The Last Gaffe

We at Red Maryland have been documenting the problems with the Charles Lollar campaign pretty much from the get go. We’ve talked about staffing, and busses, and multiple positions, and lawsuits, and the like. Lollar’s inability to run a credible campaign has fed directly into his inability to raise money, thus perpetuating his inability to run a credible campaign. It’s a vicious cycle, albeit one that will end on primary election night.

However, nothing better sums up the ineptitude of the Lollar campaign than the reaction by his campaign to the D- rating he received from the NRA. While both Lollar and his running mate Ken Timmerman had received positive ratings from the NRA before, his campaign received the horrible grade, in no small part due to the survey his campaign received and the language listed on the campaign website regarding his support for firearms databases.

The reaction to the grade was typical from Lollar supporters, some even going as far as to suggest that there was an NRA conspiracy to give Charles a bad grade. Seriously. However it took until today for the Lollar campaign to put out a statement, not from Lollar mind you but from campaign manager Bob Carlstrom. And boy it was a doozy.

We were shocked when we were told by supporters last week that the National Rifle Association had given our campaign a failing grade.  

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Both Charles Lollar and Ken Timmerman have been out in front of the battle in defense of our 2nd Amendment rights, which have been under siege from many Maryland legislators and state executives for many years. Both Charles and Ken have appeared at numerous pro-2nd Amendment rallies. We have posted videos of some of those appearances on our website.  

Both are members of the NRA. And both received “A” ratings from the NRA during their Congressional campaigns in 2010 and 2012. (Timmerman’s is here. Lollar’s is here.]In our eagerness to set the record straight on our positions, we recalled that there were questionnaires on gun rights we had received and returned months ago, and in which we reaffirmed our commitment to the 2nd Amendment as the guarantor of our freedoms.  However, an internal investigation, which we have conducted with help from the NRA, has led us to conclude that the NRA survey was indeed not one of those. (We were mistaken to attribute one of those done “months ago” to the NRA.)  

For its part, the NRA issued its grade based on a survey that was submitted in the name of our campaign and which blatantly misrepresented our positions. While we would have preferred that the NRA had consulted with the campaign before issuing its grade inasmuch as the positions on that survey so obviously conflicted with previous surveys Charles and Ken had submitted to the NRA during their respective congressional campaigns,  and their public positions, we understand that time constraints did not allow them to do so.  

We believe that a former campaign staffer completed the NRA survey, without the knowledge of the candidates or me, and sent it in to the NRA. We do not know whether or not this was done maliciously.  

Supporters have also drawn attention to several paragraphs at the bottom of our statement on Gun Rights on our website that might appear ambiguous. These were drafted many months ago by a staffer who is no longer with the campaign. Today we are posting a revised version of this page to erase any ambiguity as to where we stand. 

“The NRA is an important organization that represents millions of Americans, whose support for our 2nd Amendment protections has been instrumental in beating back repeated assaults on our constitutional freedoms,” said Charles Lollar. 

“As your Governor, I look forward to working with the NRA and other pro-2nd Amendment groups to repeal SB 281 and other onerous legislation that has unconstitutionally – in my view – infringed upon our right to keep and bear arms.”

Yup, that was the statement verbatim. Mind you, it completely contradicts what Ken Timmerman said last week.

@JeffQuinton They couldn’t have gotten it. We are working with @NRA to find out what happened. But we throw no stones. #2A #mdpolitics
— KenTimmerman (@KenTimmerman) May 22, 2014

@BrianGriffiths @NRA @Charles_Lollar The NRA is run by people, and people make mistakes. Our record is unequivocal pro #2A
— KenTimmerman (@KenTimmerman) May 22, 2014

It also completely contradicts Carlstrom’s statement of a week ago, which blamed the NRA for the foul up, saying that the NRA had not received the survey in the first place.

So to sum up Carlstrom’s statement:

  • The Lollar campaign, which had previously claimed not to have submitted a survey, did.
  • The Lollar campaign position on guns, which had been on their website for months, was actually wrong.
  • The person in the Lollar campaign who was responsible both for the submission of the survey and the position described on the website, is no longer with the campaign.
  • Neither Lollar, Timmerman, nor anybody currently associated with the campaign will take any responsibility for the mistake.
So, if you are keeping track at home of all of the mistakes that the Lollar campaign has made;
But most importantly is that through it all, Charles Lollar refused to take any responsibility for the mistakes that his campaign has made. Lollar has basically been running for Governor for five years, ever since he was going to run for Governor in 2010 and he discovered that he was not eligible to run. Even then, Lollar refused to take responsibiltiy for being disqualified. Since then, his campaign has been one gaffe followed by another gaffe, with each time Lollar eithe failing to take responsibility for the gaffe or refusing to take corrective action. With each sitauation, Lollar has demonstrated he lacks the leadership skills to be Governor of Maryland. If his campaign makes these kind of mistakes, who would trust him with the Governor’s Office.
We’ve spent a lot of time documenting Lollar’s campaign and its mistakes. But the NRA grade fiasco is going to be the last gaffe for the Lollar campaign.

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