Well, They’ve Been Out Branded by Bloomberg

John Richardson notes that Dan Gross is stepping down as head of the Brady Campaign. He will be replaced by co-presidents Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner. Co-Presidents? Really? Does that ever work?

The problem the Brady Campaign has is that it’s been outcompeted by Bloomberg. Brady has the problem of being dependent on fundraising from the general public, and the issue has a limited pool of donors. Bloomberg’s money has probably enabled Everytown et al to hoover up a decent chunk of Brady’s donor and support base. I haven’t given much thought to Brady these days, because they are largely irrelevant. Remember, the movement was on the outs before Bloomberg came along, and I can’t imagine things have gotten better for the groups without wealthy patrons.

22 thoughts on “Well, They’ve Been Out Branded by Bloomberg”

  1. I have been tracking the Bradybots since SCOTUS announced it was taking Heller–and under Helmke and Henigan, the Bradybots couldn’t lead an adolescent retriever to a bunch of said retriever’s favorite first graders

  2. In terms of stayin’ alive, it appears to me that “the left” can’t hold a candle to “the right” in terms of fund raising acumen, and dare I say, cynicism. If I’m right, I don’t know why that is, other than perhaps as a “movement” they allowed themselves to become too dependent of sugar daddies — the Bloombergs and the Soroses, maybe?

    On the other hand, “the right” appears to have a lot more sugar daddies; but again, as a “movement” they seem to be better organized qnd strategized. Their sugar daddies don’t just keep dumping money; they are more likely to provide seed money to get started, while providing training and resources for fund raising tactics, so their groups shortly become very profitable.

    I will make my standard disclaimer that all of my first-hand experience was with “the right,” so I have not been in a position to know Class One how “the left” organizes its strategies; but that’s how it appears to me.

    1. Almost all politically active billionaires are leftists. The right has the Koch brother (if you consider libertarian rightist). The left has Bloomberg, Soros, Bezos, Gates, Styer, Schmidt, Zuckerberg, Allen, etc. Why bother with fundraising when you can just get one of these guys to write you a check. Or suppress contrary opinion for free.

      1. “Why bother with fundraising when you can just get one of these guys to write you a check.”

        Well, I described what I saw. The moneybags fund startups, but the idea is for them to become self-funding and then some, and then fund other startups. The people like the Kochs and Coors and Scaifes and DeVoses tend to fund “think tanks” on a more continuing basis. (You don’t expect all moneybags to be dopes, just because Trumpakov is, do you? They like return on their investments.)

        I can’t say for certain, but the one major exception on the right may have been Rev. Moon and his family and enterprises. As you probably know, as owner of the Washington Times, he was sinking like tens of millions a year into that losing enterprise, just to have a propaganda outlet. But he also heavily funded the Council for National Policy, which (for example) every “name” in the gun rights movement has belonged to, including Pepe Lapue, Larry Pratt, and Alan Gottlieb.

        So one way or another, it ain’t like there ain’t enough money to go around. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons for all the financial secrecy allowed to 501 (c)(4)s is not to protect their gullible members’ identities, but to conceal the paths that money takes “on the right.” (Probably on the left to.) If people gave to save their gun rights from imminent threat, and found out the outfit had shifted the funds to, say, a gay-bashing outfit, they’d likely be pissed and lose faith. And more importantly, stop giving.

        (I used the guns-to-gays example, because that was my personal experience with the path of my own money.)

        1. “As you probably know, as owner of the Washington Times, he was sinking like tens of millions a year into that losing enterprise, just to have a propaganda outlet.”

          On the Washington Times:

          Founded on May 17, 1982, by Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon, the Times was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the church until 2010, in which Moon and a group of former executives purchased the paper. It is currently owned by diversified conglomerate Operations Holdings, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the church.

          Issues regarding financial stability

          The Washington Times had its first profitable year in 2015. The Times had suffered from poor finances and lack of profitability for 33 years.

        2. This on the Council for National Policy:


          CNP was founded in 1981 by fundamental Baptist pastor Tim LaHaye, author of The Battle for the Mind (1980) and the Left Behind series of books. Other early participants included W. Cleon Skousen, a prominent Mormon theologian and founder of the Freemen Institute; Paul Weyrich; Phyllis Schlafly; Robert Grant; Howard Phillips, a former Republican affiliated with the Constitution Party; Richard Viguerie, the direct-mail specialist; and Morton Blackwell, a Louisiana and Virginia activist who is considered a specialist on the rules of the Republican Party.

          Conferences and political plans

          CNP members have been given billions of dollars by Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church and the conservative Washington Times newspaper, and are aligned with various other groups supported by him such as CAUSA International.

          I suspect Rev. Moon has made George Soros and Bloomberg look like pikers. But, in principle it is the same thing. Arguably, Leninist tactics in all camps.

          (If you believe you are a free thinker thanks to the camp that has “educated” you, there is a good chance you aren’t.)

        3. Seems like Trump got pretty good RoI. He is President and those other guys aren’t.

            1. So what kind of libertarian cares so much about Russia. Neocons care. Leftists pretend to care to have a club to beat Trump with though the sane ones are backing away due to lack of any evidence.

              1. “…lack of any evidence.”

                Like the stray dog in my yard lacks fleas.

                So far it looks like everyone who was ever within five miles of Trumpakov had everything up to and including tin cans at the end of stretched transatlantic strings connecting them to the Kremlin.

                Sounds like you’ve been partying with Dana Rohrabacher, Putin’s Favorite Congressman a bit too much?

                But time will tell, won’t it?

                I forget; what’s the penalty for treason?

                1. “I forget; what’s the penalty for treason?”

                  Needed to answer my own question, so here ’tis.

                  18 U.S. Code § 2381 – Treason:

                  Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

                  (Emphasis added)

              2. “So what kind of libertarian cares so much about Russia.”

                Oh, forgot to answer that part. Sorry.

                The kind that notices that social conservatives love and admire Vlad Putin all to pieces, consider him a “true Christian” and “defender of the faith,” and long to emulate him in the United States, if they can’t actually bring him here.

                1. Meh, we have many more problems closer to home. When we can get rid of the Clintons and the Bushes, maybe I will start worry about Putin.

      2. “(if you consider libertarian rightist…”

        Libertarianism done right is neither left nor right, but with the Koch-funded Libertarian Party defining its identity, it became so thoroughly polluted that today people like Rand Paul and even Ted Cruz are routinely identified in the media as “libertarians.” Actually, the process of subversion was completed more than twenty years ago, though apparently cells of people who embrace close to original libertarianism still survive and cling to the party as a sort of remnant. I don’t know why.

  3. Without the Brady Bunch out front they no longer have them to help fund raise. Maybe, just maybe they die on the vine.

    1. I again have to write this in a whisper, because they are the enemy, and I don’t want them to hear me, BUT:

      If I were any of these groups I would shop around for a totally mercenary (i.e., not “ideological”) PR consultant, with a specialty in scummy, cynical fund-raising tactics.

      Failing at that I would try to infiltrate people into right-side networks to be trained by them; e.g., the training provided by the National Right to Work Committee used to be primo, and they provided training to activists in every issue generally considered to be “on the right.”

      For some reason “the left” appears not to be adept at all; I have seen some evidence of MoveOn.org using basic tactics, but nothing that could be considered rocket science or at all “professional.”

      1. You couldn’t do much better than following around Alan Gottlieb for a bit if you were looking at mastering direct mail fundraising techniques. I’ve heard a lot of opinions over the years about Alan Gottlieb’s enterprises, but one thing everyone seems to agree on is that he’s a master of that art.

        1. I won’t claim that I knew all of the nuances of all the factions, but I know the faction I knew something about — for want of a better name I’ll call them the “Dominionist” faction — hated Gottieb with a passion. They said it was for ideological reasons, but I now suspect they just hated the competition for the gullible dollar.

  4. Good, so can we finally be rid of both them AND Bloomberg’s stooges? Seriously, we should have salted the fields of these toadies long ago.

  5. FWIW. I’ve been reading this blog off and on for a few months and Whetherman seems to dominate the comments on every post. 7 out of 13 here, for instance. It makes the comments simply not worth reading when one person is dominating (sometimes also domineering, in other threads, to “correct” people and school them – especially when the other commenters are “younger”).
    This is not intended as a personal criticism, just sharing something I’ve noticed.
    It’s different when someone is an actual guest-blogger writing their own posts.

    1. If I can offer an explanation with an apology — if one is deserved — I made a conscious decision a few months ago to be the boy in the fable who says the emperor has no clothes — that metaphor applying first and foremost to not supporting Donald Trump, but also to other things relative to the gun rights movement (and political tactics in general) about which I am a contrarion. And which, BTW, I honestly believe.

      On the emperor’s new clothes thing, I think I’ve had the effect described in the fable, with more people speaking out in similar veins to mine, than had been before.

      On the “schooling” thing — I simply hate arguments based on statements of hand-wavy generality. So typically I’ll make a statement and then come back with a source quantifying (etc.) what I said, because I think that is what an argument deserves. I observe most people don’t seem to want to put the same effort into their counter viewpoints, usually resorting to dismissing my sources in some way, while not producing any of their own, or refuting anything specific from my source. Usually contending that George Soros paid for the source is deemed adequate argument.

      I am aware that makes me sound both argumentative and like a school/bar room know-it-all. But my career was based on knowing what I was talking about and being able to back it up, usually in the process of solving a problem that had been created by the hand-wavers. The physical world doesn’t care a damn for people’s opinions of how things should work, it conforms to the way things do work. So I guess I just can’t get over that.

      1. I also should add, that I am and always have been ready and willing to back off the first time Sebastian asks me to.

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