Turning the tables: Bloomberg's gun control group creates scorecard
April 9th, 2013
08:53 AM ET
1 year ago

Turning the tables: Bloomberg's gun control group creates scorecard

(CNN) – The National Rifle Association is famous for its scorecard that gives lawmakers a letter grade based on their votes against gun restrictions.

Now, Mayors Against Illegal Guns–a group battling the NRA in the recent gun control debate–is using their opponent's tactic against them, creating their own grading system for lawmakers, some of them facing re-election next year.

Mark Glaze, director of the mayors group, which is co-chaired by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and includes more than 900 mayors, confirmed they're launching the grading system. The story was first reported by The Washington Post.

"We're asked many times daily where people's elected representatives are on gun laws, and we intend to tell them, in detail," Glaze told CNN.

At a press conference later Tuesday, Bloomberg said grades will be based on both past and future votes.

"I hope it will make them understand that the NRA is not the only one that's scoring them. And that other people are looking at what they do," he said. "You know you vote for people based on what they did in the past. If you vote on the basis of what they say they're gonna do in the future you'll be sorely disappointed and it'll be a very inaccurate science."

Bloomberg also sounded open to grading state lawmakers, as well.

The group will spend $1 million on cable television ads in the Washington area and in 10 states.

According to the ratings system, the more often a lawmaker supports tougher gun legislation, the higher score they will receive. With the NRA, the scoring works in the reverse.

The new campaign comes as the Senate is expected to begin debate over proposed gun legislation as early this week. The most likely provision to pass includes an expansion of the background check system.

Bipartisan negotiations over the measure, however, may fall short of the proposal backed by President Barack Obama and many Democrats. The provision would expand the system to cover transactions at gun shows and over the Internet, but would not require them for any other private sales, CNN's Dana Bash reported.

Many of the 12 targeted senators in the ad campaign are Republicans, with nearly half being Democrats from conservative-leaning states. The list of lawmakers includes:

Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia (A+ with NRA)
Dan Coats, R-Indiana (C+ with NRA)
Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana (A with NRA)
Jeff Flake, R-Arizona (A with NRA)
Kay Hagen, D-North Carolina (F with NRA)
Heidi Heitkamp, D-North Dakota (AQ* with NRA. As a freshman senator, she does not have a voting record yet)
Dean Heller, R-Nevada (A with NRA)
Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia (A with NRA)
Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana (C with NRA)
Rob Portman, R-Ohio (A with NRA)
Mark Pryor, D-Arkansas (C- with NRA)
Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania (A with NRA)

Hagan, Landrieu, and Pryor each face re-election in 2014. Chambliss, meanwhile, has announced he's not seeking another term.

- CNN's Todd Sperry, Jason Kessler, Paul Steinhauser and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

This week, CNN TV and CNN.com will take an in-depth look at “Guns Under Fire: A CNN Special Report On Background Checks.” On Tuesday night at 8 p.m., AC360 will debut an exclusive interview with former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head two years ago in Arizona. On Wednesday, the network will look at gun control and background checks as Congress is expected to tackle the issue head-on in the coming days. Watch CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.


Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Michael Bloomberg • NRA
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    It should be used for all the Gutless Wonders in Congress. We, the people, also need to single issue vote on gun control. I'd love to see a weasel or two go down in flames 90% to 10%.

    April 9, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  2. CB FL

    I think that you are going to see a lot of the Sandy Hook parents show up in the districts of these NRA people.

    April 9, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  3. rla

    Sure and we want the Obama machine and GoldBloom machines telling us what to do.... Wake up this is a power grab and nothing else by the liberal elite who assume we need their guidance!

    April 9, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. SafeJourney

    90% of Americans support background checks for gun sales and that includes American NRA members. They want background checks for private sales at gun shows also. Bloomberg has the money for this long term fight against the NRA leaders and gun manufacturers

    April 9, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    America is under attack from the subversive Democratic Party, who seeks to take over America, and turn it into a socialist dictatorship, run by the Democratic Party.

    The media are in their back pocket, and they are brain washing the people to believe the lies and the deceit. They are clearly, irrevocably, subversive.

    April 9, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. WouldYouLookAtThat

    Thanks for giving me inspiration, Bloomberg. I went out and bought an AR-10 platform rifle this weekend! A Sig Sauer 716 to be exact.

    April 9, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- TAKE BACK THE HOUSE

    If you have an F rating from the NRA, that equals an A+ for us who want gun reform.

    April 9, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Dan5404

    The NRA and the ultra-right wing GOP filibuster leaders are learning they are not the only ones that can fight. They are totally ignoring a huge percentage (about 90%) of Americans that favor full background checks and a majority that favor assault weapons and large capacity magazine bans. We have extremist GOP Senators ignoring the fact that thje majority of NRA and GOP members want the background checks. Rand Paul, already pretty radical on most things, was a slim-chance possibility for a presidential bid. If he filibusters this, he's cutting his own political throat. When we get a Congress that truly represents the people, we'll have a truly Democratic Republic. Otherwise, it's a minority of gun-loving, manufacturer-supported politicians and a lobbying group trying to bully their way into control. It's money and corruption as usual.

    April 9, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. maf

    @ Rick,

    PLEASE add something to the dialogue. I'm sorry but you haven't said something constructive in MONTHS!!
    Subversive, socialist dictatorship doesn't hardly come into play for this political situation in the US. Try an Eastern European locale. You can use your same description on the current state of the GOP. Try it, you might just have an epiphany!

    April 9, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. sonnie3

    It is a power grab/ the likes we have never seen before,
    Just remember that if you don't want a number tattooed on your grand kids arms like Hitler did, you had better stand and fight for the Second Amendment that is not to be infringed. While 20 girls and boys died buy the hand of a person who had serious mental problems, It is not the end of the world. The end game comes when we can not protect ourselves from the oppression that Big Government is trying so hard to take control of every aspect of our lives.
    It is the 2nd Amendment that stands in their way. Look at History to give you a fore sight of things to come. Don't let a sad event cause you to have a knee jerk position that you will regret the rest of time.

    April 9, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. Thomas

    A pistol in the hands of a 4-year-old boy went off Saturday and killed Josephine Fanning, the 48-year-old wife of Wilson County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Fanning.

    This wouldn't have happened if there was an armed and trained baby sitter in the house !

    April 9, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. The REAL Truth...

    @rla – Sure and we want the Obama machine and GoldBloom machines telling us what to do.... Wake up this is a power grab and nothing else by the liberal elite who assume we need their guidance!
    -----------------------------------–
    Why not? Your employer (if you have a job) tells you what to do. Your church tells you how to worship, your local govt tells you what you cannot build, burn, cut, sell... state govt tells you how much you have to pay for regulated utilities, insurance, taxes, then theirs Federal laws... what's the big deal? You DO need their guidance.. that's why most red states receive more in Federal funds than they contribute...

    April 9, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. Gurgyl

    Nation needs gun-bans. Period.

    April 9, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. The REAL Truth...

    @sonnie3 – While 20 girls and boys died buy the hand of a person who had serious mental problems, It is not the end of the world. The end game comes when we can not protect ourselves from the oppression that Big Government is trying so hard to take control of every aspect of our lives.
    -------------------------------
    I guess it would be no big deal if that was your 7-yr old CHILD that died at the hand of a crazy?? Many folks believe WLP and the political arm of the industry-funded NRA are totally crazy too, certifiably so after proposing we put MORE GUNS in schools and ARM TEACHERS to PROTECT (????) our children. Can we deny them gun ownership?

    Please continue to live in your state of FEAR and IGNORANCE the NRA promotes. Tyranny will NEVER happen in this country... it's TOO BIG, and our armed forces, police, etc would surely take sides. We'd have civil war LONG before tyranny ever came about.

    April 9, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. v_mag

    How many millions of guns and gun owners are there in America? Try to imagine a scenario where the "government", made up of officials elected in large part by gun owners, would be able to confiscate those weapons. Who would they send to do it? The military. But gun owners by and large love the military, which is made up of the children of gun owners. Can you imagine Sgt. Junior Bubba breaking down Granny's door to take her gun away? Ain't never gonna happen, so why not hide your ignorance and quit harping on your paranoid fantasies.

    The whole "gummint gonna try and take my guns" argument is beyond ridiculous. Give it a rest. You look so foolish.

    April 9, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Thomas

    @WouldYouLookAtThat
    Thanks for giving me inspiration, Bloomberg. I went out and bought an AR-10 platform rifle this weekend! A Sig Sauer 716 to be exact.

    Sounds like you had a relaxing weekend , did you stop for a picnic on your way home .

    April 9, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |