Gun Battle Between Raimondo and Fung — Both Have Ties to NRA Money
Thursday, August 02, 2018
the Washington Post on September 28, 2016.
That same day, the registered lobbyist for the Rhode Island chapter of the National Rifle Association donated $500 to Governor Gina Raimondo. It was just one of Murphy’s many donations to Raimondo as the top gun lobbyist for the NRA chapter.
On Wednesday, Raimondo’s campaign attacked Fung for accepting NRA related money, “On May 18, eight students and two teachers were killed and 13 more were injured in a Sante Fe, Texas school shooting. Four days later, Mayor Fung deposited a $500 check from the Gun Owners PAC, the NRA’s political arm in Rhode Island,” charged the Raimondo campaign.
Rhode Island Gun Money Debate
When GoLocal asked what the difference is between the donation from a gun lobbyist to Raimondo and the gun owners PAC to Fung, Raimondo campaign spokeswoman Emily Samsel told GoLocal in an email, “The donor you're referring to gave in his capacity as a Rhode Islander, not on behalf of the gun lobby.”
Raimondo’s campaign also claimed, “Mayor Fung’s Q2 fundraising report reveals what the Mayor himself admitted when he recently touted his high poll numbers among Trump and 2A voters: If elected, he’d prioritize gun owners’ rights over the safety of our schoolchildren."
"Governor Raimondo today again reaffirmed her commitment to school and gun safety today by making $10 million available to every Rhode Island city and town for school safety and security upgrades,” said the Raimondo campaign.
“As families in Texas mourned the victims of the Santa Fe shooting and leaders across the country re-dedicated themselves to gun violence prevention, Mayor Fung dropped a check in the bank from the powerful gun lobby,” said Emily Samsel, Raimondo campaign press secretary. “Governor Raimondo continues to take action to keep Rhode Islanders safe; Fung stands with Trump and the NRA.”
Fung’s campaign refused to comment on the Raimondo charges or Raimondo’s receipt of donations from Murphy.
“Governor Raimondo has never and will never accept a dime from the gun lobby. She signed the bill that takes guns away from abusers and wants to ban military-style weapons and high capacity magazines. She’ll work with any willing partner to make that happen,” David Ortiz, Raimondo’s press secretary told GoLocal in an email on Monday.
When Ortiz was forwarded information about multiple donations from former Democratic Speaker of the House William Murphy, who lobbies for the RI 2nd Amendment Coalition/NRA State Association by GoLocal, Ortiz stopped responding to repeated follow-up questions, including whether Raimondo would return the donations.
According to Rhode Island campaign finance reports, Murphy, who at the time was the registered lobbyist for the NRA affiliate, made two donations totaling $500 in 2014, donated $500 to Raimondo on September 28, 2016, and then followed up with a $350 donation on October 1, 2017. Murphy has given a total of four donations totaling $1,350 to Raimondo while lobbying for gun interests.
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