- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
CHUMLEY: NYC Mayor Bloomberg commands impressive, nationwide attack on 2nd Amendment
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is to the Second Amendment what billionaire investor George Soros is to the free market: A resounding death knell.
Recall Soros, in 2009, when he announced a $50 million campaign, complete with creation of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, to reform teachings about the economy so that the free market was painted as a failed experiment.
Now fast-forward to 2013, and here comes New York City’s Bloomberg, with an estimated net worth of $25 billion and similarly lofty goals aimed at dismantling another of America’s cherished principles — this one, the right to keep and bear arms.
His approach is multi-tiered.
Bloomberg created Independence USA PAC in late 2012 to “support candidates and causes that will help protect Americans from the scourge of gun violence, improve our schools, and advance our freedoms,” he said, on the PAC website. And he’s putting his money where his mouth is. The PAC records eight donations in October and November 2012 for a total receipt of $10.04 million — all contributed by Bloomberg, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Gun control has become a main focus; the PAC just paid $2 million for anti-gun advertisements in Chicago, where the race for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s House seat has entered high gear.
“I happen to have some money, and that’s what I’m going to do with my money — try to get us some sensible gun laws,” Bloomberg said, in a widely reported statement in which he expressed anger at the National Rifle Association’s influence with legislators.
But that’s only a drop in the bucket of the mayor’s campaign against guns. And the most open one.
Bloomberg created the Mayors Against Illegal Guns in April 2006 to fight for “common-sense reforms that combat the flow of illegal guns into our cities and towns,” according to the mission statement on the nonprofit’s website. Since, the group’s membership has grown to “more than 850 mayors from 44 states,” the website touts. Yet few of these members back their membership with financial contributions. Nearly all of the $3.38 million donations to the group’s fundraising arm, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, reported for the period of January 2011 to August 2012 came from one source: Bloomberg.
A Form 9 filing with the Federal Election Commission for this time period highlights: Of the 76 recorded donations to the Fund for this 2011-12 time frame, Bloomberg made 66 of them. The remaining 10 donations were made by six different individuals. So does the Mayors Against Illegal Guns mission truly represent the will of mayors around the nation — or are they more silent partners, jumping aboard a feel-good mission for political capital, or out of public relations pressure?
The key players for this Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund are all Bloomberg pals, too. The Form 9, prepared by Arkadi Gerney, lists two names as the main controllers of the group: Richard DeScherer and Diane Gubelli. Gubelli is the treasurer of the Independence USA Pac that Bloomberg chairs. Gerney is a senior fellow at the leftist Center for American Progress who focuses on crime and gun policy — and a former first deputy in Bloomberg’s mayor office, focusing on criminal justice. And DeScherer — he’s not only the chief legal officer of Bloomberg L.P., and a partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, who brought aboard Bloomberg as a long-standing client. But he’s also the vice president and director of another of Bloomberg’s anti-gun nonprofits — United Against Illegal Guns Support Fund.
This is an interesting group, with even more interesting ties to Bloomberg.
Joining DeScherer on the board of directors is John Feinblatt, who serves as president, and Ed Skyler, as treasurer. Feinblatt’s full-time job is as chief advisor of policy and strategy for Bloomberg in the office of the mayor. Skyler, meanwhile, is a former deputy mayor for operations in New York City and — along with Hillary Clinton — one of Bloomberg’s rumored top choices for candidacy in the upcoming mayoral elections.
But the group’s mission is most enlightening: It works, in part, to uphold the agenda of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group. And it does so in ingenious fashion. Form 990 filings posted by Guidestar.org for 2010, the latest date available, reveal that the group spent tens of thousands of dollars “to hire a city coordinator to act as regional point person for all the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition” in various municipalities around the nation.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He's a 'scumbag'
- Google floats new contact lens to help blind cross street
- Bill Clinton falls off vegan diet wagon — but not vegan label
- Army treads toward taking some Marine attack helicopter duties
- N.H. Democrat calls for end to anti-adultery law
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Donald Rumsfeld has 'no idea' if he paid taxes correctly
- Wal-Mart forced to apologize for 'mistake' favoring English-speaking shoppers
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes