Walden mayor says he was offered “political donations” to stay in the group
August 8, 2013
The mayor of Walden, New York says he is backing out of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, saying he was duped into joining and that the group was only interested in using his name and position to attack the rights of legal gun owners.
When Mayor Brian Maher signed a petition wanting “safer communities,” he didn’t think he was signing up to join a group that would aggressively pursue anti-gun legislation.
“I signed, because who would not be for safer communities?” Maher recently stated in a blog post published by Guns.com.
Maher explains he was “misled” about the group’s true intent, as well as “blatantly lied” to and even received bribes to stay in.
I’m the mayor of Walden, NY, just starting my third term. In 2009, while attending a statewide mayoral conference, I was asked to sign a “petition” affirming my support for safer communities. I signed, because who would not be for safer communities? What I found out later is that my name was being used in anti-gun propaganda to further the personal agenda of Mayor Bloomberg.
The organization never asked for permission or asked for approval to use my name to promote their agenda. Never was any information disclosed to me about the organization being in favor of gun control or that they would use my position as Mayor to spend millions of dollars to try to take away the rights of legal gun owners. I, like several other Mayors around the country were defrauded by Bloomberg and MAIG.
Once I learned of their deceptive ways, it took several months to contact the organization as they concealed information about the people behind the group. After several attempts and requests to be removed, I did finally receive a call from a representative of the organization attempting to “buy me off” by promising political donations in return for my continued membership.
Guns.com also documented previous instances in which other mayors have backed out of the group claiming they were tricked.
Mayor Lawrence Morrissey of Rockford, Illinois, for one, cited similar deceptive tactics as his reason for leaving the group last July.
“I’ve dropped out of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG),” Morrissey said at a Tea Party town hall event. “The reason why I joined the group in the first place is because I took the name for what it said. Against ‘Illegal’ guns.”
Nashua, N.H. Mayor Donnalee Lozeau also left the group when they began targeting N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte after she voted against Sen. John McCain’s expanded background check legislation.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to be part of something like that,’” Lozeau told the Union Leader Newspaper last month. “I told them, ‘You’re mayors against illegal guns, you’re not Mayors for Gun Control.”
MAIG spent nearly $1 million in attack ads against Ayotte, reported the Nashua Telegraph.
Berea, Ohio Mayor Cyril Kleem also decided to leave the group recently, but gave no statement as to why.
Last April, Infowars broke down the hypocrisy of Wilmington, Delaware’s mayor and MAIG member Dennis P. Williams admitting he “packs heat,” while at the same time being a member of a group that seeks to severely restrict the rights of millions of law-abiding gun owners.
MAIG members are also not exactly the angels they’d like us to think they are.
For instance, Marcus Hook, Pa. Mayor and MAIG member Jay Schiliro was arrested and charged for “official oppression, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, recklessly endangering another person and providing alcohol to a minor for an incident in which he held a teen male at gunpoint while requesting oral sex,” according to TheTruthAboutGuns.com.
“Another MAIG member, [former Gainesville, Fla. Mayor] Craig Lowe, was found passed out at the wheel of his car at the scene of a crash. Police say he appeared intoxicated.”
“Mayor Bloomberg should be more interested in the conduct of MAIG members than trying to pry into the personal lives of gun owners or soda drinkers,” the executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, Alan Gottlieb, said in a statement. “If anybody needs a background check, it would be a MAIG member.”
If Mayor Maher’s allegations are true, this would not be the first time the group has had to resort to dirty stunts like lying.
Last April, we highlighted that MAIG director Mark Glaze’s claims that gun registries do not lead to confiscation were directly contradicted by stories in his boss’s own news publication reporting gun confiscation was already underway in California.
Despite numerous mayors jumping ship, Glaze says the organization is unconcerned about the trend as more mayors are joining than are leaving. “Mayors come and go,” Glaze told Buzzfeed in July. “We lose them on occasion, but it’s going upward.”
“Gun Owners Against Illegal Mayors represents Americans united to fight the Bloomberg Gang, a band of organized criminal politicians. Originating in New York City, the Gang has recruited criminal mayors across the United States,” the site explains.