Mayor Chris Koos is (was?) a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. I wonder if there is a Pro-illegal gun mayors group? Anyway, Judicial Watch just filed suit against them. If Koos hasn’t quit yet, he should. Only a kool-aid drinker would think the group was legit!
JW Sues Mayor Bloomberg for Documents on his Anti-Gun Group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns*
There is no doubt that Vice President Joe Biden and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are on the same page when it comes to restricting Second Amendment rights, as the Vice President’s recent speech to the Clinton Global Initiative demonstrates. Per Politico:
Acknowledging their failure to get federal legislation passed despite their cooperative efforts, Biden said he remains confident of success. Change will eventually come, Biden said, and “when it comes … it will be because Mike has sent it.”
“Your passion about reducing gun violence in this country is something that’s become contagious,” Biden said.
But here’s the key question: In Bloomberg’s “passion” for gun control, did he cross the line and improperly misuse taxpayer dollars to lobby for specific gun control initiatives through an anti-gun group? And what role has the Vice President, the Attorney General and the Obama administration played in this coordinated legal attack on the Second Amendment?
These questions are at the center of a Judicial Watch investigation with answers in short supply due to a Bloomberg cover-up.
On October 4, 2013, JW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit with the Supreme Court of the New York requesting that the office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg be ordered to produce all records of communications between the Office of the Mayor, the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), and Vice President Joe Biden.
The FOIL suit also requested that the mayor’s office be required to produce records of a January 9, 2013, meeting attended by MAIG representatives, Biden, and Attorney General Eric Holder.
Specifically, here are the records we seek pursuant to a January 15, 2013, request;
- Any and all records of communication between Mayor Bloomberg and/or Chief Advisor to the Mayor for Policy and Strategic Planning John Feinblatt and Mr. Mark Glaze, Director of Mayors against Illegal Guns and a Principal at The Raben Group, LLC between December 14, 2012 and January 22, 2013.
- Any and all records of communications between Mayor Bloomberg and/or any official, employee, or representative of the Office of the Mayor and Vice President Joe Biden and/or any official, employee, or representative of the Office of the Vice President of the United States.
- Any and all records regarding, concerning or related to the January 9, 2013 White House meeting attended by Chief Advisor to the mayor for Policy and Strategic planning John Feinblatt, Vice President Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, and others. This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all notes, talking points, briefing books, and internal memoranda produced in the preparation for, during, and/or subsequent to the meeting.
As I’ve detailed previously in this space, New York Mayor Bloomberg is a co-founder of MAIG, which advocates for gun control laws nationwide. Despite the refusal of the Bloomberg office to respond to the FOIL request, Judicial Watch investigators have managed to uncover some interesting information regarding this Bloomberg operation, including:
- Since 2008, MAIG has spent a total of $1,280,000 on federal lobbyists. This excludes $580,000 in-house lobbying expenses for the organization in 2013 (the first year they reported any such expenditures). The total (in-house and out-sourced) lobbying expenses are $1,860,000 since 2008.
- Since 2009, MAIG’s primary lobbying firm has been The Raben Group, founded and led by former Clinton Assistant Attorney General Robert Raben.
- Through the United Against Illegal Guns Support Fund, MAIG has paid for regional coordinators to be employed in mayors’ offices throughout the country, including Minneapolis, Columbus, Lewiston, Reading, and Seattle.
- In 2010, MAIG provided grants totaling more than $371,000, and at least $346,000 in 2011 to fund these positions. The positions, however, are not cost-neutral for the municipalities in which coordinators are installed. The funding includes a matching requirement that the recipient of the award funds will be required to pay for all fringe benefits provided to the Regional Coordinator and any salary paid to the Region: a minimum of $717,000 over 2010 and 2011.
Now, with respect to how MAIG funds can be used by municipalities, agreements between MAIG and the grant recipients specifically stipulate that “no portion of the grant may be used to support lobbying activities.” But just take a look at the grant requirements as described in a Memorandum of Understanding between MAIG and the city of Orlando uncovered by Judicial Watch:
- Working to pass state or county laws requiring background checks for all gun sales at gun shows and/or a state law requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns;
- Working to pass a state law allowing broader local government control of gun laws so that local governments can enact gun laws that they determine would help protect public safety;
- Working to pass a new state law requiring regular gun dealer inspections to detect possible sales to illegal gun traffickers.
Wouldn’t you say that “working to pass” and “lobbying” are essentially the same activity? Or sufficiently similar enough as to warrant an investigation and an explanation? We do. And that’s why we’re fighting for the records.
The bottom line here is that we have good reason to suspect that New York taxpayers have been forced to foot the bill for Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun group. We have records showing that other municipalities also foot part of his anti-gun lobbying efforts. And it is well past time for the public to have a full accounting from Mayor Bloomberg about MAIG taxpayer-funded activities. Given the document cover-up, it looks like Mayor Bloomberg has something to hide.
We talked about MAIG and our new lawsuit earlier this week at a fascinating panel held at JW’s DC headquarters on the Second Amendment. We had top notch experts address the topic, “The Second Amendment Under Attack.” You can watch the video of the panel here. I encourage you to watch as you will learn about efforts by the Obama administration and its Bloomberg-funded allies to take away your Second Amendment rights at the federal and state levels.
One thought on “While waiting for information – I had to post this:”
And let’s not forget the form (at least in IL and reportedly AZ) one fills out when purchasing a firearm must state that the firearm is for them and no other use. Thus the by back program is basically illegal.