by Dave Kopel
America’s 1st Freedom, January 2014
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Michael Bloomberg will no longer be the mayor of New York City. That means he is going to have a lot more free time. No more hours will have to be spent dealing with the subway or the fire department or hurricanes. He will be able to devote all of his attention, and his money, to what he really cares about—eradicating your right to make your own decisions about eating, drinking, gun ownership and everything else that in some way relates to his definition of “health.”
Gun control is at the very top of Bloomberg’s list, of course. Promoting it is one way he will try to be a major player in national politics in the days ahead.
After Ed Koch’s time as mayor of New York City was over, he spent his days enjoying the city. He even hosted a television show on cooking, having a fine time sharing his culinary tips.
In contrast, Rudy Giuliani left the New York City mayor’s office and immediately began running for president. The same thought has clearly occurred to Bloomberg, who has repeatedly explored running for president as a third-party candidate. Perhaps Bloomberg’s political consultants, after taking the polls and conducting the focus groups, have broken the bad news that Bloomberg likely wouldn’t be a viable national candidate.
After all, Bloomberg barely won re-election as mayor in 2009, and only then because he massively outspent an opponent who received little support from his own party. Even at that, Bloomberg’s spending-per-vote-received was perhaps the most expensive in the history of American politics.
So you probably won’t see Michael Bloomberg’s name anywhere on a ballot any time soon. Yet in reality, 2014 is going to be an election about Michael Bloomberg all across the United States. His money will be everywhere.
A 2013 Time magazine cover story, “Bloomberg Unbound,” detailed his plans to make himself the global über-nanny.
Last year was a hard one for Bloomberg. More than 50 mayors dropped out of Bloomberg’s group “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG). Some of the mayors said that Bloomberg had named them as members without permission. One said that when he called to withdraw, the group offered him campaign contributions in exchange for staying. Many said that they had been duped—that the group said it was against “illegal” guns, but it was actually against all gun ownership.
Meanwhile, the list of “illegal mayors” in the Bloomberg group continues to grow. Month after month, more and more members of MAIG have been criminally convicted, or have been forced to resign from office in order to avoid criminal conviction.
The September recalls of two anti-gun Colorado state senators were Bloomberg’s worst election defeat of the year. He and his fellow anti-gunners invested several million dollars in the recall elections, outspending the grassroots pro-recall side by at least 6-1.
Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who had opposed the recalls, told USA Today, “Colorado is a state where people like to be themselves and solve their own problems.” The people of Colorado “don’t really like outside organizations meddling in their affairs. …”
It is “probably not a bad idea” for Bloomberg and his national allies to stay out of Colorado politics, Hickenlooper said.
When Hickenlooper was mayor of Denver, he was the only Colorado member of Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.” So it really says something that Hickenlooper is publically urging his anti-gun ally to stay out of Colorado.
For his part, Bloomberg was happy to throw the recalled senators under the MAIG bus. “What do you mean we lost?” Bloomberg retorted after the recall election results were announced. “I’m sorry for those two people. But we won in Colorado. On to the next state.”
And Bloomberg is indeed moving on to the next state. His groups have said their prime targets are Washington, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico and Minnesota.
In Washington state, Bloomberg’s minions are gathering signatures for Initiative 594 for the 2014 ballot. The very well-financed campaign for 594 tells voters that it’s just about background checks for private sales. But this is the bait-and-switch that always characterizes bills about private sales. In fact, I-594 would outlaw normal activities that have nothing to do with sales—such as allowing your friend to borrow a rifle to go hunting, or lending a gun to your neighbor when there’s a crime spree in the neighborhood.
Bloomberg’s consultants know how to put attractive labels on harshly repressive legislation. When Bloomberg has the power, there are no limits to how ruthlessly he will oppress gun owners.
For example, suppose you live in New York City and legally own a handgun there. You are going to New Hampshire to spend a couple of weeks at a friend’s cabin, and want to bring your handgun with you for self-protection. That’s not allowed, according to Bloomberg’s New York City Police Department. Handguns licensed in New York City may not be used for self-protection outside the premises listed on the license, and any other removal of the handgun from the premises must be specifically authorized. The Bloomberg transport ban is currently being challenged in an nra-backed federal lawsuit brought by the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.
There’s no possible reason for Bloomberg’s rule against taking handguns outside New York City except for making life as difficult as possible for law-abiding gun owners. That, in fact, is a theme that runs through most of Bloomberg’s gun control proposals.
Bloomberg is already making plans to buy back the Colorado legislature in 2014. In the Colorado Springs senate district from which Sen. President John Morse was recalled, the announced Democratic candidate is Michael Merrifield. A former state legislator, Merrifield is head of the Colorado division of Bloomberg’s MAIG.
Because of campaign disclosure laws, some of Bloomberg’s power is visible. Much of it, however, is not. As Time observed, “Bloomberg’s money flows out through a complex web of nonprofit foundation work and private entities, often in chunks so small or anonymous that they are difficult to track.”
Bloomberg also embeds his anti-gun employees in the staffs of local mayors—a tactic that may violate state laws about local government.
Bloomberg is a long-term strategic thinker. He is not just investing in elections. Bloomberg has given more than $200 million to the public health school at Johns Hopkins University. Or, as that school is now known, the “Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.”
Since the 1980s, the public health school at Johns Hopkins has been the most influential anti-gun research center in the world. With plans to hire 40 professors who will concentrate on gun control research, the Bloomberg School will be by far the largest research organization in the world working on gun policy. It will produce the studies and reports that will then be turned into factoids to be repeated by the credulous anti-gun media, by the various “grassroots” groups that reliably follow the Bloomberg line and by Bloomberg lobbyists trying to sway undecided legislators.
You can’t overestimate the long-term effect of academic research—however flawed and dubious—in shaping the political debate. The vast majority of legislators and voters never read such research, but much of what they think they know about a topic comes from fourth- or fifth-hand claims of what such research says.
Far less intellectually serious than Johns Hopkins University, but even more influential, is the Center for American Progress—a D.C. think tank and propaganda machine. Founded in 2003, the cap has accomplished its objective of pulling the national Democratic Party to the far left. The cap works very closely with the Obama administration, and serves as a revolving door for Obama-Clinton officials during the times when those officials are not working on the federal payroll.
The CAP usually ignored the gun issue in its early days, but it now incessantly pumps out anti-gun propaganda and talking points. CAP is working hard to make it politically impossible for any mainstream Democrat to support the Second Amendment.
This is consistent with Bloomberg’s aim to defeat Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. Pryor’s record on the Second Amendment is mixed, and his Republican opponent might be better on the issue. But Bloomberg’s long-term goal is to make it impossible for any Democrat to support the Second Amendment, period. Then, whenever Democrats have a majority, enactment of anti-gun laws will be a certainty.
Because of the backlash against Bloomberg, his profile in Colorado has been a little more subdued lately. But according to the Colorado Statesman political newspaper, he is now working behind the scenes with Michael Huttner, a Colorado attorney who founded a group that calls itself “Progress Now.” (As if destroying human rights is “progress.”) Last June, Huttner and Bloomberg held a private breakfast in Silicon Valley, raising anti-gun contributions from the tech industry elite.
Although Bloomberg is not publicity-shy, the places where you can see his name—such as at Johns Hopkins or in campaign spending—are only the tip of the iceberg of Bloomberg’s power. In places that will never be publicly disclosed, Bloomberg money is being spread all over the United States, buying more and more allies for Bloomberg’s war on gun owners.
Here is the bottom line: The National Rifle Association has 5 million members whose donations make it possible for the nra to participate in elections by informing voters about candidates’ records on the Second Amendment. In every single contested race, Michael Bloomberg can, and often will, write a personal check that exceeds the combined contributions of all the nra grassroots members. His net worth is $31 billion. And Bloomberg has plenty of friends among the authoritarian ultra-rich, who will put in even more money.
In fact, Bloomberg is going to put $400 million (about 1 percent of his wealth) into his pet causes in 2014, with plans to spend even more in future years. Michael Bloomberg—one of the richest men in the world—may well outspend all 5 million NRA members combined during the 2014 elections.
Here’s another truth: Elections are not just about buying commercials on Monday Night Football. The most important election spending by NRA is not on prime-time network tv shows. It is the spending that provides the grassroots network of citizen activists with the tools they need. This includes the tools to raise awareness among gun owners who might only pay sporadic attention to politics, and to motivate them to vote. It includes the tools for local nra volunteer leaders to organize other volunteers who pass out literature, walk door to door and make phone calls to get out the vote.
We will never be able to match Bloomberg’s money. Bloomberg, though, has no grassroots citizens’ army. He does not have truth on his side. And his political friends are his friends only because he has rented them.
The Bloomberg group far outspent the NRA in the Colorado recalls. The NRA focused its limited resources on getting pro-rights voters to the polls. That made the difference—especially in Colorado Springs, where vehemently anti-gun state Senate President Morse was ousted by a margin of only 350 votes.
Thwarted at the national level in using the Newtown murders as a pretext to crack down on law-abiding gun owners, Bloomberg is aiming to buy the 2014 elections. If the Second Amendment is to survive, the reason will be that millions of NRA members will volunteer their time and make the financial donations necessary to help our grassroots army get the job done.
Across the nation, 2014 will be the great contest between We the People and this malefactor of great wealth.
The Rules Of The Bloomberg Nanny State:
The rules that Bloomberg sets for you don’t apply to him. While he tried to force grocery stores to stop selling salty food, he is notorious for drowning his own restaurant meals in salt. Thanks to Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and their anti-gun allies in the state legislature, it’s now illegal in New York to load more than seven rounds in a firearm used for self-defense. Do you think Bloomberg’s bodyguards carry only seven rounds in their magazines? One of Bloomberg’s former bodyguards, Leopold McLean, is currently serving a seven-year sentence for attempted murder, having shot his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend after dropping Bloomberg off at a New York Knicks basketball game. Yet for Bloomberg, it’s the average citizen who poses the concern.
Bloomberg can spend without limit. In the October 2013 special election for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey, when the pro-gun candidate was narrowing the gap in the polls, Bloomberg dumped more than $1 million into TV ads to support Cory Booker, the anti-gun mayor of Newark.
Bloomberg owns a couch that cost a million dollars. For him, spending $1 million on a political race has about as much significance on his personal wealth as your decision to tip an extra $2 at a restaurant.
Bloomberg works closely with the Obama administration for their common anti-gun purposes. At a gala in New York City, Vice President Joe Biden presented Bloomberg with the “Clinton Global Citizen” award. Biden predicted that gun control would eventually prevail in Washington and “when it comes … it will be because Mike has sent it.”
Bloomberg cares nothing for the truth. In October 2013, he spent more than $1 million on false advertising against Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli. The Bloomberg TV ads featured a series of pictures of four notorious mass murderers. According to the ads, Cuccinelli is “too extreme” because he opposes Bloomberg’s demand for special restrictions on gun shows.
In fact, not a single criminal in the Bloomberg ad had bought his gun at a gun show. All of them had bought their guns in gun stores after passing background checks or had stolen the weapons. The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” branded Bloomberg with “Three Pinocchios” for these lies.
The problem isn’t that these sorts of lies will change the minds of well-informed voters. The ads were intended for low-information voters—folks who can’t name a single Supreme Court justice, and who are easily swayed by whatever TV commercial they saw most recently. Such voters, however, can make the difference in a close contest. Cuccinelli was defeated by his anti-gun opponent, former Clinton campaign operative Terry McAuliffe, by only 2.4 percentage points despite being greatly outspent.
While he loves to call gun rights supporters “extremists,” the real extremist is Michael Bloomberg. When District of Columbia v. Heller was before the Supreme Court, Bloomberg and other big city mayors filed a friend-of-the-court brief claiming that ordinary American citizens have no Second Amendment rights.
The Foster’s Daily Democrat, a New Hampshire newspaper that favors some gun controls, denounced Bloomberg as the face of “wholesale registration and eventual confiscation.” The newspaper further pointed out that when Bloomberg groups conducted public readings of the names of supposed victims of gun violence, they tried to increase the size of the list by including violent criminals who were shot by the police, such as Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Michael Bloomberg owns your body. It’s a common theme in Bloomberg’s authoritarianism that individuals have no right to control their health. Bloomberg will decide whether you can drink a 20-oz. soda, use table salt, and eat fatty foods. And Bloomberg will decide whether you can carry a handgun to defend yourself.
When you really need protection, Michael Bloomberg will do his dead level best to make sure you are defenseless.
According to a source quoted in the New York Post (Nov. 19, 2012), when looters and carjackers ran wild in some parts of Long Island after Superstorm Sandy, New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith asked Mayor Bloomberg to allow the National Guard to restore order. “F— you,” was reported to be Bloomberg’s succinct reply. He’s so anti-gun that he wouldn’t even let the National Guard carry guns in New York City!
America's 1st Freedom
NRA's pure news magazine especially for our membership. Its mission is to deliver professional, compelling, accurate, timely and hard-hitting journalism that tells the truth about the threats to our Second Amendment rights.