November 14, 2012
By Robert W. Hunnicutt
Billionaire businessman and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has moved his political ambitions to a larger stage, according to the Washington Post.
Bloomberg is using his huge personal fortune to target Congressional races in widespread parts of the county, disbursing $9 million in the last 10 days of the recent election. "This is just the beginning," said Howard Wolfson, a top aide to Bloomberg who ran Independence USA, a super PAC through which Bloomberg doled out some of his fortune. "On issues like guns and education, Mike Bloomberg is poised to play an even bigger role in advancing a mainstream agenda and influencing elections."
The Post reported that $3.3 million in Bloomberg spending doomed NRA A-rated Rep. Joe Baca (R-Calif.), who lost to a Democratic candidate who raised less than 6% of that sum herself. Certain other Bloomberg expenditures failed to pay off so well, but the idea of being in the billionaire bully's sights is going to give pause to many a wavering candidate.
Those of us who've been in the trade for many years have long feared a super-rich anti-gun Dr. Evil type, and George Soros was long thought the best candidate for the role. But Soros has a lot of axes to grind, notably drug legalization. Probably no U.S. politician has been as adamantly anti-gun as Bloomberg, and it appears, sadly, he won't be fading out of view anytime soon.
This sort of long-distance sniper fire at Congressional and lower-office candidates was pioneered by super-rich homosexuals, who have injected large sums into races as far down as state assembly and senate contests, with the idea of short-circuiting the careers of promising conservative politicians early on, before they can become prominent. Relatively small contributions (by national standards) can be decisive in, say, a state senate race in Nebraska.
Campaign finance reform has typically been a liberal hobbyhorse, with the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson cast in the Dr. Evil role. But with Bloomberg turning his billions against the Second Amendment, the shoe is on the other foot. If billionaires of whatever stripe can buy elections, we are well down the road to being a big Guatemala.
What to do? Hard to say, but you can always patronize SGN advertiser and Bloomberg tormentor Steve Lauer, who offers a "Bloomberg collection" of colors and patterns in his DuraCoat line.