This year, Bloomberg got a background check initiative onto the ballots of Maine and Nevada. Given the supposed 90% support in polls for universal background checks and the massive financial support provided by Bloomberg, one would think that these initiatives in states such as Nevada and Maine would be slam dunks. Yet, Bloomberg lost in Maine by 4 percent, and won in Nevada by just 0.8 percent. Bloomberg’s initiative only eked out the win in Nevada because of the $20 million spent to support it, amounting to an incredible $35.30 per vote. He outspent his opponents by a factor of three – in Maine, the $8 million he spent outdid the other side by a factor of six. Bloomberg was responsible for more than 90 percent of the money going to support these ballot measures.
Now it turns out that “an error” in how the Nevada initiative was written that will prevent it from taking effect. But it really probably wasn’t an error since the issue is who would pay for these background checks. The initiative just assumed that the federal government would pay for it though even the Obama administration has made it clear that the states have to pay for this. Correcting this “error” in the original initiative so that the state would pick up the cost means that Bloomberg would likely have lost the vote in Nevada. This error was just one example of how poorly word this complicated initiative was. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
A new Nevada law requiring background checks for private party gun sales was deemed unenforceable Wednesday, days before it was to take effect because the FBI refuses to conduct them and the state lacks authority to do so.
The opinion issued by the office of Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt left gun enthusiasts elated and proponents of background checks reeling from the blow of another setback — the second since 2013 when a bill requiring universal screenings was passed by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Backers are now turning their sights to the 2017 Legislature, while others expressed hope that the state and FBI can work out a compromise.
Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said the Senate “will consider legislative solutions this session to ensure that Nevada law is enforced.” The Legislature convenes Feb. 6. . . .
Thus $28 million was spent by Bloomberg on two initiatives this year and neither got enacted.