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TPM Interview: The Brown Grad Student That Chased The NRA Out Of Rhode Island

TPM Interview: The Brown Grad Student That Chased The NRA Out Of Rhode Island | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Sam Bell is in the third year of a PhD program in geology at Brown University. Geology as in rocks. But Bell also moonlights as the the state coordinator of The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, the state affiliate of the 10-year-old Progressive Democrats of America. And in his work with The Rhode Island Progressive Democrats, Bell was instrumental to the investigation that ultimately led to the National Rifle Association paying the second largest campaign finance fine in the state's history.

Last year, Bell and his group started digging into the financial relationship between the NRA's state-level political action committee, which over the previous decade had given tens of thousands of dollars to Rhode Island lawmakers, and the NRA's national PAC, known as the NRA Political Victory Fund. What Bell and his associates found led them to file a complaint with the state's Board of Elections, alleging a number of serious campaign finance violations. In apparent response, the NRA last year quietly dissolved it's Rhode Island PAC. Then, earlier this year, news came that the pro-gun group had reached a settlement with the state, and agreed to pay a $63,000 fine -- officially for not creating a separate bank account for money the state PAC received from the larger national PAC.

In an interview with TPM this week, Bell explained how his interest in science led him to politics.

"The thing that first got me interested in getting involved in politics was watching how science got devastated by cuts to fundings, particularly at the federal level but also at the state level." Bell said. "I had the sort of disappointing realization that politics has a huge amount to do with the advancement of science. And in many ways the best thing one can do for science is to get politicians to be willing to support it.

Bell spoke to TPM about his group's investigation into the NRA's activities. An edited version of the conversation is below.
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A progressive look at politics & civil rights issues.
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Ted Cruz: Liberals Have Declared War on Heterosexual Christians (Video)

Ted Cruz: Liberals Have Declared War on Heterosexual Christians (Video) | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday denounced Democrats as extremists out to destroy your religious freedoms. If you're a right-wing, heterosexual Christian, that is.
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Medical Expert Live-Tweets Her Son's Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Class With Increasing Rage

Medical Expert Live-Tweets Her Son's Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Class With Increasing Rage | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
A woman who studies the best ways to teach sex education at Northwestern University just sat in on her son's abstinence-only sex ed class. Things escalated quickly.
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CNN's Tapper Grills Sen. Marco Rubio: On Issue Of Same-Sex Marriage "You're The Candidate Of Yesterday"

CNN's Tapper Grills Sen. Marco Rubio: On Issue Of Same-Sex Marriage "You're The Candidate Of Yesterday" | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
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Chris Matthews explodes at MSNBC: Quit putting ‘goddamn’ right-wing ads on for free

Chris Matthews explodes at MSNBC: Quit putting ‘goddamn’ right-wing ads on for free | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
MSNBC host Chris Matthews lit into his own network on Tuesday, denouncing it for playing commercials paid for by “piggish” conservative groups, Talking Points Memo reported.
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SageRave of Get Custom Content's curator insight, April 8, 2015 1:30 PM

The GOP should not run ads on MSNBC, in my opinion. They have their own network for spreading the lies and bigotry they use to get their base out to vote!

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Monsanto Demands World Health Organization Retract Cancer Claims

Monsanto Demands World Health Organization Retract Cancer Claims | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Monsanto are calling on the World Health Organization to retract claims made in a report that declared a link between Monsanto's Roundup herbicide and
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The Older Brother From The "Narnia" Movies Is Looking Fine As Hell

The Older Brother From The "Narnia" Movies Is Looking Fine As Hell | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
William Moseley, aka Peter Pevensie from the Narnia franchise, is back on screen in The Royals. And he's looking fine as hell.
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The Antiviral Guide to the Worst Hoaxers and Liars on Facebook

The Antiviral Guide to the Worst Hoaxers and Liars on Facebook | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Facebook is a big and maddening place. Antiviral wants to make it better. To that end, we're putting together a comprehensive guide to the new, bad, weird, and bullshit "news sites" that are appearing on your feed. Here's part one: "Satire."
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CBS has released the Falklands protest video Bill O'Reilly asked for. It doesn't support his claims.

CBS has released the Falklands protest video Bill O'Reilly asked for. It doesn't support his claims. | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
The Fox News host says he was in a "war zone" where police gunned down civilians. The video doesn't show that.
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Drop-Out Scott Walker Calls Critics Of His Smarts ‘Elitist’ As He Sandbags State’s Universities (VIDEO)

Drop-Out Scott Walker Calls Critics Of His Smarts ‘Elitist’ As He Sandbags State’s Universities (VIDEO) | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Former Gov. of Vermont, Howard Dean: "I worry about people being president of the United States not knowing much about the world and not knowing much about science."
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Residents Of America's Food Stamp Capital Continue To Vote Against Their Self-Interests

"In spite of the prevailing stereotypes and assumptions about who uses SNAP Food Stamp benefits the most in the United States, the highest usage is not in Co...
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Jennifer Lopez - Booty ft. Iggy Azalea Parody - YouTube

http://www.lulu.com/shop/bryan-hawn/the-list-what-the-top-fitness-models-dont-want-you-to-know/ebook/product-21670800.html ~ ATTENTION: For everyone emailing...
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When will liberals start caring about federal judges?

When will liberals start caring about federal judges? | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
The ruling against Obama's immigration order is the latest victory for the GOP's judicial strategy
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Conservatives Seize On Hugely Flawed Study About Same-Sex Parents

Conservatives Seize On Hugely Flawed Study About Same-Sex Parents | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
A new study critiquing same-sex parenting suffers from the same flaws as previous studies purporting negative outcomes for children.
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CNN's John King Gives NRA's Wayne LaPierre "Knucklehead Of The Day Award" For Clinton And Obama Attack

CNN's John King Gives NRA's Wayne LaPierre "Knucklehead Of The Day Award" For Clinton And Obama Attack | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
King: "So You Insult Barack Obama, You Insult Hillary Clinton, Implicitly You Also Insult African-Americans And Insult Women. Census.gov, Mr. LaPierre."
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Michele Bachmann Blames Obama For The End Times: ‘Christ’s Return Emminent’ After Iran Nuclear Deal (AUDIO)

Michele Bachmann Blames Obama For The End Times: ‘Christ’s Return Emminent’ After Iran Nuclear Deal (AUDIO) | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Bachmann believes the second return of Christ is near - because Obama just can’t stop pissing God off.
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Set phasers to shun: George Takei encourages boycotting Indiana over ‘religious freedom’ bill

Set phasers to shun: George Takei encourages boycotting Indiana over ‘religious freedom’ bill | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) now faces the prospect of a wider boycott from sci-fi and gaming fans with the involvement of actor and activist George Takei, the Huffington Post reported.
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Salesforce cancels all travel to Indiana, won’t subject customers or employees to discrimination

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has made good on a threat that his $4 billion company would "dramatically reduce" its investment in Indiana in response to an anti-LGBT religious freedom law.
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Bayard Rustin: The Man Homophobia Almost Erased From History

Bayard Rustin: The Man Homophobia Almost Erased From History | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Rustin played a key role in advancing civil rights and economic justice. His partner, Walter Naegle, talks with BuzzFeed about that legacy on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the march Rustin mad...
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Moving forward to fix our broken immigration system

Moving forward to fix our broken immigration system | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
President writes in The Hill he'll fight "any attempt" to turn back progress on immigration.
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Gullible Conservatives Sent Millions To Scam Groups Like Sarah Palin's SarahPac

Gullible Conservatives Sent Millions To Scam Groups Like Sarah Palin's SarahPac | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Just as we suspected, none of the money being given to organizations like SarahPac goes to actual campaigning. It just goes straight into the pockets of professional grifters like Sarah Palin.
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Misogynist blogger: Make rape on private property legal so women can have ‘learning experiences’

Misogynist blogger: Make rape on private property legal so women can have ‘learning experiences’ | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
The founder of a website that is popular with so-called Men’s Rights Activists said this week that the “solution” to the problem of rape in the United States was to decriminalize “the violent taking of a woman” on private property.
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Mississippi Lawmaker Makes Racist Comments, Then Claims He's Not Racist

"Mississippi State Rep. Gene Alday, a Republican, told The Clarion-Ledger he was against increased funding for education, in particular funding to improve li...
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Boehner And GOP Ready To Sacrifice Homeland Security In Petulant Attack On Obama

As unbelievable violence is escalating around the world, John Boehner is ready to sacrifice funding for Homeland Security in order to get his own way.
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When Will Fox News Fire Bill O’Reilly For Lying About Combat Duty?

When Will Fox News Fire Bill O’Reilly For Lying About Combat Duty? | Daily Crew | Scoop.it
Conservatives have tenaciously sunk their fangs into the juicy scandal that is engulfing NBC News anchor Brian Williams. The fact that he has admitted (and apologized for) some false statements he ...
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