by Max Brantley
As expected, A$a! announced his endorsement by the National Rifle Association. News release on the jump.
Wildlife watch out. Mike! is going to be coming at ya, both barrels blazing.
And we promote from earlier comments this from independent candidate Rod Bryan:
Rod Bryan stood directly in front of ASA and the lecturn at Don's Weaponry today. As soon as ASA finished speaking, Rod's hand shot up and ASA had to be told to take the question or comment. With checkbook in hand, Rod offered to be the first in line to sponsor the debate in Jonesboro, of which he has been excluded. Rod Bryan wondered to whom the check should be written. ASA dodged the question, of course, and said the press conference was only about the 2nd amendment... apparently the 1st amendment is simply a bother to the republican candidate.
I wonder if the Dem-Gaz will write about this event as it happened? I'm positive that Channel 4 got it on tape.
Hutchinson news release
Asa Hutchinson, the 2006 Republican candidate for Arkansas Governor, received the formal campaign endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA) today in recognition of his longtime support for gun owners' rights.
Hutchinson said he was proud to have the support of the NRA, the nation's leading gun rights and sportsmen's advocacy group, in his gubernatorial bid and pointed to his long record of support for gun rights throughout his years in Congress.
Standing with Arkansas NRA members, as well as members of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission at Don’s Weaponry, Hutchinson pledged that, as Governor, he would continue working to defend the Second Amendment rights of sportsmen and gun owners in Arkansas as Governor.
"For Arkansans, the right to bear arms is one of our most cherished values, and Arkansas needs a Governor who understands and respects that," Hutchinson said in accepting the endorsement. "Growing up on a farm in rural northwest Arkansas and working in law enforcement and Congress taught me to respect the significance of Second Amendment rights when it comes to the safety and security of our citizens.”
Hutchinson, who received an “ A+” rating from the NRA based upon his support for gun rights in Congress, contrasted his own record with that of his opponent, Democratic Attorney General Mike Beebe.
"When Mike Beebe had a chance to stand up for gun owners in Arkansas by voting for the concealed carry law in 1993, he skipped the vote," Hutchinson said. "Sportsmen, Second Amendment advocates, and men and women across the state who want to ensure the security of their homes and families should know where the candidates stand and who will be a true friend to their cause. I am that candidate."
Protecting Private Property Rights
Hutchinson also pointed to the Attorney General’s weak stance on private property rights as a matter of concern to sportsmen and NRA supporters.
In fact, NRA supporters in Arkansas began a letter-writing campaign to the state Legislature last year after the Supreme Court watered down property rights in the controversial Kelo decision. That decision opened the way for local governments to seize private property such as homes, small businesses, farms and open lands and hand over to other private interests in the name of economic development.
Hutchinson immediately criticized the ruling as bad law and called upon the Arkansas Legislature to pass legislation defining “public use” in a way that will protect property rights from such abuse. Attorney General Mike Beebe responded by issuing a formal AG Opinion asserting that no such law was needed.
“Unless ‘public use’ is defined, our Constitution provides no real defense against this abuse, which opens the possibility of gun shops and shooting ranges being seized by local governments, or hunting lands being turned over to big developers,” Hutchinson said. “I believe that we absolutely must take action to protect those rights. It will be one of my first actions as Governor.”
Hutchinson Launches Sportsmen’s Coalition
In addition to announcing the endorsement by the NRA, Hutchinson also introduced the "Sportsmen for Asa" coalition -- a group composed of Hutchinson supporters dedicated to gun rights, self defense and security, conservation and sportsmen's issues -- to help reach out to other voters who share a commitment to such issues. The coalition is chaired by Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner Sheffield Nelson. To register as a coalition member, visit Hutchinson’s campaign website at
www.asaforgovernor.org and click on "Join a Coalition."
Hutchinson also praised Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee for his support for sportsmen and the hunting and fishing community during his 10 years in office and pledged to continue that support if elected to succeed Huckabee.
The endorsement was announced today by NRA representative Anne Britton of Fayetteville at Don's Weaponry in North Little Rock.
Other Arkansas candidates endorsed by the NRA in this election cycle include Republican U.S. Rep. John Boozman and Democratic Reps. Mike Ross and Marion Berry.