In a sign that the Senate race between Republican Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has become the most important non-Presidential contest in the country, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined the fray yesterday by endorsing Scott Brown over Elizabeth Warren. In the 2010 special election to replace the late Senator Edward Kennedy, Bloomberg, a native of Massachusetts, endorsed Democrat Alan Khazei, who lost in a primary to Martha Coakley. Brown defeated Coakley in the general election.
Mayor Bloomberg, who became a billionaire by building a financial services information and communications company, is more well known for his enthusiastic support of nanny-state policies than his endorsement of Republican politicians. He has recently come under attack for his proposal to ban the sale of soda in the city of New York. His proposals for stricter gun control laws that reach beyond the borders of the five boroughs of New York have also brought him into conflict with Second Amendment organizations, such as the National Rifle Association.
As the New York Times reported yesterday:
Mr. Bloomberg, through a spokesman, said his endorsement was not about Wall Street at all, but about his desire to reward Mr. Brown for voting against his party and the National Rifle Association on a gun control measure.
“If you take a tough stand and buck party orthodoxy that helps the City of New York, the mayor would like to support you,” Mr. Bloomberg’s spokesman, Stu Loeser, said Thursday.
Mr. Bloomberg has long been a supporter of more restrictive gun laws, and founded, along with Mayor Thomas M. Menino of Boston, the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Mr. Bloomberg has been emphasizing the need for gun control in the wake of the mass shooting last week in Aurora, Colo.
Mr. Brown has generally received high ratings from gun rights organizations and has not pushed for renewing a federal assault-weapons ban or for tightening restrictions on gun shows. But Mr. Loeser said the mayor had been won over by the senator’s “tough stand” opposing a measure that would have required states to honor concealed-weapons permits issued by other states.
“The biggest reason the mayor is supporting Senator Brown is the senator’s help on one of our biggest gun issues: opposing concealed-carry reciprocity that would let people with gun permits from rural states like Arkansas and Kentucky carry hidden handguns in New York City,” Mr. Loeser said.
Predictably, Elizabeth Warren tried to tie the Bloomberg endorsement of Brown to the self interest of Wall Street financial firms:
Ms. Warren said Thursday that she had never met Mr. Bloomberg, but noted that on the day his endorsement of Mr. Brown became public, she was endorsed by a group of Massachusetts credit unions. “Today, Scott Brown stands with Wall Street, and I stand with every credit union in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” she said. “There’s the difference.”
Mayor Bloomberg's endorsement of Brown is more than symbolic. Bloomberg will be hosting a fundraiser for Brown in his private New York City residence next month. Though Brown has been a highly successful fundraiser in his campaign to date, Ms. Warren has been even more prolific. The two candidates are expected to break every Senate fundraising record by the time the election is over. As President Obama's political star has faded, left wing groups and individuals around the country have flocked to Ms. Warren's campaign. In the most recent three month filing period, Ms. Warren outraised Brown by $8.6 million to $5 million.
The majority of Ms. Warren's contributions come from out-of-state, with high net worth liberal zipcodes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia appearing frequently in her Federal Election Commission reports. In contrast, the majority of Senator Brown's contributions come from within the state of Massachusetts.
Now that Mayor Bloomberg has decided to support Senator Brown, look for a spike in donations to the Brown campaign from high net worth New York zipcodes in his next Federal Election Commission filings. Despite the boost provided by Mayor Bloomberg's endorsement, Ms. Warren is expected to continue to beat Senator Brown by a significant margin in out-of-state fundraising.
Michael Patrick Leahy is a Breitbart News contributor, Editor of Broadside Books’ Voices of the Tea Party e-book series, and author of Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement.