Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Poltical Report: Bullying Bloomberg’s Bubble Gets Burst

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

POLITICAL REPORT

CHRIS COX, NRA-ILA Executive Director

Bullying Bloomberg's Bubble Gets Burst

Congratulations are due once again to you and your fellow NRA members. When New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg came to Washington, D.C. in an all-out effort to strip the Tiahrt Amendment from a government spending bill, you handed him a crash course in civics--and civility.

Bloomberg is fixated on undermining the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, and then pushing forward with a new round of baseless lawsuits against the firearm industry and perhaps even against you--the industry's customers. But to do so, he must first eliminate the privacy protections of the Tiahrt Amendment, which prohibit fishing expeditions into the sensitive trace data maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (batfe).

Bloomberg was not troubled by the vehement law enforcement opposition to his position. Both batfe and the Fraternal Order of Police (fop), the nation's single largest group of rank-and-file officers, wrote letters to Congress to express their deep opposition to the mayor's gambit. Bloomberg responded by calling the fop a "fringe group."

Bloomberg fell victim to the tunnel vision of a politician from a big city who bounces back and forth between the coasts.

Bloomberg instead relied upon the only way he knows to win political battles--by buying the outcome. His campaign for mayor was one of the most expensive in history, with more than $90 spent per vote.

So he went about trying to buy the outcome of the vote in Congress by spending vast sums on advertising in the home districts of key lawmakers. His ads painted his targeted law-makers as anti-law enforcement, despite the clear positions of both fop and batfe. Some stations refused to air the ads because they were clearly deceptive, but others gladly took the money and ran the ads. Bloomberg threatened to run these ads against other lawmakers as well.

Bloomberg must have figured he had the battle won in a cinch. He had rallied 200 other big-city mayors to his cause, he had paid for blanket advertising in support of his position and the anti-gun national media was parroting his talking points in editorials and articles. To a slick city politician, the formula must have seemed unbeatable.

But, as Bloomberg would soon learn, that's not what wins votes in Congress. Bloomberg fell victim to the tunnel vision of a politician from a big city who bounces back and forth between the coasts. Bloomberg's website proudly displays a map of mayors who support his campaign, and it brings to mind the boys and girls at a junior high dance--clusters huddled on both coasts and only a few specks coloring the vast distance in between. But the vast "fly-over" country above which Bloomberg speeds in his private jet holds more than farmland and wildlife--it holds voters, and lots of them. And the 535 hardworking men and women of the U.S. Congress care far more deeply about the opinions of voters in their states than about orders and threats barked by a big city mayor from half a continent away.

In the Senate, Bloomberg thought he had made progress. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., gladly stripped the Tiahrt language from the spending bill that originated in the subcommittee she chairs.

But other opinions awaited Bloomberg in the full Senate Appropriations Committee, where Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., offered an amendment to not only reinstate the Tiahrt language, but to strengthen it considerably. Shelby's amendment passed with broad bipartisan support. Bloomberg's allies, Sens. Lautenberg, d-n.j., and Feinstein, d-Calif., mounted a last-ditch effort to gut the Shelby language, but this, too, was rejected by the committee.

In the House, the Tiahrt language survived through subcommittee, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Chairman Alan Mollohan, D-W.V. But Bloomberg's henchmen lay in wait in the full House Appropriations Committee. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., led the charge with a provision to delete the Tiahrt language entirely. The day before the committee meeting, Moran predicted he was within one vote of victory, but after hours of fierce debate, his amendment was defeated on a routine voice vote. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., followed up with an amendment painted as a "compromise," but it would have made trace data available to anyone simply for the asking. His amendment was defeated by a bipartisan vote of 40-26.

Bloomberg issued his typical condemnations of Congress, saying in a statement, "Today's vote by the House Appropriations Committee is a profound disappointment. It shows that Congress is out of step with the bipartisan coalition of mayors, police chiefs and other Americans from all over the country that united behind a common-sense issue."

But House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, D-Wisc., had a different take. He made a public statement for the record in the committee hearing, saying, "The mayor's staff came into my office, and rather than discuss the merits, they simply did what so many bullies do . . . they threatened to run ads in my district if I didn't bow to their wishes," according to a committee transcript. "I don't react very well to bullying, and I don't react very well to threats," Obey said.

So the lesson for Bloomberg has several facets. Threats and bullying do not make friends and influence people on Capitol Hill. In fact, they do quite the opposite. And the editorial opinions of the national media also mean little to most members of Congress. The Washington Post and The New York Times don't vote in elections. Lawmakers are far more interested in the opinions expressed by their hometown papers, and even more so in the opinions of constituents and voters in their district.

We have long known and practiced the truth. The grassroots support of millions of Americans means everything. When those Americans are concerned about an issue, willing to speak their mind politely to their lawmakers and-- most importantly--make voting decisions based on that issue, politicians will listen.

And if, indeed, Bloomberg runs for president as an independent, we may get a chance to teach him this truth directly.

TRENDING NOW
Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Round Two: Gun Rights Groups Prevail (Again) in Second Challenge to Firearm Restrictions in Delaware’s State Parks, Forests

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Round Two: Gun Rights Groups Prevail (Again) in Second Challenge to Firearm Restrictions in Delaware’s State Parks, Forests

Gun rights groups, including the NRA’s Delaware affiliate, the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, scored an encore legal victory this week when the Superior Court of the State of Delaware invalidated parts of newly promulgated regulations ...

Jamie Lee Curtis “Proves” She is Not Anti-gun by Stating her Support for Banning Guns?!?!

News  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Jamie Lee Curtis “Proves” She is Not Anti-gun by Stating her Support for Banning Guns?!?!

Actors and actresses should generally stick to what they know best; repeating the lines others have written for them. Jamie Lee Curtis recently decided to try to explain, in her own words, how much she ...

Who’s BS’ing Now? Gonzalez Argues for Gun Confiscation but Insists She’s “Pro Second Amendment”

News  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Who’s BS’ing Now? Gonzalez Argues for Gun Confiscation but Insists She’s “Pro Second Amendment”

Gun control advocates are constantly looking for the right messenger to push an agenda that boils down to law-abiding Americans giving up their freedoms, their security, and their property without expectation of affecting the behavior ...

Senator from Tennessee or Times Square? Bloomberg Hosts Manhattan Fundraiser for Phil Bredesen

News  

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Senator from Tennessee or Times Square? Bloomberg Hosts Manhattan Fundraiser for Phil Bredesen

Is Phil Bredesen running for U.S. Senate to represent Memphis or Manhattan? Rocky Top or Rockefeller Center? Appalachia or the Big Apple? Tennessee voters might wonder after billionaire gun control financier and former-New York City ...

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

Anti-gun Researcher Refutes His Own Anti-gun Conclusion

News  

Friday, October 5, 2018

Anti-gun Researcher Refutes His Own Anti-gun Conclusion

Doctor Garen Wintemute’s latest contribution to “the prevention of firearm violence” comes in the form of a Perspective column published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Wintemute, you may recall, is the Director of ...

Bloomberg Finds Home in Today’s Democratic Party

News  

Friday, October 12, 2018

Bloomberg Finds Home in Today’s Democratic Party

In what observers have pegged as a preparatory step for a presidential run in 2020, on October 10 billionaire gun control financier and former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg registered as a Democrat. Bloomberg ran as ...

Don’t Let Your State’s Governor Mansion Become a Gun-Free Home

News  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Don’t Let Your State’s Governor Mansion Become a Gun-Free Home

While Congressional elections will likely get the lion’s share of media coverage leading up to November 6, gun owners know that threats to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms do not only emanate from ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.