The citizens of New York City will have to support a new pro-gun control political campaign whether they like it or not. Brina Milikowsky, a policy adviser to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, recently revealed that MAIG will use NYC tax dollars to push for stricter gun control regulations at the state and federal levels.
“We want to give Congress hell during the August recess when they’re home,” she said.
To make matters more complicated, Milikowsky also draws a hefty $99,000 salary from the tax payers. It is standard operating procedure for government employees to be paid with taxes, but Milikowsky devotes herself to “legislative advocacy, primarily.”
Critics have cried foul arguing that the NYC government is using government money to fund private interest groups. It is not just the gun rights crowd that are up in arms about the news.
“It's clearly unethical for Mayor Bloomberg to use a taxpayer-funded staffer from his office to promote his anti-Second Amendment group's lobbying,” said Ken Boehm, cofounder of the National Legal and Policy Center.
John Kaehny, executive director of Reinvent Albany, similarly argued, “lobbying groups, no matter how laudable the cause they advocate for, should maintain and host their own websites.”
John McCarthy, a New York City spokesman, was quick to dismiss the concerns.
“The Mayor’s top priority is keeping New Yorkers safe and that includes seeking sane gun laws in other states and D.C. to help reduce the flow of illegal guns to New York,” he said.
MAIG and Bloomberg are venturing onto thin ice. Putting aside the question of whether or not their gun control policies are beneficial, using tax payer dollars for lobbying efforts is unethical at best and illegal at worst.
“What could be more arrogant than forcing the over-taxed residents of New York City to pay for the salary of someone to pressure state and federal legislators on the billionaire mayor’s pet projects?” Boehm said.
Ignoring the gun control debate for the moment, what do you think about MAIG’s funding strategy? Is it acceptable because the group believes that it is working in the best interest of New York citizens, or is using tax payer dollars for private projects tantamount to theft?
Source: Free Beacon