Stefanik's husband working for gun industry trade group
Wendy Liberatore is reporting for the Times Union the gun industry has a spokesman with exceptional access to U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 Republican in the House: her husband, Matthew Manda. Manda is the manager of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, based in Newtown, Conn. The trade group's mission is "to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports" and was one of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit attempting to block a New York law that increases potential liability for gun manufacturers. The suit was dismissed by a judge in Albany earlier this week, but an appeal is likely. Manda frequently writes for the foundation's website and other outlets about the group's events and policy positions. "Law-abiding Americans choose over and over again to take their personal safety into their own hands and purchase a firearm," he wrote in April. "Congress needs to ensure the industry is free from ‘woke’ corporate discrimination.” Manda's article did not mention that Stefanik is his wife and he did not respond to a Times Union request for comment. A foundation spokesperson refused to say when Manda started working for the group, calling it "personal information." When the Times Union called Stefanik advisor and campaign spokesperson Alex deGrasse, to ask if Manda's work influences Stefanik’s position on gun rights, deGrasse called the reporter “a very sick person.” He then sent an email calling the Times Union “sexist.” Stefanik was a strong ally of the gun industry long before her husband went to work for the NSSF and she has an A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association. Stefanik and Manda met in 2012 and were married in 2017. At the time, Manda was the marketing and communications director for the Virginia-based Media Group of America, which runs the conservative news website the Independent Journal Review. Read more in the Times Union.