The Latest: NRA: Ex-official who spoke out is ‘desperate’

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on an Ohio Democrat’s statements about the National Rifle Association (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

The National Rifle Association is dismissing a former Ohio attorney general’s statements that he got “in the pocket” of the gun-rights group to protect his political career and now regrets it.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker called Democrat Marc Dann’s opinion column on Cleveland.com “a desperate attention-seeking ploy by a has-been politician” who’s been out of office for 10 years and left amid scandal.

Dann used the column to urge elected officials to follow their principles as the country debates gun control following the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people. He says the NRA has a “finely tuned propaganda operation” that convinces officeholders their careers will be ruined by “even talking about gun safety.”

Baker said Ohio voters support the Second Amendment and rely on politicians’ NRA ratings.

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11 a.m.

A Democrat who helped overturn assault weapons bans in Ohio as a state lawmaker before being ousted as the state’s attorney general says he “was in the pocket of the National Rifle Association” to protect his political career and now regrets it.

Marc Dann’s blunt opinion column for Cleveland.com urges elected officials to live by their principles as the country debates gun control following the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people.

Dann says the NRA has a “finely tuned propaganda operation” that convinces officeholders “even talking about gun safety would end their political careers” and that he should’ve pushed back.

A message seeking comment was left with the NRA.

Dann’s candor comes a decade after he left political office following a sexual harassment scandal involving others from his office.

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