalking programs) no U.S. guns fuel cartel violence in Mexico and that the Obama administration is set on repealing the Second Amendment. He's also likened Holder to "the mob."

Just today, the NRA sent out a fundraising letter vilifying Holder:

Dear XXXX,

Crimes were committed in the name of advancing an anti-gun agenda.

The longer these crimes go unanswered... the longer Attorney General Eric Holder stonewalls Congress... the greater the threat to our freedom.

Please watch the video I've attached for you. Holder's actions prove he can't be trusted with the sanctity of our freedoms, the powers of his office, or the lives of our law enforcement officers.

Help me send a message to President Obama. It's time to fire Eric Holder. Please make a donation of $10, $15, $20 or more to help us broadcast this video across America. And please, help spread the word and forward this video to friends and fellow gun owners.

Thank you.


Chris W. Cox

Executive Director

While the NRA attacks Holder to raise money, the organization is getting a return on investments it's already made on Capitol Hill. How long House Republicans will continue to carry water for the NRA is anyone's guess, but in any case, it won't come cheaply. The gun rights group has already spent nearly $200,000 on federal candidates for the 2012 campaign cycle. Which member of Congress will be the next to put money in their pocket then put a call for Holder's job on the record?