Idaho’s Minnick hired by Gabby Giffords to lobby for gun control

Former Idaho Democratic Congressman Walt Minnick has been hired by his former colleague Gabrielle Giffords’ to assist her effort to expand background checks on gun purchases.

Minnick’s Washington, D.C., firm is Majority Group LLC, which he founded in 2011 after losing his first re-election bid to GOP challenger and now-Rep. Raul Labrador. Minnick and two others from Majority Group registered as lobbyists effective March 31 and filed their disclosure report April 12 as the Senate was preparing to vote on background checks, which were ultimately rejected. The filing is available on the Sunlight Foundation website.

Minnick has had his differences with the NRA, getting a “D+” grade when he defeated Republican Bill Sali in 2008. Two years later, the NRA boosted his grade to a “B+,” while Labrador got an “A.” 

Minnick’s firm did more than $500,000 in lobbying business in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Other clients include AgriBeef, the National Potato Council, Numbers USA, Property Liquidators, Miami University and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, was shot in the head during a mass shooting in Phoenix in 2011. After resigning her seat, she and her husband, Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions to counter the NRA. After the Senate votes, they began airing radio ads against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.

Americans for Responsible Solutions has also hired former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl and former California Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, according to Bloomberg.

 

 

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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