Bloomberg's Astroturf Mayors
October 3, 2013
This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell was published on October 1, 2013 on The Daily Caller website.
By now, you’d think Michael Bloomberg would have learned his lesson.
The out-of-touch New York City mayor has lately made it his business to be in everyone else’s business—whether that means trying to decide for New York residents what they are allowed to eat or drink, or trying to tell people from other states what to think of their elected officials.
More often than not, however, Mayor Bloomberg’s overreaches have been repelled. The courts struck down Bloomberg’s ban on large sodas. Notable Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, from Bloomberg’s home state, is on the record as saying he thought Bloomberg’s ads trying to push red state Democrats into supporting gun control were “not going to be effective.”
But despite these rebukes, Bloomberg remains unfazed. He has found yet another group of people he knows better than, and is making sure they know about it. This time his target is the people of Ohio and our senator, Rob Portman. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization that essentially serves to allow Bloomberg to advance his own agenda through folks he regards as puppets, recently sent a letter to Portman to try and strongarm him into turning his back on the Second Amendment rights that Ohioans elected him to preserve.
There are plenty of reasons for pause when Mayors Against Illegal Guns becomes involved in an issue. After all, it is the same group that included Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and California cop killer Christopher Dorner on a list of recent victims of gun violence. Moreover, it is a group whose extreme positions extend far beyond what many members signed up for. Bloomberg’s group has lost dozens of members throughout the year as more and more member mayors have realized that Bloomberg is advocating for far more restrictive proposals than simply keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
Mayor of Rockford Illinois Larry Morrissey quit, saying, “The reason I joined the group in the first place is because I took the name for what it said: against illegal guns. … As the original mission swayed, that’s when I decided it was no longer in line with my beliefs.”
Donnalee Lozeau, the mayor of Nashua, N.H., pulled out of the group, disgusted by its playing politics with the gun issue by attacking Sen. Kelly Ayotte. “I simply cannot be a part of an organization that chooses [to attack] instead of cooperatively working with those that have proven over a lifetime of work their true intentions,” Lozeau told the Nashua Telegraph.
Then there’s the case of Wichita, Kan. Mayor Carl Brewer. When questioned about his listed involvement in Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Brewer said he did not even remember joining Mayors Against Illegal Guns in the first place. “I remember that the chief didn’t support it, and I don’t think we actually signed up,” Brewer told the Wichita Eagle.
Given the dubious track record that Mayors Against Illegal Guns has established in just the last few months, it is not out of the question to wonder just how many of the mayors that “signed” the letter sent to Sen. Portman actually knew of or supported the letter in the first place, and how many were simply used as unknowing pawns by Bloomberg in his ongoing quest to intrude into average Americans’ daily lives by curtailing their rights.
Bloomberg has shown time and again his lack of regard for the average American. He will stop at nothing to impose his totalitarian vision for the country on ordinary people, whether that means telling them what they can eat, or how they can exercise their Constitutional rights to protect their family. One thing is certain: If there is one person who has the best interests of Ohioans at heart, it is Ohio’s Senator Portman, not New York’s Mayor Bloomberg.