Planning a deceptive, racially-charged attack ad that has nothing to do with their supposed mission is shameful even by Bloomberg and Everytown’s standards.
A hallmark of NRA, and one of the reasons we garner significant support from Americans across the political spectrum, is our sole dedication to issues pertaining to the right to keep and bear arms. To be sure, there are plenty of facets to our mission (hunting, Right-to-Carry, self-defense laws), but it is all connected to the American peoples’ right to possess and use arms. With this comes a measure of honesty; everyone knows just what NRA stands for. Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety on the other hand seems to think the merits of their anti-gun positions aren’t enough to win on, and in one Virginia Senate Race resorted to planning spurious attacks on their opponent that were wholly unrelated to the group’s gun control mission.
In recent weeks Bloomberg has interjected himself and his exorbitant wealth into two Virginia state senate races. According to the Washington Post, Everytown allocated $1.5 million to run advertisements in the 29th Senate District race attacking pro-gun candidate Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II. The group allocated a further $700,000 for ads attacking pro-gun candidate Glen Sturtevant, who is running in the 10th Senate District.
Bloomberg’s attempts to buy state and local elections are nothing new, however the character of his group’s planned attacks on Sturtevant are particularly loathsome. In a piece titled “Digging deeper into an extraordinary campaign expenditure,” two writers for the Washington Post outline the attacks. According to the item, Everytown intended to run an ad that “mostly attacks Sturtevant on non-gun issues. It uses allegations from a lawsuit and employs racial code words whose meanings are well-known in Richmond politics.” The writers note that the group’s ad claims “Sturtevant is being ‘sued’ because he allegedly held secret meetings to help create a school zoning plan that allegedly benefited Richmond’s ‘wealthy’ [white] students at the expense of the ‘others’ [African American] in a school population that is more than 90 percent non-white.”
Just as when Everytown discusses gun issues, it turns out the claims in the ad are wildly misleading. The piece explains, “the onscreen citation supporting this assertion references a suit against the Richmond School Board, not Sturtevant. He is one of two white members and was elected from the city’s wealthiest, mostly white district. Seven board members are African American. The board split 5-4 on the hotly debated plan. Two African American board members (including the son of the mayor, who is black) voted to enact the plan.”