The National Rifle Association’s political action committee saw a steep drop-off in fundraising during the month of July, federal records show.
The NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF) brought in $628,404 in July, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, down 42 percent from June when the group brought in more than $1.1 million. The new fundraising haul is the lowest for the PAC since January. This amount is also a 42 percent drop from the same time period during the 2016 election cycle. An NRA official with knowledge of the group’s fundraising plans said the July shortfall was due to a shift in strategy. The official said the group is undertaking a major fundraising campaign centered around August’s political conventions. They said the group remains on track to meet its goal of spending “tens of millions of dollars” in the 2020 elections, as PVF chairman Jason Ouimet told the Washington Free Beacon earlier this month. The fundraising fall comes as the gun-rights group fights for its survival after New York attorney general Letitia James (D.) filed suit to completely dissolve it over allegations of financial impropriety by top executives. The NRA is simultaneously facing a wave of spending from gun-control groups backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg. How well the group can respond to these pressures could influence both state and federal elections. Even with the fundraising setback in July, the PVF, combined with the NRA’s newly formed super PAC, has managed to amass enough cash on hand to rival that of the leading gun-control PACs and super PACs. The PVF has $15.4 million in cash on hand—about $3 million more than it did at the same point in 2016—as well as $4 million reported by the NRA’s super PAC as of July. The $19.6 million war chest is only about $275,000 behind the combined total of the country’s three largest gun-control groups—Everytown Victory Fund, Brady PAC, and Giffords PAC. The NRA launched its super PAC in March. While donors to the NRA’s regular PAC are capped at giving $5,000 per year, the group’s super PAC can raise and spend unlimited sums on political advertisements. Almost all of the $4 million the super PAC has taken in so far was transferred over from the NRA’s lobbying arm. The group reports just one outside donor who gave $25,000. [full article]