Today’s Washington Post carries a story about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s political spending to influence the gubernatorial race in Virginia and it should be a signal to Washington gun owners that big money is a serious threat to their rights.
This comes as sources have advised Examiner that Monday’s Medina money-fest for high rollers supporting Initiative 594, the 15-page gun control measure, raked in more than $155,000. This is on top of the more than $1 million already raised to push the initiative, of which more than $997,000 has already been spent, according to reports posted by the Public Disclosure Commission, and reported by this column.
The Post story quoted an e-mail sent around by Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. In it, he cautioned, “New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to bring gun control to Virginia so badly he can taste it and has just given the Terry McAuliffe Campaign 1.1 million dollars for ads to do so.”
Faced with the ominous prospect of waging a bare-knuckles political battle, gun rights activists have launched an appeal to firearms owners to start opening their wallets and checkbooks, as this column reported earlier.
The current high-dollar encounters involving Bloomberg’s money have involved Colorado, where he lost, and now Virginia, where he hopes to buy the governor’s race for anti-gun Democrat Terry McAuliffe against Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who is trailing in the polls. Advertising has portrayed Cuccinelli as an extremist in bed with the National Rifle Association. The NRA has spent a chunk of money, too, but it doesn’t rival the $1.2 million that Bloomberg’s super PAC has reportedly invested, perhaps with expectations that McAuliffe will dance to Bloomberg’s gun control tune if elected. NRA’s advertising has reportedly been less than half of what Bloomberg is spending.
When billionaires invest small fortunes in political races, they must expect something in return. McAuliffe is a known anti-gunner from the Bill and Hillary Clinton camp, and many Virginians also consider him a carpetbagger.
Neither Bloomberg nor the NRA have reportedly kicked in any money in the dueling initiatives effort here in Washington. Understandably, NRA has its hands full while Bloomberg’s bank account is far from empty.
When the soon-to-be-ex-New York mayor finally does get around to Washington, gun owners here may have to do most of the fighting – and fund raising – on their own, and so far, no well-heeled pro-rights benefactor has stepped forward with a boatload of loot to offset what elitists have already managed to raise.