Bloomberg Allies to Target Gun Shows with Big Bucks Lobbying Campaign
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has targeted Pennsylvania gun owners for the last few years, but he is spreading his wealth around to try and shut down all gun shows in the country. His allies in Pennsylvania have signed on to help with this “lobbying blitz” targeting Congress.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D), is expected today to unveil a lobbying blitz to prod Congress to approve legislation that would require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows.
The group will launch a six-figure media campaign that includes both national cable and selected state advertising spots as well as an online petition drive.
“The truth is the conventional wisdom is just wrong that you can’t do a gun issue,” said John Feinblatt, Bloomberg’s chief adviser for policy and strategic planning.
Six figures isn’t a huge sum for a national campaign, but it is a threat. The ads are targeted against senators in Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado. It shows that Bloomberg is willing to dump serious money into the issue in order to move the ball forward. NRA is very very good at playing the lobby and electioneering game. They are much less adept at media campaigns to shape public opinion. That’s always been the other side’s core strength against us.
In Pennsylvania, his allies are looking to take his campaign to a bigger stage. Bethlehem’s John Callahan is running for Congress on his record of trying to bring New York-style gun control to Pennsylvania. Here at home, he has worked closely with the Brady Campaign to try and end preemption across the Commonwealth. In the Northeast corner of the state, Bloomberg & Brady buddy Tom Leighton of Wilkes-Barre has joined their efforts that will shut down gun shows around the state and is trying to take that support to the state Senate.
In addition, there was a story last week about MAIG looking to hire an Ohio coalition coordinator with a $75,000 grant, much like Max Nacheman here in Pennsylvania. This is not good news for Ohio activists.