Gun Violence · Mayor Bloomberg · Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg takes gun fight to Chicago

Michael Bloomberg is pictured. | AP Photo
Michael Bloomberg is pictured. | AP Photo

I truly hope Mayor Bloomberg’s super-pac will run powerful ads against the gun lobby…

Politico

A Chicagoland special House election to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has suddenly become Ground Zero of the national gun control debate, courtesy of anti-gun crusader Mike Bloomberg.

The billionaire New York City mayor’s super PAC is poised to dump at least $2 million into the race, sources told POLITICO — a staggering sum for a single House race that’s meant to thwart a National Rifle Association-aligned Democrat who was cruising along as the frontrunner until a barrage of Bloomberg-financed attack ads hit the airwaves.

The massive independent expenditure by Independence USA PAC dwarfs what any of the 17 Democratic candidates have raised themselves. It’s a none-too-subtle statement of Bloomberg’s intention to take on the NRA after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting — though it’s debatable how much of a test case it is since the NRA is staying out of the race.

(PHOTOS: An interview with Michael Bloomberg)

The bulk of Bloomberg’s cash has financed an air war against Debbie Halvorson, a former one-term congresswoman and longtime ex-state legislator with an “A” rating from the NRA. The lone white candidate in the Democratic field, she’s hoping that her base of suburban and rural voters in the southern outskirts of the district — who by and large favor gun rights — will be enough to give her the small plurality it will take to win.

The Democratic primary is on Feb. 26. The general election is all but irrelevant given the district’s heavy Democratic makeup.

“I believe that substantial expenditure by the forces doing battle with gun violence will likely send a real … loud warning to a lot of members of Congress that it’s no longer safe to side with the NRA — that’s really what’s going on here,” said Robert Creamer, a partner at Democracy Partners who has followed the race.

Indeed, gun control advocates believe that defeating Halvorson would send a message nationally that the climate has changed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre in December.

With the NRA steering clear, the air waves are awash in Bloomberg’s millions without any significant response. Still, Bloomberg’s ad onslaught comes as a number of Democrats have urged him to become a counterweight to the NRA when it comes to political spending, and as his aides have met with President Barack Obama’s advisers about coordinating on gun control efforts.

(Also on POLITICO: Obama: Chicago gun toll ‘Newtown every 4 months’)

A Bloomberg adviser said he made the decision to spend the money “without blinking.”

“The fact that it’s a special election, the fact that it’s in the middle of a national debate over the president’s plan … [there is an] understanding that it’s both a bellwether and a harbinger.”

Devora Kaye, a spokeswoman for the PAC, said the group is trying to seize “distinct window of opportunity” to make headway on gun control while the public is paying close attention.

“We must and we will continue to be aggressive in informing voters across the country about the necessity of electing leaders who will stand up to the NRA and help pass the president’s gun reform package,” she said.

An NRA spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg, who until this week had only gone after Halvorson, is now backing Democratic state lawmaker Robin Kelly. A number of other members of the Illinois congressional delegation are also rallying around Kelly, who released internal data showing her inching ahead of Halvorson in the wake of the Bloomberg ads.

(Also on POLITICO: Bloomberg’s D.C. footprint explodes)

Bloomberg also backed a handful of candidates last year in general elections in House districts, largely over the gun issue. But that was before the schoolhouse massacre.

Continue reading here…

Mayor Bloomberg · NYPD v. Wall Street protesters

Key medical equipment, laptops among items destroyed in ‘Occupy Wall St’ police raid

I may be wrong, but logic dictates if the #OWS folks were not told in advance that they had to evacuate the park prior to the police action, then Mayor Bloomberg might be looking at a potential lawsuit pertaining to loss of valuable property…

The Raw Story

Most of the attention in the New York City police’s raid on “Occupy Wall Street” early Tuesday morning centered on the removal of tents and sleeping bags. But protesters indicate that many other valuable items, including important medical equipment and laptops, were either unrecoverable or damaged beyond repair.

“Everything, everything we had: gone,” said Chris Carter, a New Jersey native and firefighter who has been part of the “Occupy” medical staff since the second day of the protests. “All the medications we had: Tylenol, cough machine, two AED Defibrillators units, vitamins, an asthma inhaler. Nothing left.”

Carter pointed out that the medical staff lost more than $4,000 of equipment during the raid, raising a level of frustration in his voice where they likely will have to contact hospitals to handle simple tasks.

“Unfortunately if something happens, EMS is probably going to have to come out a lot more often than they did,” he said. “We are all certified at some level at some point, we have doctors, firefighters, EMTs, no one on the medical staff isn’t certified at something or another. But unfortunately, we don’t have the necessary stuff to do that. This could create more of a hassle for them because they’re going to have to come out for the stupidest little shit.”

Mayor Mike Bloomberg stated in his press conference after the crackdown that protesters could retrieve their possessions in midtown Manhattan. But some first- hand accounts from the protesters who tried to find their items, including the Occupy Wall Street Library members searching for their books, were unable to find their belongings or, if they did, found them in ill-repair

New York University law student Dee Armstrong observed how the sanitation department and police were aggressively dealing with all items, not just sleeping equipment.

Continue reading here…

Mayor Bloomberg

Police in riot gear order ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters to leave park

“The police came out in riot gear”… but the only people rioting were the police!

The Raw Story

Hundreds of police officers in riot gear descended on the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration in New York City’s Zuccotti Park not long after midnight Tuesday.

Police handed out letters to protesters ordering them to immediately remove their possessions from the park. The letter claimed that the demonstration posed a health and fire safety hazard, and would be cleaned after the protesters left.

“If you fail to immediately leave the park, you will be subject to arrest,” the letter said.

Once work in the park is complete, the demonstrators can return to the park but cannot bring back tents, tarps or sleeping bags, according to the letter.

“Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park), home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world, is presently being evicted by a large police force,” the demonstrators said in a statement.

Police surrounded the park and refused to allow anyone in, including reporters.

While some of the protesters gathered their belongings and left, a core group rallied near the center of the park and refused to leave, according to the New York Times. They chanted, “Who’s park? Our park! No retreat. No surrender!”

Meanwhile, dozens of officers walked through the park, removing tents and other materials.

Fifteen people were arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to Police spokesman Paul Browne.

The eviction comes as the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration against economic inequality neared its two-month anniversary. The protesters had planned a provocative “day of action” to shut down Wall Street.

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Mayor Bloomberg · Uncategorized

Bloomberg Bashes Park51 Critics On ‘The Daily Show’ (VIDEO)

Huffington Post 

Mayor Bloomberg stopped by the Daily Show last night to speak with host Jon Stewart about the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero. 

Bloomberg has been arguably the most outspoken New York politician in favor of the center. 

“People say well, in Saudi Arabia you can’t build a church,” Bloomberg said. “Yes. That’s the difference between Saudi Arabia and America.” 

He also made the argument that all the fear-mongering surrounding the Park51 project is largely due to politicians trying to score points in an election year. 

“This is plain and simple people trying to stir up things to get publicity and trying to polarize people so that they can get some votes,” Bloomberg said. “And I don’t think that most of these people who are yelling and screaming really care one way or another.”   Watch the entire interview below: 

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