NRA takes a pass on Idaho's 1st District, Labrador gets an 'A,' Minnick a 'B+'

Two years after the NRA endorsed GOP Rep. Bill Sali and gave his challenger, Democrat Walt Minnick, a "D+," the powerful gun-rights group says now-Rep. Minnick has cleaned up his act and jumped two full grades.

"Very simply, he has been a solid vote on gun issues and he's been supportive of 2nd Amendment issues since he's been elected," said Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's director of public affairs.

The GOP nominee, state Rep. Raul Labrador, earned an "A," but the NRA is staying neutral in the race and not making an endorsement, Arulanandam said.

Arulanandam, a Boise State alum and a former executive director of the Idaho Republican Party, wouldn't be specific about why Minnick didn't also get an "A," nor would he say what earned him the "D+" in 2008.

Instead, he said of Minnick, "Based on a complete review of his entire record, we believe the 'B+' gives an accurate picture as to where Congressman Minnick stands on gun rights. He has voted with Idaho gun owners and hunters during his tenure in Congress."

Labrador spokesman Phil Hardy offered this response:

"The grades from the Rifle Association reflect the overall value of a candidate and we are very proud Raul has earned the 'A' rating again. The 'A' rating only goes to the greatest supporters of the defenders of 2nd Amendment rights—it is earned through actions.

"Raul has always been a staunch supporter of Idaho’s citizens Second Amendment rights; this is why he’s always had an 'A' rating. He always will have an 'A' rating and the people of Idaho who cherish these rights, which is just about all of them, know Raul’s always been in their corner. He always will be too. His voting record speaks for itself.

"You don’t get an 'A' rating from the Rifle Association by mentioning the number of guns you own in campaign literature."

Said Minnick's campaign manager, John Foster, "We were never expecting the endorsement."

Asked why Minnick got the "D+" in 2008, Foster said Minnick's 1996 challenge to then-U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, a longtime member of the NRA board of directors, played a role.

"It's fair to say the '08 race contained a lot of residual from the '96 race, but Walt wanted very much to move past that. We're just pleased with the great relationship Walt now has with the NRA."

In the other Idaho federal races, incumbent GOP Sen. Mike Crapo got an "A+" and 2nd District GOP Rep. Mike Simpson got an "A."

Crapo's Democratic opponent, Tom Sullivan, received an "AQ," for "A qualified," Arulanandam said. The mark is qualified because Sullivan has no voting record and his rating is based only on his answers to the group's questionnaire.

Simpson's Democratic opponent, Mike Crawford, did not reply to the questionnaire, Arulanandam said.

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I liked the NRA better when they were all about guns

and not about being a Republican.
Guns are fun and useful.

Very simply: vote to support the 2nd Amendment, get a good grade

It ain't about Rs and Ds; it's about how you vote and/or how you answer their surveys.

Oh? And what votes did Minnick make to get a D last time?

Wasn't the votes, it was a D against an R in a hotly contested race.
Doubt they miss my membership much anyway.
And I certainly don't miss their slanderous calls about who ever is opposing the R they support.

Minnick-NOW You Lied in your ad

"It's fair to say the '08 race contained a lot of residual from the '96 race,

Read more:

Are you kidding me? Your 08 D+ rating was because you ran against a republican in 1996?

This spokesman Foster is really something.

What is Walt's 'excuse' for voting for Nancy Pelosi?

What is you and 50 million others' excuse for misogyny?


"Say a prayer for the pretender..."-Jackson Browne