Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Steal this tactic

On opposing the National Rifle Association:

What Bloomberg has embarked upon now is nothing less than the construction of a mirror image to the NRA. There is plenty of latent public support for gun control, his logic goes, but politicians only see a risk in voting for it. He wants to reverse that calculation.

To that end, Bloomberg created a Super PAC, Independence USA. In 2012, it spent $10 million on ads supporting pro-gun-control candidates running against NRA-friendly opponents in districts where polling suggested such a stance should be a liability. This investment was credited with unseating Democratic Representative Joe Baca of California. In the past year, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which now has 975 mayors, has expanded from 15 paid staff to more than 50, with lobbyists in Washington and field organizers around the country who will likely be deployed to states with legislative fights looming. The organization is also developing its own candidate rating system.
We should do this on climate change. Absent Bloomberg's billions, maybe the aim should be lower, like state legislative elections where a state is teetering on the edge of doing something about climate.

(I'm also stealing this idea from someone I had dinner with the other day. Not always sure when someone would want credit.)

UPDATE:  I'll add that given the number of targets we would have, there's no need to be as knee-jerk as Bloomberg's group is (e.g., their attack on a moderate Dem like Begich in a conservative state like Alaska). My favorite would be to fund a climate-realist Republican who's challenging a Democrat who had voted against climate legislation. That's impossible at the federal level but not necessarily so at the state legislative level.


John said...

The two sides are not comparable.
Bloomberg is signing up mayors.

The NRA has grassroots support, financial support from gun manufacturers, a Washington presence, and a strong pro-gun cultural resonance, especially in rural areas.
What makes the NRA so strong is that for their members, their issue is a bottom-line issue - they'll vote on that one issue alone. That means they can influence a significant minority (10%?) of the voters on that one issue alone.
So a candidate can go from winning 55-45% to losing 45-55% It's big.

What needs to be done, in my humble opinion, is to form another organization, which supports gun rights, but with reasonable restrictions and limitations. This would split gun owners between the fervent 2nd amendment fundamentalists and hunters who support some limitations. Right now, those who want to carry weapons see no alternative to NRA.

Gator said...

There is another organization trying to represent gun owners who are not also fanatic tin-foil-hat-wearing tea partiers. The Liberal Gun Club.

I'd rather attack anti-climate people at the primary level. I can't stomach voting for a "moderate" republican even if they seem to be pro-environment. The republicans are fundamentally opposed to almost everything I support. It's hard enough voting for the democrats.

Anonymous said...

Climate change needs money? What for?

Hardy Cross

Anonymous said...

My favorite would be to fund a climate-realist Republican who's challenging a Democrat who had voted against climate legislation.

If you can find one. Republican candidates, even at the state/local level, have to rely on Republican money. They are afraid to speak up for scientific truths for fear of unleashing the wrath of the Koch Brothers' money.

-- Dennis


Next on NPR , a congressional hearing on whether the EPA should mandate soot limits on gunpowder.

Brian said...

Dennis - my Republican opponent for the Water District position acknowledged climate change. They're out there.

Anonymous said...

Who doesn't acknowledge climate change?

Ah hopefully you will have the same opponent in 2014. Cannot wait for that election.