Ladies and gentlemen. This post is an update to the swirling controversy I created a few days ago when I discovered Gun Owners of America was a "charter member" of neo-Marxist Robert McChesney's FreePress/Save the Internet think tank. Here is the link to that article. And a "reminder" screen shot showing GOA on the Charter Member list with other progressive movers and shakers such as ACLU, Craig's List, Move.On, SEIU, CREDO and Media Matters. I did check this morning before writing this post just to make sure, and yes, their name is still on the list. I know that many of you have waited with bated breath for any update so here we go.
One concerned reader at RedState Kenny S. contacted Larry Pratt, Executive Director of GOA, immediately after reading my post and the reader tells us via a comment that he received a reply almost immediately in the form of a link to a letter GOA sent to Congress in April of 2006 advocating "Net Neutrality." Here is the bottom-line position of GOA according to their letter, at least at the time.
GOA urges you to insist upon Network Neutrality when revamping the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure.
That same reader contacted Pratt himself via e-mail and got this response:
At the time GOA supported net neutrality we were concerned that AOL and others might continue to block pro-second amendment issues.
The issue has now become one of government control of the internet and we are 100% opposed to that.
Gun Owners of America
Pratt's letter was four years old and didn't mention a thing about wanting to be taken off the neo-Marxist's "list" so I felt it best to get a statement directly from the horse's mouth. I had been trying since Friday to contact Pratt via e-mail but had gotten no response.
In an effort to quell the numerous e-mails and DMs from twitter I received on this issue from fearful members and prospective members of GOA asking for an update, I phoned Pratt this morning and spoke with him directly.
Pratt immediately informed me he had already given a "statement," referring to his reply to Kenny S. above. I asked him if that was then his official "statement" and he replied yes it was. I asked him if he had made any efforts or even wanted to make any efforts to have his organization's name removed from McChesney's list. This was his extremely nonchalant reply:
We've been trying to, but at the time we had our name put on the list we were working with Matt [writer's note, he said "Matt" but is actually "Mark"] Green of MoveOn.org. He is the one who put our name on the list and Green is no longer with MoveOn so we don't know how to handle this.
Hey Mr. Pratt. This sounds like the dog ate my homework excuse. Did it ever occur to you that maybe you should contact FreePress directly about this? This writer doesn't know what is more disturbing here: that GOA was at least at one time working with the ultra-radical group MoveOn or that this is their excuse for still being on the list. I asked Pratt if he was going to keep trying to get GOA removed. He said he was, but was unsure how he was going to go about it. Mr. Pratt, since you sound like you could be "challenged" in this area I'm going to help you out a little bit. I'm gonna give you the link to the Save the Internet contact page. It just happens to be at the top right hand corner of the same page your org's name is listed.
And Mr. Pratt. I am going to send you via e-mail a link to this story and follow-up periodically to see what is happening. Because of the many concerns I have seen from current and prospective members my advice to you is to work extremely quickly to have your name removed from McChesney's list.
I also asked Pratt if he knew at the time McChesney was a neo-Marxist and he stated "no" that he was working with MoveOn at the time and had he known about McChesney he never would have put GOA on his list. I will again re-iterate what I stated earlier. It behooves any organization or individual to research and do their homework before giving money, putting names on lists, associating with them or becoming "charter members."
Rest assured I will be keeping tabs on this. And I am sure many others will as well.
FYI anyone wishing to contact Gun Owners of America directly all contact info is on their website.
Crossposted at Emerging Corruption