Blumenthal admits Gorsuch opposition about guns

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal admitted his opposition to Neil Gorsuch is about guns (among other things):

“… Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Brian Schatz of Hawaii became the latest Democratic senators to announce their opposition to Gorsuch … “We must assume that Judge Gorsuch has passed the Trump litmus test — a pro-life, pro-gun, conservative judge,” Blumenthal said in a statement. “In question after question, Judge Gorsuch had an opportunity to distance himself from right-wing groups. His refusal to answer only deepens the doubt that he is not a neutral follower of the law — an umpire who just calls balls and strikes — but instead an acolyte of hard-right special interests.” …”

Challengers for Astorino

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will be running for a 3rd term this November.  He’s being coy about taking a second shot at Governor Cuomo next year.

The Journal News reports that Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano won’t be challenging him.  As a general rule, Westchester residents should not vote for any candidate with the last name Spano.

His one declared opponent is County Legislator Ken Jenkins.  Jenkins does not support gun rights:

Westchester County’s Board of Legislators narrowly passed legislation Monday night that bans gun shows on county property … Legislator Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, the original sponsor of the bill, was joined by his Democratic colleagues in the passage of this measure which was first proposed after the school shooting which took place in Newtown, Conn. “To profit from this is just not the business Westchester residents want to be in,” Jenkins said …”

Two state legislators are reportedly considering seeking the Democrat nomination as well.

  1. Senator George Latimer. Supported the SAFE Act.  Voting record shows he does not support gun rights.
  2. Assemblyman Tom Abinanti. Sponsors and votes for antigun legislation. During debates on the SAFE Act he said (paraphrased) that he didn’t believe guns should be able to hold more than one round.

Suffolk sheriff’s race

With the possibility of the Suffolk Co. Sheriff’s seat opening this fall, two state legislators have come forth in hopes of getting the GOP nomination.

First is Assemblyman Al Graf who has a law enforcement background and appears to have support from the county party.  He is an NRA member and a supportive record in the Assembly.

Next is Senator Phil Boyle who has no police background and has the backing of the county Conservative Party.  His record on guns is awful and he is shamelessly dishonest about it.  He has switched sides on the issue at least three times.  He voted for the SAFE Act then sponsored a bill to repeal it.  What he is claiming to be now I don’t know.

Incumbent Democrat Vincent DeMarco has announced his intention to run for re-election, although his name has been mentioned as a possible Trump appointment.  DeMarco signed onto the New York State Sheriffs’ Association amicus brief calling for the courts to overturn the SAFE Act.

With no clear way of getting rid of Boyle, the next best thing would be to make him look stupid by voting against him in a R or C primary.  If he gets past that, vote for DeMarco or whomever his Democrat opponent is in the general.

Microstamping memo

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee has reintroduced the microstamping bill A-5826.

She has circulated a memorandum looking for co-sponsors:

A-5826

Democrats for Gorsuch

NRA is running ads in four states in an attempt to pressure Democrat Senators to vote for Neil Gorsuch. That’s good.

In addition, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has indicated he will vote for cloture on the nomination.

This concerns me:

“… Serious question: What leverage does the GOP have, really, over Joe Manchin? I know, I know — West Virginia’s one of the reddest states in the union and voted overwhelmingly for Trump, so in theory Trump could swoop in there next year and demand that Manchin be ousted. Realistically, though, Manchin’s going to end up voting with Trump and the GOP on a bunch of legislation over the next 18 months, which will put him back in the White House’s good graces no matter what he does on Gorsuch … On top of all that, Manchin has a strong electoral history in WV … The guy has never seriously been threatened back home …”

Here is the reason for my concern:

“… According to the NYT Mag, Manchin appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on December 14, 2016, the 4th anniversary of the heinous attack in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza stole guns, killed his mother, then went to Sandy Hook Elementary and killed 26 more innocents. While on air, Manchin again voiced support for his pet gun control item — an expansion of background checks in response to the Sandy Hook attack. Within an hour after his segment ended, Manchin received a phone call from Donald Trump. And while he did not divulge details of the call, he told NYT Mag reporter Robert Draper that he believes he has “a complete opportunity” to secure gun control under Trump …”

This is probably just hot air from Manchin, but I would not put it past the Republicans to offer him something in exchange for his Gorsuch vote.

Trump stumbles

The Donald has made the first big mistake of his presidency by demanding the House vote on his health care bill.  According to Business Insider:

“… “Guys, look. This is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill,” Bannon reportedly said to members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus …”

This was a really dumb move on his part.  It was a rookie mistake he can recover from.

The problem for 2A is that it comes at a bad time.  Democrats want to block Neil Gorsuch’s nomination and this gaff will embolden them.  To get past the threat of a filibuster, Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans need to step down hard on Chuck Schumer.  There can be no comprise here.  Any weakness on the part of Trump or McConnell and Schumer wins.

The exodus continues

Latest Census figures show that people are continuing to leave New York:

“… New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show nearly 73,000 New Yorkers moved out of state between July 2015 and July 2016. The decline was sharpest upstate … Overall, downstate New York continued to see modest population growth, centered on New York City. But that growth is being overshadowed by declines upstate …”

The next redistricting takes place in 2020 and goes into effect in 2022.  Assuming they don’t collapse beforehand, this will be the end of the Senate Republicans.

Antigun lobby day set for May

This year’s antigun lobby day has been set for May 17 at the LOB/CAP.

It is an annual event where gun control advocates bus in some children from the City, meet with sympathetic legislators and put on a dog-and-pony show in The Well.  I believe their top agenda item will be the mandatory storage bill, A-457.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is usually the host, but this year it appears that Moms Demand Action has taken over.  Here is a link to their Facebook event.

Gorsuch nomination

Senate confirmation hearings on SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch began yesterday.

The antis are not happy:

Dianne Feinstein attacked the NRA during her remarks:

“… It is the Supreme Court that will have final word … [on] whether the NRA and other extreme organizations will be able to block common sense gun regulations, including those that keep military-style assault weapons off our streets …”

It’s a safe bet both Heller and McDonald will come up during questioning. The Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the nomination April 3 and the full Senate sometime after that.

Ultimately I expect Gorsuch will be confirmed. There isn’t much of a well organized opposition to him, mostly people already angry that Trump won. Chuck Schumer is not doing a very good job at being Minority Leader. I was expecting him to be a much bigger pain than he has been so far.

NYC Moms Demand Action Members Meet-Up

Video from NYC Moms Demand Action Meet-Up.

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