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MAIG documents suggest misuse of public funds, conflict with Brady Campaign

Were NYC taxpayer resources used to advance billionaire Bloomberg's agenda?
Were NYC taxpayer resources used to advance billionaire Bloomberg's agenda?
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A public records lawsuit filed by the conservative educational foundation Judicial Watch has obtained documents and emails suggesting taxpayer-funded activities were performed by New York City employees to the benefit of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman reported Friday, adding that these records had also been sought by the Second Amendment Foundation in coordination with nationally-syndicated radio host Tom Gresham.

SAF had called for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to open an investigation in June of last year when it was revealed that “Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) website is registered to a New York City government server and apparently administered by city employees.”

The over-500 pages of documents, sent to Judicial Watch on December 20 under the signature of NYC Deputy Records Officer Sami Naim, were reported on earlier this week by The Blaze, which distilled their content into “the five most interesting things” to include two which this column finds most noteworthy: the lack of separation between City Hall and MAIG, and how the Bloomberg Machine is steamrolling over the other “gun control” groups, notably the Brady Campaign, to render them irrelevant to what the former mayor intends to do.

Possible misuse of public employees, facilities and funds is of special interest, as not only might that open up the potential for civil and even criminal actions, but that it’s not the first time the anti-gunners have found themselves in hot water over such arrangements. San Francisco General Hospital became a center of controversy in 2001 when it was revealed they had provided office space rent free to the Million Mom March.

This correspondent was working with Connecticut gun rights advocate Matt Malecot on one aspect of the MAIG/New York City nexus back in August. He had uncovered that a management-level employee working in the Office of the Mayor had also identified herself as leader in the Moms Demand Action New York chapter. This column’s investigation did not go forward at that time to keep from unintentionally stepping on toes in the SAF effort, but there is new significance to reopening and expanding inquiries now. MAIG had not yet merged with MDA at the time the information requests were filed, and the question of whether city facilities, assets, personnel and clock time were used to work on the Moms’ group operations and activities, in addition to MAIG’s, merits being looked into. Such an audit should include as many other personnel as may have been involved, along with relevant phone records, emails and time reporting, if applicable.

Of interest would be if political advocacy posts on social media coincided with working hours, suggested by a preliminary investigation. Also audit-worthy: If any New York City facilities, resources or personnel were used in MAIG’s expansion into the states with its formation of lobbying action groups.

The other noteworthy revelation, at least to this correspondent, is that MAIG was not only pleased to have edged out the Brady Campaign as the major force to be reckoned with when it comes to political and media influence, but that Bloomberg had unilaterally (although not unpredictably) assumed the mantle of supreme commander. This came through loud and clear in an exchange on just who had claim to the use of celebrities that resulted in the “PSA” where various famous entertainers “demanded a plan” (rather brilliantly exposed for hypocrisy in a video showing the same media luminaries profiting from "gunplay").

“If true that you are attempting to intervene in the work we are doing with celebrities on Demand A Plan and drive them toward Brady: don’t,” MAIG Executive Director Mark Glaze told Brady Campaign President Dan Gross in no uncertain terms via email.

To be clear, that was not a request. That was an order.

That’s the way Mike Bloomberg does things. And he’s used to being obeyed.

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