- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 25, 2018

Boycott NRA, a newly formed activist group, has launched a public petition calling for commercial concerns to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. The cause already has topped 30,000 signatures, and it is one of about a dozen similar petitions launched on Change.org, which provides a free online platform for public pleas and causes — to the tune of 1,000 petitions a day.

Though the organizers behind Boycott NRA are unnamed at this time, their intent is very specific. The group has compiled a list of 108 businesses that they would like to see cut ties with the NRA.

“Companies that are included in our Change.org petition are highlighted in yellow. Companies that have renounced their relationship with the NRA as a result of our activism are highlighted in green and have strikethroughs on them,” Boycott NRA advises in a public Google document, which also reveals they plan to go after “funds that invest in gun manufacturers.”

The group says that as of Sunday, 19 companies have broken their alliances with the NRA. Such tallies are popular. Multiple news organizations — including The New York Times, GQ, Time and Bloomberg News — are keeping their own counts.

“Things are changing, and it’s no longer socially acceptable for corporations to be associated with the NRA. We consumers will not put up with it,” Boycott NRA advises in their outreach, which is complicated.

“#NRAboycott is not about taking away your guns. We just want reasonable gun control. Why is that so threatening?” the group asks in an unsigned op-ed published on Medium.com which praised such NRA activities as gun safety education and sporting events, but still cited “the extremist political stance that the NRA currently takes.”

Boycott NRA has company, though.

DraintheNRA.com, a Los Angeles-based grass-roots activist group founded three months ago, also tracks commercial support of the NRA — including support from Roku, Amazon and other online broadcast providers that carry the NRATV channel, a dimension which interests others. An independent petition to Amazon to stop carrying NRA content has also been launched by a private citizen.

“Drain the NRA is grassroots movement that combats the gun lobby’s stranglehold on Congress by boycotting and divesting from the gun industry and its corporate partners, while shining a light on those politicians who value the NRA’s financial contributions over the lives of their own constituents,” notes DraintheNRA.com on its website.

AN UPDATE ON ANOTHER BOYCOTT

In mid-February, the Media Research Center organized a boycott of advertisers on ABC’s “The View” following comments from two hosts on the daytime talk show who made offensive comments about the Christian faith. Since then, 30,000 viewers have called the network asking for an apology.

Brent Bozell, founder of the conservative press watchdog, has also asked concerned viewers “to hold The View’s advertisers responsible for supporting a show that endorses anti-Christian bigotry.”

Who are the advertisers in question?

Again, the boycott cause is very specific. The MRC has compiled its own comprehensive list: Clorox; Gerber; Mondelez, parent company of Oreos and other products; Home Advisor; Trivago; Procter & Gamble, parent company of Pampers and Downey; Mars, also the maker of Nutro Dog Food and Trident gum; Dove soap; Safelite; Chili’s restaurants; and Progressive Insurance.

LEVI NOT BERNIE

Meet Levi Sanders, son of Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent and self-described socialist. It is very likely that Mr. Sanders the younger is going to run for Congress in New Hampshire, specifically, the 1st District — an area that encompasses Manchester, the state’s largest city, plus the coastline and the ever-popular Lakes Region.

“Oh absolutely, I’m definitely considering it. I’m excited, motivated, and interested in the race,” Mr. Sanders told Vice News. “I’m just dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s.”

The potential hopeful is 48 and considered to be a carpetbagger of sorts in the Granite State, as he lives in the 2nd District, not the 1st. Mr. Sanders said his campaign platform will be similar to his father’s, and include Medicare for all and free college tuition, among other things.

“The basic difference is that I’m a vegetarian and he’s not,” the son said of his father.

Should he jump in the race to replace retiring incumbent Democrat Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, he’ll join an already crowded field of 11 hopefuls that includes a single Libertarian, three Republicans and seven Democrats.

THE GOP TRAILBLAZERS

An event of note Monday: the Republican National Committee and Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel will celebrate the outstanding achievements of black Republican leaders. The occasion: the 2018 Black Republican Trailblazer Awards Luncheon, staged at a major venue in the nation’s capital, a half-dozen blocks from the White House.

The recognition goes to Leonard Haynes, an education advocate and currently a senior advisor to the undersecretary at the Department of Education, where he previously served as assistant secretary for postsecondary education. He has also served as director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and senior director of institutional service for the Office of Postsecondary Education. Mr. Haynes was former acting president of Grambling State University and a distinguished adjunct professor for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University

Mr. Haynes will be joined by Kay Coles James, president of the Heritage Foundation, who also was a member of the National Commission on Children during the Reagan administration and later served as associate director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and as assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for President George H.W. Bush. Mrs. James also was President George W. Bush’s director of the Office of Personnel Management. With former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, Mrs. James led President Trump’s transition team for the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management, and General Services Administration.

POLL DU JOUR

44 percent of Americans say that President Trump is a conservative; 56 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

34 percent overall are not sure about Mr. Trump’s ideology; 11 percent of Republicans, 46 percent of independents and 35 percent of Democrats agree.

16 percent overall say Mr. Trump is a moderate; 26 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

6 percent overall say he is a liberal; 6 percent of Republicans, 5 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 18-20.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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