NY Post: Bloomberg using NYC funds to lobby in Nevada

posted at 10:01 am on June 25, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s not just webhosting that Michael Bloomberg gets from New York City for his gun-control push.  The New York Post reports today that Bloomberg sent a city employee paid by Big Apple taxpayers to lobby Nevada legislators for tougher background checks on firearms:

Mayor Bloomberg is spending city cash and resources on his pet project to toughen US gun laws through his national organization, The Post has learned.

City employee Christopher Kocher was sent to Nevada as a representative of Mayors Against Illegal Guns to lobby for a bill that enforces background checks on all firearm sales in that state.

But Kocher, who works as a special counsel to the mayor’s office, apparently didn’t want his role to be known and scrubbed his City Hall e-mail address from the state of Nevada lobbying-registration Web site early this month.

The Post asked the mayor’s office to respond to this story, and the answer was … what’s the big deal? Lots of cities lobby legislatures on a wide spectrum of public policy, they claim.  As Gene Russianoff of the New York Public Interest Research Group points out in response, that’s usually limited to the legislature of the state in which the city exists:

A Bloomberg aide argued that city governments frequently lobby state and national leaders to push legislation related to the city’s well-being for issues ranging from mass transit to health care.

But Russianoff said Nevada isn’t in the same league as Albany and Washington, which have direct connections to what happens in New York City.

“They deal with jurisdictions that have sway over our future, and Nevada does not,” he said.

It might even make sense for NYC to lobby state legislatures in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, given their proximity to all three.  Nevada, on the other hand, is more than 2,000 miles away from New York. Taxpayers might well wonder — even apart from the misappropriation of public funds — why their mayor and their mayor’s special counsel are focusing on Carson City rather than on their own responsibilities at home.

Besides, Kocher wasn’t representing the City of New York as a lobbyist.  He was representing Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a private group headed by Bloomberg, while on the city payroll, as Politico reports:

“With 85 percent of guns used in crimes here coming from out of state, gun policy everywhere has an impact on the safety of New Yorkers,” said Bloomberg spokesman John McCarthy, insisting it’s a governmental issue. “The mayor’s top priority is keeping New Yorkers safe and that includes seeking sane gun laws in other states and D.C. to help reduce the flow of illegal guns to New York.”

But Nevada lobbying forms show it was not City Hall, but the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, for whom Kocher was registered as working. The “action fund” is the 501(c)(4) through which Bloomberg has personally paid for more than $12 million in campaign-style ads against senators who did not back a gun control bill in the Senate, part of a national effort he is waging.

City Hall had insisted last week, when Ace of Spades blogger John Ekdahl first raised questions about the MAIG website being hosted on city government web servers, that there was separation between MAIG as the coalition of mayors involved, and the 501(c)(4), which has tax-exempt status.

Mayors who use taxpayer resources to promote their own private organizations are committing corruption no matter how beneficent the effort might seem to some. And, as the Post reminds readers, it’s not as though Bloomberg can claim poverty; he has billions of his own fortune to spend on his national politicking.  Why, then, did Bloomberg not find a lobbyist who doesn’t work for the city, and find private webhosting for MAIG?  Maybe’s he’s just a cheapskate, or perhaps he’s like a lot of corrupt politicians who believe that public resources are his to do with as he pleases.  He’ll be out of office soon enough — the election is this fall, and Bloomberg’s not running for re-election — but perhaps the state of New York might want to send a couple of lawyers down to Manhattan to find out what’s going on in the city, and what other public resources Bloomberg has hijacked for his own pleasure.

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Altruistic his subjects must be.

mjbrooks3 on June 25, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I don’t mind if a city rep lobbies another state to try bringing business home, but this sort of thing is over the top. Of course, Bloomberg won’t get in hot water over it. Democrats never do.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Morinin’! Bloomie’s an A**!

annoyinglittletwerp on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Throw the bum out.

oldroy on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Maybe’s he’s just a cheapskate, or perhaps he’s like a lot of corrupt politicians who believe that public resources are his to do with as he pleases.
– Ed

This is a little over the top, ED.
Say what you will about Bloomberg – but he spend his own money plenty.

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

“With 85 percent of guns used in crimes here coming from out of state, gun policy everywhere has an impact on the safety of New Yorkers,”

Gun policy has to be the same everywhere, until it is. Then New York, Chicago, and other big (Democrat-run) cities need “special” laws to accommodate their special needs. Once those special laws are in place we will then switch back to the “laws have to be the same everywhere” mode and do it all over again.

Everything they say is a lie.

Socratease on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Potential caption for that photo: Snake Eyes…

Drained Brain on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Morinin’! Bloomie’s an A**!

annoyinglittletwerp on June 25, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Welcome back!

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Maybe’s he’s just a cheapskate, or perhaps he’s like a lot of corrupt politicians who believe that public resources are his to do with as he pleases.

I’m choosing door #2 here.

rbj on June 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Scotus kept section. 5 in place

Cripe

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Scotus leaving everything up to congress… which wont get anything done

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Apparently these idiots think they are untouchable, or they are going to get Hispanic voters in droves to replace the Conservative ones they are losing.. Either way, they are delusional..

melle1228 on June 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Thanks! EVERY comment is going into moderation, for now. I’m a bad twerp. ///
*trying to be on my best behavior. siiigh*

annoyinglittletwerp on June 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

what other public resources Bloomberg has hijacked for his own pleasure.

Memory Lane: Noted Climate Change Crusader Has A/C Window Unit Installed On His SUV/Limo To “Beat The Heat”

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Hey, HAL, if you are reading this:

Told ya so!

Resist We Much on June 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

He was on a taxpayer vacation using lobbing as an excuse. None of the inter mountain states would give him five minutes for gun control.

With the exception Las Vegas you can shoot ten minutes from your house in nearly every city. I regularly hear gun shots from my house in NW Reno. No big deal.

CW20 on June 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I think it is about time Rick Perry visits New York to lobby for some businesses to move to a more business friendly environ.

12th Legion on June 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Governments should mind their own business. I resented that German students were being used to lobby against voter ID laws in Pennsylvania. I am not sure that Merkel would have approved of it, but we should have a policy of making it clear that foreign governments are not to lobby in this way.

thuja on June 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

l’état, c’est moi

Fenris on June 25, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Herr Bloomberg should have no limits on his power at all.

Akzed on June 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

who’s going to stop him or do anything about it?

phatfawzi on June 25, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I think it is about time Rick Perry visits New York to lobby for some businesses to move to a more business friendly environ.

12th Legion on June 25, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Here ya go…

“Perry had three goals for his trip. He succeeded, partially anyway, on two. In time, he may on the third. The first was to attract businesses to Texas. Perry insists it takes nine months from his pitch to a company’s decision to move. So we’ll have to wait on that. But Perry says he expects to hear this summer that an untold number of California companies are Texas-bound.

The second goal was to stir a national debate on “blue state versus red states policies.” Perry thinks he’s set this in motion and he may have. It should shine a favorable light on the Texas model of low taxes, light regulation, and less litigation—small government that works.

Perry didn’t acknowledge the third goal. It was a test of his skill as a potential presidential candidate after his disastrous performance in last year’s race for the Republican nomination. He says he “parachuted” into that campaign both too late and unprepared. He knows better now.

He passed this preliminary test with ease. His speech comparing the roaring economy of Texas to that of other states was impressive. I heard him deliver it to three separate groups. There were no uncomfortable moments or glitches. What’s significant is that he has a positive, upbeat message. Most Republicans don’t….”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/texan-takes-manhattan_736875.html?page=2

workingclass artist on June 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Apparently these idiots think they are untouchable, or they are going to get Hispanic voters in droves to replace the Conservative ones they are losing.. Either way, they are delusional..

melle1228 on June 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Oops need glasses.. Supposed to be posted on the Hatch board..

Thanks! EVERY comment is going into moderation, for now. I’m a bad twerp. ///
*trying to be on my best behavior. siiigh*

annoyinglittletwerp on June 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM

I am so glad you’re back!

melle1228 on June 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Why wouldn’t a multibillionaire use his own money to run his own personal single-issue lobbying organization? Because he’s corrupt, that’s why.

Keep digging, there’s likely a lot more to this.

slickwillie2001 on June 25, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Most New Yorkers (libs) agree with what he’s doing, so I don’t imagine he’ll get much heat from them.

Ward Cleaver on June 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Michael Bloomberg Announces Gun Buyback Program in Syria
http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-blog/michael-bloomberg-announces-gun-buyback-program-in-syria-t11266.html
In the ongoing campaign to battle gun violence, and ensure only authorized agents of The State(TM) are in possession of guns, Michael Bloomberg has announced that his anti civil rights organization grassroots coalition for common sense gun reform, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will be travelling to Syria and offering Starbucks gift cards in exchange for guns currently held by rebel forces there.

Colbyjack on June 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

He does indeed, but that shouldn’t give him a pass for misusing public funds for private projects – no matter how altruistic his intentions. It’s just plain wrong, and you’re smart enough to know that.

Hill60 on June 25, 2013 at 10:52 AM

he’s like a lot of corrupt politicians who believe that public resources are his to do with as he pleases.

Nailed it.

GarandFan on June 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Bloomie caught red-handed? Meh, he says. It’s for the “greater good”, he says, so how can this be wrong?
He just laughs at you…

Marcola on June 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Most New Yorkers (libs) agree with what he’s doing, so I don’t imagine he’ll get much heat from them.

Ward Cleaver on June 25, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Correct answer.

Carnac on June 25, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Yawn…..haven’t Americans learned by now that laws, criminal charges, & accountability is just for us ‘little people’, for the ‘Massuhs’ and not the ‘field workers’?! Nothing will happen to him. For those waking up to the fact that politicians are NO LONGER the ‘servants of the people’ but are instead the Untouchab Tyrants who are above the laws they pass for us, welcome to the ‘party’!

easyt65 on June 25, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Say what you will about Bloomberg – but he spend his own money plenty.

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Doesn’t that make it even worse when he spends money he shouldn’t be spending (because it doesn’t belong to him)?

Perhaps this would be a good time to invoke Nathan’s little tale to King David from 2 Samuel 12? Hmmmm?

GWB on June 25, 2013 at 1:45 PM

NY Post: Bloomberg using NYC funds to lobby in Nevada

That’s because the midget Stalin doesn’t have enough money to fund this cr@p himself. He can waste hundreds of millions buying a 6 figure job but he can’t be bothered to spend any more of his money helping the city he bought control of fill their fiscal hole or fund his own little soviet pet projects with a little out of his petty cash drawer (which holds billions).

The midget Stalin needs to be arrested and jailed for his abuse of city funds especially in light of all this. He also needs to be tried and jailed for his dispatching of sting squads from New York to many places well outside of his jurisdiction to run police operations (and illegal ones even for the legitimate police forces in those areas).

But, New York voted the midget Stalin in three times. They deserve the hell he is bringing to them.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

This is a little over the top, ED.
Say what you will about Bloomberg – but he spend his own money plenty.

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

So because Nanny Bloomers used his own money to buy his election you feel he can use NYC tax payer resources to fund his own personal fascist pet projects? In Nevada? With political hack lobbyist on the NYC payroll?
Bloomers is vile, corrupt and unethical but we knew that about him already. You defending him is over the top.

Buttercup on June 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I regularly hear gun shots from my house in NW Reno. No big deal.

CW20 on June 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Well, i’m sure a lot of Chicagoans can say the same thing…….

GWB on June 25, 2013 at 1:56 PM

This gun nut stuff really has to stop. Texas is not big enough for everyone. The only thing between Bloomberg and the looney bin is his 37 billion.

DDay on June 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Our mayor was subject to a recall because he put a bible camp advertisement in the city newsletter/water bill envelope, and this guy gets away with this?

cptacek on June 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Say what you will about Bloomberg – but he spend his own money plenty.

verbaluce on June 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Nanny Bloomer’s “donations” to MAID are all TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!

He’s not actually “spending” any money at all…since he uses the money he gives to MAID to offset any money he owes in federal (and probably state, as well) taxes.

Like a lot of “The Evil Rich”, Bloomers doesn’t spend something for nothing.

Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Scotus leaving everything up to congress… which wont get anything done

cmsinaz on June 25, 2013 at 10:14 AM

There’s a downside to congressional inactivity?

Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM

There’s a downside to congressional inactivity?

Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Yes. Some things need repealing.

GWB on June 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM

There’s a downside to congressional inactivity?
Solaratov on June 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM
Yes. Some things need repealing.
GWB on June 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Yeah, but I’ll take inactivity until we can get to repealing.

yesiamapirate on June 25, 2013 at 3:40 PM

He’ll be out of office soon enough — the election is this fall, and Bloomberg’s not running for re-election — but perhaps the state of New York might want to send a couple of lawyers down to Manhattan to find out what’s going on in the city, and what other public resources Bloomberg has hijacked for his own pleasure.

Thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

And I’m sure Anthony Weiner will be more than willing to continue to let Bloomberg use city resources to push his “private” and tax-exempt anti-gun lobbying efforts.

Gator Country on June 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM

What will Bloomberg do once he is out of office? Nobody likes him and they won’t have to listen to him anymore. His soda nonsense will be quickly forgotten and someone will probably name a gun-club after him.

Weiner will be providing entertainment as the Idiot of Gracie Mansion.

virgo on June 26, 2013 at 3:49 AM