Tennessee Firearms Association, Inc. - Legislative Action Committee
The significance of the race by Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers against incumbent Debra Maggart
The Republican Primary race on August 2, 2012, where Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers against incumbent Republican Debra Maggart is a key race that should be of interest to all Tennesseans who are concerned by constitutional rights, the 2nd Amendment, your right of self-defense and the proper stewardship of elected officials.
The fact is that when Maggart was called upon to honor her oath to uphold and defend the Constitution by supporting sound 2nd Amendment legislation in the NRA and TFA endorsed Safe Commute act. Rather than do what was required by her oath of office, she bowed to the financial pressures of corporate and business interests that opposed the legislation. By her own words to TFA last summer, she was more interested in the partisan evaluation of any legislation for the purpose of growing the numbers of Republicans in the House than she was concerned about the constitutional rights and lives of citizens.
The NRA noted this recently when it released its full endorsement of Lt. Col. Rogers. What cannot be understated is that the NRA almost never makes a primary endorsement in a state legislative race against an incumbent member of leadership. NRA gave some slight hint at the extreme circumstances warranting this unusual move with these comments in the endorsement regarding Debra Maggart:
In contrast, her opponent, Representative Debra Maggart, has undermined our Second Amendment rights. Just this past session, Rep. Maggart tried to kill life-saving legislation known as the Safe Commute Act through procedural maneuvering behind closed doors. The Safe Commute Act would have ensured that Tennessee’s 350,000 handgun carry permit holders would have been able to defend themselves against violence as they commuted away from home. NRA members throughout the state can rest assured that Lt. Colonel Rogers, once elected to office, will see that this wrong is righted.
“We urge all NRA members and gun owners in Tennessee’s House District 45 to vote Courtney Rogers in the August 2 Republican primary,” concluded Cox.
NRA recognizes that this is not a local race involving just part of Sumner County. This is a race that impacts all firearms owners and constitutional conservatives - people who put the constitution and citizens' rights above party interests - across the state.
TFA recognizes this as sell. Once it became clear early in the session that Debra Maggart's condescending, misplaced and arrogant statements about "party first" were in fact part of the agenda to keep the Safe Commute law from evening being considered on the Floor of the House, the TFA accepted the responsibility to raise the level of the discussion to new heights with the need to force Debra Maggart and other Republican leaders, like Gerald McCormick, Beth Harwell, and even Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, to go on record in more detail regarding their respective positions on this legislation. What we saw was that when they did, they trotted out the talking points apparently from FedEx and other large corporate contributors and gave little if any quarter to the Constitutional rights and self-defense interests of the citizens.
It is for this reason that TFA has decided to focus its attention and resources on Debra Maggart who is the self-proclaimed mastermind of the "party first" plan of reviewing any 2nd Amendment legislation. When elected officials such as Debra Maggart abdicate a constitutional compass and substitute the financial carrot of Big Business what we find is that we no longer have true stewards in office but instead individuals whose primary litmus test to decide on legislation is "show me the money."
TFA is calling on all firearms owners and constitutional conservatives in Tennessee to make a commitment, even if its $10, $50 or $100 dollars to start, to help in the battle to elect Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers and to displace the financial puppet of Big Business that has been revealed in Debra Maggart.
You can contribute through TFA's PAC but we would encourage you to go directly to Lt. Col. Roger's online donation page and add your name proudly to the list of other Tennesseans who are willing to stand up and say NO MORE. No More to Debra Maggart. More importantly, No More to all elected officials from Haslam, to Lt. Gov. Ramsey to the lowest ranking House member. No More to selling out constitutional rights. No More to weighing our right of self-defense against the size of the financial contributions from Federal Express or the Chamber of Commerce. No more ghost voting. No more claiming of unwarranted per diem payments. No more abuse. No more partisanship first. Just, No More.
Go now and make that contribution to the Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers campaign. Her campaign is using the phrase "$45 for the 45 District" - make that your minimum.
The message that tens of thousand of individual contributions from across the state will make on the minds of incumbents and newly elected officials cannot be underestimated. If you view yourself as a concerned Tennessean - one concerned about the misdirection that occurs when state officials sell out to Big Business - you must take this call to action seriously.
Finally, take this message and share it on every firearms and political forum in the state or that you enjoy. Whether its TFA's own web forum, or others such as Tennessee Gun Owners, NRA's forums, the High Road, AR15.com, TNDeer, or shooting or outdoor forums, go to those forums and get involved. Talk about the significance of this race and the need for there to be a grassroots uprising of a kind not seen in many years to declare No More Debra Maggart and No More to other legislators who are made in her mold or tempted by the corporate money that she has come to value more than your constitutional rights.
TFA and PAC Contributions
A Tennessee Republican House member commented to TFA that
"I am aware that there has been statements made [by House leadership] that neither the NRA or TFA is serious about raising the money necessary to help us [the Republicans] win a conservative majority. . . . If you guys were serious, with the real fuel of politics, money, we could be better positioned to win more seats. . . . [w]hat you have found is your weakness....the lack of real support from your own membership......beyond the rhetoric and reaching to the finance and ground game of politics."
The fact has been proven in 2012 that too many legislators place too much value on the money that they think gets them re-elected and too little value on their oaths to uphold and strengthen the constitutions or the rights vested or protected therein. Business interests know this and invest huge funds into political campaigns so that they can purchase the laws or repeal of laws that they desire.
TFA raises money not to support one party or the other but to support specific legislators or candidates who have demonstrated facts from which it is clear that TFA should support them to the extent we can. In 2010, for example, TFA distributed more than $30,000 in contributions to candidates. It is important for TFA to continue to grow its membership, its member support and its network with and among similar constitutionally based organizations. What can you do to help?
Make a financial commitment to support and
. An annual membership is about the price of one box of self-defense ammo or a box of hunting rounds. If you are already a member, recruit additional members or chip in a few more dollars with a voluntary contribution to continue our struggle to restore our rights.
raise funds for the TFA PAC
so that we can help to financially support not only the campaigns of those who have stood firm, particularly against the mandates of leadership, but also to support those who would challenge these "conservatives in name only" individuals during election cycles. As with Speaker Naifeh, we might not defeat Speaker Harwell, Rep. Gerald McCormick, or, based on recent events, even Lt. Gov. Ramsey in a general election but we can certainly defeat enough of those in the caucus who would return these leaders to power.
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