Michael Bloomberg’s first attempt at buying an Attorney General for Pennsylvania didn’t end too well. As most know, his investment in former AG Kathleen Kane was for naught as she had to resign her office in disgrace.
However, like any good investor Bloomberg is resilient. He knows that if one investment doesn’t pay off you cut your losses and look for a better one. His new investment is named Josh Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro is a former Pennsylvania State Representative and is the current chairman of the Montgomery County (PA) Board of Commissioners. Shapiro is the Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Pennsylvania.
“Gun violence” (sic) is one of the items on Mr. Shapiro’s agenda.
“The horrific violence perpetrated against victims in every corner of our Commonwealth makes clear that we must do more to combat gun violence. Gun trafficking, straw purchases, and gray market gun sales threaten us all by putting weapons in the hands of dangerous people. As Attorney General, I will aggressively pursue the sources of these illegal guns and work with police and prosecutors across Pennsylvania to reduce gun violence.” – Josh Shapiro
- Beef up and expand the Gun Violence Task Force beyond Philadelphia’s borders.
- Establish and implement model gun show procedures.
- Prosecute prohibited purchasers who fail background checks.
- Review concealed carry permit reciprocity agreements.
- Increase awareness of laws against straw purchasing and simplify purchase forms.
- Expand background checks to cover private sales of long guns.
- Advocate for a statewide lost or stolen gun reporting requirement.
You may wonder why in a state with over 1 million hunters that a candidate for attorney general would think gun control is a winning platform. Perhaps it is because he has 250,000 reasons to be for gun control.
Democratic Attorney General candidate Josh Shapiro may favor a number of gun-control initiatives, but he doesn’t lack for political ammunition. According to campaign-finance reports released last week, he received an eye-popping $250,000 donation from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a leading proponent of more expansive gun-control measures nationwide.
That Aug. 1 contribution accounted for more than 9 cents of every dollar raised by Mr. Shapiro and his rival, state Sen. John Rafferty, R-Montgomery, this summer.
The NRA-PVF has rated Sen. Rafferty as an A- and given him their endorsement. Meanwhile, Shapiro was lucky to get a D instead of a F.
While anti-gun attorneys general do not make the law, how they carry it out sets policy. You can see that in the past month with the way Massachusetts AG Maura Healy has redefined what qualifies as an “assault weapon” in that state making thousands of gun owners potential felons. Moreover, carry reciprocity agreements have been negated by both former Pennsylvania AG Kane and by current Virginia AG Mark Herring. While Herring’s attempt was overthrown by legislation, I don’t recall that Kane’s move has been.
I have seen reader polls putting Rafferty ahead of Shapiro in this race but I don’t put much faith in them. With Hillary leading Trump in the state and Pat Toomey (RINO-PA) dead even with Katie McGinty (D-PA), down ticket races like this will be impacted. I hope for my friends in Pennsylvania that Rafferty can pull this one out.