Donors Who Don't Even Give Money to Conservative Democrats Say They Really Won't This Time

Donors Who Don't Even Give Money to Conservative Democrats Say They Really Won't This Time

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 28 2013 2:23 PM

Donors Who Don't Even Give Money to Conservative Democrats Say They Really Won't This Time  

Greg Sargent scoops that Kenneth Lerer and David Bohnett -- philanthropist/donors from New York and L.A., respectively -- will "withhold any and all future financial contributions from any Democrats who don’t support" extended background checks in a gun bill.

It shouldn't be too hard for them. In the 2012 cycle, Bohnett donated a total of $219,500, but none of it went to Democrats who might oppose a gun control bill. Among the recipients who are still in office: California Rep. Janice Hahn ($5000), Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin ($5000), California Sen. Dianne Feinstein ($2700) The only red stater who got the money was new Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who represents a blue-tinged swing seat. Lerer's portfolio is pretty similar; these weren't rich guys funding whatever Democrat the DSCC asked them to fund.

That's why the ask is so revealingly small.

“At some point you have to draw a line in the sand — for me that time is now,” Lerer told me in an interview. “If candidates or officeholders can’t support something like comprehensive and enforceable background checks, then I wouldn’t think of giving them any money going forward.”
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Lerer and Bohnett aren't demanding that Democrats vote for the assault weapons ban as an amendment to a gun bill. They're demanding support for a bill that's already been watered down. That's an impressive amount of ideological realism!

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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