Sunday, February 18, 2018


A billionaire GOP donor apparently just noticed that Republican gun policies kill people:
A prominent Republican political donor demanded on Saturday that the party pass legislation to restrict access to guns, and vowed not to contribute to any candidates or electioneering groups that did not support a ban on the sale of military-style firearms to civilians.

Al Hoffman Jr., a Florida-based real estate developer who was a leading fund-raiser for George W. Bush’s campaigns, said he would seek to marshal support among other Republican political donors for a renewed assault weapons ban....

Mr. Hoffman announced his ultimatum in an email to half a dozen Republican leaders, including Jeb Bush and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida. He wrote in the email that he would not give money to Mr. Scott, who is considering a campaign for the Senate in 2018....

“I will not write another check unless they all support a ban on assault weapons,” he wrote. “Enough is enough!”
I'm impressed that Hoffman won't give to Scott in what's likely to be a tough Senate campaign against the Democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson -- or I would be impressed if I could find any evidence that Hoffman had given to Scott in the past. I see no contributions from Hoffman to Scott in Florida records or at Project Vote Smart. (Scott is a billionaire who put $90 million of his own family's money into his two successful gubernatorial campaigns.)

On the other hand, Hoffman gave more than $1 million to Jeb Bush's Right to Rise PAC for the 2016 presidential campaign. What kind of gun policies did he think he was supporting with that money? When Jeb was running for president, he boasted about his A+ rating from the NRA during his time as governor of Florida, a reward for his vigorous efforts on behalf of gun absolutism:
As governor, Bush signed a law requiring the state to replace land that is lost to development and since 2006, the state has added 159,000 acres open to hunting. Another law created a $5 million fine for anybody that tries to create a registry of legal gun owners in the state. And he touted "castle doctrine" and "stand your ground" laws that allow people to defend themselves with lethal force.
How oblivious was Hoffman to Bush's gun pandering? Well, it may be a coincidence, but Hoffman wrote a $5000 check to Right to Rise on the day Jeb tweeted this:

Why did thishappen now? The Pulse nightclub shooting in Hoffman's home state didn't give him pause? My guess is that he didn't find the victims relatable -- hey, they were just a bunch of Hispanic gay guys, right? Las Vegas? I bet Hoffman doesn't like country music. Parkland? Now we're talking. I bet he looks at the victims and survivors and thinks they could be his grandkids.

I probably shouldn't be so harsh. If this is a road-to-Danascus moment for a wealthy GOP donor, and if other plutocrats are inspired by his example, that's a good thing. But how could the problem not be obvious to him until now?

No comments: