What Bloomberg’s N.R.A. counterweight looks like in action, continued
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's bid to create the gun-control equivalent to the National Rifle Association extends to its electoral tactics.
Politico's Maggie Haberman reported today that "A Mike Bloomberg-funded super PAC is about to surpass $1 million in ads in a House special primary election in Illinois, lambasting former Democratic Rep. Debbie Halvorson over her high marks from the National Rifle Association."
Last election cycle, the mayor's super PAC, Independence USA, spent $10 million opposing anti-gun-control candidates in seven races across the country, an expenditure the billionaire mayor characterized at the time as a mere test run.
"We'll win some races, we'll lose some of these, but it's sort of to get our feet wet," he said, at the time.
The N.R.A. has become so fearsome to elected officials not just because of its large membership, but because of its willingness to pour large amounts of money into negative ads against incumbents and challengers who defy it, as was the case with Richard Lugar, who lost his Senate primary in 2012 to challenger Richard Mourdock in Indiana.
Last year, John Feinblatt, the Bloomberg chief policy adviser who oversees Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told me, "Politicians believe that the N.R.A. is capable of moving an election, either toward them or against them."
He also said the N.R.A. "had not met their match before us."