The Second Amendment Foundation, which works to protect the constitutional right installed by the founders to reduce the opportunity for tyranny, is asking for all the records from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
It seems there have been reports that the taxpayers of New York were subsidizing the mayor’s pet project by hosting the site on city servers, and there may even have been more direct use of taxpayer funds for the mayor’s campaign.
This, too, is the same organization that already was under the watchful eye of the foundation because of the long list of mayors, who, because of their own convictions, no longer are eligible to own weapons themselves.
In fact, a report from the organization revealed Mayor James Schiliro, of Marcus Hook, Pa., was facing a long list of charges for allegedly trying to force an underage boy to perform sex acts – and then firing one of three handguns he grabbed at a wall when the boy refused.
In the latest quest for the truth, SAF filed a Freedom of Information Law request with New York for records relating to the group started by Bloomberg. It came after newspaper reports said the operation was being paid for by taxpayers.
SAF is being joined in the request by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and Tom Gresham, host of the nationally syndicated “Gun Talk.”
“It was bad enough to learn via CBS News that the MAIG website was being hosted on a city-owned server, and administered by city employees,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “but it also appears that a special counselor in the mayor’s office was sent to lobby in Nevada on behalf of MAIG’s gun control agenda.”
Recent reports in both the New York Post and Politico said Bloomberg dispatched adviser Christopher Kocher to lobby for MAIG, but “in an apparent attempt to conceal who he worked for, Kocher ‘scrubbed his city hall e-mail address from the state of Nevada lobbying-registration website early this month.'”
“The public has a right to know what’s been going on between Bloomberg, the city and MAIG,” said Gottlieb. “Gun control is Bloomberg’s pet peeve, and he’s been pushing an anti-gun agenda since sending so-called private investigators on a sting operation to gun shops all over the country, which got him in trouble with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.”
Added Gresham, “Evidently, the mayor and his staff have a gross misunderstanding of how the taxpayers’ money should be spent, and that should not include sending New York employees around the country to lobby for Bloomberg’s pet projects.”
The request from SAF Special Projects Director Philip Watson includes electronic records related to the organization, electronic files on city servers, emails, officials with access to the website, all costs incurred by the city for the mayor’s project, and other information.
“The man is obsessed,” Gottlieb continued, “and if he’s spent so much as a dime of public money on what amounts to a private crusade, Mayor Bloomberg needs to be held accountable for that.”
SAF also wants an investigation into the possible misuse of public funds, and asked New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to work on it.
“If Eric Schneiderman won’t investigate Bloomberg for possible misuse of public funds,” Gottlieb said,”“we will. The mayor has been acting increasingly like a self-appointed monarch, but this still the United States, not Bloomberg’s personal fiefdom.”
Politico reported recently the MAIG website is registered to and handled by New York officials, yet the group’s “action fund,” through which Bloomberg has pumped at least $14 million of his own money in ads over gun control this year alone, is registered as a 501c4, a nonprofit “social welfare” group.
WND originally reported on the SAF’s work, when the foundation revealed Bloomberg’s group included a long list of mayors who, because of their convictions, were no longer eligible to own weapons themselves.
Schiliro was a further embarrassment.
“Mayor Schiliro is one more example of why we started the ‘Gun Owners Against Illegal Mayors’ campaign,” Gottlieb said when the case arose. “He joins recently convicted former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and recently indicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, both of whom were MAIG members.”
The group said Schiliro was charged with false imprisonment, unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, serving alcohol to a minor and other crimes, and he also allegedly used more than one gun in this incident, in which at least one shot was fired.
“The allegations against Schiliro creeped me out. With associates like this, I can understand why Bloomberg doesn’t trust people with guns,” Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb said he found, among Bloomberg’s mayors, “one mayor convicted of perjury and embezzlement, another who was convicted of attempted child molestation, and yet another who was convicted of assault and racketeering. There was one who was convicted on bribery, fraud and money laundering, and another who was convicted of domestic violence.”
“In short,” Gottlieb said, “many of these elitist politicians can no longer own firearms. The crimes they were convicted of suggest they are public enemies rather than public servants. No wonder they want to take guns from law-abiding citizens!”
On April 25, 2006, 15 mayors worked with Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to set up the organization to restrict guns.
The group said it wanted to make cities safer by cracking down on illegal guns, because mayors “have a responsibility to protect their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable.”
They say they want trace data for law enforcement efforts, and they want lawmakers to fix gaps and loopholes in laws “that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.”
Gottlieb reported the research conducted by the foundation found “a far higher rate of criminal activity within the ranks of the MAIG than among the ranks of more than eight million citizens who are licensed to carry concealed firearms in 49 states.”