A two-page advertisement appearing in the New York Times’ Wednesday edition tries to embarrass 100 members of Congress for accepting donations from the National Rifle Association, but the media is once again allowing only half of a story to be told by not following the trail of money from gun prohibitionists to anti-gun politicians.
The advertisement was paid for by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. It cost $230,000, which amounts to pocket change for the former New York City mayor.
According to the Portland Oregonian, Bloomberg spent more to help Oregon Gov. Kate Brown win election in 2016. He reportedly donated $250,000 to the Brown campaign effort, said to be the “largest single contribution she has received in recent years.”
“The donation comes after Brown, a Democrat, publicly announced support for three pieces of gun control legislation,” the newspaper said at the time, “including a ban of high-capacity ammunition magazines, which the Legislature will consider in 2017. Bloomberg has a history of donating to candidates who support gun control.”
Bloomberg, according to KATU News and the Associated Press on May 9, 2016, also “dropped $250,000 into state Rep. Val Hoyle’s campaign for Oregon secretary of state, raising the stakes in what’s considered the hottest statewide race in Oregon’s May 17 primary.
“Bloomberg is among the nation’s most vocal proponents of gun control,” the report noted. “A spokesman for the New York billionaire, Howard Wolfson, said the donation was prompted by Hoyle’s role in helping pass Oregon’s 2015 gun background-check law.”
On the other side of the country, the Washington Post reported last Oct. 23 that the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund – described as “the political arm of one of the nation’s largest gun control groups” – donated $400,000 to Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, another $300,000 to Attorney General Mark Herring’s re-election campaign and another $100,000 to Justin Fairfax, the Democrat running for the office of Lieutenant Governor in the Old Dominion.
And the newspaper added that this was “on top of an earlier $1 million dollar commitment from the organization bankrolled by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”
This was just a handful of the elections in which Bloomberg thrust his wallet, so when Moms Demand founder Shannon Watts, or any other anti-gunner, complains about gun rights organizations making political contributions, there is another side of that issue.
Bloomberg threatened to spend more than $25 million in 2018 political races, according to a report last year in Politico. That publication also recalled that, “Between Everytown and other avenues that Bloomberg and gun control advocates used, (former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly) Ayotte had roughly $8 million spent against her. Bloomberg spent north of $25 million counting money he put into Senate races and into four state ballot measures on gun control, three of which passed.”
It is educational to read what Jake Novak reported on Feb. 16, writing at CNBC:
“You know how the argument goes. The ‘conventional wisdom’ is the NRA’s heavy spending stops hundreds of politicians from enacting the “common sense” gun control laws they and everyone else would otherwise support.
“There’s only one problem with that theory. It’s all wrong.
“Of course, the NRA does spend money and it does have a sophisticated and persistent messaging operation. But so do dozens of other organizations and causes. So, how does the NRA stack up against them?
“Not too well. The NRA, gun makers, and gun rights issues do not even show up on the OpenSecrets website lists for top lobbying firms, top lobbying sectors, top lobbying issues, or top lobbying industries for the years 1998-2017.”
In the wake of last week’s tragedy in Florida, where 17 students and staffers were slain in a high school shooting, the gun prohibition lobby is working overtime to demagogue any politician who stands in the way of their anti-Second Amendment agenda.
But there is an interesting thing about shining a spotlight on political contributions. The light can expose more than was intended.