Bloomberg gun group gives candidates litmus test
July 6th, 2014
11:41 PM ET
4 months ago

Bloomberg gun group gives candidates litmus test

Updated 2:23 p.m. ET, 7/7/2014

Washington (CNN) – The group formed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to pressure political candidates to come out publicly in support of some gun control measures.

Everytown for Gun Safety on Monday released a questionnaire it’s sending to candidates as it decides which ones to support in this year's midterm elections.

This questionnaire and the hiring of field staff in more than a dozen key states are the result of Bloomberg’s pledge in April to spend $50 million this election year to help support candidates who will back further gun control efforts and to combat the politically powerful National Rifle Association.

Among the issues his group will ask candidates about include one of its priorities: closing the so-called gun show loophole where not everyone who buys a gun at a show must undergo a background check.

Other issues it asks about include tightening possession restrictions on domestic abusers, prosecuting gun traffickers and preventing access by children to guns, according to a copy of the questionnaire.

“Now it is time for political candidates to tell us where they stand,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, told reporters Monday on a conference call.

“For too long candidates only heard from the gun lobby.”

As it decides whether to endorse candidates, the NRA gives them letter grades based on a private survey as well as their records. Group officials told CNN they believe history has shown loyalty is not just based on how much money is spent trying to build loyalty.

“The power of the NRA does not come from the questionnaires we send to people who are running,” spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said.

“The power of the NRA comes from our 5 million plus dues paying members.”

It is expected that by early fall the NRA will have made all of its mid-term endorsements.

As a political force, Everytown is trying to match the success seen by the NRA.

Everytown officials acknowledge gun control advocates need to do a better job of mobilizing their supporters and say this year’s election will begin to show whether they can succeed.

This year will be the “first chance… not (the) last chance,” senior adviser Mitch Stewart told reporters.

Stewart is a veteran of the Obama 2008 and 2012 campaigns. He said this effort will be data and metrics-driven, similar to what he oversaw in those campaigns. To help bolster its ranks of volunteers, help identify and communicate with voters who are supporters and to help mobilize their turnout at the polls, Everytown is hiring field staff in more than a dozen politically key states, including Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Group officials said the questionnaire is part one of their Gun Sense Voter Campaign, which is trying to mobilize one million Americans to vote in the midterms for those candidates who pledge to support gun safety measures. They say so far more than 650,000 have signed.

While polls have shown a majority of Americans support stricter background checks, the Senate last year failed to pass that as well as other measures despite the emotional fallout from the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting and a strong push for the measures from the White House.


Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights • Michael Bloomberg • New York • NRA • Political
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    HenryMiller

    "We are working to support candidates who will vote for common-sense laws to reduce gun violence."

    Define "common sense."
    -------
    You wouldn't understand.
    ---------
    How freeking condescending can you be?

    July 7, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    mtms42000

    The myth that 40% of gun sales are private transfers and don't get a background check is from a study does of 200 gun owners PRIOR TO BACKGROUND CHECKS BEING REQUIRED!

    Over 20 years ago!! The real number is closer to 4% and the vast majority of these are intra family transfers. People just aren't selling guns to others willy nilly. This is a scare tactic used to mislead the uninformed.
    --------------------–
    Gun advocates also make the argument that criminals can buy guns "willy nilly" on "the black market." Which is it? You cannot have it both ways, my friend. Why can't conservatives hear the blatant hypocrisies in their arguments?

    July 7, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Ol' Yeller

    "It's a simple matter of distrust. The rabid anti-gun crowd have so poisoned the discussion..."

    Yes, asking for Congress to make some sensible gun laws is so poisonous...
    I am a gun owner. If I go duck hunting I have to place a plug in my shotgun so it will only hold three shells. This is to give the ducks a sporting chance while I reload....
    However, the NRA and the ginned up gun nuts who want to be able to carry bazookas into K-Mart 'cause it is their 'right', won't even consider lessening the size of their clips so children get the same sporting chance as the ducks.
    You seem to care more about the rights of school shooters and ducks than you do about children.

    Please tell us more about 'trust' and the 'rabid' antigun crowd.

    July 7, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Talman

    Bloomberg is a low life but that is his right. I have mine and I will keep my guns. Love to see what those democrats say in conservative states – that would be good for a laugh. Hillary is a big anti-gun fan too so she carries that baggage. By all means send out and survey and the results so we know how to vote. I am not a fan of everything the NRA does but at this rate I might be buying life memberships for every relative I have....

    July 7, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. rs

    tom l

    rs

    Tom l
    Hilarious. Purity test alert!

    ____________
    Why not, Tom? It scares the snot out of GOP candidates when the NRA (or any other cause) uses it- it's a great ploy- put the candidate on record.
    ===============

    So, to be clear, when the repubs have a "purity test" someone like rs goes nuts and calls them ideologues or something like that yet he's perfectly fine with a "purity test" when his side does it. And now he's on record demonstrating his hypocrisy because he has railed against repubs for having the Grover Norquist pledge and all other pledges of a similar nature yet it's totally cool when his side has one because, well, you know, THIS is a great ploy.
    ____________________
    It is called reality Tom. The GOP subject themselves to all sorts of purity tests- and yes the results have clearly not helped them. However when 90% of Americans want a change is how guns are sold- allowing the NRA to run the table is frankly stupid- they're only about gun sales. Why shouldn't the public know where candidates stand on weapons , their availability and sales?

    July 7, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. Sniffit

    oops, small edit:

    "Again, thanks Rudy for pointing out the hypocrisy of the gang for complaining about such pledges from the repubs yet are in full support of this."
    ===

    Seeing as how your puerile ad hominem vis-à-vis "the gang" apparently includes me, I should probably point out a couple of things here:

    1. I do not support pledges or "contracts" of any sort by any party by any organization or by any elected official. They are elected to use their best judgment in light of the FACTS and to exercise rational, flexible thought, not rigid adherence to ideological absolutes. ANY politician or elected official signing a pledge or "contract" is, in my mind, announcing to the world that they do not intend to do their duty as a representative to carefully deliberate the merits of an issue and the legislation proposed to address it. It's a giant red flag that they are intellectually lazy, unwilling to compromise, ideologically entrenched, willing to deny reality and taking the easy route both in terms of their pandering and in terms of their decision-making. People looking for quick easy answers belong on Sesame Street, not in the Capitol Building.

    2. Surveys or questionnaires are NOT pledges or "contracts." I see no problem with some organization asking for a response to one and I see no problem with an elected official answering one, so long as he is willing to flip them the bird and stand by his beliefs when they try to bludgeon him with some sort of "rating system" the way the NRA does. Pandering to the questionnaire and the organization is intolerable, fake, dishonest and self-serving. Folks who get given a grade of "F" by the NRA and happily tout it as a badge of honor are just fine in my book...as are folks who Bloomberg's group gives an "F" who go about their merry public displays of irresponsible gun worship. Questionnaires/surveys can function in a helpful way to draw out distinctions...whereas the very act of a signing a pledge or "contract" announces only one distinction: the signer is a semi-sentient political/partisan/ideological tool, not a candidate serious about learning the facts about the issues and making independent, rational judgments about them.

    July 7, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  7. rs

    mtms42000

    Why aren't liberals as mad at Bloomberg for trying to buy elections as they are at the Koch brothers? Hypocrisy?
    _____________________
    No, the Koch brothers haven't shot any children that we're aware of.

    July 7, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Tom1940

    This is why Michael Bloomberg is one of the most dangerous billionaires in the world. Determined to alter the American Constitution and Bill of Rights – he has determined that only "he knows best" (for all the rest of us). That is what makes him so dangerous. More money than "Midas" – this "zealot" has as his mission disarming America. Between George Soros and other big Democrat Financial Supporters, – collectively they can "buy" about any politician they want. (Conversely, they can get rid of just about any politician they do not want. Operating just within the law, they have the financial and legal talent to mount a large campaign and deluge the public with ads and "almost truthful" information to sway the public to their point of view. I am for individual free speech. Michael Bloomberg can advocate for or against any cause in the world. I don't care. But when Michael Bloomberg, the Billionaire with his huge and well funded organization gets behind a "project" then look out. How can individuals compete in the free market place of ideas and information, when that much might in the world is brought to bear? There is no easy answer other than hope he tires of his "little project": and moves on to sitting on his porch, rocking grandkids as should be his goal now.

    July 7, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "Rudy NYC

    HenryMiller

    "We are working to support candidates who will vote for common-sense laws to reduce gun violence."

    Define "common sense."
    ---
    You wouldn't understand.
    ---
    How freeking condescending can you be?"
    ===

    Well, to start, a great way to be condescending would be responding to a statement with something like "define common sense."

    July 7, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Sniffit

    " the group says it will take into account an explanation of candidates' positions."

    Show me where the NRA has ever done that or even SAID it would do that.

    July 7, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. jboh

    So what! Does Adelson have a litmus test? YES. Does Christian Coalition have one? YES. When the Roberts court openned the $ floodgates, did you think candidates wouldn't be vetted by ALL groups?

    July 7, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. rs

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lizzie says:
    July 7, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am
    MMECitizen
    In other words, if you are an NRA member or a person who agrees with the 2nd amendment Bloomberg will set his goons on you if you run for office. Democrat intimidation …par for the course. “If you are not in lock step with us we will destroy you.” Why not let Americans chose their own candidates without the intimidation of the far left and the far right.
    —- is that not what democrats and liberals do best INTIMIDATE, if your not with us your against us, thus need to be destroyed, mostly with lies.

    While I have no opinion on this whole gun debate since my right to not be surrounded by guns everywhere I go doesn't count.... I'd like to point out the blatant lies in these statements. Since when have the democrats and liberals said if you're not with us you're against us? That's pure BS. That was the statement made during the last administration that flat out told the public if you are against Bush and his agenda you're a traitor. Ask the Dixie Chicks if anyone can find them. Unfortunately the democrats don't stick together like the GOP. If you don't believe me ask AW. Just as many dems threw him under the bus as republicans. God people if you're going to make statements like that at least make them truthful. How do you people get away with blatant lies???😳😳
    _________________
    It's just their alternative reality- why, don't we want to see armed white trash at Target? What could go wrong?

    July 7, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  13. rs

    Tom1940

    This is why Michael Bloomberg is one of the most dangerous billionaires in the world. Determined to alter the American Constitution and Bill of Rights – he has determined that only "he knows best" (for all the rest of us). That is what makes him so dangerous. More money than "Midas" – this "zealot" has as his mission disarming America. Between George Soros and other big Democrat Financial Supporters, – collectively they can "buy" about any politician they want. (Conversely, they can get rid of just about any politician they do not want. Operating just within the law, they have the financial and legal talent to mount a large campaign and deluge the public with ads and "almost truthful" information to sway the public to their point of view. I am for individual free speech. Michael Bloomberg can advocate for or against any cause in the world. I don't care. But when Michael Bloomberg, the Billionaire with his huge and well funded organization gets behind a "project" then look out. How can individuals compete in the free market place of ideas and information, when that much might in the world is brought to bear? There is no easy answer other than hope he tires of his "little project": and moves on to sitting on his porch, rocking grandkids as should be his goal now.
    __________________________
    Well, first, compared to the GOP's "sugar daddies" the Koch brothers), Soros and Bloomberg are relatively poor, and besides- isn't that exactly what the Kochs are doing? Meanwhile about 90% of what you assert is incorrect. Bloomberg has never said he wants to "disarm" America- he want's reasonable gun laws (like 90% of America), and he wants full background checks (ditto). You do yourself and your argument no favors by repeating NRA lies.

    July 7, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "How freeking condescending can you be?"
    ------------------------
    LOL. A whole lot more than that. Like Sniffit pointed out, I was responding in kind, except with a bigger hammer.

    July 7, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Name jsmallz

    I would tell him to stick his questionnaire where the sun don't shine. He is a hypocrite with his gun toting body guards.

    July 7, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. rs

    Rudy NYC

    mtms42000

    The myth that 40% of gun sales are private transfers and don't get a background check is from a study does of 200 gun owners PRIOR TO BACKGROUND CHECKS BEING REQUIRED!

    Over 20 years ago!! The real number is closer to 4% and the vast majority of these are intra family transfers. People just aren't selling guns to others willy nilly. This is a scare tactic used to mislead the uninformed.
    ------––
    Gun advocates also make the argument that criminals can buy guns "willy nilly" on "the black market." Which is it? You cannot have it both ways, my friend. Why can't conservatives hear the blatant hypocrisies in their arguments?
    _______________________
    First question asked at Arizona yard sales: " got any guns"? Meanwhile attend any gun show in the sovereign state of Arizona- you can buy guns in private- no questions asked. Why do you think Bush started his gun-walking program here?

    July 7, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @Name jsmallz
    I would tell him to stick his questionnaire where the sun don't shine. He is a hypocrite with his gun toting body guards.
    -----------–
    Neo con mythology that all liberals want to take all the guns away. You can have reasonable gun limitations and have your guns too. It is called a compromise, a word apparently lost on the Purity Test TP.

    July 7, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Talman

    As soon as Bloomberg gives up all his guns including for security details for himself, spouse and children he might have some credibility. Unfortunately he has none. At this point guns are like people here illegally in the country. Are they going to start raiding houses for guns or illegals? They used to for illegals but at this point no way unless your are unlawful. We already have guns and access to a lot more legally. Most of us that own guns are the type of people who don't even get traffic tickets so waiting two weeks on a background check is like going to the grocery store. No sweat.

    July 7, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Dave

    And when they lie, what are you going to do about it?

    July 7, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    "I have been a serious conservative." Mitt Romney said.

    TRANSLATION: "I have passed all of the purity tests with flying colors."

    July 7, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    "People just aren't selling guns to others willy nilly. This is a scare tactic used to mislead the uninformed."

    Yes, and all these humongous 'Gun Shows' all over the nation which can afford to take out whole page ads on guns they have 'for sale'... well these gun shows aren't real, they are just librul tactics to get you to buy a gun without a background check so the jackbooted thugs can swarm in and take all yer' guns.
    Talk about 'scare tactics'?!?! I have yet to see any politician in America even talk about taking anyone's guns.... maybe if you'd just step back and see who the real 'uninformed' are here, maybe we could have some productive dialogue. It isn't the Dems using propaganda here... it is the NRA making the kool aid and you are chugging it.

    July 7, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Derpy derpy doo responsible gun owners!!!!

    Until they aren't.

    Responsible drivers...until they aren't.
    Responsible parents...until they aren't.
    Responsible doctors...until they aren't.
    Responsible manufacturers...until they aren't.
    Responsible pilots...until they aren't.
    Responsible bicyclists...until they aren't.
    Responsible drinkers...until they aren't.
    Responsible law enforcement...until they aren't.

    Bumper sticker slogans are for people who get confusion headaches watching Reading Rainbow.

    July 7, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. rs

    What are we, in year 6 of Mr. Obama's Presidency? Yet, here we are getting the sorry old canard "Obama just wants to take our guns away". Really? Anyone really believe that? Because under Obama, there have been serious extensions of 2nd Amendment Rights- and no abridgements at all. Do those of you promoting that lie like the fact the NRA and the GOP have lied to you? Better- can any of you cite even one instance where "guns have been taken"? Certainly not.

    July 7, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "People just aren't selling guns to others willy nilly"

    Who is this Willy Nilly? Let's put this in perspective: not only are people selling guns to others willy nilly, they're shooting people "by accident" at gun shows and in Walmarts, etc. There've been several incidents of it reported over the past couple weeks. are you seriously going to tell the class that people who manage to "accidentally" shoot someone at a gun show are "responsible gun owners" who aren't, just maybe, the kind of folks who would sell a gun to Willy Nilly?

    July 7, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. smith

    What anti- gun folks don`t want to talk about is the fact that none of the laws they are cheering for would have stopped shootings like Sandy Hook or Aurora. They also close their ears to the decline in gun violence over the past 25 years. This is about I don`t like or fear something so you should be able to have that item (Dumb, Dumb, Dumb).

    July 7, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
1 2 3 4