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Perdue to NRA: 'Choose wisely' ;Group hints it wil

WAGCWAGC Member Posts: 81 ✭✭
I think I'll send a check to Sonny Purdue and a copy of that check to NRA, saying that if they support King Barnes, They get NOTHING from me ever again!


ELECTION 2002
Perdue to NRA: 'Choose wisely' ;Group hints it will back Barnes again

By JIM GALLOWAY
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer

Augusta -- After receiving a broad and public hint that he wouldn't get the group's much-desired endorsement, Sonny Perdue cautioned the National Rifle Association on Saturday to "choose wisely" in the governor's race.

In his debut speech as the Republican nominee for governor, Perdue also suggested that he and Gov. Roy Barnes shoot it out -- with shotguns, at clay targets.

The winner would walk away as the NRA's choice.

"I'm serious about the challenge," Perdue said after his speech.

The Barnes campaign declined comment.

The rifle association endorsed Barnes, a Democrat, in 1998 -- as it had Zell Miller in 1990 and 1994.

On Friday, at the outset of a two-day unity meeting of the state GOP, Perdue got a clear indication that the NRA's string of Democratic endorsements for governor probably would continue.

In a 10-minute speech before a ballroom full of GOP delegates, the chief Washington lobbyist for the gun group put the weight of its national membership of 4 million behind Saxby Chambliss in the U.S. Senate race against Democratic incumbent Max Cleland.

Not once did Charles Cunningham, the NRA's director of federal affairs, mention Perdue.

On Saturday morning, speaking before the same group, the Republican nominee appealed for unity, condemned the policies of Barnes and gave his warning to the NRA.

"I issue a call to the National Rifle Association to choose wisely, based on principles and not politics," he said.

In a subsequent interview, Perdue said that for the organization "to endorse my opponent because of some political favors is an offense to me and all NRA members."

Perdue, an avid shooter who as a state senator had previously received the NRA stamp of approval, offered neutrality as a solution. "They don't have to endorse either one of us," he said.

For many politicians, the rifle association's blessing is important proof of their conservatism.

The NRA isn't expected to issue its endorsement in the Georgia governor's race until mid-October, but the group does have a policy of endorsing incumbents whenever possible, said an NRA spokesman.

Perdue's comments revived tensions exhibited three years ago between Georgia Republicans and the NRA.

In 1999, during Barnes' first legislative session, the NRA pushed through the General Assembly a bill that would ban cities from filing product liability lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

The bill passed the House, but a coalition of Republicans and Atlanta legislators, put together by Perdue, delayed action on the bill.

"That vote was deferred. It embarrassed their lobbyists," Perdue said.

Action on the bill was postponed, he said, because Republicans learned that the NRA planned to throw a celebration after the bill's passage that would spotlight Barnes and other Democrats.

"It was a message to the NRA -- do not take your friends for granted," Perdue said.

NRA lobbyists said the delay of three or four days before the law was approved gave Atlanta officials time to file a lawsuit.

Atlanta's lawsuit was dismissed by the state Court of Appeals earlier this year.

The Second Amendment IS our Homeland Security
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