One of the problems with hiring lobbyists to lie for you in a public forum is that eventually, they might slip up and tell the truth instead. Something along those lines appears to have happened recently during a hearing a Vermont Senate committee was holding on a gun control bill. Lobbyist Tyler Wilkinson-Ray, hired by the ironically-named group Gun Sense Vermont, was giving testimony, when he cut loose with the civilian disarmament version of a Kinsley gaffe: it turns out that Gun Sense Vermont needs to get its marching orders — ‘national expertise’ was the euphemism Wilkinson-Ray mumbled — from HQ in New York . . .

Apparently the Everytown/Moms Demand Action offices were closed at the time Wilkinson-Ray was testifying and he didn’t know enough about the bill he was hired to flack for to express an opinion. From timesargus.com:

During the hearing, lobbyist Tyler Wilkinson-Ray of the Necrason Group in Montpelier said his client, Gun Sense Vermont, would need to look further into a proposed amendment. The amendment, according to Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Sears, D-Bennington, did not change the scope of the bill but incorporated changes from several stakeholders.

“It really takes into account suggestions from the Department of Mental Health and the judiciary, and some comments from the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs … as well as, actually, Gun Sense. Everybody had some input,” Sears said.

Nonetheless, Wilkinson-Ray said Gun Sense Vermont would need to explore the implications.

“We need to get national expertise on this before we can approve it,” Wilkinson-Ray said.

That didn’t please Judiciary Committee Chairman Spears one bit. “So you have to get a hold of the national organization? Is that your testimony?” he asked. Alas, Mr. Wilkinson-Ray apparently missed the day in class that teaches lobbyists and other mercenaries how to dissemble under fire. Or at least get their instruction before going on stage.

“We don’t believe this is an earnest effort to improve the bill,” Wilkinson-Ray told the committee Thursday.

That caused a strong reaction from Sears, who has already displayed his frustration several times this legislative session as his committee has worked on the legislation.

“Oh, wow. Wow. I can’t believe you just said that,” he responded. “I think we should take a five-minute break and you should check with your bosses and if you’re sure you want to say that this is not an honest effort.”

“You are disparaging the courts of the state of Vermont as well as the Department of Mental Health. So, when you say it’s not an honest effort, that pisses me off. You don’t want to piss me off because I’m already fed up with this bill,” Sears added.

Adam Necrason, president of the Necrason Group, did not return a message seeking comment.

Looks like Gun Sense Vermont isn’t much of a “grass roots” organization after all, no matter what their website may say. Go figure.

I ain’t no scientist of politics here, but when you’re testifying in support of a gun control bill and you manage to piss off the Democrat from Bennington, that means that the sign saying “Welcome to Successville” is rapidly receding in your rear-view mirror.

I’d like to think that it’s a testament to Wilkinson-Ray’s character that, despite working in a profession where lying is a bona fide occupational qualification and representing a client whose philosophical foundation is based almost entirely on falsehoods, he managed to let slip a little bit of the truth anyway.

18 Responses to Gun Control Lobbyist Forgets He’s Flacking for a “Grass Roots” Operation

  1. Delightful reportage, Johannes. Thanks for putting that bit up, and clearly, on a site which google can find in an instant.

  2. I am quite stunned that Vermont Senator Sears would have made such comments on the public record at a Vermont Senate hearing.

    It sounds like there was a pre-determined script and Tyler Wilkinson-Ray was way off script — and this was maddening to Senator Sears.

    I wonder if the gun-grabbers were trying to throw Senator Sears under the proverbial bus?

    Of course all of this is happening against the backdrop of the state which perennially has the lowest — or next to lowest — violent crime rate in the entire United States.

    • I really don’t know what to say; it’s like Christmas in March. Maybe now they can quit this stupid schizl and get back to work (nah – libtards).

  3. Shanny and Mikey must be slipping. Either that or Elliot Fineman was too busy calling for violence against gun owners. Pity.

  4. The Dems control most of the state; hell, they control the Northeast, period, and soon, the whole country, regardless of which golem is in the WH or whichever half of the War Party controls Congress.

    The horrible evil truth that the gun grabbers can’t bear to imagine is that this state has the lowest or nearly lowest violent crime in the country because of it’s nearly zero gun control and its homogeneity, that is, it trades places each year with Wyoming, Iowa and Maine as the whitest state in the nation. Still largely rural with a large hunting, fishing, farming, and working-class population. That must really stick in their craw and so they seek to destroy us, too.

    Dick Sears, of course, is from one of the college towns here, so one does wonder, in fact, to what extent he’s really pissed off.

  5. You mean GunSense might be a fake grassroots spun out of Everytown for Gun Sense? Which is the fake grassroots spun out of Moms Demand Action, the fake grassroots spun out of Bloombergs Mayors Against Illegal Guns? That one that lost all its members when some PR flack slipped up and said it was about gun confiscation?

    Wow. You mean, this is just a nationally coordinated fake media campaign, run by top-down elites in NY? Like the Journolistas, except abusing non-profit status to hide funders, shifting names when the IRS Form 990 is due. Why, you’d have to imagine that someone in the FedGov is ignoring that, huh?

    Who woulda thunk it?

    sarc/

    • But the IRS is VERY interested in the possible political dealings of your 501 c/3, foo…

      We have to have standards. 😉

  6. Can’t wait to see what becomes of the Wilkinson-Ray children. Will their last name be Wilkinson-Ray-Smith-Jones? Will the next generation be Wilkinson-Ray-Smith-Jones-Bradley-Hernandez-Johnson-Smith?

    Hyphenators… Just gotta love them.

  7. S-141 JUST PASSED THE SENATE….
    DICK SEARS HAS TO GO… IS BENNINGTO0N SUCH A BASTION OF DEMOCRATS THAT THEY CAN’T GET A REPUBLICAN OR LIBERTARIAN TO WIN THAT OFFICE?
    DICK PLAYED YOU ALL….. AND VOTERS NEED TO REALIZE, IT IS THE DEMOCRATS WHO HAVE CATERED TO ANNE BRADEN AND HER ILK. IT IS THE DEMOCRATS WHO HAVE MOVED THIS HISTORIC PIECE OF LEGISLATION FORWARD. THIS IS A DARK DAY FOR VERMONT NOW THAT THE DONKEY HAS GOTTEN HIS NOSE UNDER THE TENT. LOOK OUT…. SLIPPERY SLOPE. I GUESS THE SOLUTION JUST FOUND A PROBLEM. NOW, SLICK TALKING LAWYERS CAN MAKE MORE MONEY DEFENDING AND PROSECUTING VERMONTERS BY CLAIMING THEY ARE A THREAT TO EVERYONE. WE POOR VETERANS BETTER WATCH OUT. KEEP YOUR NOSE CLEAN AND DON’T PISS OFF THE MRS.
    JOEL

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