UPDATE (3:09pm): To find out if your mayor is a member of Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, click HERE.
Editor’s note: For September cover story of TheBlaze Magazine, Kathy Jessup investigated NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun-control group Mayors Against Illegal Guns and what she found was an intertwined group of left-wing groups and financiers and an organization that’s using government resources to fight for the agenda of an anti-gun politician through a non-profit organization.
Kathy reveals that Bloomberg has launched a massive campaign to undermine the Second Amendment and rid America of guns. And he’s using shady connections and taxpayer dollars to do it.
Can he be stopped? Will Americans stand up and say “enough”?
Every issue of TheBlaze Magazine contains exclusive content not found anywhere else — online or in print. The magazine’s stories, research and special reports are reserved for subscribers to the print and/or digital edition.
Below is an excerpt from the September 2013 cover story, “Godfather of Gun Control.” Get the full story ONLY in the newest issue of TheBlaze Magazine.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is entitled to spend his billions to influence America’s gun laws. But in at least a dozen American cities, he’s leveraged the public’s purse to hire municipal employees who lobby on behalf of his Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) group, grow its membership and influence, and tell communities how government should administer the Second Amendment.
More than 900 other American mayors in large and small cities, representing urban centers and rural areas, have signed on to MAIG’s gun-control agenda. In some of those communities, gun-rights organizations attempting to shine a light on MAIG activities say they’ve been stonewalled in obtaining public documents.
And the anti-gun Left hasn’t let crises go to waste.
A menacing mug shot of a “white Hispanic” man stares out from the home page of one Bloomberg gun-control website, OurLivesOurLaws.org. Although a Florida jury found George Zimmerman acted in self-defense in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman’s likeness appears next to the caption, “Tell Washington: Don’t Give Dangerous Vigilantes a Nationwide Free Pass” to carry a concealed weapon. Visitors can sign a petition opposing nationwide concealed-carry reciprocity and make a donation.
Within hours of Martin’s death, the mayor of Aurora, Colo., the site of the July 2012 movie theater shooting, says he was contacted by MAIG and told, “You need to sign up now.” For the third time, Mayor Steve Hogan declined.
“It was tragic. It was horrible. Somebody died. But there was no illegal gun, so why does that mean I have to sign up?” Hogan explained. “To me it was almost a violation of truth in advertising. It wasn’t somebody saying you should join because an illegal gun was used and we need to protect people from being killed by illegal guns. It was rather an effort to recruit me just simply because a gun was involved. If that’s what it is, why isn’t the name something other than Mayors Against Illegal Guns?”
Bloomberg minions created a “condolence” website within hours of a February 2012 Ohio school shooting. But signers who believed they were leaving only sympathy messages for three slain students later discovered their email contacts were forwarded to organizations that would use them to deliver anti-gun messages and solicit donations.
The upper echelon of Bloomberg’s NYC taxpayer-funded mayoral staff heads the work of MAIG, creating and managing its websites, churning out press releases, traveling on the city’s dime and using city government office space to organize a nationwide gun-control campaign. Taxpayers even sent a top Bloomberg aide to lobby Nevada state lawmakers on that state’s background-check bill.
Bloomberg’s myriad of tax-exempt, anti-gun advocacy and fund-raising groups makes it difficult to follow the money. But campaign finance records show he has nearly single-handedly funded a political action committee to elect pro-gun-control politicians in state houses and Congress and to defeat incumbents—both Democrats and Republicans—who oppose tighter gun restrictions.
Money from Bloomberg and from Chicago’s Joyce Foundation, a powerhouse, anti-gun organization where Barack Obama once served on the board, extends gun politics into education and faith.
It was no coincidence that a month after the Sandy Hook tragedy the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health—a 2012 Joyce Foundation gun-violence grant recipient that’s named for its largest alumni benefactor—hosted a high-profile, hastily arranged gun-policy conference.
And in 2012, the Joyce Foundation contributed to Bloomberg-backed groups and gave more than $225,000 to two faith-based organizations with gun-control agendas: PICO National Network, a California-based leftist advocacy group, and St. Sabina, the Chicago Catholic parish headed by radical priest the Rev. Fr. Michael Pfleger who said he prayed for Zimmerman’s conviction and likened Martin to 1955 civil rights martyr Emmett Till.
Unlike many conservative groups, MAIG’s tax-exempt status application didn’t experience months or years of IRS stonewalling. Documents show the IRS’ Cincinnati office took only 42 days to authorize MAIG’s 2007 request for its 501(c)(4) status.
Familiar liberal organizations—Center for American Progress, Progress Now and New Venture Fund—have received money from MAIG and its offshoots. Donations from Bloomberg and major liberal financiers including George Soros to grant-making foundations like Joyce and Tides appear to impact the efforts of recipients such as Media Matters.
In 2010, Bloomberg Philanthropies donated $2 million to the Joyce Foundation and Joyce gave $400,000 to Media Matters “to support a gun and public safety issue initiative.” The number of Media Matters’ headlines critical of the National Rifle Association went from zero in 2008 to a dozen in the month of May 2010 alone.
PULLING THE ALPHABET STRINGS
Mayors Against Illegal Guns is the tip of an iceberg of intertwined gun-control advocacy groups. Pull one thread, and it’s connected to dozens of other funds, councils, centers and PACs. [...]
… Websites and IRS reports reveal at least 24 organizations are linked to or receive funding from Bloomberg’s deep pockets, raising questions about whether the plethora of pro-gun-control organizations is really that numerous or simply an expansive façade controlled by a handful of moneyed donors and activists.
MAIG is Bloomberg’s most visible advocacy group, created in April 2006 with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to push for “commonsense reforms that control the flow of illegal guns into our cities and towns.”
But its mission is demonstrably broader. [...]
PICKING THE PUBLIC’S POCKETS
Bloomberg can use his personal fortune to back or attack political issues. But the line blurs when a New York City-paid government employee is sent to Nevada to lobby for a gun-control bill there or when the city finances gun purchase “sting” operations in other states. Besides operating MAIG’s websites, the New York Post reports MAIG staff works on the ninth floor of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services.
It doesn’t stop there. TheBlaze has identified at least …
Read the full exposé only in the pages of the September issue of TheBlaze magazine. We have much more on how Bloomberg is taking tax dollars for his purposes. Plus, we’ve seen the emails exchanged among Bloomberg’s mayoral staff and gun-control groups that provide proof of an agenda to capitalize on crises. And of course, there’s the politics in all of this — so you know Bloomberg’s non-profit is going to be fighting the re-election of anyone who has crossed them. Perhaps most insidious — outside of gutting the Second Amendment — is that Bloomberg’s gun-control initiatives have blurred the boundaries between public and private, between political freedom and manipulation. And pro-gun groups have hit expensive and unwavering walls when they try to use sunshine laws to make the boundaries clear.