“Please don’t throw me into the briar patch, Mayor Bloomberg,” Senator Heitkamp was overheard saying.
Mike Bloomberg is spending $12 million on attack ads designed to force U.S. senators to vote for national gun control laws that will supposedly save lives. However, the New York mayor’s commercials running in 13 states over the next two weeks could cause injury or death by showcasing irresponsible handling of a firearm.
Mr. Bloomberg’s organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, produced two ads featuring a man holding a shotgun, wearing plaid flannel with a camouflage cap and sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck. While a child swings on a tire in the background, the man says, “I support comprehensive background checks so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns.” …
Hizzoner believes that these Republicans might be willing to bow to the pressure from the attack ads: Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Chuck Grassley of Iowa (who is the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee), Dean Heller of Nevada, Johnny Isakson of Georgia, Rob Portman of Ohio and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The Democrats getting whacked are Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
The ad is below. Senator Heitkamp, no doubt thankful for the opportunity to obscure her squishy stance on gun rights, responded to Bloomberg on Twitter.
I wouldn’t expect @mikebloomberg to follow my advice on how to run NYC, and I don’t plan to follow his on what is best for North Dakotans.
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) March 26, 2013
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is going to allow gun control bills to come to the floor open for amendments to limit magazine capacities and ban assault weapons. Such amendments have no chance of passing, but allowing them lets red-state Democrats like Heitkamp vote against them while obscuring the fact that they’ll likely be voting for the larger gun control bill.
Watch Heitkamp’s actions carefully. I’m guessing she’ll make a lot of noise about voting down the more aggressive gun control amendments, while quietly voting for the larger gun control legislation.