Bloomberg’s Bankroll, Like His Gun Bans, Accomplishes Almost Nothing On Election Day

posted on November 11, 2016
Chesnot/Alfexe and Getty Images

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is nothing if not persistent and insistent.

Whether it’s the size of your soda, the color of your roof, or whether you’re allowed to own a gun, the billionaire gun-ban zealot never tires of sticking his nose into your business, and he just doesn’t give up

In this year’s elections, Bloomberg was one of the biggest spenders in the country. He reportedly spent at least $65 million—most of it to push gun control and anti-gun candidates. 

He spent $25 million to push anti-gun ballot initiatives in Nevada, Maine and Washington state. 

He contributed nearly $20 million to his political action committee, the ironically named “Independence USA” PAC, according to the Federal Election Commission. In turn, Bloomberg’s PAC spent almost $15 million on ads to support anti-gun candidates for federal office. 

Not only did Bloomberg attack president-elect Donald Trump during the campaign, he also spoke at the Democratic National Convention in July, where he heaped praise upon Hillary Clinton, no doubt because gun control was at the center of Clinton’s agenda if she won the White House.But for all the millions he spent trying to deceive low-information voters at the polls, Bloomberg achieved remarkably little success on Election Day.

But for all the millions he spent trying to deceive low-information voters at the polls, Bloomberg achieved remarkably little success on Election Day. 

In Maine, voters rejected Question 3, a gun-control scheme whose backers raised $6 million to support it—mostly from Bloomberg. 

In what the Bangor Daily News called a “major upset,” the people of Maine defeated Bloomberg, his lies and his schemes—and defended their constitutional rights.

As NRA pointed out, the proposed Maine law was so overbroad and useless that 75 percent of the sheriffs in the state publicly opposed it. Maine’s governor said it wouldn’t be enforceable. 

With help from NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund, a fairly small number of Maine’s Second Amendment activists spread the word and, despite being outspent by Bloomberg and the anti-gun lobby by a factor of 6 to 1, they defeated Bloomberg’s goliath gun-ban machine. 

As David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said, the defeat of Question 3 shows that a group of “ragtag volunteers”—with the right message and strategy—“can win on an issue without money.” 

Even where Bloomberg did win, in most cases, he won by a whisker. 

In Nevada, Bloomberg spent nearly $10 million to push Question 1, another anti-gun ballot issue that, while billed as a “universal background check” law, would actually criminalize many innocent, lawful and harmless activities that gun owners do every day. 

Even though Nevada’s attorney general, Adam Laxalt, called the referendum a “sloppy legal disaster”—and even though Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and 16 out of 17 state sheriffs opposed it, in part because, as Sheriff Chuck Allen wrote, it would “make it harder for law-abiding Nevadans to defend themselves”—Question 1 was approved by voters. 

… Bloomberg, for all his wealth, can’t buy or bamboozle Americans out of their freedoms.One big reason: Proponents of Question 1 raised over $13 million for their campaign—almost all of it from Bloomberg. Yet for all of Bloomberg’s millions, the referendum only squeaked through.

In the end, Nevada Question 3 was passed by a tiny margin—less than 1 percent of the total votes cast on the question. If just 4,951 of those voters had said “no” instead of “yes,” Question 3 would have been defeated and Bloomberg would have been rebuffed—just as he was in Maine.  

Three takeaways are in order here. 

First, the fact is, Bloomberg, for all his wealth, can’t buy or bamboozle Americans out of their freedoms. Despite all his spending, Bloomberg was rebuked in Maine, and in Nevada, his gun-control scheme only won by the slimmest of margins. 

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Bloomberg doesn’t take hints easily. He doesn’t give up. And with his limitless time and money, you can bet he’ll be back again and again. 

And although the $65 million Bloomberg spent in these elections might sound like a lot—indeed, the NRA didn’t reach that amount with the $60 million it spent during this election cycle—the reality is that to Bloomberg, $65 million amounts to a rounding error

He’s the eighth-richest man in the world, worth an estimated $47 billion. Which means that the $65 million he spent on this election cycle amounts to just a few days’ worth of interest on his investment portfolio

So you can bet he’ll be back—and likely targeting your state or a state near you. When he does, we must be ready.


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