INDIANAPOLIS — Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has resigned from Michael I. Bloomberg’s new gun control group, delivering a setback for the former New York City Mayor soon after he announced that he plans to spend $50 million on efforts associated with the group and this year’s midterm elections.
Through a spokesman, Mr. Ridge, the Homeland Security Secretary under President George W. Bush, told the Daily Caller that he’s uncomfortable with the planned political activity of the group, which is called “Everytown for Gun Safety.”
It combined Mr. Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a grassroots campaign that developed in response to the Newtown, Conn. school shootings in Decembr 2012.
“When I signed on as an adviser to Everytown, I looked forward to a thoughtful and provocative discussion about the toll gun violence takes on Americans,” Mr. Ridge said. “After consultation with Everytown, I have decided that I am uncomfortable with their expected electoral work.”
Speaker after speaker at the NRA’s annual meeting this weekend has invoked Mr. Bloomberg’s name to fire up the tens of thousands of members gathered in Indianapolis. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, for example, said Friday that people like Mr. Bloomberg and Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. “do not in fact believe in the Second Amendment at all.”
Everytown released a 30-second ad Friday targeting the NRA, which swiftly responded with a video of its own slamming Mr. Bloomberg.
“Our organization represents the views of the majority of Americans who support reasonable laws to keep families safe,” the group said in a statement to The New York Times. “When necessary, that will mean taking on the gun lobby in state capitols and at the ballot box.”