Everytown targeting local sheriff's race

Everytown targeting local sheriff's race
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

The idea of Everytown for Gun Safety in America getting involved in a political campaign isn’t far-fetched. I mean, it’s kind of what they do. Like the NRA, they back candidates who share their position on gun control.

That sometimes includes local campaigns. After all, in many states, there is no preemption law to bar local governments from passing gun control, and Everytown is a sucker for a gun control candidate.

However, they’re now throwing their weight behind a challenger in a sheriff’s race.

With a little more than two weeks to go until Election Day, one of the largest gun-safety groups in the nation is pouring money into the race for Bristol County sheriff with an ad urging voters to oust longtime Republican incumbent Thomas Hodgson.

The digital spot from the Michael Bloomberg-founded Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund titled “Record (Massachusetts)” calls Hodgson’s record in office “extreme and dangerous,” highlighting several controversies the sheriff has faced in his 25-year tenure.

This ad, which is the first such Everytown has run in Massachusetts, comes during a race between Hodgson and Democratic challenger Paul Heroux is considered a statistical tie, according to an internal poll conducted by Louis DiNatale of Princeton Research Associates.

Holly Robichaud, the spokesperson for the Hodgson campaign, responded to the allegations made in the ad, calling them “unscrupulous.”

“Every voter should be concerned about outside groups pouring in money attempting to unseat a pro-public safety sheriff,” she said.

Now, Hodgson isn’t my ideal candidate. He’s vulnerable in a number of ways due to some older comments of his, but Everytown–a gun control group–is attacking Hodgson with arguments that actually has nothing to do with guns.

Remember when the NRA was attacked for supporting politics that had little to do with gun rights? Why does Everytown get a pass here?

Anyway, they’ve thrown their money into the ring. It also seems they haven’t filed any paperwork on getting involved with the campaign.

The 30-second spot is currently appearing on web platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. It has not run on any TV stations in the region, according to the latest filings with the Federal Communications Commission.

Additionally, no reports from Everytown have been filed with the state’s Office of Campaign & Political Finance as of Oct. 20. The group’s most recent expenditure was $500 this past May toward the campaign of Rebecca Lissi, who is currently running for mayor of Holyoke.

According to data on the Facebook Ad Library, the Everytown ad first ran on Thursday, Oct. 20 and cost the New York-based group between $300 to $400 to run on the platform.

Of course, with the money just now spent, they probably still have plenty of time to file the appropriate paperwork.

Still, the idea of throwing their weight behind a candidate in a race that has no power to decide gun control laws at any level should be troubling for everyone, including those who financially support Everytown. If they’re paying for gun control to be enacted, why is that money going into a race where gun control is literally a non-issue?

For me, I’m fine with them wasting their money like this. I hope they waste more of it.