Days after the Uvalde massacre, while the bipartisan gun safety agreement was being negotiated, Grassley took thousands in contributions from the NRA and a Smith and Wesson PAC
DES MOINES, IA – U.S. Senator, Chuck Grassley continues to confirm he is someone who knows little about guns when he refused to work across the aisle and save lives when he voted against a bipartisan bill to make our communities safer. On June 23, 2022, 15 Senate Republicans voted for this bill including Iowa’s junior Senator Joni Ernst.
Chuck Grassley, who has served in office at some level for the past 63 years, claims to be a champion of bipartisanship, especially in election years. Yet, Grassley’s recently released second quarter FEC report reveals why he voted against the best interest of Iowans and all Americans: On June 7th, in the midst of bipartisan Senate negotiations to craft a gun safety agreement, Grassley accepted a $2,450 contribution from the NRA-Political Victory Fund PAC and a $1,000 contribution from Smith & Wesson Holding Corp PAC.
Then after the NRA announced its opposition to the bipartisan gun safety deal and encouraged Senators to vote against it, Grassley followed orders and voted with the NRA and against the lives of Iowa kids.
A week later, Grassley was further rewarded with a $5800 contribution from the Iowa Firearms Coalition.
In total, Grassley has taken nearly $45,000 in contributions from the NRA and been backed by more than $250,000 in independent expenditure spending from the group to keep him in office.
In response, campaign manager, Julie Stauch issued the following statement:
“Iowa needs a US Senator who knows what he’s talking about. Michael Franken, who served in the military for more than three decades, is a firearms expert who will make balanced decisions to keep American’ safe from gun misuse.”
“Over the past couple of months, we’ve witnessed two of the most heart-wrenching mass shootings in recent memory. Nineteen children went to school and never came home in Uvalde. Hate led to the killing of 10 people in Buffalo. Gun violence is a public health epidemic in this country, and to solve this epidemic, we need leaders who will work for the people of America, not corporate interests,” said Campaign Manager Julie Stauch.
“Senator Chuck Grassley could have hit a home run by voting for the Bipartisan Safety Communities Act last month, but instead it was a swing and a miss. Grassley cares more about keeping his perfect A+ rating from the NRA and their contributions than the people of Iowa. And the fact that he remains undeterred by the constant bloodshed is just another indicator that he has been in Washington for far too long and forgotten the people he was elected to represent,” continued Stauch.
Grassley had initially appeared open to supporting a bill to advance bipartisan gun safety measures and save lives. Shortly after the Uvalde shooting, Grassley expressed some openness to strengthened gun safety laws, saying he was willing to consider red flag laws in particular to keep guns out of the hands of mass shooters.
On June 5, Grassley was confronted by constituents at a town hall, who urged him to “do something” to prevent gun violence deaths in Iowa and protect Iowa kids. Grassley said he was working with Senators John Cornyn and Chris Murphy to offer gun safety legislation that could save lives, telling constituents, “I suppose maybe they’ll have something ready by Monday or Tuesday next week, and I’ll be able to give you more detail then.” Grassley also said that he was “somebody that doesn’t know much about guns because I haven’t shot a gun in probably 20, 40 or 50 years.”
However, the gun industry’s well-timed contributions were enough to remind Grassley that he stood with them, rather than the safety of Iowans.
Please email or call to schedule an individual interview with Mike Franken: [email protected]
Admiral Mike Franken is running to defeat Senator Grassley. Mike Franken was born the youngest of nine children and raised in rural Northwest Iowa. He spent his formative years in his dad’s Lebanon Farm Shop as a welder and lathe operator. He worked his way to college as a farmhand and by working for a slaughterhouse. He received a Navy scholarship while in college.
Franken’s career stretched across multiple continents and almost forty years. He commanded the destroyer USS Winston S Churchill, a squadron of ships, and an international task group at sea. He was the task force commander for the 4,000 US personnel in East Africa and the first director of the POW/MIA defense agency. He went on to serve in various policy-making, strategy and planning roles including chief of legislative affairs for the Department of the Navy. He retired from military service as a three-star admiral in 2017.
Mike and his wife Jordan have two adult children.