New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a bit of a beating last week when his group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, faced a firestorm of controversy.
For starters, a San Diego mayor was charged with harassment, adding yet another name to the list of mayors facing corruption or harassment scandals. But to make matters worse for Bloomberg, a report revealed that mayors were leaving MAIG in droves.
The mass dissention inspired the mayor of Walden, NY, Mayor Brian Maher, to pen an op-ed for Misfit Politics. Though it’s interesting to see another mayor from Bloomberg’s misguided group speak out, one can’t help but wonder what Bloomberg had to do to convince these politicians to join?
We’ll let Mayor Maher explain in his own words:
After seeing the Fox News report on how mayor’s across the country are starting to bolt from Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns amid feelings they have been misled, I was compelled to share my own story how Mayor Bloomberg and Mayors against Illegal Guns blatantly lied and withheld information to get me and several other of my fellow Mayors to join their organization.
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.
My hope is that more elected officials will tell their stories of how this self-serving fraud of an organization deceived public officials. MAIG membership has been reduced in half as Mayors around the country realize the lies and deceit of Mayor Bloomberg. It is time for Bloomberg to tell the truth about his organization and apologize to the hundreds of Mayors he used.
Author’s Note: (H/T: Leah Barkoukis)