McCain Volunteer Tied to NRA 'Spygate'?
Gun control activists are taking issue with a "high-level" McCain volunteer for his ties to a division of the National Rifle Association that allegedly hired a woman to spy on the anti-gun lobby, ABC News reports.
James Jay Baker, who currently serves as a member of McCain's Sportsman Committee, was executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action when it allegedly hired Mary Lou Sapone.
In an investigation published last month, Mother Jones magazine detailed how Sapone infiltrated the gun control community as "Mary McFate." The discovery of the Sapone's true identity "has caused the leaders of gun violence prevention organizations to conclude that for years they have been penetrated--at the highest levels--by the NRA or other pro-gun parties," the magazine reported.
When asked about Sapone, Baker told Mother Jones: "I don't have anything to say about any vendors at the NRA." Baker said his organization "got information from whatever sources we can," but that he didn't know of any infiltration of the gun control movement.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is calling on McCain to "take a stand" on Baker and the NRA over the report, dubbed "Spygate." But it remains unclear what role, if any, Baker played in the spying scheme.
Nevertheless, the McCain campaign is seeking to distance itself from Baker, ABC News reports, saying he is not one of the candidate's chief advisers. In 2006, The New York Times described Baker as a member of McCain's growing "kitchen cabinet."
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