We already know that the domestic terrorist organization known as the National Rifle Association not only allowed a Russian spy to infiltrate its ranks, but is also suspected of passing massive amounts of laundered Russian money to Donald Trump and multiple Republican election campaigns in 2016. Now, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission, it turns out the NRA worked with GOP Senate candidate Josh Hawley to engage in “an elaborate scheme designed to evade detection” of federal election violations.
Given the fact that the NRA apparently had no problem taking illegal money from Russia in order to assist Republican congressional candidates, it is no surprise that such deception is ongoing. Hawley is currently in a close race against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill for the Missouri Senate seat. According to FiveThirtyEight, McCaskill currently holds a slight 49.3 to 48.0 lead in the highly contested race. The complaint by the Campaign Legal Center asserts that GOP contractors and vendors have knowingly and intentionally worked to hide coordination between campaigns and outside groups.
While this is a damning accusation against the NRA, it is only one of three such accusations in the past four months which claim the group is illegally using shell corporations to subvert laws against such actions. According to a report by The Trace, the NRA has paid over $60 million since 2013 to a little known contractor for ads in close races in which they are desperate to ensure Republican candidates are successful. A joint investigation by Mother Jones and The Trace is currently looking into whether NRA’s advertising firm Starboard has been working with the conservative consulting firm OnMessage Inc.
Republican members of Congress whose have campaigns benefited through such a relationship include Thom Tillis, Cory Gardner, Tom Cotton, and Ron Johnson, along with current GOP candidates Hawley and Matt Rosendale. Just in this current election cycle, the NRA has utilized Starboard for $1 million in ads in support of Hawley’s campaign against McCaskill. This complaint came shortly after nine senators requested the FEC to investigate the NRA’s ties to Starboard. With Republicans clearly willing to do anything to win, it is more important than ever to ensure Democrats take back power in at least one house of congress so that they can further investigate these claims and put an end to the NRA’s illegal actions.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.