Gov. Walker, the NRA, and the Russian spy

By Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director, WAVE (WI Anti-Violence Effort)

This week, Maria Butina, a Russian gun rights activist with close ties to NRA leaders, was arrested, indicted, and jailed by the federal government on charges of attempting to influence U.S. policy on behalf of the Russian Federation without registering as a Russian agent—spying, in other words.

If her name sounds familiar, that’s because WAVE has been monitoring her relationship with the NRA for years. Last January, we passed along photos of Maria posed with her Russian government handler and suspected money-launderer, Alexander Torshin, as well as our own Governor, Scott Walker, taken at the 2015 NRA convention. Incredulously, despite these photos and the facts presented in the FBI’s court filings, Gov. Walker is denying that he met with Butina and Torshin.

Is Gov. Walker too beholden to the NRA to admit the truth to Wisconsin voters? Ask him.

Thanks to the NRA, a Russian spy and her criminally-connected boss were introduced to Wisconsin’s Governor. And yet, so far, Gov. Walker has remained loyal to the NRA and is asking us all to disbelieve our own eyes. Is the $3.5 million the NRA has spent to benefit Gov. Walker’s campaigns over the past 25 years clouding his judgment?

Tell Gov. Walker the time has come for him to denounce the NRA.

We know the FBI is investigating whether Russians illegally gave big money to the NRA to be funneled into the 2016 elections. And we know the NRA went out of its way to ensure Russians Butina and Torshin were connected with friendly politicians. What we don’t know is whether these politicians promised anything to Russia in return.

Let Gov. Walker know you won’t be satisfied with deflections. He must unequivocally denounce the NRA and pledge to refuse any future NRA support.

The NRA’s patriotism and willingness to abide by the rule of law has been called into question. It’s time for those loyal to American democracy to speak out and cut ties with the gun lobby. Whose side will Gov. Walker be on?

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on July 19, 2018

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