Did Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a staunch ally of Democrat front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, just recruit an army of ex-felons by restoring their voting rights yesterday in order to swing the state in her favor this fall, a controversy reported today by the New York Times?
That seems to be what Republican critics are suggesting, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. That newspaper reported Friday evening that, “outraged Republicans who accused McAuliffe of abusing his power to help longtime ally Hillary Clinton win a battleground state by putting more likely Democratic voters on the books.” Is that story plausible?
What does this mean to gun owners and Second Amendment activists? The concern is that The Old Dominion will now field more than 200,000 restored voters who, in theory anyway, will help elect a president who is determined to erode the right of honest citizens to defend themselves against criminals.
It’s a scenario that, if accurate, is straight out of the Twilight Zone. McAuliffe denies, of course, that this is what his move is all about. But if he is so interested in rights restoration, how about restoring their gun rights as well?
The New York Times, in its coverage of the controversy, noted, “In Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin, a newly elected Republican, recently overturned an order enacted by his Democratic predecessor that was similar to the one Mr. McAuliffe signed Friday. In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, vetoed a measure to restore voting rights to convicted felons, but Democrats in the state legislature overrode him in February and an estimated 44,000 former prisoners who are on probation can now register to vote.”
There might be a legitimate question in all of this. Are Democrats so desperate to put Clinton back in the White House that they are trying to enlist the support of convicted felons? Considering the recent problems revealed with Washington State’s Department of Corrections, can the Evergreen State become part of this story?
Speaking of Washington, the Seattle Times this morning is reporting that one union leader is promising to encourage protests at Donald Trump rallies to “shut this down.” Trump, who has mixed support in the Northwest, and he is reportedly planning three campaign rallies here, one in the Vancouver area, one in Spokane and one “somewhere in the Puget Sound region.”
But the newspaper said the president of SEIU 775, a health-care worker union, has tweeted, “Let’s shut this down #seattle. Peacefully but loudly.”
Gun owners appear to be split between Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. While they bicker with one another on social media, what will they do if a labor union tries to silence one of the two GOP contenders who have mentioned the Second Amendment frequently in their stump speeches?
The Times noted that there are 44 GOP delegates up for grabs in the May 24 primary. At least some of those Republican-leaning gun owners will be fresh back from the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, May 19-22, where Trump and Cruz may both appear. They will be fired up by speeches explaining the importance of the November election to their gun rights, and the importance of unity to protect the Second Amendment.
Got an opinion about this column? Share your views in the “Comments” section below.