There is an interesting Republican primary unfolding in New York’s “gun country.” Congressional District 27 hosts a spirited contest scheduled for June 26 between New York State Rifle and Pistol Association board member and veteran’s coordinator David Bellavia, and a wealthy founding member of County Executives Against Illegal Guns (CEAG), former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.
If the establishment Republican millionaire Collins defeats the decorated combat veteran Bellavia in the GOP primary, many argue Collins has no shot to beat Democrat incumbent Rep. Kathy Hochul in November. Here is the rub: Hochul is a solid Second Amendment backer and rural pro-gun voters will bolt the GOP nominee in a hot second when they learn Collins was once in league with gun grabbing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
And if you are not a close reader of reputable Second Amendment blogs, you heard it here first.
Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAG) was founded in April 2006 and immediately published a Web site clearly stating its anti-Constitution rhetoric. The group commenced a campaign to convince others that firearms are inherently ‘Illegal’ when they are not and pretends the Second Amendment does not say what it says. MAG misses the Framers’ point entirely when they claim gun control laws and gun bans keep communities safe.
In fact, MAG flat out subverts the Framers’ intent by working behind the scenes to have legal firearms declared illegal to then pursue their real goal: take away our guns.
Announcing the formation of CEAG two years later in April 2008, Bloomberg issued a press release promising to “work closely” with CEAG to “make a point that the county executives have reinforced: the illegal gun issue has nothing to do with the Second Amendment and everything to do with keeping our communities safe.”
According to many reputable Second Amendment blogs, the original launch press release for the MAG offshoot listed then-Erie County Executive Collins as a founding member. For instance, Guns Holsters and Gear discusses the 2008 CEAG launch and identifies the following County Executives as founding members:
Founding Co-Chair: County Executive Andy Spano – Westchester County, NY
Founding Co-Chair: County Mayor Iliff McMahan, Jr., Cocke County, TN
Founding Co-Chair: County Executive Kathleen Falk, Dane County, WI
Founding Co-Chair: County Executive Jack Johnson, Prince George’s County, MD
County Executive Robert Bondi – Putnam County, NY
County Executive Chris Collins – Erie County, NY – HERE HE IS!!
County Executive Chris Coons – New Castle County, DE
County Executive Barbara Fiala – Broome County, NY
County Judge Carlos Garcia – Frio, TX
Parish President Bill Hubbard – St. John the Baptist Parish, LA
County Executive Peter Kremen – Whatcom County, WA
Borough President Marty Markowitz – Brooklyn, NY
County Executive Anthony Picente – Oneida County, NY
County Mayor Willie Spencer – Hardemon County, TN
County Executive Herd Sullivan – White Co, TN
County Mayor J. Allen Watson – Monroe Co, TN
Collins told me that CEAG did not accurately portray its agenda when he first signed on but he figured it out and withdrew support about a week later. He says the co-founder title is “blown out of proportion.” Yet, no leading politician would ever join a group without at least checking its website.
Inside sources say Collins knew of Bloomberg’s antics before signing on and did not see a problem until he was braced by Empire State gun rights advocates and disassociated himself from Bloomberg and his anti-Constitution groups a few months later – not one week, as he says.
Currently, MAG’s website is quite clearly scrubbed of any mention of Collins. But several intrepid pro-gun bloggers caught Collins red handed in 2008 and his role as a CEAG founding member remains memorialized on the Web today.
In fact, MAG flat out subverts the Framers’ intent by working behind the scenes to kill pro-gun legislation and pass gun control laws that negatively affect law abiding citizens who own perfectly legal guns. The NRA says the group is one of the greatest dangers to the Second Amendment today.
Collins was elected as Erie County Executive in November 2007, but lost to a very liberal Democrat Mark Poloncarz in the November 2011 election, squashing talk of a 2014 run for Governor of New York. Out of a job, Collins stepped in to challenge pro-gun Bellavia for the New York CD27 Republican primary. The winner will face-off against an NRA-backed Democratic Rep. Hochul, who is pro-gun but in lock step with the Obama administration on just about every other issue.
If the GOP expects to actually pick-up a House seat, they will not be able to proceed with an establishment RINO anti-gun candidate, particularly with the district’s rural pro-gun voters. The writing is on the wall; it says: Collins’ chance of winning against the incumbent Democrat is slim to none.
Republicans who want to win in the general election will support Silver Star recipient David Bellavia in the primary. Bellavia is without a scintilla of doubt the only pro-Second Amendment GOP candidate, and therefore the only Republican who can beat Hochul.
CEAG is a far left group of thugs who work tirelessly to undermine the Constitution in their efforts to disarm the country. Just like the mothership Bloomberg group MAG, they are not to be entertained, supported, nor trusted by true advocates for the Second Amendment.
Still thinking Collins can beat Hochul?
Please sit down, do not hold heavy objects and take a deep breath, a glass of water or a shot of whiskey. Here is CEAG’s Statement of Principles:
Punish – to the maximum extent of the law – criminals who possess, use, and traffic in illegal guns. (Guns are not illegal!)
Target and hold accountable irresponsible gun dealers who break state and federal laws, including those who sell guns to straw purchasers. Promote measures that responsible gun retailers can adopt to minimize the risk of guns ending up in the hands of criminals. (Arrogantly targets gun dealers as irresponsible.)
Oppose all federal efforts to restrict cities’, counties’, and states’ right to access, use, and share trace data that is so essential to effective enforcement, or to interfere with the ability of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to combat illegal gun trafficking. (14thAmendment protects individuals from municipalities that do not abide by the Constitution.)
Support common-sense legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of criminals, including terrorists. Ensure that all gun sales involve background checks that access all the available information about persons prohibited under state and federal law from buying guns, such as those with mental illness. (These laws are enforced, stupid!)
Work to develop and use technologies that aid in the detection and apprehension of illegal gun criminals and traffickers, including efforts to share regional information. (Guns are not illegal!)
Pursue local, state, and federal legislation that targets illegal guns; coordinate criminal, administrative, and civil enforcement, and share information and best practices. (Ditto!)
Invite other county executives to join us in this new national effort. (No, thank you!)
Imagine the General Election campaign literature Rep. Hochul will make of that Manifesto! She will drive Second Amendment Republican voters into her camp and win reelection. On June 26th, there is only one choice for pro-gun Republican voters in New York’s 27th Congressional District Primary: combat hero David Bellavia. You heard it here first.