Words With Friends
Mayor Bill de Blasio today defended Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has come under endless criticism from conservative pundits after telling a local radio station that “extreme conservatives, who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay … have no place in the state of New York.”
Mr. Cuomo’s staff have insisted the comments were taken out of context and that he was talking specifically about statewide elections in Democratic-leaning New York. Mr. de Blasio said he shared the sentiment, after giving remarks to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C this morning.
The president of a local gun advocacy organization is fuming over a new Starbucks policy that asks patrons to leave their firearms behind when they enter its stores.
“I think that it’s a matter of entrapment,” Tom King, the head of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, told YNN’s Capital Tonight.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg chided Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning after the lawmaker acknowledged Senate Democrats have abandoned their efforts to pass new legislation expanding background checks for gun purchases this year.
Mr. Reid reportedly told a pro-gun-control group this week that the legislation, which was proposed in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, would be placed on the back-burner as Congress shifts its focus to budget battles.
Keeping It Cool
Republican Carl Paladino, who badly lost to Gov. Andrew Cuomo back in 2010, is predicting his former electoral foe will lose his re-election bid next year.
Speaking yesterday on YNN’s Capital Tonight, Mr. Paladino, never known for mincing words, slammed the governor as “self-absorbed” and “egotistical” and declared his gun legislation would be his end.
Despite being targeted by what police say were a pair of ricin-laced letters decrying his fight against illegal guns, Mayor Michael Bloomberg remained cool as a cucumber last night, saying he didn’t feel threatened or angered by the alleged attacks.
“Well, there was a letter that threatened us, but let me tell you, we are–number one–I have enormous confidence in the NYPD and the FBI and their procedures,” he told reporters outside the Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue’s spring celebration gala at Gotham Hall, according to a transcript of the remarks.
Over the weekend Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled a $12 million ad campaign dedicated to pushing senators to back legislation that would expand background checks against gun buyers. This ad blitz was the latest salvo in the expensive attack on illegal guns the billionaire mayor has focused on in recent months and it prompted National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre to accuse him of trying to “buy America.” At a press conference this afternoon where he was announcing a new program to help connect low-income city residents with job opportunities, many of the questions Mayor Bloomberg fielded from reporters were about his war of words with the NRA. Mayor Bloomberg first addressed the response he’s received after announcing the ad campaign and said an “enormous number” of people have thanked him for the commercials.
“Nobody’s going to walk up to me and say bad things, so I’m not so sure that I can actually represent, but I’ve just had lots and lots of phone calls, text messages, emails, people in the street … that are just so thankful that somebody’s willing to stand up and to counter the NRA,” he said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he’s unfazed by pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association and their lawsuits against New York’s new gun control legislation. Indeed, Mr. Cuomo took his argument a step further this morning and labeled the legal efforts “propaganda” and part of a plot to “misinform and scare people.”
“The extremists … spread fear and unrealistic theories of conspiracies of a citizenry that needs to be armed because the government is possibly tyrannical,” Mr. Cuomo said on The Capitol Pressroom. “You need a system and government regulations to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. … That’s what we put in place in New York with the New York SAFE Act. It doesn’t interfere with anybody’s Second Amendment right; … that’s not what the New York SAFE Act is about. That’s why they need the fear and they have to misinform and scare people because, on the facts, it makes total sense.”
When Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly passed tough new gun control measures in January, he faced a raft of criticism for skipping the standard deliberative period and allegedly ignoring the more minute legislative details. The criticism recently found new substance with the bill’s apparently unworkable 7-bullet magazine requirement, which Albany is now working to reverse. And, on his weekly radio show with John Gambling, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that “one criticism” may indeed have merit.
“This is true of a lot of things,” Mr. Bloomberg said after accusing an unrelated City Council bill of having unintended side-effects. “You asked before about the magazines in Albany. We just got to start to thinking a little bit more about the implications of things before we rush to legislate and rush to legislate everything.”
As the U.S. Congress debates gun control legislation, two of the countries’ leading advocates on the issue–Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Michael Bloomberg–held a City Hall press conference today to pressure federal lawmakers to have enough “courage” to vote in favor of the bill when it hits the floor. Standing behind victims’ family members from last year’s massacre at a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school, Mr. Biden and Mr. Bloomberg argued the measures being proposed are neither controversial or unconstitutional.
“There’s not one single thing being proposed–not one, not one , not one, not one–that infringes on anyone’s Second Amendment constitutional right. Not one,” Mr. Biden said. “Three months ago, a deranged man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with a weapon of war. That’s what he walked in with–a weapon of war. That weapon of war has no place on American streets and taking it off American streets has no impact on one’s constitutional right to own a weapon.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo says his popularity probably took a shot after he pushed through a controversial gun policy package earlier this month.
The prognostication in question came during a Tuesday morning radio interview with New York Post columnist Fred Dicker. Mr. Dicker, who’s sparred with Mr. Cuomo in the past on the issue, predicted Mr. Cuomo’s typically sky-high numbers would take a tumble in the next statewide survey and Mr. Cuomo simply agreed.
“We know what the polls say on this because we’ve done it. We haven’t done it after the fact, but they were clear enough before the fact,” Mr. Cuomo replied. “I think your prediction is right.”