Bloomberg Plans $50M Gun Control Network
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he plans to spend $50 million this year on a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling 1 million gun-control supporters to the polls, adding a new dimension to his long-running fight for tighter firearms regulation.
The new organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, plans to mobilize voters to back candidates and ballot measures supporting such causes as enhancing background checks for gun buyers, according to a news release. The group also plans to issue candidate questionnaires and scorecards and form a political action committee.
"This new organization will bring more people into the fight against gun violence, which affects every town in America," Bloomberg said in a statement. The group will look closely at 15 states, including pro-gun states such as Texas, and other states where gun control initiatives have advanced.
The National Rifle Association had no immediate comment Wednesday but said it would respond at its annual meeting next week in Indianapolis.
The billionaire Bloomberg has used a combination of his wealth and his stature as the 12-year mayor of the nation’s biggest city to become perhaps the country’s most formidable gun-control activist.
It’s a cause he cast in dramatic terms in an interview published Tuesday night on The New York Times’ website. Citing his work on gun safety, obesity and curbing smoking, he told the paper - with a smile: "If there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close."