Jim Messina, President Barack Obama’s campaign manager, who will chair the relaunched, tax-exempt version called Organizing for Action, visited New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office at City Hall last week to coordinate the fight for gun control legislation, POLITICO has learned.
Aides to Bloomberg, one of the faces of gun control nationally, had already been working with Vice President Joe Biden’s task force on a gun control bill before it was recently unveiled.
But Messina spearheads Obama’s political arm, which has been established outside the boundaries of the Democratic National Committee and has listed gun control as one of its coming priorities, and Bloomberg has already made clear he’s willing to spend from his personal fortune as a counterbalance to the National Rifle Association.
The meeting took place late last week in the mayor’s “bullpen,” Bloomberg’s trademark walls-free office at City Hall downtown, although it wasn’t immediately clear whether the mayor was present. Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson and chief policy adviser John Feinblatt have handled the majority of the mayor’s gun control push in the past few years.
Messina did not respond to an email about the meeting, and a Bloomberg spokesman declined to comment.
DNC Executive Director Patrick Gaspard attended the meeting as well.
Bloomberg spent $10 million on a super PAC last year in targeted House races to back the opponents of NRA-backed candidates.
Yet, there was also Bloomberg’s approach in 2010, when the group he founded, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, aired ads urging key senators — including Democrats in purple states, such as Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado and Mark Warner of Virginia — to vote in favor of legislation closing the gun show loophole..
Bloomberg has been critical of Democrats as well as Republicans when it comes to not tackling gun control, and passing gun control legislation this year will require votes from Democratic senators who are facing reelection battles.