05/09 Republican “Leaders” Looking to Replace Specter with Noted Gun Banner

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Some Republicans still don’t understand why mainstream America is so upset with their Party. 

Now that Sen. Arlen Specter has defected to the Democrat Party, many prominent Republicans are openly recruiting liberal Republicans to run against Specter.

And at the top of their list is Tom Ridge.

Ridge is the turncoat Republican whose vote was crucial in passing the semi-auto ban in 1994.

After having opposed a similar ban in 1991, then-Rep. Tom Ridge flip-flopped and teamed up with Charles Schumer (D-NY) to pass the semi-auto gun and magazine ban.  The gun ban passed narrowly, 216 to 214, thanks to Tom Ridge.

Later, as Governor of Pennsylvania, Ridge signed one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the State’s history — the infamous Act 17 which registered and taxed long gun buyers and placed other restrictions on Keystone State gun owners.

As the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge opposed arming pilots.  He asked, sarcastically, if pilots carry guns, then should we also arm railroad engineers and bus drivers? As DHS Director, Ridge should have led the charge to arm pilots and people in other positions that fell under the agency’s purview.

Instead, he just repeated the same tired old anti-gun line that we hear every time a state passes a concealed carry handgun law.

Guess who else opposed the armed pilots program?  Pennsylvania’s “Benedict” Arlen Specter, who was one of only two Republican Senators to vote against the bill. 

The last thing we need is another elitist in Congress who does not trust law-abiding citizens with firearms.  And yet, wishy-washy Republican Senators like Utah’s Orrin Hatch and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham are touting Ridge over Specter.  In other words, let’s replace one turncoat with another.

There is a better option.  His name is Pat Toomey, a Gun Owners of America “A” rated pro-gunner who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for three terms, before honoring a self-imposed term limit and retiring in 2004.

Those who are pushing anti-gunner Tom Ridge claim that Pat Toomey is unelectable because he’s “too conservative” for Pennsylvania. 

But that’s what self-appointed experts said before Toomey got elected term after term in a largely Democrat district in the eastern part of Pennsylvania.  And that’s what they said before he accrued a gigantic lead in the polls over a sitting Senator this year, forcing Specter to jump parties. 

It was Pat Toomey who forced Specter to jump to the Democrat Party.  Toomey — who was backed by Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund — was leading Specter in polls by an overwhelming margin.

That’s also what they said about Ronald Reagan — who was supposedly too conservative to win a national election.  (By the way, Reagan also won Pennsylvania.)

Bottom line:  We need to put these squishy politicians on alert.  Their internal party politics is their business.  But when party leaders start pushing noted gun banners — using the money contributed by millions of gun owners around the country — we’re not going to remain silent.

Texas Senator John Cornyn is the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  Michael Steele heads the Republican National Committee.  The decision to support an anti-gunner over a defender of the Second Amendment rests largely in their hands.

ACTION:  Please urge Senator John Cornyn and Chairman Michael Steele not to interfere in Pennsylvania’s primary.  There is already a pro-gun, electable conservative running in the primary who deserves their support.

You can contact NRSC’s Sen. Cornyn at [email protected] or by phone at (202) 675-6000. 

You can contact RNC Chairman Michael Steele at [email protected] or by phone at (202) 863-8700.

—– Pre-written letter —–

Dear Senator Cornyn / Chairman Steele:

Please don’t cave in to pressure to support anti-gun candidate Tom Ridge over pro-gunner Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary.

When in Congress, Ridge provided crucial support to pass the Clinton semi-auto gun ban.  As Governor of Pennsylvania, Ridge signed one of the most restrictive gun laws in the State’s history.  And as head of the Department of Homeland Security, Ridge opposed the successful congressional effort to arm commercial airline pilots. 

The last thing we need is another Senator who does not trust “We the People” with firearms.

Pat Toomey served three terms in the House before honoring a self-imposed term limit and retiring.  Rep. Toomey was “A” rated by Gun Owners of America, and stood firm on conservative principles even though he was supposedly “too conservative” for his district.

I urge you not to interfere in this race on behalf of an anti-gun candidate.