‘Weaponized Wealth’: Bloomberg Group to Spend $60M on Elections

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Post by NHGF [Feed] » Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:23 pm

ImageMichael Bloomberg's lobbying group Everytown for Gun Safety will pump at least $60 million into the 2020 election cycle to help anti-gun candidates, according to published reports.U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety will spend “at least $60 million in the 2020 election,” according to The Hill, in what is shaping up as an effort to buy Congress and perhaps even the Constitution, with a focus on 13 states. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, has already spent millions of dollars launching his own bid to replace President Donald Trump. His campaign focuses on gun control as a major issue, a fact underscored by a statement from Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action and a chief Bloomberg surrogate. “The gun safety movement has never been stronger,” Watts asserted. “We have millions of supporters, and we are going to seize the moment. We are going to compete at every level.” “This massive 2020 effort is fueled by a combination of financial resources, unprecedented grassroots power and a consensus among more than 90 percent of Americans across party lines that we need action now to reduce gun violence,” Watts stated. In 2016, according to The Hour, the National Rifle Association spent $54.4 million on advertising, but ever since, NRA has been “outspent in smaller contests, including the 2019 state elections in Virginia.” One look at headlines in Ammoland News lately has shown how that worked out. Virginia is now in the hands of anti-gun Democrat lawmakers, and the gun prohibition lobby has set its sights on Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, according to a report in Tasnim News, an Iran-based news agency. The NRA, said spokeswoman Amy Hunter—quoted by The Hour—will be “very active in 2020, as we are in every election cycle.” “Unlike Michael Bloomberg,” Hunter said, “the NRA won't be pouring billions into the radical groups that are conspiring to steal freedom from other Americans. Our activities in 2020 will be smart, strategic, and reflective of the passion of our members, who turn out to vote. Our opponents cannot say the same.” But can the NRA deliver? American gun owners who have long depended upon the NRA to fight their battles—even when they sometimes don’t bother to vote—better hope so. As The Hour noted, the big anti-gun budget “is meant to send a statement about the growing power of the gun regulation movement,” while NRA is “struggling with a governance crisis.” For example, in Colorado—one of the states reportedly being targeted by Bloomberg—the Colorado Sun is reporting, “Ahead of his White House bid, the former New York mayor and billionaire businessman contributed at least $6 million to Colorado political campaigns in the past decade, funded major outside advocacy efforts and gifted millions more through philanthropy… “A handful of donations boosted local school board candidates,” the report added. “Other big checks helped elect the current Democratic legislative majority. Two cities — Fort Collins and Denver — received millions respectively to improve energy efficiency and address climate change.” This only confirms what Watts said about competing “at every level.” And to erase any doubts about where Bloomberg’s effort is focused, the newspaper noted, “The bulk of Bloomberg’s money in Colorado went toward advocacy for tougher gun regulations and like-minded candidates — and then, protecting those politicians from recall threats. The defense of Democrats on the issue of guns is what the campaign wanted to emphasize to voters in its first canvassing effort Saturday.” The turnout of an estimated 22,000 gun owners in Richmond, Virginia to rally for gun rights does signal an increased activism, but can gun owners maintain that momentum and build on it into November? Can they raise the tens of millions of dollars necessary to support pro-Second Amendment candidates “at all levels” where Watts and her allies will apparently be engaged? This includes congressional battles and state legislative races, all of which will unfold this year. Trump and the GOP want to flip the U.S. House back to Republican control, but with Bloomberg’s group vowing to pour fortunes into the 2020 races, the outcome will depend upon often-lethargic gun owners getting involved enough to vote. As Pericles, the ancient Greek philosopher, purportedly observed, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.” According to history, he also said something else American gun owners should remember: “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” Following the Jan. 20 rally in Richmond, Virginia Democrats continued pushing the gun control agenda of Gov. Ralph Northam, almost as though they were telling gun owners who’s in charge. With Democrat majorities also in Washington, Oregon and California, New Jersey and other states, what those legislatures do over the next eight to ten weeks will provide a strong indication of what they have planned if they capture Capitol Hill and the White House. Back in November, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a national grassroots organization, said this about Bloomberg: “For years, Bloomberg has treated the constitutionally-protected Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens like they are a regulated privilege. He’s weaponized his vast wealth to erode those rights in every corner of the country by supporting anti-rights initiatives and anti-gun politicians. He has waged a war on people who have committed no crimes, harmed nobody and merely wish to be left alone to mind their own business. To protect our guns and 15 round magazines, we need to ban Bloomberg’s billion round checkbook before he assaults our Second Amendment with it.” That assault now appears to be in high gear. About Dave WorkmanImage Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.