In a move that can only be considered imitating the National Rifle Association, Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors plan to “grade” legislators on how they vote on gun control as well as their public statements.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit group financed by Bloomberg (I), will unveil a scoring system Tuesday to award lawmakers grades of A through F, much like the National Rifle Association, which has derived much of its power by deploying letter rankings against politicians at election time. The group’s strategists briefed The Washington Post on the plans ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.
“For decades, the NRA has done an admirable job of tracking to minute detail how members of Congress stand on gun bills. We’ve simply decided to do the same,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is chaired by Bloomberg and is made up of more than 900 mayors from across the country.
Glaze says they are trying to provide “guidance” to well-heeled donors who back gun control. The Washington Post notes that they are aiming this squarely at senators on the bubble in states like North Carolina and Montana. While their constituents do not back gun control, these senators depends on donations from states like New York and California to get elected or re-elected. This is the same threat that was used successively in Colorado against wavering Democrats.
The one thing that Bloomberg can’t imitate is the grassroots supporters of the NRA.
“The reason NRA scorecards are effective is that they have the weight of
approximately 5 million dues-paying members and tens of millions of
other supporters behind them,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said. In
a dig at Bloomberg, he added, “We’ll take that over the purse of one
billionaire any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
When I start seeing Friends of MAIG banquets and fundraisers, then and only then will I believe that there is significant grassroots support for gun control. Until then, I will keep pushing my legislators to earn their “F” from MAIG.