Bloomberg’s anti-gun rights group stumbles, struggles & blows cash
Investigative report shows anti-gunners’ efforts to restrict Second Amendment rights hit a number of speed bumps, thanks to scandals and political reversals.
“Gun control has become a left-wing cause and Mayors Against Illegal Guns embraces this cause, while disingenuously posing as non-ideological and above politics,” said Matthew Vadum, senior editor at Capital Research Center, a think-tank that describes itself as the nation’s leading source of organizations and their donors.
For its March issue of Organization Trends CRC publishes a report it commissioned to profile New York-based MAIG and uncovered phony rationalizations aimed at justifying unconscionable assaults on the Second Amendment, he said. “It was about time we profiled this ‘holier-than-thou’ group.”
Established in 1984 Washington-based CRC investigates the aims and activities of left-liberal special interest groups and analyzes their impact on our politics and society.
MAIG was co-founded in 2006 by former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and former Boston mayor Thomas Menino. The coalition consists of more than 1,000 mayors from 45 states across the country, which represents about 5 percent of America’s 19,000 municipalities.
MAIG is about gun control, not “gun safety”, said Vadum, the author of “Subversion, Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.”
Though MAIG is aggressively promoting gun control and being funded by Bloomberg’s vast personal fortune, it has been unsuccessful in capturing the hearts and minds of the people, he said. “Gun control is still not a mainstream idea.”
According to the CRC paper, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund group took in $3,476,643 and spent $2,834 in the year 2011. Its two foundation donors are the David Bohnett Foundation of Beverly Hills, Calif., $185,000 since 2007, and the Public Welfare Foundation, $25,000 in 2008.
Also in 2011, MAIG gave grants to other anti-gun groups such as Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, $210,000, America Votes, $275,000, Progress Ohio, $17,400, and Progress Now Nevada Action, $10,000.
As of 2013, Bloomberg had a reported net worth of about $31 billion.
Failure to pass gun control measures through Congress has forced MAIG to take a more incremental, “death-by-a-thousand-cuts” approach to limiting the reach of Second Amendment protections, said Vadum. “MAIG is trying to make it as difficult as possible for Americans to purchase firearms by increasing bureaucratic red tape.”
Even gun-grabbing left-wing politicians found MAIG’s tactics to be repugnant and counter-productive, he said. “When MAIG targeted Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) for opposing legislation that the group supported, Pryor fought back.”
In an ad campaign, Vadum said the Democrat politician stood-up to his gun-grabbing colleagues.
“The mayor of New York City is running ads against me because I opposed President Obama’s gun-control legislation. I approve this message because no one from New York or Washington tells me what to do,” said Pryor.
Sen. Charles S. “Chuck” Schumer (D-N.Y.) followed suit, said Vadum.
“Frankly, I don’t think Bloomberg’s ads are effective. The mayor of New York City putting ads against people in red states is not going to be effective,” said Schumer.
Arch-gun rights opponent Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) also publically showed his dismay with Bloomberg, said Vadum.
“Unfortunately, you have some on the left, like the mayor of New York City, who actually didn’t help a bit with his ads. He actually turned off some people that we might have gotten for supporters,” said Leahy.
Last year more than 50 mayors ran away from the sinking ship that is MAIG, said Vadum. “Bob Scott, the Democrat mayor of Sioux City, Iowa, unceremoniously dumped MAIG saying, ‘They’re not just against illegal guns, they’re against all guns.’”
The study indicates that MAIG members are not exactly law-abiding, he said. Here are some examples:
* James Schiliro of Marcus Hook, Pa., was convicted of a gun-related crime.
* Gordon Jenkins of Monticello, N.Y., was arrested in November 2013 for driving under the influence and punching a police department clock, forcing officers to handcuff him to a chair.
* Noramie Jasmin of Spring Valley, N.Y., was charged with accepting bribes from an FBI informant in April.
* Craig Lowe of Gainesville, Fla., was charged with driving under the influence after he was found asleep at the scene of a car accident.
* Sheila Dixon of Baltimore, Md., was charged with fraud, perjury, and embezzling gift cards meant for the poor.
* Eddie Perez of Hartford, Conn., was charged with bribery and conspiracy.
* April Almon of New Haven, Conn., was charged with interfering with police officers on duty.
* Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit, Mich., was convicted of perjury.
The work of anti-gun groups’ hurt law-abiding people, poor people, minorities, and inner-city residents by disarming them, leaving them at the mercy of criminals, said Vadum. “MAIG blames the tools that criminals use in committing crimes, instead of blaming the criminals.”
Law-abiding citizens respect the law and value their liberty, he said.
“Sometimes people need to be reminded that the Second Amendment is part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights and that groups like MAIG that try to undermine those civil rights are in my opinion nothing less than enemies of the American people.”