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What Does the New Brady President Mean for the Future of the Organization?

The Brady Campaign board decided to hire a president whose entire background is in advertising and non-profit work. He has no political background that I’ve seen, and what little does exist is entirely focused on New York. In other words, they hired someone who seemingly has no real network to get started on the DC political scene.

Now, assuming he’s a Democrat*, that will be an automatic in to gun control political circles that Paul Helmke never had. Unlike Helmke, he should have a background that the gun control caucus from highly urban areas can rally behind. But, since he doesn’t seem to have any direct experience playing the political game, it will be interesting to see how far this kind “in” can really take him politically.

In my mind, this type of hire gives a little more credit to the idea we’ve been talking about for a couple of years now that maybe the Brady Campaign is taking a backseat to the Brady Center. It’s probably easier to raise the (c)3 funds, and this would be a step in the direction of really focusing on the (c)3 work that isn’t just centered around Dennis Hennigan’s legal attempts to re-write the Second Amendment. Dan Gross can focus on happy, feel-good things that will look better to donors who might otherwise be tired of the losses they have faced politically and in the courts for the last three-and-a-half years.

*According to Open Secrets, there is a Daniel Gross from New York who has rather modestly donated to exclusively Democrats since 2007.

14 Responses to “What Does the New Brady President Mean for the Future of the Organization?”

  1. Ben. M. says:

    W all knew that this was a different cat that they let out of the bag. A person not entrench in the decades old guns kill people mantra. They have a new genler kinder man, a man not saddled by the old mantra. The new modle is Softspoken, and caring, willing to use marketing and polls to tweak the debate. We may see a turn from the in your face tactics to those of coercion and feelgoodism to help the misguided gun lovers to see the error of their ways. I know better, the goal remains the same. Take the guns away from the racist bigoted gun toting knuckle draggers, and transform America into a gun free nirvana. I say BS, dont pee on my leg and tell me its raining !The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  2. I tried to come up with a comment and ended up with a post, so I put it up at my blog.

    http://ncguns.blogspot.com/2012/02/thoughts-on-difference-between-brady.html

    Here’s the important bit

    This is what I’ve been saying all along. They have to save their phony baloney jobs. They know that they can’t win legislatively. They know that it’s a matter of time before they get their heads kicked in by Alan Gura again. They know that their foundation money is drying up. They are facing the end of the (anti-gun) world as they know it. So they are going to shift gears, work on their non-profit mission, and focus on trying to fundraise their salaries.

  3. I see it as possibly something more basic. They’ve hired a marketing guru because they’re trying to ‘sell’ something to the American people that they don’t need and doesn’t work anyway (gun control).

    • Bitter says:

      So you see absolutely no relevance in the fact that his background isn’t political and is focused on the “feel good” non-profit work?

      The (c)3 vs. (c)4 focus is relevant even at the “basic” level. If they are going to drive the focus to their (c)3, they essentially have to cut any staff who lobby since they are capped at about 15% for that function. If his past is relevant to the future of the organization, it also means even the paltry sums from their PAC will likely go away.

      You may try to see it through such a simple lens of someone simply trying to “sell” gun control, but why this could matter beyond such a simple concept is in how they do it and who they try to reach.

  4. Dannytheman says:

    The first thing I noticed is that he was from Bloombergs backyard. He might be tasked with getting some funding from the 19 billion dollar man that runs the State of NY? He can keep pitching ideas as they run in the same circles. I’m sure they would like to run a stupid Super Bowl commercial.

    • Bitter says:

      Yeah, we think alike. In the “introduction” post, I commented, “Perhaps the Brady board looked to Bloomberg’s work with MAIG and assumed that if they could just get someone like him, they could come back to the top of the gun control world.” He’s a nanny-stater from New York, so he’s on the right path!

  5. Old NFO says:

    I think he’s being hired more as a fund raiser than anything else… They are cash starved, and probably will ‘center’ their campaign on selected incidents (with backing from Bloomberg et al), to bring in $$.

    • Bitter says:

      There’s definitely an argument for that. They brag in his bio that the last group he worked for had a $2 million budget, and that’s a good portion of the fundraising goals for each division (the Center & the Campaign) based on previous years. I’m sure they were thinking that if he could raise that in New York, he might be able to raise more money nationwide with a more recognizable organization name.

      But, like I said to another, one reason to examine where the money ultimately goes and what kinds of programs he tries to emphasize is to see what audience they are targeting with the money they do make. Will they focus on legislators? If so, at the state or federal level? Will they focus on public “education” or research?

      Politically speaking, if they focus things on the Center, then that means our only real opponent for legislation is Bloomberg. Well, Bloomberg and the apathy of many gun owners. Culturally speaking, it means we’re in a struggle for hearts and minds. We have programs to win that game. It’s called the range and training programs that show people how fun it is to shoot and how to be safe with firearms.

  6. Eck! says:

    Quote: entire background is in advertising and non-profit work.

    Aka: propaganda specialist. We can expect better words from minithink.

    Oddly Bloomie is NYC and is dearly resented in the rest of a very large state as HE gets they don’t. When you get outside the 40 mile radius of Manhattan he is “bloomie, spit”.

    Eck!

  7. Jacob says:

    I cannot recall his name ever coming up with respect to antigun legislation/politics either in NYC or Albany. His background appears more “educational.”

    • Bitter says:

      I actually searched your site for his name this morning to see if anything came up that I missed in the broader Google & Open Secrets searches last night.

      • Jacob says:

        Go here and here for his political contributions. Use the East 77th Street address.

        I don’t believe he’s been on the receiving end of pork from Albany. He did get $50,000 (through PAX) from the NYC Council in ’10 (go here and search under PAX.)

  8. About half the annual income for PAX/CPYV comes from their Gala according to their latest Form 990 (2009). Looking at the list of Co-Chairs, they use entertainment and New York sports figures as their draw. I think Brady is seeking an in to deep pockets and Gross will provide that. I’m sure he has a great Rolodex.

    Looking at Gross and PAX/CPYV, I think they are looking for a softer focus but with more intrusiveness. The CPYV’s programs include ASK which seeks to have pediatricians ask about guns in the home and SPEAK Up which sets up an anonymous hotline to turn in “threats”.

    As to his brother being shot at the Empire State Building, if you read it closely, you will see that it was by a Palestinian terrorist who would have found a gun one way or another. That part will be ignored in the press releases.

    One last tidbit – the Joyce Foundation gave his group $200K back in 2004 for the ASK campaign.

  9. Gene Hoffman says:

    He did help lead Kodak to bankruptcy. Seems like he has some appropriate work experience. Or he has a tin ear for marketing. Forget to edit the bio?

    -Gene

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