By Larry Keane
Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control group bankrolled by billionaire presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, is treading lightly with their benefactor.
Everytown distanced itself from Bloomberg’s recently surfaced comments about his “stop and frisk” program he supervised as the New York City mayor. He said at a 2015 Aspen Institute appearance, “Ninety-five percent of your murders and murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description and Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities 15 to 25.”
Bloomberg added, “That’s true in New York. That’s true in virtually every city in America. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed.”
That leak got Bloomberg all sorts of news coverage, and not the kind he wanted. He’s under fire in news media and #Bloombergisracist was trending on Twitter. It’s also got Everytown sidestepping the guy who foots the bill. Everytown told media it is independent of Bloomberg. But that’s hardly true.
Money Buys Friends
Bloomberg founded the group. He sits on the board. He’s the national chair. He started the group with $50 million in seed money and has since opened the spigot to an unending cash flow that the group admits still provides nearly a third of its $35 million annual operating budget. He combined his Moms Demand Action and failed Mayors Against Illegal Guns into the burgeoning gun control machine. Bloomberg’s money paid for Everytown’s $2.5 million money dump into Virginia to flip the General Assembly blue for gun control. The Commonwealth’s politicians are mostly delivering on the down payment by passing unprecedented gun control. He was only stymied when the state Senate Judiciary Committee voted down HB 961, which would have banned a wide swath of modern sporting rifles, shotguns and handguns and criminalized the possession of standard capacity magazines.
SEE ALSO: Delaware Senator Refuses to Apologize for Saying Gun Control Could Cause Another Holocaust
Bloomberg’s hardly been covert about his goals. He spent more than $100 million for Democrats to take control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. He’s spent $268 million on his three campaigns, where he got New York City to change laws to give him a third term and made $23 million in campaign contributions to others. Last year, he pledged $500 million to unseat President Donald Trump.
2020 Gun Control Buy
Less than a month ago, Everytown pledged $60 million of Bloomberg’s cash targeting congressional and gubernatorial races in Colorado, North Carolina and Arizona, among other states. Moms Demand Action, a gun control companion organization also founded and funded by Bloomberg, refused to say what portion of those funds would be directed by former New York City mayor himself. Everytown pledged $250,000 each for gun control in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, North Carolina and Iowa.
Bloomberg dropped a cool $10 million for a gun control ad during the Superbowl, that drew on misleading statistics from Everytown to further his gun grabbing agenda. He’s promised to spend $1 billion dollars to defeat President Trump and he’s already spent almost $400 million on his effort to buy the Democratic nomination for president.
Turning a back to that kind of money is turning out to be a tough decision for Everytown. Bloomberg’s $62 billion fortune is too much for Everytown to walk away.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.