Press Releases

NRA Sinks $75k Into Campaign to Defeat Maggart

Press Release from the Tennessee Firearms Association; July 9, 2012: 

A search of public records shows that the National Rifle Association is willing to put its money where its mouth is when it announced that it was endorsing Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers and that it specifically was targeting incumbent Debra Maggart in the 2012 August Republican Primaries. This endorsement arose, in part, by Debra Maggart’s role in leadership where she stomped all over the 2nd Amendment rights of Tennesseans primarily because it appears that she was bought off by Big Business and evidenced a Republican leadership that is clearly more about what “Big Business wants” than the lives of citizens and the Constitutions of Tennessee and the United States.

A political action committee report filed by the NATIONAL RIFLE ASSN POLITICAL VICTORY FUND with the State of Tennessee on July 6 shows that it has already invested $75,373.87 supporting Lt. Col. Courtney Roger’s in her efforts to unseat Debra Maggart. The only other contribution or investment by the NRA on that report was $2,500 to incumbent Joshua Evans.

In response to the NRA’s investment to defeat her, Debra Maggart has reportedly circulated the following call for help to her incumbent peers….


With few days remaining in the Primary, I wanted to share an item with you.

According to this most recent 2nd Quarter disclosure, the NRA is going to spend $75,000 against me, and only made one contribution to a member of this Caucus.

It is our duty to protect ALL the rights of Tennesseans, not just a select few deemed higher by one organization or another. We must not allow political groups to bully us into making bad public policy. We must be courageous enough to make the right decisions. The people of our districts deserve nothing less.

I am prepared for this fight and consider this a fight on behalf of you, thoughtful conservatives here in Tennessee, and the conservative principles that have made our state so great.

We have said all along “It matters who governs.” The last two years have been some of the most successful Tennessee has ever had, building off previous victories for conservative principle.

We are hardly finished.

But allowing a group to try and dominate our agenda from Washington–of all places–would be counterproductive to say the least.

You can see the report at the following link:

I hope you will feel free to contact me if I can be of service to you. I am always available while on the campaign trail and am eagerly looking forward to November when our majority will grow.


The interesting thing about Maggart’s frantic statement is that she claims or suggests that her decision on the Safe Commute act had anything to do with protecting the “rights of Tennesseans” or was motivated by the interests of the people in her district. The record seems abundantly clear that Maggart’s actions – and those generally of Republican leadership had nothing to do with the rights of the people or the Constitution.

Debra Maggart told TFA she did not want the firearms legislation to come up because it would – in her opinion – make it harder for the Republicans to get more seats in the General Assembly. That has nothing to do with “rights” of the people, that has everything to do with partisan power.

The second consideration that arose in the legislative cycle was that the main opposition to the legislation was not coming from a citizens’ group concerned about constitutional rights or interests. It came from Big Business that was concerned about its ability to fire employees for cause who violated or were caught violating employer imposed rules that were set in place without regard to the Constitution.

Keep in mind that the Tennessee Attorney General issued an opinion this year which concluded that this law, if passed, would not impair the constitutional rights of any third parties – including the employers.

TFA is already and is going to be a part of this battle to remove Debra Maggart and replace her with a candidate who still values the constitution over money and partisan power.

TFA and PAC Contributions

A Tennessee Republican House member commented to TFA that

“I am aware that there has been statements made [by House leadership] that neither the NRA or TFA is serious about raising the money necessary to help us [the Republicans] win a conservative majority. . . . If you guys were serious, with the real fuel of politics, money, we could be better positioned to win more seats. . . . [w]hat you have found is your weakness….the lack of real support from your own membership……beyond the rhetoric and reaching to the finance and ground game of politics.”

The fact has been proven in 2012 that too many legislators place too much value on the money that they think gets them re-elected and too little value on their oaths to uphold and strengthen the constitutions or the rights vested or protected therein. Business interests know this and invest huge funds into political campaigns so that they can purchase the laws or repeal of laws that they desire.

TFA raises money not to support one party or the other but to support specific legislators or candidates who have demonstrated facts from which it is clear that TFA should support them to the extent we can. In 2010, for example, TFA distributed more than $30,000 in contributions to candidates. It is important for TFA to continue to grow its membership, its member support and its network with and among similar constitutionally based organizations. What can you do to help?

  • Make a financial commitment to support and Join TFA. An annual membership is about the price of one box of self-defense ammo or a box of hunting rounds. If you are already a member, recruit additional members or chip in a few more dollars with a voluntary contribution to continue our struggle to restore our rights.
  • Help TFA raise funds for the TFA PAC so that we can help to financially support not only the campaigns of those who have stood firm, particularly against the mandates of leadership, but also to support those who would challenge these “conservatives in name only” individuals during election cycles. As with Speaker Naifeh, we might not defeat Speaker Harwell, Rep. Gerald McCormick, or, based on recent events, even Lt. Gov. Ramsey in a general election but we can certainly defeat enough of those in the caucus who would return these leaders to power.
  • You can make PAC contributions online and, if you desire, on an automatically recurring basis. TFA uses both PayPal and an alternative on the website that will process payments by credit card, debit card and even checks.
  • Encourage others to take advantage of the free TFALAC email alert system. Continue to forward these messages as so many of you do but also encourage them to directly subscribe to the free alerts.
  • Join the discussion and share your communications with legislators by participating in the TFA Facebook Group and taking an active role in the more detailed discussions and information sharing on the TFA Forum

2 replies on “NRA Sinks $75k Into Campaign to Defeat Maggart”

This is not all she has done to undermine the people, that she is suppose to represent. Lets not forget how she was responsible for presenting a bill that eliminated our Teachers ability eliminate collective bargaining. The irony to that story….She sponsored this bill for “Tennessee School Board Association” (aka…was paid to carry the bill). This was never about our children. It was about her getting paid from “Tennessee School Board Association” to push out the “Tennessee Education Association”….

Glad to see her leaving!

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