IT'S THE NRA'S COUNTRY -- WE JUST GET SHOT IN IT
Why did a sitting governor lose a primary on Tuesday? It's not clear, but the gun crowd is taking credit:
Missouri Gov. Bob Holden, a Democrat, is one of the few sitting governors ever to lose a primary election. But Holden should have seen it coming because of his anti-gun stand, a Second Amendment group said on Wednesday....
"Show Me State gun owners showed Bob Holden the door," said CCRKBA [Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms] Chairman Alan Gottlieb. "Although they tried to downplay it, both the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Kansas City Star acknowledged that Holden's veto of concealed carry legislation cost him critical votes, especially in rural Missouri."...
The Missouri legislature overrode that veto, as well as two other high-profile Holden vetoes: of a bill that would banned product-liability lawsuits against the gun industry and, for good measure, of a bill mandating a 24-hour abortion waiting period.
But opposing the concealed-carry bill seems to have been a big deal -- according to this St. Louis Post-Dispatch story, it lost Holden a lot of Budweiser money:
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., the top corporate player in Missouri politics, is no longer backing Gov. Bob Holden - in large part because of their differences over concealed weapons.
Republican and Democratic sources say the brewery's decision not to support the governor's re-election next year is highly unusual in light of its long-standing reputation as a donor which gives generously to both parties and their candidates, regardless of their views.
Before Holden vetoed the bill last summer, sources say, a brewery lobbyist showed up at the governor's office to tell him that such action would end the long-standing support he'd enjoyed from Anheuser-Busch and its executives. Holden confirmed that position later in phone conversations with Anheuser-Busch Cos. Chairman August A. Busch III and corporate group vice president Stephen K. Lambright, sources said.
The brewery wouldn't confirm or deny the account, and the governor's office declined to comment. But Republican and Democratic sources familiar with the incident say it's among several recent dealings between the brewery and top state officials that underscore Anheuser-Busch's strong support for the bill to allow most Missourians the right to carry concealed weapons....
Concealed-carry laws worry me less than the possibility the gun manufacturers might knowingly aid and abet dealers who skirt the law sell a lot of crime guns, as some (including at least one ex-NRA lobbyist) have alleged. That's what the lawsuits are trying to uncover. If the industry is innocent, as the pro-gunners insist, why suppress the lawsuits? Why create a special, cosseted class of corporate citizens?
In any case, it seems that no one yet has found a way to counter the power of the NRA and its one-issue voters.