Author Archive: Animal Protection League of New Jersey

Thanks to the NRA, Trenton is Open for Business

With deepest respect to the victims in Newtown, may we pull the curtain back a bit on Trenton’s relationship with the NRA?

The Inquirer focused on on New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s (D-Gloucester) Angler and Hunter Conservation Caucus for legislators and Camden Senator Donald Norcross’s sudden devotion to blood sports.  The shooting caucuses are nationwide, and they are commercial.

At industry’s behest, Mr. Sweeney and other South Jersey,  Norcross Machine Democrats have rammed a series of de-regulatory and “hunter access” bills through the Legislature, often at the expense of suburban and rural homeowners. Industry writes the model bills and cooperating legislators enact them.

The National Sportsmen’s Caucus “delivers returns on investments” to the National Rifle Association., the Archery Trade Association, Titanium, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (“the firearms industry trade association”), Safari Club International, Browning, ATK Federal Premium ammunition and others.  It is now calling the shots in Trenton and other state capitals.

Senator Bob Smith, Trenton’s Trigger-Happy Democrat

“Whenever the Democrats compromise, it seems to involve appeasing hunters, in this case at the expense of homeowners.”

-Sue Russell, Wildlife Policy Expert

The Animal Protection League is an organization dedicated to the well-being of companion animals, wildlife and farmed animals in New Jersey. We’re also committed to preserving New Jersey’s landscape to accommodate an abundance of species here in our state. Above all, we’re non-partisan and have a history of working with Democrats, Republicans and third party candidates. But you guys at BlueJersey are partisan and you do a great jobs keeping politicians on their toes, particularly when they wander off the ideological reservation and abandon party principle.

NRA’s TOKEN TRENTON HANDMAIDEN

Democratic Senator Bob Smith (Middlesex Co.) has a voting record on issues such as gay rights and reproductive choice that largely squares with public opinion and his party’s platform. It seems to work for him and his district, where voters have returned him to Trenton by comfortable margins. A cursory glance at Smith’s voting record on environmental and wildlife management doesn’t suggest anything sinister. As per Sen. Smith’s Wikidepia Page:

“Smith sponsored and passed laws dealing with such critical matters as increasing penalties for violations of environmental laws, repairing outmoded combined sewer systems, and reforming the state’s oil spill prevention efforts. Senator Smith’s legislative accomplishments include authoring the Ocean Pollution Bounty Act, Sludge Management Act, Oil Spill Prevention Act, the Worker and Community Right to Know Act and the Clean Water Enforcement Act.”

Just the sort of thing you’d want to see the chairman of the NJ Senate Environmental Committee to boast about, right?

But a closer look at Senator Smith — particularly with regards to wildlife management — reveals a curious relationship with the Hunting and Gun Lobby as well as the recently infamous American Legislative Affairs Council (ALEC), a right-wing organization “composed of conservative legislators, businesses and foundations which produces model legislation for state legislatures and promotes free-market and conservative ideas.”

Let’s go beneath the fold for the gory details.

For Shooting Trade, Trenton is Open for Business

With deepest respect to the victims in Aurora, Colorado, may we pull the curtain back a bit on Trenton’s relationship with the NRA?

The Inquirer focused on on New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s (D-Gloucester) Angler and Hunter Conservation Caucus for legislators and Camden Senator Donald Norcross’s sudden devotion to blood sports.  The shooting caucuses are nationwide, and they are commercial.

At industry’s behest, Mr. Sweeney and other South Jersey,  Norcross Machine Democrats have rammed a series of de-regulatory and “hunter access” bills through the Legislature, often at the expense of suburban and rural homeowners. Industry writes the model bills and cooperating legislators enact them.

The National Sportsmen’s Caucus “delivers returns on investments” to the National Rifle Association., the Archery Trade Association, Titanium, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (“the firearms industry trade association”), Safari Club International, Browning, ATK Federal Premium ammunition and others.  It is now calling the shots in Trenton and other state capitals.

For Shooting Trade, Trenton is Open for Business

The Inquirer recently focused on New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney’s (D-Gloucester) Angler and Hunter Conservation Caucus for legislators and Camden Senator Donald Norcross’s sudden devotion to blood sports. The shooting caucuses are nationwide, and they are commercial.

At industry’s behest, Mr. Sweeney and other South Jersey, Norcross Machine Democrats have rammed a series of de-regulatory and “hunter access” bills through the Legislature, often at the expense of suburban and rural homeowners. Industry writes the model bills and cooperating legislators enact them.

The National Sportsmen’s Caucus “delivers returns on investments” to the National Rifle Association., the Archery Trade Association, Titanium, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (“the firearms industry trade association”), Safari Club International, Browning, ATK Federal Premium ammunition and others. [1] It is now calling the shots in Trenton and other state capitals.

Ammunition and firearms manufacturers have launched legislative and hunter “retention and recruitment” efforts in 39 states precisely because hunter-clients are sharply dwindling.[2] The goal is to bring “shooting and hunting close to population centers by making it easier” for clients to use their wares: Roll out of bed, step out the back door, and fire.

n 2007, the National Rifle Association in Fairfax, Virginia, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation in Newtown, Connecticut, contributed $6,000 and $1,500 respectively to New Jersey Senator Sweeney’s campaign.[3] The National Institute on Money in State Politics lists the NRA as a top contributor to Stephen Sweeney in 2007.[4] The Foundation and NRA were generous to Cape May Senator Jeff Van Drew. [5]

In 2008, Sweeney “delivered returns on investments” by forming the New Jersey Angler and Hunter Conservation Caucus. Sweeney’s caucus is part of the aforementioned National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, which meets with its legislators in Trenton.[6] The national trade provides the legislative agenda, model bills, campaign position papers, political advisors, and “communications” or public relations support. There is nothing “grassroots” about it.