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David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

The Washington State Republican Party has plans to auction an AR-15 rifle at its fundraising dinner, scheduled for this weekend, the Seattle Times reported Thursday. 

Washington State GOP Chair Kirby Wilbur told the paper that the group has auctioned weapons before. Asked about the recent controversy surrounding the guns, Wilbur reportedly said: “It’s also the best-selling weapon in America, I own two, they have never killed an innocent person.”

Read more at the Seattle Times.

h/t Political Wire.

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The National Republican Congressional Committee on Friday embraced a new social media application called Vine to release an ad going after South Carolina congressional candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Vine, a social media application for short videos, was founded by Twitter in January.

"Colbert Busch and the labor unions mean fewer jobs for South Carolina," a narrator says in the ad, which, like all Vine videos, plays on loop. 

The NRCC said in a written release, "This is the first time a political organization has launched an actual ad on Vine to attack an opponent. Vine ads can easily be shared and are a new frontier of political media."

The NRCC recently adopted new media in another area of its organization. The group took a cue from BuzzFeed in the redesign of its website. NRCC spokesman Gerrit Lansing told National Journal that the social news site is "eating everyone's lunch" and is "making people want to read and be cognizant of politics in a different way."

Watch the Vine ad below:

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Mark Kelly, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' husband, has recorded a robocall in which he thanks Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) for coming together to reach a deal on background checks for gun sales. NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell reported on the robocall Friday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I'm calling to thank your senator, Pat Toomey, for working across party lines to sponsor critical legislation to keep guns out of the the hands of criminals and the mentally ill by expanding background checks," Kelly said in one version of the call, broadcast on MSNBC. "If Sen. Toomey's bill becomes law, it will be more difficult for dangerous people to get guns, and our communities will be safer as a result. All while protecting our Second Amendment rights."

O'Donnell reported that the call is set to go out on Friday and will run in the suburbs of Philadelphia and is also supposed to reach veterans and male gun owners in West Virginia. O'Donnell reported that Giffords will be on Capitol Hill next week to lobby lawmakers on gun control. Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control group founded by Giffords and Kelly, on Thursday called the Senate's vote to begin debate on gun control legislation "an important first step toward reducing gun violence."

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Vice President Joe Biden at 2 p.m. ET Friday is scheduled to attend a welcome ceremony for CIA Director John Brennan at the agency's headquarters, the White House said. Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech at the event.

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Thursday took to Facebook to rail against stricter gun control measures -- and, along the way, compared a national gun registry to the genocide in Rwanda. 

"The 2nd Amendment is (or should be) equal to the 1st Amendment and the 4th Amendment and all of the others," Duncan wrote on Facebook. "Ask yourselves why it is under attack? Ask yourselves about a National gun registry database and how that might be used and why it is so wanted by progressives."

Enter the Rwanda comparison. "Read about the Rwandan genocide, the Hutu and Tutsi tribes," Duncan continued. "Read that all Tutsi tribe members were required to register their address with the Hutu government and that this database was used to locate Tutsi for slaughter at the hands of the Hutu. (Since the government had the names and addresses of nearly all Tutsis living in Rwanda (remember, each Rwandan had an identity card that labeled them Tutsi, Hutu, or Twa) the killers could go door to door, slaughtering the Tutsis."

Duncan wrote that he used this particular example "to warn that national databases can be used with evil consequences."

While the National Rifle Association has long warned that expanding background checks would lead to a national gun registry, no such legislation has been proposed. In a roundtable discussion that aired Thursday on MSNBC, Vice President Joe Biden said the push for gun restrictions will not create a registry. "So this idea that there is a national registry, there is no place in the federal government where you can go, not a single place, and find out everybody who owns a gun."

Duncan's comments come as the Senate voted to begin debate on gun legislation, including a deal on background checks for gun sales proposed by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

Read Duncan's full Facebook post here.

h/t The Hill.

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Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) on Thursday sent a letter to News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, asking the media mogul and his Fox network not to broadcast a National Rifle Association-sponsored NASCAR race this weekend. 

"The race not only brings national attention to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate, it also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race," Murphy wrote. "This celebration of guns is inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre. But most importantly, broadcasting this race, which will highlight the NRA and its radical agenda during this time, sends a harmful signal to the families affected by gun violence, as well as the millions of Americans who support sensible gun control measures and enjoy your sports programming."

The race is scheduled to be held at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Tex. As USA Today reported earlier this month, the track's president, Eddie Gossage, contemplated nixing the ceremonial shooting by the event's winner, which occurs at the end of the race, but decided it was a celebratory event that should be continued.

Murphy added in the letter, "Considering your support of sane gun control measures and the extreme nature of the NRA, I urge you to not broadcast this race on April 13th. Inserting Fox Sports in this debate at this critical time will give credence to an extreme organization that is opposed to reasonable policies to stem gun violence."

Below is Murphy's full letter to Murdoch: 

April 11, 2013

 

Mr. Rupert Murdoch

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

News Corporation

1211 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10036

 

Dear Mr. Murdoch: 

 

I write today to urge you to not broadcast NASCAR’s NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13th. This race, which is being sponsored by the National Rifle Association (NRA), is going to take place during the Senate’s consideration of legislation to reduce gun violence. The race not only brings national attention to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate, it also features the live shooting of guns at the end of the race. This celebration of guns is inappropriate in the immediate wake of the Newtown massacre. But most importantly, broadcasting this race, which will highlight the NRA and its radical agenda during this time, sends a harmful signal to the families affected by gun violence, as well as the millions of Americans who support sensible gun control measures and enjoy your sports programming.

 

The horror that unfolded on December 14th at Sandy Hook Elementary School has sparked a national conversation about the adequacy of our gun laws. You, News Corporation and its subsidiaries, including Fox News, should contribute and continue to cover this discussion. Given that you have been outspoken in your support of gun reform, it is the height of irony that some would perceive that your company would now essentially endorse the NRA’s extreme position against such laws by broadcasting this event.

 

Shortly after the tragedy in Newtown, you called on policymakers and the President to strengthen our gun laws, asking, “when will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons?” This valid question will be answered when the Senate considers major reforms to our gun laws in early to mid-April. As a senator, I can tell you that many of us possess the courage, and will strongly advocate for sensible gun reforms to take assault weapons and high-capacity magazines off our streets and require all gun purchasers to submit for a background check. 

 

You also challenged President Obama to show bold leadership on this issue after he addressed the nation.  I believe that the President has shown incredible leadership since the tragedy by trying to help our country, my state, and the community of Newtown heal in the wake of this terrible event. I would like to make a similar challenge to you.  You should play a constructive role in our national dialogue by refraining from broadcasting the NRA 500.  By airing this race you will be strengthening the brand of a radical organization that is currently standing in the way of meaningful progress on this issue. Today’s NRA bears little resemblance to the one of its founding. It stokes fear and perpetuates a perverse interpretation of the Second Amendment in order to sell more guns and fuel larger donations from gun manufacturers. After the events of Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, and so many other senseless tragedies, the NRA continues to say that the only solution to gun violence is more guns. It even disavows common sense measures, like universal background checks for gun purchases - a policy that enjoys the support of 74 percent of its members and that it advocated for in 1999.  

 

Considering your support of sane gun control measures and the extreme nature of the NRA, I urge you to not broadcast this race on April 13th.  Inserting Fox Sports in this debate at this critical time will give credence to an extreme organization that is opposed to reasonable policies to stem gun violence.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Christopher S. Murphy

United States Senator

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday told reporters that the so-called Hastert Rule "was never a rule to begin with."

"And certainly my prerogative, or my intention, is to always pass bills with strong Republican support," Boehner said at a Capitol Hill press conference. 

The New York Times on Thursday published a report on the House of Representatives' violations of the rule. According to the Times' tally, the House has passed legislation without majority Republican support four times so far in 2013.

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday told reporters that he disagrees with the criticism of President Obama's budget from Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who called the President's proposal "a shocking attack on seniors."

"I've made it clear that I disagree with what (National Republican Campaign Committee) Chairman Walden said," Boehner said at a press conference. "He and I have had a conversation about it. This is the least we must do to begin to solve the problems in Social Security."

Walden criticized Obama's proposed adoption of Chained CPI, which essentially cuts Social Security benefits. Walden has faced criticism from the right, including from the Club for Growth. The NRCC on Thursday said that Walden stands by his comments

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday slammed President Obama's budget proposal, saying at a press conference "it's just not serious."

It's not a compromise, it's a step backwards," Boehner said of the President's plan, adding that it's not a compromise because it doesn't address "the spending problem in Washington."

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) on Thursday applauded Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for voting to consider gun control legislation

 

Proud of my senators @senjohnmccain & @jeffflake for voting yes to continued debate on reducing gun violence.Tucson deserves a vote.Thanks.

— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) April 11, 2013

Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun control group formed by Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, praised the Senate vote and also warned the lawmakers who voted against the bill. "Americans deserve better than the loyalty to the corporate gun lobby that you displayed today. With our help, your constituents will be educated and reminded of your actions today and in the coming weeks ahead," the group said in a written statement

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