* Rep. Phelps is a Tier One target and this is exactly the sort of thing that can be easily twisted into a very nasty ad campaign…
[Rep. Brandon Phelps’ campaign] expenditures in 2015 included a $1,100 donation to the Central Florida Shootout, a fishing tournament in the Sunshine State. He said in an interview that he did not attend the tournament. He spent time at Lake of the Ozarks last summer and also went to Las Vegas in January 2015 to attend the Shot Show, a gun exposition. The tab for his stay at the Hard Rock Hotel during the gun show came to $1,340. Coincidentally or not, Adult Video News was holding its annual adult entertainment convention, which draws crowds of porn stars and their fans, at the Hard Rock at the same time as the gun show was in town.
Phelps said that the National Rifle Association arranged for his lodging and that he did not rub shoulders with porn stars. He says that he checked out when he discovered that porn stars were coming.
“When I heard that, I left early,” Phelps says. “They (the porn convention) came in the day after I left, supposedly. I was not there. God knows that I was not.”
The events did overlap (here and here). But Rep. Phelps’ explanation is buttressed by the fact that the adult entertainment show didn’t start until the day after the gun show started. That timeline conveniently wasn’t mentioned in the story, even though it took all of a minute to find with the Google.
I’ve asked Phelps for any receipt or proof that he checked out of the hotel early, but he’s at his eye doctor (he lost the use of an eye in an ATV incident years ago) in St. Louis and won’t be back home until the evening.