Questions are being raised whether outgoing billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is courting Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (D) to enact gun control measures in Virginia if he should win the statehouse in November.
On Tuesday, voters in Colorado recalled two state senators–Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) and Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs)–that supported Colorado Gov. John Hickenloooper’s (D) sweeping gun control legislation, which he signed into law in March. As Breitbart News reported, Morse lost his recall election 51 to 49 percent, and Giron lost hers by a “whopping 56 to 44 percent.”
Bloomberg reportedly called Hickenlooper on at least two occasions before the Colorado governor signed the gun control laws, and he gave $350,000 more to his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group to back the efforts of Morse and Giron to fight the recall efforts against them leading up to the elections. With Bloomberg’s gun control dreams fading in Colorado, he may be turning his sights on Virginia through McAuliffe.
At the end of August, as the Colorado recall efforts were heating up, Bloomberg and McAuliffe reportedly met in McAuliffe’s native state of New York. The meeting prompted Second Amendment advocates in Virginia to wonder if Bloomberg and McAuliffe may have discussed something similar to NY SAFE Act for Virginia as a condition of Bloomberg’s financial support or endorsing McAuliffe; this would presumably help McAuliffe court Virginia’s business-oriented independent voters, particularly in Northern Virginia. Virginia, like Colorado, is quickly becoming a national bellwether on a host of issues.
As Breitbart News reported, at least “one New York-based gun manufacturer” decided to move from the state because of NY SAFE Act. The Syracuse Post-Standard noted the law “expands a ban on military-style weapons, requires mental health professionals to report threats, limits magazines to seven bullets, taxes bullets, and creates a registry.”
Politico, which reported the meeting between McAuliffe and Bloomberg, said it was unclear what the meeting was for, but noted that Bloomberg has indeed spent more than $15 million on his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group and candidates who back his gun control agenda.
In the RealClearPolitics average of polls, McAuliffe has nearly an eight-point lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the gubernatorial contest, though recent polls have found that roughly 10% of the electorate is undecided. Election forecasters have the race pegged as “lean McAuliffe” or “tossup”; it is often difficult to predict turnout in an off-year elections in which the most fervent supporters are the only ones guaranteed to go to the polls.