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Friday, September 29

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Illinois Thu Dec 03 2015

NRA-Backed IL Congressmen Offer "Thoughts & Prayers" to San Bernardino ...Or Not

In the hours after the mass shooting in San Bernardino on Wednesday, dozens of elected officials took to Twitter to offer "thoughts and prayers" to the victims of the attack and their families. Many people responded by challenging congressmen and senators to actually do something, not just think and pray. Igor Volsky, contributing editor at Think Progress, took it a step further, calling out several legislators who offered condolences but had taken campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association.

The only Illinois congressman called out by Volsky was Rep. Peter Roskam (R, 6th), who received $2,000 from the NRA in 2014, $3,000 in 2012, $2,000 in 2010 and more going further back.

But according to, several other congressmen and women from Illinois have benefited from NRA contributions -- six of whom are still serving in Washington. Here's a look at how they reacted to the San Bernardino shooting.

Rep. Mike Bost (R, 12th) received $2,000 from the NRA in 2014. He said nothing about the San Bernardino shooting, instead posting about the US Capitol Christmas tree.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R, 13th) joined Bost in praising the tree, and boasted of passing a bill protecting coal-fired power plants while Obama was at the global climate summit in Paris.

Davis was the greatest NRA beneficiary in Illinois in the 2014 election cycle, receiving $7,450 in contributions.

Rep. Randy Hultgren, (R, 14th) spent Dec. 2 tweeting about a #SpaceChat with ISS astronauts. He received $2,000 from the NRA in 2014.

Rep. John Shimkus (R, 15th) also received $2,000 from the NRA in 2014. He tweeted his prayers to the San Bernardino victims.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger's (R, 16th) only activity Wednesday was to retweet a National Weather Service bulletin for his district. He received $2,000 from the NRA in 2014.

No Illinois Democrats in the House received campaign donations from the NRA in 2014 -- and neither did Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk. Durbin was very active on Twitter after the shooting, noting that more than 350 mass shootings have occurred already this year, and urging fellow legislators to action. Kirk in fact has been very pro-gun control, and the NRA has given him an F rating the last several years. Still, Kirk's only Twitter activity yesterday was to call for Iran to release journalist Jason Rezaian.

Want to do something beyond just scold a politician on Twitter? Find your representative and contact them directly.

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