Bloomberg’s Everytown announces initially spending of $1 million on Virginia state races this year

Sep 17, 2017 | Featured

In 2015, Bloomberg spent $2 million just on two state Senate races to flip the control of the Virginia state Senate.  The announcement of a new $1 million only includes initial money directly from Everytown and not the side donations that Bloomberg makes directly to Democrats.  One has to be very careful not to automatically assume that just because Bloomberg has previously not gotten a lot of return to his money that he will be in the same position this time.  Before when he was spending money it was when a Democrat was in the White House, and the party with the Presidency tends to lose seats.  The reverse is true now, so Bloomberg’s tens of millions might begin to show a real pay off.  From the Washington Post:

Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the campaign arm of one of the nation’s biggest gun control groups, announced Thursday that it would spend at least $1 million in Virginia as part of an “initial investment” to elect Democrats in November. 

The fund is donating $450,000 directly to gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam, and spending $250,000 on mailers on his behalf. It’s also giving $300,000 to Attorney General Mark Herring for his re-election bid, as he faces attack advertising from the National Rifle Association.

“We are making this initial investment because Ralph Northam and Mark Herring have been forceful champions for gun violence prevention in Virginia, while their opponents subscribe to a dangerous ‘guns everywhere’ agenda,” Brynne Craig, a senior strategist for Everytown, said in a statement. . . .

What is not appreciated is the truly massive amounts of money that Bloomberg is putting into his push for gun control.  Here is a piece that Dr. Lott had the end of last year on Bloomberg’s direct and indirect spending to support Democrats.

This year, Bloomberg got a background check initiative onto the ballots of Maine and Nevada. He 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, by a factor of six. Bloomberg was responsible for more than 90 percent of the money going to support these ballot measures.

Of course, this doesn’t count all of the studies that Bloomberg has funded to justify the initiatives. And he gives $50 million a year to Everytown for Gun Safety to push for regulations – 2 1/2 times the amount spent by the National Rifle Association on political activities. Gun-control advocates also receive a lot of free, favorable news coverage.

In short, to get close to earning even 50 percent of the vote, gun-control advocates have had to massively outspend their opponents. And sometimes they still fall short.

So much for the continually repeated claim that 80 to 90 percent of Americans favor background checks on private transfers of guns. If this were true, these initiatives would pass in landslides.

Funding also goes to candidates. From 2013 to 2016, Bloomberg donated a total of $48 million to candidates running for federal office. The NRA contributed a measly $2.1 million.

It is hard to keep track of donations for state and local races across the country, but Bloomberg has clearly devoted resources that the NRA can’t even dream of. In 2015, Bloomberg spent $2.2 million on just two Virginia state Senate races. That is vastly more than the NRA was able to spend on any race for the U.S. Congress. In 2014, Bloomberg spent $150,000 in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, an outspoken opponent of gun control. This is more than Clarke and his opponent spent on their own campaigns.

In Minnesota this year, Bloomberg spent what the local media describes as “loads of money” to give Democrats control of the state House so that they could push for background checks on private transfers. Instead, Republicans actually picked up a seat.

Research funding is even more lopsided. . . .