(courtesy SafeNevada.org)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the Daddy Warbucks of the civilian disarmament movement. Yeah, I know…that’s an oxymoron. But anyone who thinks billionaire Bloomberg’s deep-pocketed support for gun control isn’t a clear and preset danger to Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms can take the oxy off that word and apply it to themselves. lasvegassun.com has looked into the finances of Nevadans for Background Checks — a group pushing a ballot initiative expanding background checks to virtually every firearm transaction — and found Mikey’s their main man . . .

Of the $3.6 million in contributions to Nevadans for Background Checks over the last two years, $2.9 million came from Everytown.

Other early big ticket contributions in 2014 included $250,000 from Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker and $150,000 from Washington venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, the top individual contributor supporting his state’s background check initiative.

So the people without whom Nevadans for Background Checks wouldn’t exist aren’t Nevadans. That information’s not bound to please Silver State residents. Which is why scribe Megan Messerly’s story contains a good deal of dissembling. Like this:

Despite the national ties and national money flowing into the campaign, officials with Nevadans for Background Checks say the campaign is a local movement, spurred by Gov. Brian Sandoval’s 2013 veto of a bill that would have mandated checks on third-party sales.

“Everytown has provided some of the seed money for our organization and is a national partner,” campaign manager Joe Duffy said. “But, like I said, this is a Nevada campaign.”

As evidence of local support, the group points to the 250,000 signatures it received to get the initiative on the ballot — almost double the requirement — and some of the smaller contributions they have received that are not required to be itemized on campaign finance documents. The group collected more than 1,200 smaller donations of $500 or less from “grassroots contributors” in 2014 and more than 1,300 “unitemized donors” in 2015.

The biggest sums of local money pouring into the campaign come from Wynn Resorts and Caesar’s Enterprise Services, which donated $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, to the cause in 2015. (Myra Greenspun, wife of Brian Greenspun, the owner and publisher of Greenspun Media Group, donated $11,000 to the group in 2015.)

The organization also lists a number of prominent Nevadans on its advisory board, which is chaired by Elaine Wynn, co-founder of Wynn Resorts. Her name tops a list of almost 50 supporters of the initiative, including former U.S. Reps. Steven Horsford and Shelley Berkley; Steve Wynn; and Jan Jones Blackhurst, former Las Vegas mayor and Caesars executive vice president. Other supporters include religious leaders, law enforcement officials and advocates against domestic violence.

I’m notoriously bad at math, but if we start with the headline number ($3.6m raised) and subtract all the major contributions listed above ($3,386,000), then “grassroots” and “unitemized” donors account for $214,000 of Nevadans for Background Checks’ income.

If each of these small fry donated the theoretical maximum of $500, that yields 428 “small donors.” Just for fun triple the number (reflecting an average contribution of $166 per donor) and you’re looking at 1284 sub-$500 financial supporters for Nevadans for Background Checks.

Grass roots my tochas. Anyone want to guess how many dues-paying NRA members live in Nevada? There’s this . . .

The NRA has provided $43,000 in direct contributions and donation of resources to NRA Nevadans for Freedom, one of the official organizations registered to oppose the ballot initiative in the state and an NRA affiliate. Another group — Nevadans for State Gun Rights, affiliated with the Nevada Firearms Coalition — hasn’t received any contributions high enough to be reported to the state, though the coalition’s president, Don Turner, said the group had received “smaller grassroots amounts.”

Most of the NRA funds were directed toward printing and advertising costs, while Nevadans for State Gun Rights spent $16,000 on a public relations firm to help with messaging.

“We’re relying on our members in Nevada and some field representatives,” NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said. “It’ll be an old-fashioned campaign, grassroots.”

The NRA will appeal to the “libertarian sense of the state,” Mortensen said.

So there you have it: the same people who talk about the evil NRA buying Congress are outspending the NRA by a factor of 70 to one, thanks to liberal billionaires. The question is, will they win? The NRA might start pumping more money into the state depending on polling. At this point, Nevadans for Background Checks has garnered 250k signatures for their ballot initiative, so it’s on.

62 Responses to Everytown for Gun Safety Spent $2.6m on Nevada Background Check Ballot Initiative. So Far.

  1. Anybody still think gun control is a local fight and you’re safe cause you live in a free state instead of a slave state?

    If you do, you’re crazier than difi.

    • We are just starting to deal with this here in Maine. Shame our 2 major papers are complete liberal rags that would never run a story that makes gun control look bad.

    • Amen to that.

      The most pro-gun states aren’t safe, because when CA becomes unlivable the lefties will move out and start voting in your town. Maybe more than once, at that.

    • Well, there are two ways to look at it. There are may be millions of gun owners in California, but they are outrageously outnumbered and outvoted by the majority of the 38 million total California residents. So what would happen if some of those people in “lost cause” states moved to places that were more borderline?

      I’ve heard estimates that there are 9 million gun owners in California. Let’s take 5% of those and drop them into Washington state. Assuming those 450,000 vote the right away on something like I-594, then suddenly it goes from passing to failing. That 5% would be an even larger percentage of Oregon’s population. Right now both states are tilting to the left because of the population is growing in liberal areas, but if people wanted to, they could counter that. I’m not a conservative myself, but I would welcome that because strong representation from both sides keeps either from going off the rails.

      • Carlos, we run from CA and NY etc. and we concede that our constitutional rights are limited by our zip code. Is that a winning strategy?

        • In the medium term, it could be. Romney lost Washington by 464,726 votes. He lost Oregon by 216,313. That’s a total of 681,039. If a small, but significant percentage of gun voters from New York, California, and New Jersey moved to Washington and Oregon, they would become red. Those two states are 19 electoral votes together. But there are even better targets. Romney lost Florida by 101,309 votes. That’s 29 electoral votes right there. He lost Virginia by 149,298. That’s another 13.

          The point is there are a lot of people of the gun living in extremely unfavorable places, and if even a small percentage of them, 10% or less, were redistributed to other places, they could change the results of elections. Those states would continue to be virulently anti-gun, and more strongly so, unfortunately, but the trend across the country would be more and more pro-gun, and the greater likelihood that pro-gun administrations would be elected would mean more pro-gun judges, and therefore a greater likelihood of favorable court decisions.

    • Guess it’s time to let Caesars and Wynn resorts know I don’t approve of them meddling with the Constitutional rights of gun owners, a group to which I belong. I suggest everybody who frequents this site do the same. Drop em a really short letter, two paragraphs ought to do. Short, specific and to the point.

    • Actually if this is on the ballot in November, the issue is likely to be decided by turnout. Turn out will be influenced by several things we don’t know the answer to: Who is the Republican candidate? Will the FBI actually recommend indictment of Hillary or Huma or any of her other advisers? One thing that always turns against the Left is their dependence on the votes of the low education welfare class. This group of voters have consistently low turnout even to vote themselves more free sh!t. That turnout will go back to the historical norm now that there is no Barack Obama on the ballot.

  2. We will now see the extent to which “gun control” or gun freedom is influenced by culture rather than philosophy and politics. You’re going to see “universal background” checks in every state that hasn’t previously wisely banned registration (and maybe even in those that do), while at the same time seeing more constitutional carry states and overall gun freedom. Most Amerikans lack the ability to research, philosophize, or generalize. They can only particularize. They like guns, they want to be able to defend themselves, but they also don’t want bad people getting guns. QED.

    • “but they also don’t want bad people getting guns.”

      Bad guys will always be able to get guns. That’s something these gun grabbers just don’t get.
      Stay armed and keep your situational awareness in mind.

      • They get it, they just don’t care. A nation of empowered individualists is the opposite of their end game. Whatever amount of corpses or victims are created to reach their goal are irrelevant.

    • It needs to be repeated over and over again – the Second Amendment contains no provision for the government to designate who is a “”bad person” nor to thereby infringe on their right to keep and bear arms.

      Universal background checks need to be opposed because the entire NICS system is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, not because it is annoying to people who want to transfer guns outside the system.

      • “Universal background checks need to be opposed because the entire NICS system is UNCONSTITUTIONAL,”

        Well, there’s that. And also, for those that don’t think Constitutionality matters in the modern era, there’s also the pesky little demonstrable fact that NICS doesn’t work and is a huge waste of money.

        John Lott has quoted some interesting data on the background check system. Something like 95% (conservative estimate) of denials are false positives, and in 2010, out of 70-something thousand actual denials, there were only 44 prosecutions and 13 convictions.

        That’s an abominable track record for such a system…a system heralded as panacea to keep guns out of the hands of “bad guys.”

        So, ya believe the Constitution is the law of the land? NICS bad.

        Ya don’t care about the Constitution and think we have to do whatever it takes to reform America into a modern Utopia? NICS ain’t it. It’s a failure, and a costly one.

        • We still do not seem to have any way to figure how much the system costs, other than a bunch. I suspect if the numbers were known, the system would disappear in weeks.

      • does it rhyme with additional hominy? I love me some southern cooking, but I also have some opinions about bloomy that would be accurate, but not fit to voice in polite company.

    • I’m hoping Bloomberg actually runs. That’ll suck up a nice chunk of his free cash and split the liberal vote between him and Bernie/Hillary.

        • News reports seem to believe that *he* thinks they will! I can’t figure why, but he’s welcome, I think Hillary would disagree.

  3. I am so tired of this whole gun control thing. We were just in Vegas and happened to be on the strip with the lunatic that was pointing an unloaded gun at people and pulling the trigger. I heard the LVMPD traced the firearm used by the lunatic to a burgarly in Dec. 2015. Tell me how any amount of gun control (background checks) would of prevented it.

    • It is much worse than that. If a “prohibited person” really wants to defeat NICS (which will enable them to pass a background check for purchases from federal firearm licensees as well as individuals), all the “prohibited person” has to do is acquire a fake driver’s license. As long as the name on the fake driver’s license is not on the NICS list, the sale will go through. And guess what? If that firearm ever turns up at a crime scene, it will be utterly and totally untraceable. Well, it will be traceable to a fake driver’s license.

      So, how much does a fake driver’s license cost these days? I don’t know. I have a hunch that it costs about the same as a new handgun. And once an “entrepreneur” has a fake driver’s license in hand, that person would be able to purchase hundreds of firearms which they would be able to turn around and sell at a nice profit to violent criminals on the streets.

      • That is a theory, but I don’t believe it. I think, with no more evidence than you have, that the majority of criminals with guns either stole them or bought them from someone who stole them. And that those who bought them paid *less* than retail, not more. Is there any way to find out which is correct? All these alphabet agencies, is anybody checking?

  4. If Mr Bean wants to water the grass with his money, then he is more than welcome to.

    His donation was probably what he found under the sofa cushions.

  5. Bloomberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen and a handful of other well healed donors dropped 11 million dollars on the Washington State background check initiative.

    Didn’t stop any of the recent drug and gang shootings in Seattle. But they all sleep better knowing that they “did something.”

    Well, that and the fact that they sleep in fortresses surrounded by heavily armed security.

    • “Where are the pro-rights billionaires? Surely there must be a few of them around.”

      “Paging Charles and David Koch… Charles and David Koch to a white courtesy phone, please…”

      Or are the Koch bros. known antis?

      • Conservative billionaires ned to start buying Newspapers and media. Far more effective use of their political dollars than many of their bought politicians. There’s a reason folks like Buffet continue to intentionally loose money of non-profitable news rags.

    • Rich people care about money and power, not people, period. Billionaires didn’t get to be so by giving a sh*t about anyone’s rights; there’s no money or power in the prospect.

      All billionaire are very pro gun, as evident by them having armed security; what they are not is pro gun for the commoners.

    • A prime directive for any totalitarian state, is to ensure all levers of power, including wealth, is maximally redistributed to the state’s supporters, and those dependent on the state for their wealth. Hence the Fed, financialization, lawyer intrusion into everything etc. From those capable of being independently productive, to those not so, who therefore needs the state to underwrite their status. That’s the mantra.

      There are instances of anti government billionaires around the world. Or, at least one. He spent most of his life tucked away in a Siberian uranium mine.

    • It would be nice if it was a local movement, back to California, by the supporters.

      I think they all forgot why they moved here in the first place. Once they’ve successfully lowered our states level of liberty, they’ll complain about how restrictive living in Nevada has become, and move to Utah.

      • You’re missing a crucial step there.

        Cali parasites have to drain the economy with Soicalist programs and State paid benefits, first, then move on. People are fleeing Cali because of a high cost of living and lack of jobs, not because of Liberty or restrictions.

        • That’s funny, traffic is so bad in the silicon valley because there are so many jobs!

          Heck, Apple is building a new 4MM square foot campus and will employ 10,000 people. It’s always the flyover idiots who have no idea what they’re talking about who speak the loudest.

        • I live in Texas, the second most populated state in the USA, near DFW, one of top ten most populated cities in the USA; only one of the west or east coast sobby elitists would consider me in “fly-over country.”

          But, I digress. If Cali is doing so hot why are people fleeing the state in droves? Maybe because the average joe cannot afford $500K + for a decent house?

          But hey, maybe Apple can give all the 38 million in Cali a $250K a year software engineer job.

  6. This Nevadan will be voting “No” on this ballot initiative, and I will.encourage everyone I know to do the same. He’s tried this.once before here, and it failed then, we’ll make sure he fails a second time. 90% of the state is rural, with Vegas only being a tiny blip on the very southern tip of the state. If he thinks he can win by winning over Vegas, he’s as high as a kite. Bring it on, Mikey, we’ll run your ass out on a rail.

    • That was the problem here in Washington. BGC failed in most counties, but not in the population rich west side and the idiots in my county of Spokane. If all the population in the Vegas area is too great for the small counties with small populations to overcome, that’s a problem.

      • Blast it, you may be right. Some quick research indicates that Clark County, where Vegas and it’s outskirt towns are, accounts for 3/4th the population in NV at just over 2mil. Still, there are a lot of gun loving people down in Vegas, although someone pointed out that thee are a lot Kaliforbidden transplants in our state, and even in our rural area, that adhere to this kind of BS. I swear, they’re like the plague, they come thru, infect the area and then move on to the next state and do the same. They’re like the aliens from Independence Day.

        • Oh I know. They come up here where we have lovely lakes and infect the areas. Hell, this is Where Mark Fuhrman came after the OJ mess. He came HERE for gods sake, like a whole bunch of Californians do.

    • “Vegas is a tiny blip on the southern tip of Nevada”??? You must be joking! Clark County represents 75% of the state’s population with over 2 million residents and nearly $10 billion in gross gaming revenue generated annually. Without Clark County and it’s contribution of 90% of the state’s resources, Nevada is irrelevant.

      There are both those working to prevent gun violence AND those seeking to reduce gun restrictions everywhere. The viewpoints are not limited to California or Texas, urban or rural, or anywhere else; and for that matter, are not necessarily aligned with personal politics. There are plenty of pro-gun liberals and anti-gun conservatives. And if you actually believe that either side will be influenced by campaigns run by ‘Nevadans for Background Checks’ or ‘Nevada Carry’, you’re wrong. For most people, this is a black-and-white argument which means the only hope of resolution is to meet in the gray area; this will involve uncomfortable, inconvenient, and common sense measures for gun safety. Unfortunately, one-sided forums like this only perpetuate our inability to protect the second amendment while simultaneously preventing the 30,000 deaths caused by gun violence each year. Where’s the middle ground?

  7. As a Nevadan, I’ve got a real bad feeling about this. There are enough hard-D California transplants in Reno and Vegas, that this might actually fly.

    I’ve talked to a couple of former Californians that acknowledge the uselessness of UBCs, but support them anyway. They admit that there is no logical path from UBCs to a reduction in crime, but think it’s good to “do something;” even if that “something” has no measurable effect. They understand my argument against them, and even agree with me, but casually disregard our whole conversation. Because feelings.

    Shaking my gee-dang head…

    • If we could tell people how much the damn checks cost, that crap might cease. Note I said “might”, though, the stupid is strong among our opponents. You know, “do something” combined with “it don’t cost nuthin’ to try” adds up to increased stupidity.

  8. Sean Parker’s company was targeted by the Feds and then he turns around and kicks in some money to support yet more government…

    Battered wife syndrome or something…

  9. The 2016 Maine Universal Background Check (“UBC”) petition drive using paid signature solicitors was predominantly funded by Everytown and Bloomberg.

    The 2013 Colorado UBC and Magazine Limit Legislation battle was likewise funded predominantly by Bloomberg. Although two legislators got recalled, Colorado is still stuck with bad laws.

    Maine will vote on the Initiative this fall, whereas Colorado already lost……….

    It is time to spend our own money and time to hit the streets and get the public behind us.

    Big out of state money shouldn’t sit well with the “locals”

  10. Why is it we always hear so much about the money and influence that the gun lobby is throwing around? We need to start making it clear that the anti-gun lobby is doing the exact same thing if not more so.

  11. Maybe someone should dig into Bloomberg’s business dealings and see if there is anything that would warrant bringing criminal charges? Anything that would warrant suing him for a large portion of his fortune?

  12. So I run NevadaCarry.org and I feel like one of the few people in Nevada who is doing anything. Granted, it’s just a couple of pages on my website at this point, but the lack of action by the NRA worries me. A snapchat filter? Ads in American Rifleman? A few ‘community meetings’? A few of us concerned citizens have gathered on our own to coordinate on things, but the major gun organizations need to wake up. It’s time to stop this in Nevada. They picked us because we’re a purple state and will help validate their Washington strategy.

    Robert, you hit the nail on the head with your article. Thank you.

  13. I will find it quite interesting when the mental defectives that pass as legislators here in NJ start screaming about the “Gun Show Loophole”, there are no gun shows in NJ or private handgun sales (you already get a background check in order to get your purchase permit). They’ll probably pass a “Universal Background Check for the Children Act” and then whine when Christie vetoes it as totally unnecessary.

    • You may be saying that wrong, I am sure there are many private sales in NJ, what you mean is that they are not legal. Maybe they should pass a law against illegal gun sales.

  14. Well, Bloomie does seem to think that you should live your whole life in the way he thinks best. “First they came for the big gulps…”

  15. That’s almost the entire lobbying budget for the NRA on one ballot initiative. What was that about the evil gun-lobby’s money?

  16. I have no doubt that this will pass in Nevada unfortunately. Clark county Lib pukes will see to that…No doubt in my mind

  17. Wait, isn’t “outside money in politics a bad thing?” I’m certain I heard that somewhere. Big-shots buying policies and elections. Stuff like that.

    I look forward to Hillary, among others, calling for Bloomie to get his corrupting money out of politics.

    Still waiting.

  18. Well fudge, not this …. stuff….. again.

    As a resident of WA and seeing how relatively too little and too late the big gun orgs were involved in WA’s i-594 fight, my advice to Nevadans is to kick your butt into high gear and deal with this yourselves. Don’t count on the NRA or other gun orgs.

    The tough part is raising the money to take the fight to the media.

    And this is where the folly of “we’ll just rely upon the grass roots” fails. We did that in WA. . . had to do that in WA because of the absence of the big gun groups. I went canvasing door-to-door in my neighborhood. Attended No-I594 rallies in downtown Seattle. Called all the friends and family I new and tried to convince them to vote against the initiative. But to avail. The TV and print media was PLASTERED with wall-to-wall pro-background check ads. For months I didn’t see a single NO ad anywhere but on Facebook and a few measly yard signs.

    So Nevada. . . dig deep and get in on the media buys! Because you need to reach a wider audience than just the “grass roots” of who you know in your circle of friends and family.

    Best wishes and good luck to you all.

    Don’t be another WA or OR.

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