Michael Bloomberg founded and funded entities are distancing themselves from the newly-launched presidential candidate so as to trade on the appearance of objectivity. From a Trace staffer:
The Trace is not "owned" by Mike Bloomberg; he doesn't even fund the 501c3 from which we receive grants. https://t.co/6P1ym3m22F
— Jennifer Mascia (@JenniferMascia) November 26, 2019
Let’s play “Fill in the Blanks”. pic.twitter.com/7pEM5EZlYi
— Nick (@muscadyne) November 26, 2019
Let’s look at the facts:
In the only story about The Trace, New York’s “Capital” said the site will be the editorial arm of Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. The group draws attention to gun violence, builds protests against organizations and companies that don’t ban guns in stores, and promotes background checks.
For a refresher on Everytown for Gun Safety, Bloomberg created Moms Demand and hired a PR professional to front the organization, which was later reorganized under Everytown:
Women, and mothers in particular, will be the focus of the organizing and outreach, a path that he and his advisers have modeled after groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The plans call for a restructuring of the gun control groups he funds, Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be brought under one new umbrella group called Everytown for Gun Safety.
Yes, it’s widely reported that Bloomberg funds and directs The Trace:
Yet that doesn’t explain why this band of “independent” journalists fails to mention its association with John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, Everytown’s fundraising arm, and president and board director of the Trace.
In fact, a search of the Trace’s website reveals zero references to Feinblatt—save where he appears on their IRS Form 990 tax filings.
From 2010 to 2013, Feinblatt worked as an aide to then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who even presided over his marriage to his partner, Jonathan Mintz, in 2011. Feinblatt assumed control of Everytown soon after Bloomberg founded it in 2014. He’s something of a one-trick pony; last November Feinblatt called the Democratic Party’s success in retaking the House of Representatives a “mandate for Congress to act on guns” and bragged about Everytown’s success in aiding pro-gun control Democrats in their 2018 congressional races.
Feinblatt’s been president of the Trace’s board of directors since the very beginning, according to the group’s 2015 filing.
That’s not surprising, either—an archived version of the Trace’s website from December 2015 reveals that the group’s “seed funding was provided by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund
While 501(c)(3) nonprofits like the Trace aren’t required to disclose their donors (only the donation amounts), Everytown’s 2017 IRS filing reveals that it supplied over $1.8 million to the group in 2017—or 63 percent of the group’s total revenues for that year.
Bloomberg’s right hand man describes how they came up with the entity:
Bloomberg’s organization is providing seed money for The Trace, which will be run as separate, editorially independent nonprofit. Huffington Post co-founder and BuzzFeed chairman Ken Lerer, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, and The Joyce Foundation have also signed on as backers.
John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said in an interview that the idea developed after his organization ran into difficulties obtaining information about gun violence.
I believe money is speech and unlike the left, I don’t believe that the government should tell you how you can and cannot spend your money in support of that speech. I also think you should be able to donate anonymously or publicly — especially after Joaquin Castro quasi-doxxed his own constituents for donating to Trump resulting in threats to said donors, some of whom are elderly. However let’s not confuse that issue with what The Trace is arguing here: that they are a transparent organization who doesn’t receive funding (or directives) from Bloomberg even though publicly reported information shows he’s the (by large) main funder:
Michael R. Bloomberg’s gun-control group has started financing its own news website, only days after a shooting at a historic back church in South Carolina left nine people dead.
The new site, The Trace, is being preliminarily financed by the former New York mayor’s group Everytown for Gun Safety
A gun safety group co-founded by presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg raised its most money ever in 2018, the year Democrats took back the House of Representatives — with much of it coming from the billionaire former New York mayor himself.
The 501(c)(4), which focuses on political initiatives, received $66 million of that total in grants and contributions. A source said $38 million of that — listed as an anonymous donation in the document — came from Bloomberg himself.
If people want to discuss transparency we can start by simply admitting that all of these anti-gun projects are predominately funded and directed by an anti-gun billionaire — which not only calls into question the independence with which entities like The Trace and Bloomberg News can report on statistics that contradict the edict of their anti-gun funder, but also their ability to objectively report on him at all as a Democratic presidential primary candidate, too. They’ve already made it clear (to the chagrin of actual journalists) they can’t do the latter.
*This just now from The Daily Caller:
Bloomberg News may be violating campaign finance laws by prohibiting its reporters from investigating its owner, Michael Bloomberg, while continuing to allow investigations into his opponent, Donald Trump, a former FEC commissioner says.