Skip to main content

In a recent interview with Time Magazine, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I. NYC) has some unfinished business he wants to tend to before leaving office:

In 2013, Bloomberg plans to spend about $400 million on pet causes, which at 1.3% of his fortune is barely a rounding error. His money flows out through a complex web of nonprofit foundation work and private entities, often in chunks so small or anonymous that they are difficult to track. He has spent more than $100 million to genetically engineer a better mosquito, in the hopes of eliminating malaria, while closer to home, he's involved in setting fracking policy, supporting Planned Parenthood and passing gay-marriage referendums. In local, state and federal elections around the country, he is spending millions more to back candidates who would further gun control and education reform and defeat those who oppose them. - TIME Magazine, 10/21/13
All of that sounds fine and dandy but I'm not loving this:

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is interviewed after filing for re-election at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Friday, March 7, 2008.  (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will push to defeat Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) in 2014, according to a TIME cover story published Thursday.

Pryor voted against a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases in April, and Bloomberg's gun control group, Mayor's Against Illegal Guns, ran ads in May calling for Pryor to change his stance on background checks.

Bloomberg did not specify what this push would look like, but it may involve discussing Pryor's record with Democrats in Arkansas, according to the TIME story. - TPM, 10/10/13

Here's a little more background info:

Pryor has been a focus for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a Bloomberg-led coalition that fights for the preservation of the Second Amendment, along with the prevention of criminals illegally obtaining guns. Back in May, the group released an ad asking Pryor to reconsider his April background checks vote.

Pryor shot back at that ad, calling it "disgusting" for mentioning the death of Bill Gwatney, former Arkansas Democratic Party chair, who was shot and killed in 2008. Later in the month, he defended his vote, saying that nothing in President Barack Obama's gun control plan would have prevented shooting tragedies in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and other locales.

"I'm Mark Pryor, and I approve this ad because no one from New York or Washington tells me what to do," Pryor said in another ad. "I listen to Arkansas." - Huffington Post, 10/10/13

Bloomberg spent a good amount of money on the Colorado recalls and actually believes we won that election despite seeing two Democratic State Senators being recalled by the voters and NRA's scare tactics actually working.  This is a difficult situation for me because despite my strong support for background checks and smart gun control laws, Bloomberg's not the guy to be delivering that message.  Plus Bloomberg's strategy might backfire on him any way:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, speaks while Police Commissioner Ray Kelly looks on during a news conference in New York, Monday, Aug. 12, 2013.  A U.S. judge has appointed a monitor to oversee the New York Police Department's controversial s
But since crushing a pro-NRA congressional candidate in a special House election in Illinois earlier this year, Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has lost a lot more than it’s won.

The anti-gun violence group ramped up efforts ahead of the Senate’s background checks vote, which unfolded in the aftermath of the shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn. Millions of dollars, a slew of tough ads and many emotional lobbying days later, the measure failed.

The group has promised to make senators who voted against the measure pay a political price, and it remains to be seen if that will happen. But for some, like Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat running in deep-red Arkansas, being a Bloomberg target probably helps more than hurts.

“I’m Mark Pryor, and I approve this message because no one from New York or Washington tells me what to do,” he said, jabbing at Bloomberg in his first 2014 ad.

To be sure, in February, a Bloomberg-backed congressional candidate — the now-congresswoman Robin Kelly — won a special Democratic primary, a move that was billed as a victory for his camp, though a pro-NRA candidate in a 90-percent Democratic area made for pretty easy pickings.

And several other legislatures where Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaigned passed background checks and other gun control measures this year, even though in Nevada, for example, Gov. Brian Sandoval then vetoed the legislation. - Politico, 9/11/13

I have problems with both Bloomberg and Pryor in this situation.  I'm not a fan of all of Bloomberg's policies but I do agree with him big time when it comes to gun control but I doubt rural Arkansas voters want to hear a lecture on background checks from a Jewish billionaire from New York City.  Pryor is not my favorite Democrat and I was angered but not surprised he voted against background checks.  But Pryor has been on the right side of some very important issues.  He helped strip the Monsanto Protection Act from the House GOP's budget, he came out in opposition against military action against Syria and he has co-sponsored Senator Tom Harkin's (D. IA) bill opposing the chained CPI and any cuts to Social Security.  Pryor's a red state Democrat with his flaws but he can still come in handy for some pretty crucial votes and he's been unapologetic about his support for the Affordable Care Act.  He's also fighting to get a clean CR vote passed and he's been a good ally on cracking down on sexual abuse in the military.  Not to mention, I do not want to see this asshole win next year:

And Cotton's going to be well financed for this race:

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-A Arkansas, announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Dardanelle, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton will raise money for his Senate campaign in Washington later this month with a gang of longtime GOP power brokers, including former Solicitor General Ted Olson, Republican Governors Association finance chair Fred Malek and former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Davis.

According to an invitation obtained by POLITICO, Cotton will be the beneficiary of an Oct. 23 event at the offices of the D.C. law firm Gibson Dunn. Attendees are asked to give at least $500 per individual or $1,000 per political action committee, with event co-hosts kicking in $2,500 apiece.

The lineup of hosts includes Virginia GOP fundraiser Bobbie Kilberg, who heads the Northern Virginia Technology Council; former Virginia state Sen. Jeannemarie Davis and several other members of the Beltway GOP legal elite.

Among the Cotton-boosting attorneys are Miguel Estrada, the former George W. Bush appeals court nominee whose appointment was blocked by Senate Democrats; Steven Engel, the Dechert LLP lawyer and TV legal analyst; and Gibson Dunn partners Howard Adler, Michael Bopp, Jason Mendro and Douglas Cox. - Politico, 10/9/13

You may not like Pryor and I can understand why, but believe me, you don't want Tom Cotton in the Senate.  Personally, I think Bloomberg will fail in his efforts but we'll have to wait and see how he executes his attack strategy.  He might put enough pressure to get Pryor to see the light on background checks but I doubt it.  Of course I want the Democrats to hold onto the U.S. Senate and I am confident that we will.  But despite Bloomberg's best intentions, I can't stand with him on this race.

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by Firearms Law and Policy, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, Social Security Defenders, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Shut Down the NRA.


Do you think Michale Bloomberg will be successful in defeating Senator Mark Pryor (D. AR) at the polls next year?

12%5 votes
80%33 votes
7%3 votes

| 41 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site