A Republican lawmaker was busted fundraising off of the congressional shooting that left one of his colleagues hospitalized in critical condition.
The blog Colorado Pols was the first to report how Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville sent out a fundraising letter immediately following the shooting. In the letter, Neville urged donors to send cash so they could combat “hate-inspired violent rhetoric against conservatives and Republicans.”
“The left is out of control,” Neville told donors. “Their violent actions are un-American, and it needs to stop!”
“Finally, if you can, please show us that you’re not backing down by chipping-in $50 or $25 to Colorado Liberty PAC today so we can retake the State House in 2018,” the lawmaker wrote. “Your contribution today will help us advance our conservative values through passionate and peaceful civil discourse that makes our country great.”
The blog accused Neville of ceding “the high ground” by trying to make money off of a tragedy.
“They have politicized this man’s horrific actions in exactly the way they refused to accept with countervailing examples–like the man who walked into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs in November of 2015 and started shooting,” the blog noted. “And that rank hypocrisy still wasn’t enough. They tried to make money off it.”
In response, Neville (like his party’s leader) chose to double down instead of apologizing. He told KUSA-TV that the letter’s primary objective was not to raise funds, despite explicitly asking for money.
“I wouldn’t consider it a pure fundraising email,” Neville said. “The main purpose was to encourage people not to be silenced by fear.”
“This issue is a difficult one for me. As a former Columbine student I have experienced a mass shooting and lost friends,” he added. “I also saw political terrorist acts, like this one, used in Iraq as a way to silence the citizens of that country. I never want to see that here in America. I think it is important to stand up against them immediately.”
This news shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with Republican politics. The GOP’s been in the NRA’s pocket for a long time and has lots of practice turning blood into an opportunity to turn a profit.
Conservative politicians are already trying to push for more guns on Capitol Hill, and you can be sure the NRA will weave this into their narrative to attack progressives and sell more guns.
For these assholes, everything is a political football, and nothing is sacred.