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The Endorsement Game
If you think these are the comments of a supporter of the Second Amendment, you’d be wrong

Editor's note: The author, Kevin Starrett is the Director of Oregon Firearms Federation.

“It was a pleasure to speak with you this evening after the wonderful presentation at Threat Dynamics. As I briefly mentioned, I'm a candidate for Lake Oswego City Councilor and to my knowledge, mine is the only election advocating for responsible gun ownership. I'm a lifetime NRA member and have held active Utah and Oregon CHLs since before my youngest (who is almost 9 years old) was born.”

“I am disgusted at the Dem. Leadership in Salem, and applauded the Republican walk--outs for issues relating to medical freedom, and other rights that the majority party seeks to take away from good citizens.”

“Based on my feelings before we met, and especially after I've had time to process our conversation (and through the recent immersion into this community), I feel even more camaraderie with gun-toting patriots and hope to earn the endorsement from reputable lovers of 2A (and potentially the OFFPAC, too)!”

“Thanks for the update! Hope you're well=) I might have already mentioned I'm voting all Oregon Republicans this November;)”

If you think these are the comments of a principled conservative and supporter of the Second Amendment, no one could blame you. But you’d be wrong.

These are the comments of Emma Burke, a self-described, union backed, “progressive” running for Lake Oswego City Council.

Most reasonable people would read these comments and feel a sense of relief that a person who identifies with the left would have such open and refreshing views. But, sadly they too, would be wrong.

Because these were the comments made by Burke in emails to me when she was seeking support and the endorsement from the Oregon Firearms Federation.

Burke approached me after a class I teach about Oregon’s gun laws. She explained that she was running for city council and was hoping to reach out to gun owners and asked for Oregon Firearm Federation’s (OFF) support. So, eager to see some representation in a City that is not known for the values OFF stands for, I was happy to meet with her to learn more about her positions. That meeting took place at my gun club on August 3rd. Burke and I spent a few hours together while she explained in detail her positions and why she was actively seeking our endorsement.

Except for her claim to support gun rights, Burke checked every liberal box. Her personal history and preferences are decidedly “non traditional”. She expressed past support for Bernie Sanders because she thought his election would mean someone else would have to pay off her college loans. Her allies clearly leaned left. But she was convincing while claiming strong support for gun rights.

OFF endorsed her and made a donation to her campaign. And that, was pretty much that, until Oct 3rd.

That night Emma left a very lengthy message explaining her dismay at having failed to properly explain to her other supporters why she would associate with an organization like OFF. The left was not happy. And when the left is unhappy, a toll must be extracted. Her other supporters would pull their endorsements if she did not reject ours. Things apparently had blown up on her social media pages.

Emma was sending back the donation our PAC sent her and rejecting our endorsement. She was sorry, because she did “respect” us.

I called Emma back that night and we talked at length. I told her I was not surprised this happened. That was the way of the left. She was free to run her campaign as she chose, but she was still stuck with the fact that she had already printed our endorsement in the voter’s guide.

That’s politics. But not so fast. After concluding our conversation I decided to see exactly what was said on her social media pages. And there, unsanitized, was Burke’s deceitful, but predictable grovelfest to her leftist comrades.

On several of her pages she wrote, (apparently with a straight face)

“Today, I removed an endorsement post and will be returning funds to an organization whose values don't align with mine. I'm very appreciative to those who brought this to my attention. I've learned a valuable lesson through this and vow to vet folks who offer endorsements from now on.”

The replies to her brazen, bald face lies were the fawning, gushing responses of her liberal followers who were in awe of her bravery and conviction. (Although there were a few that wondered how she could make such a terrible mistake.) The sheer absurdity of the idea that OFF had “offered” an endorsement that was not actively sought and requested seem to occur to none of the social justice warriors who responded to her nonsense.

“Lana LaMuse” wrote, “It takes a strong moral code to stay true to self and community in such uncertain times. Your willingness to question and reevaluate is refreshing!”

Lynn Peterson (that Lynn Peterson) said “ Thank you Emma”.

Megan Barella posted “Thank you Emma Leigh Burke for your integrity.”

And on and on. Of course, at no point did Burke ever feel the need to tell the truth. That she had sought out OFF’s support and endorsement. That she had lied to obtain it or that she damn well knew what our “values” were, and that we did not “offer” an endorsement. That it was comical to think that she should be “vetting” OFF when she was the person asking for support from an organization that is over 20 years old and well known for its no compromise positions.

But, this is the state of liberal mind. Lie if you think it will help you. If that fails, and your comrades attack you, lie about lying. And gladly and unapologetically accept the fawning accolades of the people who still buy your lies even when the truth has been exposed.

There is no question that OFF was sold a bill of goods. We clearly made a mistake. Granted, this emailed line from her was pretty convincing:

“As an elected official, I'll have greater influence and audience to help advocate for gun rights than I currently do as a regular citizen, and I believe that platform, combined with my status as a mom, and survivor of a violent sexual assault (which I truly believe would not have occured if I had been armed) will help further the cause.”

But at least when we’ve been had, we admit it.

--Kevin Starrett, Director, Oregon Firearms Federation

Post Date: 2020-10-06 11:28:02Last Update: 2020-10-06 17:47:26

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