Yesterday's New York Times had a fawning story about how awful Mayor Mike Bloomberg feels every time someone is a victim of gun violence, a scourge he's determined to stop using all the resources at his disposal:
It is a moment when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's heart races and his breath gets caught in his throat: the ringing of a bedside telephone in the middle of the night.Really, Mike? You might put some money into races in 2013? Gee, I can think of a big race coming up then:
The message is inevitably the same: A police officer has been shot on the streets of New York.
"I just gag," Mr. Bloomberg said, recalling his feeling of dread. "Chances are I'm out of bed, into the bathroom, get some clothes on and off to a hospital."
...Now, furious at the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and frustrated by inaction in Congress, Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview this week that he would ratchet up his fight to overhaul gun laws, drawing on his considerable political and finance resources to bring about change.
One of the world's wealthiest men, Mr. Bloomberg plans to spend millions of dollars over the next two years to aid political candidates willing to oppose the gun lobby. He said he would not wait until 2014: the mayor's "super PAC" is already looking at special elections next year, including governor's races and an open House seat in Illinois.
President Obama's nomination of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for secretary of State on Friday will set off a mad scramble -- particularly among Democrats -- to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat in a special election to be held next year.Mike Bloomberg gets emotional thinking about gun violence, but do you know which candidate he endorsed in the Brown-Warren race? That's right: he endorsed Scott Brown, the candidate who'd once had an A rating from the NRA, and who still votes with the NRA nearly half the time. Warren, by contrast, is solidly pro-gun control:
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who just lost his Senate seat in a nasty election against Elizabeth Warren (D), is widely viewed as the favorite among Republican candidates....
... Warren's positions are largely in line with those of gun-control advocates, while Brown had long been endorsed by gun rights groups until he recently broke rank on a high-profile issue.Bloomberg endorsed Scott Brown even though he opposed reinstating the assault weapons ban.
...In January 2011, following an Arizona shooting that killed six people and injured US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Brown offered more pointed opposition to federal gun restrictions, saying he was "not in favor of doing any additional federal regulations with regard to any type of weapons or federal gun changes."
... Warren's campaign said she favors an extension of the assault weapons ban, supports proposals to require more rigorous background screenings, including for people who purchase firearms at gun shows; and opposes limits on the sharing of firearms trace information.
On that issue, Brown has changed his position -- possibly in the hope of getting some more of that sweet, sweet Bloomberg cash in a 2013 run.
Bloomberg shouldn't give him a dime. In fact, the right thing on guns would probably be for Bloomberg to give money to Brown's Democratic opponent.
Among the possible Democratic candidates, Congressman Mike Capuano has zero ratings from the NRA and Gun Owners of America. So does Congressman Ed Markey. Governor Deval Patrick's most recent NRA rating (in 2010) was F, as was Attorney General Martha Coakley's. And while the Kennedys who are said to be considering a run -- Edward Kennedy Jr., the late senator's son, and his widow, Victoria Reggie Kennedy -- have never held elective office, they're members of a family scarred by two gun assassinations. I think we can assume they'd be to Brown's left on this issue. (It should be noted that a couple of other possible Democratic candidates -- Congressman Stephen Lynch and State Representative Benjamin Downing -- have much more NRA-friendly records.)
We know why Bloomberg endorsed Brown over Warren -- Brown has been a friend to billionaires and plutocrats, and that, for Bloomberg, clearly trumped Warren's position on guns.
Brown's opponent in this race is unlikely to be as much of a threat to fat cats as Warren -- so maybe Bloomberg will remain neutral. But I think he'll stay loyal to Brown, praising him for "evolving" on assault weapons.
If Brown is running against a Democrat who's zero-rated by the NRA and Bloomberg doesn't endorse that Democratic rival, the billionaire mayor will be demonstrating that gun violence is less important to him than he wants you to believe.