ASSOCIATED PRESS: PHILADELPHIA — A group advocating stricter gun laws is kicking out a woman who has been accused of being a spy for the National Rifle Association. The CeaseFirePA board of directors voted unanimously Friday to remove fellow board member Mary Lou McFate. The group also is exploring possible legal action against her, though spokesman Joe Grace declined to elaborate. McFate, an unpaid member of the CeaseFirePA board for seven years, is accused of portraying herself as a gun-control activist while being paid by the NRA to gather intelligence. A Chicago-based group, the Freedom States Alliance, expelled her from its board last week. The spying accusations were first raised in Mother Jones magazine. MORE
MOTHER JONES: This is the story of two Marys. Both are in their early 60s, heavyset, with curly reddish hair. But for years they have worked on opposite ends of the same issues. Mary McFate [pictured, below] is an advocate of environmental causes and a prominent activist within the gun control movement. For more than a decade, she volunteered for various gun violence prevention organizations, serving on the boards of anti-gun outfits, helping state groups coordinate their activities, lobbying in Washington for gun control legislation, and regularly attending strategy and organizing meetings.
Mary Lou Sapone [pictured, right], by contrast, is a self-described “research consultant,” who for decades has covertly infiltrated citizens groups for private security firms hired by corporations that are targeted by activist campaigns. For some time, Sapone also worked for the National Rifle Association.
But these two Marys share a lot in common—a Mother Jones investigation has found that McFate and Sapone are, in fact, the same person. And this discovery 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. “It raises the question,” says Paul Helmke, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, “of what did she find out and what did they want her to find out.” McFate’s (now former) colleagues note that she was well-positioned for many years to provide the NRA—or any other gun rights groups—the plans, secrets, and inside gossip of practically the entire gun violence prevention movement. “She had access to all the legislative strategy for every major issue for years,” says Rand. MORE
Thank You NRA For Keeping The Youth Of Philadelphia Armed To The Teeth!