Liberal Groups Caught Spending 7x as Much on Elections as the NRA


Despite the common narrative that the National Rifle Association’s election spending influences lawmakers, data shows that liberal political action committees spent more than the NRA in the 2016 election cycle.

The liberal PACs that support only Democrats spent over $393 million collectively in independent campaign contributions, seven times more than the NRA spent, Lifezette reported.

According to the Federal Election Commission campaign funding data, even the average money spent by the four groups, $98.25 million, exceeded the gun rights group $54.4 million contributions.

Following the tragedy at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the mainstream media has been threading a certain narrative that the NRA’s contributions have blocked gun legislation from being passed.

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“But it’s the NRA’s campaign spending that almost certainly poses the biggest roadblock to legislation that would stem the tide of gun violence in America. From 2010 through 2018 thus far, the organization donated $111 million to political campaigns of federal candidates,” Michael Hiltzik claimed in a Los Angeles Times article.

The $111 million dollars the NRA contributed over four election cycles is far less than the contributions made by four liberal PACs in one.

Priorities USA, founded by former Obama aides Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, topped the list of the top-10 2016 spenders and spent over $133 million in support of Hillary Clinton.

Second in the top 10 was the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that spent almost $104 million on Democrats in pursuit of U.S. Senate seats.

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent over $80 million to support Democratic incumbents and challengers in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ranking sixth in the top 10 spenders was the Senate Majority PAC which spent over $75 million, almost $64 million pitted against Republican candidates.

“If they seize power. If these so-called European socialists, take over the House, and the Senate, and God forbid they get the White House again, our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever,” Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president for the NRA stated at CPAC Thursday.

He also emphasized the need to enforce existing laws and voiced support for strengthening the background check system, including adding those who suffer from mental health issues.

The NRA was ranked ninth on the 2016 campaign spenders list, and isn’t even listed among the top 20 lobbying group spenders, according to the data.

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A CNBC columnist, Jake Novak, pointed out that, “It usually takes seconds after a mass shooting for a chorus of people to begin blaming the National Rifle Association for allowing these atrocities to happen.”

“You know how the argument goes. The ‘conventional wisdom’ is the NRA’s heavy spending stops hundreds of politicians from enacting the ‘common sense’ gun control laws they and everyone else would otherwise support,” he wrote.

As the data showed, and Novak discussed, “There’s only one problem with that theory. It’s all wrong.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith