Voting Rights Group targets Childers

A Washington D.C. voting rights group launched an ad campaign directed at Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) on Friday.

Childers is a supporter of a gun amendment that would loosen D.C.'s gun registration laws, which, after passing the Senate, has stalled a bill in the House that would grant the District a representational vote in Congress.

"Representative Childers has gone too far in his attempts to write DC gun laws," said Ilir Zherka, DC Vote executive director. "We think his constituents need to know how he is spending his time. His constituents elected him to act as their voice in Congress. But what he, and other pro-gun politicians are doing, is expending their energy to write DC's laws. We're going to states like Mississippi to tell constituents that their member of Congress is standing in the way of DC's right to democracy."

The ad campaign is planning to place ads in local Mississippi media outlets, and is expected to do the same in Neveda, where Sen. John Ensign (R), the sponsor of the Senate's gun amendment, is from.

"We're going to send a clear message to members of Congress," said Zherka. "You mess with the District and we're coming after you. We will not allow you to stand in the way of our basic civil right to voting representation in Congress and full local democracy."

Zherka noted that DC Vote has traveled to Mississippi before and looks forward to working with allies in the state.

"The people I met in Mississippi understood that DC voting rights is a crucial civil rights issue," he added. "They are willing to stand up and say that 'DC deserves the same right to make their own laws that we currently enjoy.'"

- Jordy Yager