Politics

Democrat-Linked Group Pushes Ads Hitting Republican Candidate For Not Being Endorsed By The NRA

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  • A Democrat-linked consulting firm is running a Facebook Ads campaign taking aim at Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin because he is not endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
  • The ad campaign is funded by Accountability Virginia PAC, a political action committee registered to MBA Consulting Group, a D.C.-based firm that works to elect Democratic candidates.
  • MBA Consulting Group received funds from several political action committees that help Democrat candidates win elections, including Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff, Gary Peters, Raphael Warnock, John Hickenlooper and more.
  • The Accountability Virginia PAC Facebook Page is managed by Gambit Strategies, a digital ad firm started by two political strategists, Megan Clasen and Patrick McHugh, who have worked with Democratic campaigns and political action committees.

A Democrat-linked consulting firm is running a Facebook Ads campaign taking aim at Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin because he is not endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

Facebook Page Accountability Virginia began running ads on Sept. 21 criticizing Youngkin, the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, over his stance on the Second Amendment. The ad campaign is funded by Accountability Virginia PAC, a political action committee (PAC) registered to a Washington, D.C.-based consultant firm that works to elect Democratic candidates.

The ads claim Youngkin is untrustworthy as a candidate because he is not endorsed by the NRA, and that Youngkin is not vocal enough about his position on gun rights legislation. Accountability Virginia PAC spent $6,726 on the ads, receiving a total of roughly 250,000 impressions, according to the campaign’s Facebook Ad Library data.

“While the NRA backs Donald Trump, they REFUSED to endorse Glenn Youngkin,” one ad reads, claiming “we can’t trust Glenn Youngkin on guns,” while another urges voters to “tell him to tell us the truth about where he stands!”

Another ad cites Youngkin’s allegedly tight-lipped stance on the Second Amendment as a reason why he is “just another politician we can’t trust.” (RELATED: Washington Post: Glenn Youngkin Isn’t As Pro-Life As McAuliffe Claims)

The most popular ad, which said that Youngkin was the only Republican not endorsed by the NRA, was seen between 125,000 and 150,000 times, according to Facebook Ad Library data.

The Facebook "like" sign is seen at Facebook's corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California, on October 23, 2019. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Facebook “like” sign is seen at Facebook’s corporate headquarters campus in Menlo Park, California, on October 23, 2019. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The messages are funded by Accountability Virginia PAC, according to the ads themselves, and Accountability Virginia’s Facebook Page links to the PAC’s website. The site features a “Donate” button as the only link, which directs visitors to a donation page managed by ActBlue, an organization that facilitates fundraising for Democrat candidates and left-leaning groups.

The PAC is registered to a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm called Mele Brengarth and Associates, also known as MBA Consulting Group, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The PAC was created on July 2, 2021 and lists as treasurer and custodian of records Jeremy Begun, a compliance director at MBA Consulting Group, according to the firm’s website.

MBA Consulting Group did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The firm is associated with a number of Democratic PACs and candidates. (RELATED: Facebook Shuts Down Ad Account For Republican Fundraising Committee 4 Days Before Georgia Runoffs)

MBA Consulting Group received money from several PACs that help Democrat candidates win elections, including Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff, Gary Peters, Raphael Warnock, John Hickenlooper and more, according to data from Open Secrets. The firm received $162,383 from Warnock for Georgia, $226,622 from Hickenlooper for Colorado, $236,562 from Peters for Michigan and $236,914 from Jon Ossoff for Senate during the 2020 election cycle.

Several posts on the MBA Consulting Group’s Facebook Page also celebrate the firm’s work with Democrat candidates, with one post thanking Georgians for nominating Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Democratic Senate Primary.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) speaks during a campaign event on July 14, 2021 in McLean, Virginia. Youngkin is running against former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Moreover, the Accountability Virginia Facebook Page is managed by Gambit Strategies, a digital ad firm started by political strategists Megan Clasen and Patrick McHugh, both of whom have worked with Democratic campaigns and political action committees, according to Politico.

“Combined since 2016, nobody has overseen more digital spending than Megan and I in the Democratic party,” McHugh told Politico.

Gambit Strategies did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Youngkin did not receive an endorsement from the NRA, and he has declined to complete a questionnaire issued by the organization that assesses candidates’ positions on gun rights, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Youngkin has made a number of public comments pledging his intent to defend gun rights, and he has repeatedly described himself as an “unapologetic gun owner” as well as a lifelong member of the NRA.

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