With the Republican primaries coming up next week, I think we should discuss what candidates we are supporting and why. That way we call all be a little better informed when we vote.
I'll start - the first thing I noticed when checking out the US Senate candidates' websites was that McCollum and Gallagher do not mention the Second Amendment at all in their platforms. Martinez does include protecting the 2nd Amendment as a major plank in his platform primarily in the context of sport. He does discuss the fall of Cuba to communism and the fact that Castro confiscated all guns prior to his takeover. Johnnie Byrd also includes protection of the 2nd amendment as an integral part of his platform and is highly rated by pro-gun organizations.
It seems to me that McCollum and Martinez are more ingrained into the political establishment and have spent most of their lives preparing for their careers as politicians whereas Gallagher and Byrd had previous careers outside of politics and have only recently thrown their hats into the political ring.
This is as far as I've made it so far. Please share your thoughts and correct any errors.
I'm shooting the above folks the following email, to hear their exact position on gun control laws.
Before I can cast a vote for you as Senator, I need these questions addressed pertaining to your position on gun control laws current and future.
Given the impending expiration of the 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban," do you support the laws expiration? Do you feel that gun control of any kind undermines the constitutional rights of law abiding American citizens? Are you willing to fight for the restoration of lost gun rights?
I have reviewed your political stance on a myriad of subjects and my family and I are ready to support you on election day. You almost have our votes. However any wavering on this issue could cause you to lose our support as we strongly oppose all gun control laws that in any way, shape or form encumber or restrict the second amendment rights of law abiding American citizens.
A prompt reply is appreciated as voting day quickly appraoches.
Continuing with the US Senate Candidates:
Larry Klayman does not discuss his Second Amendment stance in his platform. His platform is built almost exclusively on trade and economic issues. I don't see a whole lot of other information on his website.
Karen Saull also does not mention her stance on the 2nd Amendment. She seems to have a pretty generic Republican Party platform.
Sonya March includes protecting the 2nd Amendment as one of the main planks in her platform. She is a former Air Force pilot and includes this as a major part of her platform.
I couldn't find a website for William Kogut and haven't heard much about him.
This was the information I found after a brief review of their websites. From what I gather, the only candidates with a realistic chance of winning are McCollum, Martinez, Gallagher, and Byrd and it may be that only McCollum and Martinez are viable candidates. I would like to hear what you all know about these guys/gals first hand. I met Johnnie Byrd when he was campaigning for the FL House of Rep. and was very impressed. He is very conservative and shares many of the beliefs I hold dear. He is a strong pro-life, pro 2nd Amendment, pro family, and fiscally conservative.
The feeling I get about McCollum and Martinez is that they are both very much typical slimy politicians. I can't back this up with facts, it's just the feeling I get from seeing their campaign materials - they are very much a part of the establishment. That may be why these guys will end up as the only viable candidates.
I really don't know anything about Gallagher.
I would also like to point out that I have absolutely no ties to these people whatsoever. I'm just trying to gather information. Since we're rid of that scumbag Bob Graham we need to make sure to get someone who can counteract that other scumbag Bill Nelson.
I had a rep from Mel Martinez, at a Republican party I had in my house a month ago.
I talked about gun ownership with this guy, pounded him on the issues. AWB, signing off on forms, MG ownership.
He was pretty convincing that Mel was VERY supportive of our gun rights here in FL.
Byrd is the most "Gun Friendly" and probably the most conservative. McCollum probably has the best chance of winning the seat back from the leftists.
I'm voting for Byrd because he backs up what he says. Example: Terri Schiavo. He took a big risk spearheading the legislation to keep her alive - especially during a campaign year.
I trust that if Byrd says he's pro-2nd Amemdment, he'll back it up. No matter who wins the primary, I'm working to get them into the Senate. We really need to get that seat back.
Good thread, i just had a call with all sorts of poll type questions about this election.
Bill McCollum opposed the original 1994 ban as a member of the U.S. House representing Florida. So we know he has a history of voting against it. McCollum lost to Nelson for the Senate seat in 2000 and is currently tied with Martinez in polls for the Republican primary tomorrow.
Mel Martinez has made comments opposing the ban and is reputedly the pick of the Bush Administration. he is tied with McCollum in the polls.
Johnnie Byrd has a good Second Amendment record (to include a lifetime achievement award from the NRA for his work in the Florida house); but is trailing the other two.
Whoever you elect, they better be able to beat Castor (currently leading Dems) or Deutsch - both are committed grabbers who support a ban renewal at a minimum.
Since all three of the likely Republican candidates oppose the ban and are generally good on guns, I would vote for the one most in line with your personal beliefs or whoever you think can win in November.
November will be the real test - not only will Florida gun owners be the difference between a President Bush and a President Kerry, they will also have a chance to add a pro-gun vote to replace an anti in the Senate. You guys are definitely going to carry a lot of weight for the rest of us this year.