Mayor Bloomberg dropped $3.3 million dollars into a primary race between Democrats in California. Joe Baca, an incumbent US congressman, had supported gun rights for 20-plus years. His opponent was for gun control, and rode Mr. Bloomberg’s lavish spending to victory. The NRA sat out the race, attributed to the fact Mr. Baca had voted against the gun group on one partisan vote and supported Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. The message to moderate Democrats could not have been clearer: Vote against gun control, and you might lose your seat.
That’s a new message in gun politics. We’ve seen how primary challenges in the GOP have radically increased partisan loyalty on that side of the aisle. If gun-control advocates like Bloomberg and Gabrielle Giffords really want to change gun politics, they will throw their weight around in Democratic primaries in 2014, and let wavering Democrats know their intentions – now. Bloomberg’s move against Rep. Baca in California last election already sent a pretty strong message.