Bloomberg unveils $12m gun control ad campaign as NRA squares up

Advertising blitz aims to put pressure on Congress as pro-gun lobby accuses New York mayor of ‘intimidating senators’

Michael Bloomberg gun violence

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks out for gun reform at a press conference. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images


The television ads are set to run in 13 key states during the congressional recess and are aimed at influencing an upcoming Senate vote on gun reforms.

Announcing the move, Bloomberg – the co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns and one of the US’s most high-profile advocates of tighter controls – said: “These ads bring the voices of Americans – who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks – into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence.”

But pro-gun lobby group the National Rifle Association (NRA), accused the New York mayor of attempting to “intimidate senators”.

The new ads feature a man holding a gun on the back of a pickup truck. In one, he says he will defend the second amendment but adds that “with rights come responsibilities”. He goes on to urges viewers to tell Congress to support background checks.

In the other ad posted on the Mayors Against Illegal Guns website, the man says “background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone”, rather they are aimed at preventing criminals and mentally ill people from owning deadly weapons.

The advertising plan comes days after the Senate disappointed advocates of greater controls by effectively abandoning a proposal to ban military-style assault weapons.

Last Tuesday, Senate leader Harry Reid said than the ban would not form part of a bill members are due to vote on, as it did not have the support needed to force it through Congress.

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********************************************************************************************************* Politics prevent relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy




Hundreds of families placed in hotels since Sandy hit the city are being asked to check out

The city will look to relocate almost 2,000 Hurricane Sandy victims who have been living in hotels since the storm struck.


Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 8:54 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 23, 2013, 8:54 PM
NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Joe Marino/for New York Daily News

Jaime Betancourth, 20, was displaced from his Far Rockaway Beach 47th street home after Hurricane Sandy, he now lives in the Park Avenue Hotel.

Checkout time has arrived for homeless Sandy victims living in hotels.

The city is moving to relocate some 777 displaced families — about 1,900 people — out of hotels and into alternate housing by April 30, said Seth Diamond, the head of the city’s Department of Homeless Services.


Bryan Smith/for New York Daily News

Debris piles line Beach 118th Street in Far Rockaway following the effects of Hurricane Sandy.


Those who can will move back home, while others will go to relatives, said Diamond. The city has also set aside 400 New York City Housing Authority units and 150 section 8 vouchers for Sandy victims without other options.


Joe Marino/for New York Daily News

Sandy victims who were displaced are relocated multiple times to fleabag bedbug run down SROs.

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Watchdog: Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund has raised $32M, doled out $0

Sandy fund: It’s not speed, it’s doling it out right

Mar 11, 2013   |


First Lady Mary Pat Christie's Hurricane Sandy NJ ...
First Lady Mary Pat Christie’s Hurricane Sandy NJ …: New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie at the Morristown office of the charity she chairs, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Staff Video by Bob Karp
‘We have a very, very thin staff, really hard workers. We get everything we can on a pro bono basis,’ Mary Pat Christie says at the Harding office of the charity she chairs, the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. / Bob Karp/staff photographer

“I have taken excruciating steps to make sure that we give the money out in a really judicious way.”

The Sandy relief fund chaired by New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie has raised more than $32 million so far. But four months after the superstorm, none of that aid has reached storm victims yet.

In an interview, Mary Pat Christie pointed to the logistical challenge of starting a charity from scratch, the relief fund’s focus on addressing long-term recovery needs, instead of short-term relief, and her own “methodical” approach to putting the proper resources and safeguards in place, as reasons for the delay.

It was never the intent for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to quickly provide monetary aid directly to storm victims, she noted. Instead, the plan was to lend support to reputable nonprofit groups that will be providing victims with financial assistance and other services in the months and years to come. The relief fund plans to distribute $1 million in grants this week, with another $5 million to follow several weeks after that.

“I have taken excruciating steps to make sure that we give the money out in a really judicious way,” Mary Pat Christie said.

“You want accountability, you get accountability when you go through a methodical structure,” she said. “So, in three years when I’m still distributing money at Hurricane Sandy Relief, ask me if we’re doing enough.”

Mary Pat Christie’s defense of her charity’s performance, however, comes on the heels of the pointed barbs her husband, Gov. Chris Christie, has hurled at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Speaker of the House John Boehner, among others, for what the governor sees as inexcusable delays in helping the state’s residents, businesses and communities still reeling from the Oct. 29 storm. Christie famously called Congress’ holdup of Sandy relief “disgusting.”

‘Let’s move it’

The deliberate pace of Mary Pat Christie’s 4-month-old charity contrasts with the Robin Hood Foundation’s rapid turnaround of the $67 million raised by the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief.

To date, Robin Hood has awarded more than $50 million in grants to dozens of nonprofit groups, with nearly 40 percent of the funds earmarked for relief efforts in New Jersey. The foundation expects to commit almost all of the remaining concert money by the end of the month.


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