Jeff Van Drew is Moms Demand Action’s “Gun Sense Candidate” – and also has a 100% Rating from the NRA

NRA & Moms Demand Action: Things you don’t expect to see together for the same candidate

Today, on the 19th Anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting massacre, we have this – the apparent awarding by the gun control group Moms Demand Action, of something that looks an awful lot like an endorsement – they call it a “distinction” – for Jeff Van Drew. Van Drew is a candidate for Congress in NJ’s second congressional district. With a 100% Rating from the NRA.

On Moms Demand Action’s website, in big letters it says: THROW THEM OUT An Action Plan to Kick Out Lawmakers Beholden to the Gun Lobby

The problem is, Jeff Van Drew is one of those beholden to the gun lobby. And Moms Demand Action, maybe without quite intending it, has now made it easy for Van Drew to claim that one of the most odious aspects of his voting record can’t be much of a problem because it hasn’t stopped Moms Demand Action from finding him a candidate of “distinction” There are already calls for Moms Demand Action to rescind whatever this “distinction” signifies. And questions about what their “distinction” recognition actually means. The group asks candidates to fill out a questionnaire (Blue Jersey has asked for a copy), a common method used by groups considering congressional candidates to get behind. The difference is most candidates that get a bump from groups like this don’t have a long record of votes exactly the opposite of what the group is all about. So, there’s considerable confusion about what Moms Demand Action intends here. And quite frankly, if they even know they’ve stepped in it. Their mission statement says (emphasis mine):

“Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to reduce drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms.”

In his time in the New Jersey legislature, Van Drew has:

That would seem to be the opposite of what might earn “distinction” from Moms Demand Action. Shani Nuckols, lead volunteer for Moms Demand Camden County local is dealing with a wall of outrage right now, particularly from CD2 constituents. I feel for her; this wasn’t her doing. She tells South Jersey Women for Progressive Change that this isn’t an endorsement, it’s a “distinction” and the National org made this decision. It is, she says, a “far from perfect process.” She also says now that he’s been given the “distinction,” they intend to hold him accountable. I wouldn’t want to be in Shani’s shoes tonight, taking in complaints; she’s well aware of Van Drew’s record. People have also been tweeting to @shannonrwatts, founder of Moms Demand Action. Blue Jersey did (Watts has not yet replied, though she has been active on Twitter the last hour).

We are told other candidates got this same “distinction.” Helen Duda, of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change, reports that Van Drew’s Democratic primary opponents Tanzie Youngblood and Will Cunningham have the same distinction from Moms Demand Action.  But the difference is they don’t have his long, pro-gun, record, and the “distinction” the NRA has already given him.

 

 

 

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous

    I’d reach out to the Moms organization. Distinction is not an endorsement. It is a program developed by the national organization- candidates complete a survey, and based on their answered they either receive the distinction or don’t. It’s very possible he answered everything as someone who supports common sense gun laws, despite his history. There are thousands of candidates taking this survey across the country. NJ leadership and local groups I’m sure are aware (and even frustrated) by this. Him using it as an endorsement is incredibly misleading.

    Reply
    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      Blue Jersey tweeted last night both at @MomsDemand and at @shannontwatts, who is the founder. Others did as well. Shannon was active on Twitter last night but did not reply to @bluejersey, or to my knowledge to others on this. That’s not unusual; they may be seeking some communications advice, or reviewing what they know about Van Drew. I believe people in the New Jersey Moms Demand also made them aware.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Rosi, why don’t you reach out to Van Drew to find out why he has indicated he supports the Moms Demand Action agenda? Instead of denouncing Moms Demand Action, why don’t you hold him accountable? It is possible that he does support the agenda and deserves the distinction. Then he needs to be held accountable about how he would vote in Congress as well as how he actually votes in June in regards to the common gun sense legislation pending the Senate vote? If he lied, then hold him to the fire.

    Reply
    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      That’s a lovely thought, that just now because he’s running for Congress we should all believe that everything he’s been about on the issue of gun availability, and the violence that comes along with it, goes away because he fills out a form, and wants what looks like the blessing of a national group of mothers. You should know, it isn’t me holding Jeff Van Drew accountable, and frankly I don’t think it will be Moms Demand Action. I do believe now that he has that nice graphic showing he’s a “Gun Sense” candidate, he will no longer be taking their calls, as it were.

      No, I’m not holding Jeff Van Drew accountable – except in writing like this or this or this or this. The people holding him accountable are progressives and others living in South Jersey. I’ve heard from quite a lot of them in the last few days. Do I know if that will be enough? No, it probably won’t be, because the playing field isn’t even here. Because Van Drew has the Democratic machine money-fueled by George Norcross behind him, his way is greased. He gets money, the DCCC Red to Blue designation, which seems to prioritize money viability even over basic Democratic values, and for all I know that’s how he got Moms Demand Action to look like they’ve forgotten their own values, at least in New Jersey’s 2nd.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        How about reaching out to him directly, like you tried to with Moms Demand Action?

        Reply
  3. Ron Keith

    The problem with this candidate is he has a D after his name. There is no way anyone with common sense could possible vote for a party that doesn’t believe in boarders and believes in the second amendment. You mother who are demanding action better study the old English dictionaries from the 1600s and see what shall not be infringed really means. If you moms want action try to repeal the second amendment and see how far you get with that.

    Reply
    1. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

      I think the problem with this candidate is that he has a “D” after his name as well. Most likely for different reasons than you do.

      Reply

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