There has been a lot written about the ad hoc decision of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) to drop the recognition of out of state CCW permits from 25 states. The move impacts approximately 6.3 million Americans. I am one of those as Americans as North Carolina’s permit will no longer be recognized in Virginia. However, I can assure my friends in the commonwealth that their permit will be recognized in North Carolina as we have universal recognition of out of state permits.
The non-partisan Virginia Public Access Project takes as its mission the goal of making government data regarding campaign finance disclosure understandable and accessible to the general public. From what I can see, they do a good job of it.
Given how much money Michael Bloomberg has funneled into Virginia both directly and indirectly I thought it would be interesting to see if Attorney General Herring was a recipient of his generosity. As Deep Throat said to Woodward and Bernstein, “Follow the money”.
Lo and behold the top donor to his campaign for Attorney General was none other than Independence USA PAC. They gave $1,292,417 of in-kind donations to his campaign. The money went for media production and advertising buys. To put this into perspective, the next two highest donors gave approximately half this amount each. The only candidate to get more money from that PAC was Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA).
Independence USA is a super PAC that focuses largely on helping to elect candidates who support stricter gun-control laws. It was founded in October 2012 by Michael Bloomberg, and, so far, has been entirely funded by the former New York City mayor.
The race for Attorney General between Herring and Republican St. Senator Mark Obershain was exceedingly close. The final vote tally left Herring winning by little more than 900 votes. Indeed, up until the last poll, Obershain was either in the lead or tied with Herring.
When you owe your elected position to Michael Bloomberg, when he says jump, you say how high. Evidently now was the time that Bloomberg said jump and jump is what Herring did in response.