LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 20: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association's NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Convention at the Kentucky Exposition Center on May 20, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. The NRA endorsed Trump at the convention. The convention runs May 22. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Ex-Ohio attorney general says he regrets being 'in the pocket' of NRA; NRA says he's 'desperate'

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.

NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker called Dann’s column "a desperate attention-seeking ploy by a has-been politician" who’s been out of office for 10 years and left amid scandal.

Dann’s candor comes a decade after he left political office following a sexual harassment scandal and admission of an extramarital affair involving others from his office.