GRNC CANDIDATE EVALUATIONS vs. NRA RATINGS
Every election year, we get some variation of the same questions:
1. “Why did you give Joe Blow a zero star evaluation? He is a [Hunter], [Great Guy], [Libertarian].” The answer is that if a candidate lacks a voting record and refuses to return GRNC’s candidate survey, the rules of the “Remember in November” candidate evaluation system assume he is hiding his position. If he lacks a voting record and refuses the survey, he gets a “0.”
2. “Why didn’t you give Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson 4 stars?” The answer is that Johnson didn’t return the survey and lacks a voting record on gun issues. Libertarians do not get a pass just for being Libertarians. Arbitrarily awarding them 4 stars (****) would be construed not as voter education, but as candidate advocacy, potentially running afoul of elections laws and IRS regulations on non-profit organizations.
3. “The NRA gave Senator Bombast an A+ and endorsement, but GRNC only gave him two stars (**). Why?” Since we could be construed as less than objective, let’s look at what the “Beaufort Observer” recently said as it published GRNC candidate evaluations:
“We are not publishing the NRA ratings. We investigated their candidate evaluation process during the primary and found it to be very unreliable. When we confronted the Washington NRA officials they at first tried to defend the process but the information they furnished us did not check out. When we discovered what they had told us was not true we confronted them again. They refused to respond after they found out we were checking out what they told us. We therefore are of the opinion that the NRA ratings are neither valid nor reliable. Moreover, we went to Raleigh to cover the committee hearings on several gun-related bills during the last session of the Legislature. Our observations were that Grass Roots North Carolina was a much more effective representative of gun owners than was the NRA. We urge our readers to check out the GRNC at www.grnc.org”
The reason GRNC candidate evaluations offer differ from NRA ratings and endorsements is:
1. GRNC candidate evaluations are objective. Using voting records, survey scores and bill sponsorship, among several factors, GRNC volunteers plug the information into a database which estimates the percentage of time a given candidate can be expected to agree with a control group of conservative gun owners.
2. GRNC does NOT make “deals” for ratings. The candidate gets only what he or she earns;
3. Unlike the “friendly incumbent” policy, under which the NRA admits to supporting ostensibly “friendly” candidates even against superior challengers, GRNC makes no distinction, instead simply telling you who is the best candidate in the race.
Examples in the 2012 General Election include:
Governor’s race: Although the NRA gave Pat McCrory (GRNC ***) an “A”, they also gave Walter Dalton an “A” and withheld an endorsement from the race. In truth, in his six terms in the NC Senate, Dalton voted with gun owners only 53% of the time. Estimated objectively, Dalton is expect to agree with gun owners only 63% of the time, earning a poor GRNC 1-star (*) evaluation.
US House District 8: Although the NRA gave challenger Richard Hudson an “A”, they gave an A and endorsement to incumbent Larry Kissell, who has voted with gun owners only 33% of the time, earning GRNC’s lowest 0-star (0) evaluation.
US House District 11: This is an open seat previously occupied by Rep. Heath Shuler (GRNC 0-star), who also enjoyed an undeserved NRA endorsement. Oddly, the NRA correctly awarded Republican challenger Mark Meadows (GRNC ****) an “AQ,” meaning an “A” based only on his survey score only, without a voting record. Yet they awarded Shuler’s former chief of staff, Hayden Rogers (GRNC 0-star), who shows no record of ever holding office, a full “A.” Is this some sort of continued payback to Shuler?
FINDING GRNC CANDIDATE EVALUATIONS
Candidate sorts by either last name or by district are available at:
To find your district go to:
Please note that district information on the North Carolina General Assembly website has not been updated to reflect redistricting. Accordingly, use this link for the State Board of Elections and then follow the link for “Sample Ballot.” If you still can’t find what district you live in, print and use the candidate evaluations from the GRNC web site which are sorted by last name.
GRNC-PVF CANDIDATE RECOMMENDATIONS
In addition to issuing candidates surveys, GRNC collects data on politicians’ votes, bill and amendment sponsorship and other factors back to 1996. All measures are inputted to a database which estimates a percentage concurrence rate with a control group of GRNC Life and Benefactor members. A candidate who concurs with the control group at least 90% of the time receives 4 stars (****), 80% gets 3 stars (***), 70% gets 2 stars (**), 60% gets 1 star (*) and less than 60% gets a 0-star evaluation (0). Where candidates’ votes on gun bills are available, they are weighted more heavily than survey scores and other measures, because how a legislator votes is the truest measure of their support for the Second Amendment.
Voting recommendations for selected races are listed below. GRNC generally does not provide blanket “endorsements,” but rather recommendations for effective voting strategies for the districts listed. Often, other candidates may be as good as the ones recommended, but might not get a recommendation for a variety of logistical reasons. If a district is not listed, GRNC has no recommendation for that particular race.
Vote for Romney (R, **). Libertarian Gary Johnson might well be pro-gun (although he failed to return GRNC’s survey and lacks a voting record on gun issues), but he stands no chance of victory. Given that Obama has publicly committed, during the presidential debates, to passing another “assault weapon” ban, voters should cast votes to keep him out of office. In this case, a vote for Johnson is effectively a vote for Obama.
District 1: Vote for Holloman (L, ****)
District 2: Vote for Elmers (R, ****)
District 3: Vote for Jones (R, ****)
District 4: Vote for D’Annunzio (R, ****)
District 5: Vote for Foxx (R, ****)
District 6: Vote for Coble (R, ****)
District 7: Vote for Rouzer (R, ****) due to 100% pro-gun voting record in NC Senate
District 8: Vote for Hudson (R, ****)
District 9: Vote for Pittenger (R, ****)
District 10: Vote for McHenry (R, ****), who has been a leader on gun issues both in the NC House and in Congress
District 11: Vote for Meadows (R, ****), who has made support for the Second Amendment a large part of his campaign
District 12: No recommendation
District 13: Vote for Holding (R, ****)
NORTH CAROLINA STATEWIDE RACES
NC GOV: Vote for McCory. Dalton is anti-gun, having racked up only a 53% pro-gun voting record in his 6 terms in the NC Senate. Although Libertarian Barbara Howe is undoubtedly the most pro-gun candidate in the race, she stands no chance of victory. Voting for her will help put Dalton in a position to stop all pro-gun legislation for at least the next four years
NC LT GOV: Vote for Forest
SUPREME CT: Vote for Newby
NORTH CAROLINA STATEWIDE RACES
District 1: Vote for Cook (R, ****)
District 2: Vote for Sanderson (R, ****)
District 4: Vote for Nail (R, ****)
District 6: Vote for Brown (R, ****)
District 7: Vote for Pate (R, ****)
District 8: Vote for Rabon (R, ****)
District 9: Vote for Goolsby(R, ****), a staunch gun rights supporter who sponsored pro-gun legislation in his first term in office
District 10: Vote for Jackson (R, ****)
District 11: Vote for Newton (R, ****). A former Jesse Helms staffer, in his freshman year Newton earned a co-chair position on the Judiciary II Committee through which gun bills are generally referred. He not only facilitated Senate passage of omnibus gun rights bill HB 650 – which contained Castle Doctrine, parks carry and much more – but actually wrote language to further strengthen Castle Doctrine. Newton is a leader for gun rights and the clear choice in this race.
District 13: Vote for Walters (D, ****)
District 15: Vote for Hunt (R, ****)
District 18: Vote for Doug Berger (D, ****), who has a 100% pro-gun voting record spanning 4 terms in the NC Senate and stood up to chamber leadership by offering a discharge petition to attempt to dislodge GRNC’s restaurant carry bill from committee. Opponent Barefoot claims to be pro-gun, but has as his mentor House Majority Leader “Skip” Stam, who has displayed consistent antipathy for gun rights by first trying to gut GRNC’s “Castle Doctrine” bill and then helping defeat a measure which could have allowed employees to keep guns in locked vehicles at places of employment.
District 19: Vote for Meredith (R, ****)
District 23: Vote for Carter (R, ***)
District 24: Vote for Gunn (R, ****)
District 25: Vote for McIntyre (R, ***)
District 26: Vote for Phil Berger (R, ****) . With a long history featuring a 100% pro-gun vote record and of sponsoring pro-gun legislation, as Senate President Pro Tempore, Berger passed omnibus pro-gun bill HB 650, containing Castle Doctrine, parks carry and other provisions. He lowered his evaluation by refusing a hearing to restaurant carry bill HB 111, but promises to give it a hearing in the next session. We will see whether he holds true to his promise
District 27: Vote for Trudy Wade (R, ****). Previously on Greensboro City Council, she fought against concealed carry restrictions in parks. Opponent Myra Slone is openly hostile to gun owners
District 29: Vote for Tillman (R, ****)
District 30: Vote for East (R, ****)
District 31: Vote for Brunstetter (R, ****)
District 33: Vote for Bingham (R, ****)
District 34: Vote for Brock (R, ****)
District 35: Vote for Tucker (R, ****)
District 36: Vote for Hartsell (R, ****)
District 38: Vote for Rivette (R, ****)
District 39: Vote for Rucho (R, ****)
District 40: Vote for Philip (R, ****)
District 41: Vote for Tarte (R, ****)
District 42: Vote for Allran (R, ****)
District 43: Vote for Harrington (R, ****)
District 45: Vote for Soucek (R, ****)
District 46: Vote for Daniel (R, ****) who has a proven record of supporting gun rights by helping pass HB 650, Castle Doctrine.
District 47: Vote for Hise (R, ****)
District 48: Vote for Apodaca (R, ****)
District 49: Vote for Clark (R, ****). In previous Senate terms, he compiled a 100% pro-gun voting record plus a willingness to stick his neck out for gun owners. He is the clear choice in the race
District 50: Vote for Davis (R, ****)
District 1: Vote for Steinburg (R, ****)
District 2: Vote for Karan (R, ***)
District 3: Vote for Speciale (R, ****)
District 4: Vote for Dixon (R, ****)
District 6: Vote for Lawson (R, ****)
District 8: Vote for Martin (R, ****)
District 10: Vote for Bell (R, ***)
District 12: Vote for Dancy (R, ****)
District 13: Vote for McElraft (R, ****)
District 14: Vote for Cleveland (R, ****). They don’t come more pro-gun than George.
District 15: Vote for Shepard (R, ****)
District 17: Vote for Iler (R, ****)
District 18: Vote for Harmati (R, ***)
District 25: Vote for Collins (R, ****)
District 26: Vote for Daughtry (R, ****)
District 28: Vote for Langdon (R, ****)
District 32: Vote for Bynum (R, ***)
District 34: Incumbent Deborah Ross is a committed anti-gunner. It might be symbolic, but vote for write-in candidate Apryl Major, who has vowed to support your rights. Yes, you will have to add her name to the ballot yourself.
District 36: Vote for Dollar (R, ***)
District 37: Incumbent Republican (and House Majority Leader) Paul “Skip” Stam has done his best to undermine gun rights. He tried to gut Castle Doctrine, and weakened omnibus pro-gun bill HB 650. His Democrat opponent, Jason Wunsch (D, 0-star) is undoubtedly also anti-gun and will undoubtedly lose the race. That said, GRNC asks you to vote for Wunsch to send a message to GOP leadership that RINOs like Stam will not be tolerated.
District 40: Vote for Avila (R, ****)
District 41: Tom Murry is ranked at 4 stars, but only because he “walked” on every difficult vote. After voting on only 3 of the 11 gun votes in the NC House, he then pronounced himself a gun rights supporter – this after GRNC mailed for him in 2010. GRNC-PVF recommends that you not cast a vote in this race, and then tell him why you didn’t by going to: http://votemurry.com/contact
District 44: Vote for Button (R, ****)
District 45: Vote for Szoka (R, ****)
District 46: Incumbent Republican Gaston Pridgen voted against gun owners by voting to weaken the measure in HB 650 which expanded concealed carry to parks. GRNC-PVF recommends that you not cast a vote in this race, and then tell him why you didn’t by sending him a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 50: Vote for Chaney (R, ****)
District 51: Vote for Stone (R, ****)
District 52: Vote for Boles (R, ****)
District 53: Vote for incumbent Republican David Lewis, but with this caveat: Contact him and ask him why, after telling GRNC he would never vote against gun owners, he did so once in 2011 when he voted to weaken parks carry. Reach him at: http://www.davidlewis.org/contact/
District 54: Vote for Wright (R, ***)
District 55: Vote for Brody (U, ***). Note that he is unaffiliated, so a straight party vote won’t catch him. Vote him separately
District 61: Vote for Faircloth (R, ***)
District 62: Vote for Blust (R, ****)
District 64: Riddell (R, ***)
District 65: Vote for Jones (R, ****)
District 67: Vote for Burr (R, ****)
District 70: Vote for Hurley (R, ****)
District 71: Vote for McCann (R, ****)
District 72: Vote for Mellies (R, ****)
District 73: Vote for Hollo (R, ****)
District 74: Vote for Conrad (R, ***)
District 76: Vote for Ford (R, ****)
District 77: Vote for Warren (R, ****)
District 79: Vote for Howard (R, ****)
District 80: Vote for Dockham (R, ****)
District 81: Vote for Brown (R, ****)
District 82: Vote for Pittman (R, ***)
District 83: Vote for Johnson (R, ****)
District 85: Vote for Gillespie (R, ****)
District 86: Vote for Blackwell (R, ****)
District 87: Vote for Starnes (R, ****)
District 89: Vote for Setzer (R, ****)
District 90: Vote for Stevens (R, ****)
District 91: Vote for Holloway (R, ****)
District 92: Vote for Jeter (R, ****)
District 93: Vote for Jordan (R, ****)
District 94: Vote for Elmore (R, ****)
District 95: Vote for Brawley (R, ****)
District 97: Vote for Saine (R, ****)
District 98: Vote for Tillis (R, ****)
District 103: Vote for Brawley (R, ****)
District 104: Vote for Samuelson (R, ***)
District 108: Vote for Torbett (R, ****)
District 109: Vote for Bumgardner (R, ****)
District 110: Vote for Hastings (R, ****), who has fought tenaciously for gun rights in his first term.
District 111: Vote for Moore (R, ****), who has long been a gun rights leader.
District 112: Vote for Hager (R, ****)
District 115: Vote for Ramsey (R, ****)
District 116: Vote for Moffitt (R, ****). Opponent Democrat Whilden also earned 4 stars, but only on the basis of one relatively easy vote. Moffitt voted for gun owners 11 times in 2011 alone
District 117: Incumbent Chuck McGrady R, 0-star) twice voted against gun owners last year, and orchestrated the weakening of pro-gun legislation. Afterward, he was caught on videotape bragging about it to a leftist group. Tell him why you won’t be casting a vote in this race at: http://www.chuckmcgrady.com/index.php?option=com_smartformer&Itemid=65
District 118: Vote for Presnell (R, ***)
District 120: Vote for West (R, ****)
HELP GRNC-PVF DO MORE!
The GRNC Political Victory Fund is currently doing mailings, radio spots, robocalls and videos into nearly 20 districts statewide. But WE NEED TO DO MORE! We can only do it by the good graces of your contributions, which YOU can make at:
© 2012 GRNCFFE, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution is permitted provided full attribution is given and the item is reprinted in its entirety. Address questions to: President@GRNC.org
This alert was paid for and authorized solely by the Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund.