Not content with angering only one political party, Mayor Bloomberg is launching an effort to punish the four Democratic senators who voted against the bipartisan bill to expand background checks in April. Senators Mark Pryor, Max Baucus, Mark Begich, and Heidi Heitkamp have raised more than $2.2 million in New York, but Bloomberg wants that to stop. The New York Times reports that he’s writing to hundreds of top Democratic donors in the state this week to urge them to stop aiding those who he considers responsible for the bill’s demise. “If they come and ask for the money, you say to them, ‘What do you stand for?’ ” says the mayor. “I want to tell people what these four stand for. And then people can make up their own minds.”
Democratic leaders say they understand that Bloomberg is frustrated, but his strategy could easily backfire. A source says Harry Reid raised the issue with Bloomberg in February, pointing out that targeting Democrats could help elect more NRA-affiliated Republicans, and even give the GOP the Senate. “Do you think you’d be better served by Majority Leader McConnell?” Reid asked, according to the source.
It appears that Bloomberg is ignoring those who have encouraged him to look at the big picture, and doesn’t grasp that voters in faraway states have less tolerance for his antics. “In Alaska, having a New York mayor tell us what to do? The guy who wants to ban Big Gulps?” Senator Begich said. “If anything, it might help me.”