On February 1st, the start of Black History month, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced he was running for president. Since then, he’s been on the campaign trail and announced that he raised $5 million. This weekend, he makes his official hometown kick off of his Justice for all Tour in Newark and then heads immediately to Iowa.
Amy Walter got the chance to sit down with Senator Booker to discuss his campaign, the legislation he’s introduced in the Senate to form a commission to study the issue of reparations, and vision for the future.
Reparations has come up a lot recently as the Democratic candidates have been asked to weigh in on the issue. Earlier this week, Senator Cory Booker announced that he would introduce legislation, “to form a commission for the study of reparation proposals for African-Americans.” But the idea of reparations has a long history, Amy explores that with The Takeaway’s Tanzina Vega.
Plus, Amy talks to Rob O’Dell, from the Arizona Republic, about his two-year investigation with USA TODAY and the Center for Public Integrity. Over the past eight years, state lawmakers have introduced at least 10,000 bills that were written, almost entirely, by corporations, industry groups, or think tanks. O'Dell helped create the algorithm that led to this discovery, and he says these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.
To end the hour, Amy talks to Allison Anderman, the Managing Attorney at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, about how lobbying works, in practice.
In response to Allison Anderman’s comments about what she calls “the corporate gun lobby,” we reached out to The Second Amendment Foundation, and to the NRA.
The Second Amendment Foundation statement:
''The gun prohibition lobby falsely claims that gun manufacturers are in the driver's seat when it comes to lobbying for gun rights. The fight for Constitutional Carry, the right to exercise a constitutional right without a permit, is lead by grassroots activist gun owners on a state level. Twelve states have now passed Constitutional Carry and the gun ban lobby is losing this battle. As a result, they have come unglued and make many false and outrageous claims that are simply not true."
- Alan Gottlieb, Founder Second Amendment Foundation
The statement from the NRA:
"It's understandable that gun control groups like the Giffords Law Center try to mislead the American public by calling NRA the corporate gun lobby, but that’s false. The NRA represents more than 5 million dues-paying members and the tens of millions of law-abiding gun owners who want nothing more than the right to protect themselves, their families, and their homes. Gun control advocates like Anderman would rather strip people of their constitutionally protected rights and put you at the mercy of criminals who don’t give a second thought to breaking in your homes and shooting you dead.
We’re proud of our success in championing legislation like constitutional carry because it recognizes the rights of law-abiding people to defend themselves in the manner they see fit. Again, it’s another example of the gun control lobby trying to mislead the American public by saying constitutional carry allows anybody to carry a gun. That is a lie. It allows anyone who is legally allowed to posses a firearm to carry a firearm. They suggest it allows criminals to carry without a permit when that’s just not the case.
That’s because gun control groups like these are largely composed of high-priced lobbyists and lawyers that are financed by a small handful of the country's elitist billionaires. They have no constituency, no grassroots appeal, and continue losing ground in state after state. The NRA is financed by membership dues and donations. Our constituents are every law-abiding gun owner in the country, our grassroots outreach is second to none, and we will continue defending the 2nd Amendment as long as there’s a Constitution of the United States."
- Lars Dalseide, NRA spokesman