3/01/2013

David Kopel might be in some trouble regarding his congressional testimony because he forget to tell people he got over $100K a year from NRA

Obviously this is a hit piece, but it still may damage his ability to testify in the future, mainly because he apparently didn't tell people on the Hill about this.
One witness, David Kopel, who testified on January 30, identified at the hearing as a law school adjunct professor, received more than $108,000 in grants from the NRA’s Civil Rights Defense Fund in 2011. Another witness, David T. Hardy, testifying Wednesday as a private attorney in Tucson, Arizona, received $67,500 in grants from the same NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund in 2011. . . .
I wonder whether this will also effect his ability to write op-ed pieces on gun issues.  Remember the problems that Jonathan Gruber got in for not acknowledging the money that he was getting from the Obama administration.  The WSJ would have required Gruber to note in his op-ed pieces that he was getting $400,000 total from the Obama administration.  Kopel getting $100,000 a year for many years seems like it should have also been listed.

Do I believe that Kopel changed his views for $100,000 a year?  No, of course not, but again the problem is that Kopel apparently didn't tell Republican staff whether he had any conflicts of interest.


UPDATE:  It turns out that Kopel may have gotten even more money.  It looks like he received an average of about $173,750 per year from 2004 to 2011.
And FOX31 Denver has found that Kopel has received $1.39 million in grant money from the N.R.A. Civil Rights Defense Fund between 2004 and 2011. The group continues to fund Kopel, although tax information from 2012 and 2013 isn’t yet available. . . .

Labels: ,

5 Comments:

Blogger Christina Leah said...

Paid or unpaid, a coherent and realistic argument made by David Kopel. Unlike the emotional knee jerk reactionary need to do "something" fraught with all kinds of unforeseen and unintentional negative consequences.

We don't need truth, just facts.

There's no such thing as common sense. It sense were common, we wouldn't need the phrase "common sense."

3/01/2013 11:16 AM  
Blogger FZ said...

First off, the idea that either Kopel or the other gentleman are 'funded' by the NRA is misleading. Kopel does not get over 100,000 a year from the NRA, what he got was a one time grant from the NRA's Civil Rights Defense Fund in 2011.

Second, the grant gives money to help people like Kopel fight for the 2nd Amendment in court, it's not like it was money meant for Kopel's personal enjoyment. Those grants go to many people who are advocates for the 2nd Amendment and are taking the fight to court. Since when is it unseemly for people who believe in the same causes to support each other in fighting for that cause? When libs do it, it's "unity" and "noble", but apparently it's 'corruption" when conservatives do it. Also, this is not the same as the Gruber situation, where a supposedly unbiased adviser was receiving money under the table from the President to specifically propagandize for said President. Kopel has always been pro-2nd Amendment and has always made that clear long before 2011. He is NOT a paid spokesperson for the NRA as the article falsely implies.

Third, it's not Kopel's job to do the governments work for them. If they wanted to know if he received money from anybody, they should have looked for themselves. Also, it's none of their business either.

Fourth, the hypocrisy is grating. Are you telling me none of the witnesses who argued for gun control had no connections to or had not received money from pro-gun control entities at all? Who knows how many of them had such connections or funding and didn't say so?

3/01/2013 6:24 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Christina:
The issue wasn't whether what Kopel said was right or wrong. Kopel makes some mistakes (everyone does), but I don't believe that they are ever made intentionally. But that isn't the problem. The problem is that he let the Republicans in congress get blindsided by the appearance of his testimony being tainted.

Dear FZ:
If it was a one time $108,000 in 2011, Kopel should come forward and straighten things out.

Does it really matter what Kopel was getting paid to do? Many Republicans and others, including myself, criticized Gruber for getting money from the Obama administration without publicly disclosing that he was accepting money when he wrote op-eds, talked to the media or testified. Why should Kopel be held to a different standard than Gruber?

On your third point, you didn't read my note. Kopel was apparently asked about conflicts, but he didn't mention this money. You don't view it as a conflict. Others do.

Who knows about the other witnesses. I hope that you are right that some are hiding their financial interests, though I doubt that applies to the police chief and politicians. But if that is true, please find out and show that was the case. But until you do show it, we have an embarrassment on our hands.

3/01/2013 10:03 PM  
Blogger FZ said...

"If it was a one time $108,000 in 2011, Kopel should come forward and straighten things out."

He doesn't need to, the article itself only mentions a grant in 2011, there is no claim of him being "funded" by the NRA for over $100,000 a year brought forth in the actual story. However, the article headline implies otherwise and therefore is misleading.

"Does it really matter what Kopel was getting paid to do? Many Republicans and others, including myself, criticized Gruber for getting money from the Obama administration without publicly disclosing that he was accepting money when he wrote op-eds, talked to the media or testified. Why should Kopel be held to a different standard than Gruber?"

It does matter because it makes the situations different, therefore a different standard.

"On your third point, you didn't read my note. Kopel was apparently asked about conflicts, but he didn't mention this money. You don't view it as a conflict. Others do."

I read the post and don't recall such a note, only a mention that apparently he never mentioned the "conflict" to Republicans, which may or may not be true. It's not a conflict because it was a one-time grant for Kopel to help him do a job he was already doing. A conflict would be if his whole livelihood depended on the NRA. Besides that, it's already well known that Kopel is a NRA member (it's on his website for one!) so why is him getting grant money from an organization he belongs to a conflict? That's another big difference from Gruber, Gruber hid his affiliation.

"Who knows about the other witnesses. I hope that you are right that some are hiding their financial interests, though I doubt that applies to the police chief and politicians."

Well, I was not referring to any specific group or individuals who testified, it's just that I seriously doubt every single one of the pro-gun people at the hearings were squeaky clean.

"But if that is true, please find out and show that was the case. But until you do show it, we have an embarrassment on our hands."

I don't know if it's the case, but considering the law of averages and how DC works, it's a safe bet that it exists.

I'm not embarrassed at all. We have to get over this, we demand everyone on our side have these impossible high standards of one nature or the other, while the libs don't give a crap when it comes to people on their side.

BTW, I disagree respectfully, no hard feelings are intended.

3/02/2013 3:09 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear FZ:
First to make completely clear, it doesn't bother me that Kopel got money from the NRA. Nor do I believe for one second that the money corrupted Kopel. What will get him in trouble is that he apparently didn't tell others about this.
1) Kopel does need to straighten this out. It is my understanding that Kopel has indeed been getting money over many years from the NRA.
2) How is the situation different from Gruber's? Please explain, it would be helpful to me to be able to articulate the difference to others.
3) Kopel saying that he was an NRA member is not the same thing as him reporting that he got a substantial amount of money from the NRA. In addition, it wasn't just the $108,000 in 2011. There was also part of another $55,000. I don't understand the claim that it is only a conflict if his "whole" livelihood would come from the NRA. I don't know what portion of his income comes from the NRA, but if Kopel makes more than $250K a year, I will be impressed. Having someone get more than half their income from a source will be used against them, and, even if I don't believe that Kopel altered his views, Kopel must be sensitive to others using this against him.
4) If you have evidence, bring it forward. If not, it is a waste of time to speculate about this. These remaining points are not helpful.

3/02/2013 5:04 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home