It appears that Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the pro-gun control organization co-founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will recruit and attempt to retain mayors by any means necessary — even if that includes lying about the group’s real intentions and bribing members to back the cause.
Recently, Brian Maher, Mayor of Walden, New York, shared how MAIG allegedly duped him into joining the group, used his name on “anti-gun propaganda without his permission” and then attempted to pay him off once he voiced his displeasure with MAIG’s aggressive pro-gun control activism.
Here is an excerpt from Maher’s blog post:
I’m the mayor of Walden, NY, just starting my third term. In 2009, while attending a statewide mayoral conference, I was asked to sign a “petition” affirming my support for safer communities. I signed, because who would not be for safer communities? What I found out later is that my name was being used in anti-gun propaganda to further the personal agenda of Mayor Bloomberg.
The organization never asked for permission or asked for approval to use my name to promote their agenda. Never was any information disclosed to me about the organization being in favor of gun control or that they would use my position as Mayor to spend millions of dollars to try to take away the rights of legal gun owners. I, like several other Mayors around the country were defrauded by Bloomberg and MAIG.
Once I learned of their deceptive ways, it took several months to contact the organization as they concealed information about the people behind the group. After several attempts and requests to be removed, I did finally receive a call from a representative of the organization attempting to “buy me off” by promising political donations in return for my continued membership.
It was not until I declined this payoff, that my name was finally removed.
As noted in a previous Guns.com article, Mayor Maher is not the only one to accuse MAIG of using the bait-and-swtich tactic to solicit their membership.
Lawrence Morrissey, the mayor of Rockford, Illinois, terminated his membership in June for similar reasons.
“I’ve dropped out of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG),” Morrissey announced to a crowd of about 200 people at a local Tea Party rally on June 22. “The reason why I joined the group in the first place is because I took the name for what it said. Against ‘Illegal’ guns.”
Morrissey went on to note that bans on so-called ‘assault weapons’ and ‘high-capacity’ magazines and laws that target responsible gun owners should not be the focus of lawmakers and politicians.
“As the original mission swayed, that’s when I decided that it was no longer in line with my beliefs. … So that’s why I dropped out,” Morrissey explained. “The focus should not be against law-abiding citizens. We should be focusing our enforcement on folks who have no right to carry a gun, concealed or otherwise.
Likewise, Mayor Donnalee Lozeau of Nashua, New Hampshire, withdrew her support from the group after it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars running attack ads on Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).
Ayotte voted against the Manchin-Toomey expanded background check bill that would have required criminal background checks for firearms transfers made over the Internet and at gun shows. MAIG accused Ayotte of flip-flopping on the issue, that she once supported UBCs but then had a change of heart.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute. I don’t want to be part of something like that,’” Lozeau told The Manchester Union Leader. “I told them, ‘You’re Mayors Against Illegal Guns; you’re not mayors for gun control.’”
MAIG has made the headlines recently for a number of different SNAFUs, including reading the names of the Boston Bombing suspects in a ceremony honoring “victims of gun violence,” using city resources to host the group’s website, an active member being arrested for firing a handgun at a 20-year-old male during a sexual encounter (see video below) and reports that over 50 mayors have left the group over the last six months.
Yet, despite these setbacks and allegations, MAIG claims that it’s thriving.
Mark Glaze, MAIG’s director, addressed the organization’s turnover specifically, suggesting that it was no big deal and that overall things are trending up for MAIG.
“Mayors come and go,” Glaze told Buzzfeed. Adding, “We lose them on occasion, but it’s going upward.”
Bloomberg’s got $27 billion. As long as he continues to open his wallet and offer money to feckless lawmakers and city leaders, MAIG will have clout in the political arena.