A mega-rich guy is trying to buy a legislative result and the NY Times applauds:
Bloomberg’s TV Blitz on Guns Puts Swing Senators on the Spot
The commercial is an unambiguous appeal to gun owners: a middle-aged hunter, rifle in hand, vows that he will fight to protect the Second Amendment. But in a sensible, father-of-the-house tone, he also urges voters to support comprehensive background checks, “so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns.”
The man behind the advertisement is not known for his kinship with the gun crowd: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the nation’s fiercest advocate of restrictions on firearms since the December rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Determined to persuade Congress to act in response to that shooting, Mr. Bloomberg on Monday will begin bankrolling a $12 million national advertising campaign that focuses on senators who he believes might be persuaded to support a pending package of federal regulations to curb gun violence. The ads, in 13 states, will blanket those senators’ districts during an Easter Congressional recess that is to be followed by debate over the legislation.
One might think this next passage belongs on the editorialpage rather than a straight news story:
In a telling sign of how much the white-hot demands for gun control have been tempered by political reality, Mr. Bloomberg’s commercials make no mention of an assault weapons ban once sought by the White House and its allies, instead focusing on the more achievable goal of universal background checks.
One might say that the white-hot demand for a ban on assault weapons encountered the reality that such a ban made no sense.
Eventually the Times admits that Mr. Bloomberg may be a flawed messenger:
The N.R.A. plans to roll out its own lobbying campaign, using print and broadcast advertising to reach lawmakers during the recess. But its leaders said that their investment was unlikely to rival the intensity of Mr. Bloomberg’s spending, to be carried out through Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group he co-founded.
“Can we match Mayor Bloomberg dollar for dollar?” asked Chris W. Cox, the group’s chief lobbyist. “No one can. We don’t have to.”
He predicted that voters and senators would resist a message from an out-of-state magnate who is associated with government limits on soda and salt.
“What he is going to find out is that Americans don’t want to be told by some elitist billionaire what they can eat, drink and they damn well don’t want to be told how, when and where they can protect their families,” Mr. Cox said.
Thomas E. Mann, a Congressional scholar at the Brookings Institution, agreed that Mr. Bloomberg “is not popular in many of the states he is going into right now.”
The Times resisted the temptation to denounce Mr. Bloomberg's opponents as anti-Semitic rubes... for now.