Bloomberg Targets Rep. Joe Baca on Gun Control

Bloomberg Targets Rep. Joe Baca on Gun Control


Representative Joe Baca is running against fellow Democrat and current state Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod to represent California’s 35th congressional district. Because primaries in California allow the two top vote earners to advance in an open primary system, it is possible to see two candidates from the same party battling it out in the general election. Baca, who has been in Congress for over a decade, currently represents the 43rd congressional district, but he does not live in the 35th, which was created in the last redistricting. He isn’t precluded from running because of where he lives. This race has been noted because aside from pitting Democrat against Democrat, both Baca and Negrete McLeod are Latino.

Baca has been perceived by some as being pro-gun. In 2003, Baca received an “A” by the National Rifle Association (NRA) for supporting pro-gun rights policies. As recently as 2011, Congressman Baca has co-sponsored the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act, which would remove restrictions on the interstate firearms business. His campaign has also accepted a $2,500 donation from the NRA in this current election cycle.

Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been focusing on races around the country via his Super PAC to target candidates who he deems to be weak on same sex marriage, education reform, and gun control. He has eyed Congressman Baca as being soft on gun control. For the past six years, Bloomberg has been involved in a coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which seeks to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals.

According to the Press Enterprise, Bloomberg’s Super PAC has made a seven figure ad buy to help Baca’s opponent, Negrete McLeod:

“The purchase of air time in the expensive Los Angeles area media market is the largest single Inland area independent expenditure thus far in an election cycle that had already seen an explosion of outside spending in state and federal races.

The ad buy had not yet posted to the Federal Election Commission’s web site as of Wednesday evening (Oct. 31.) But Howard Wolfson, a longtime political operative who has served as New York City’s deputy mayor and is now overseeing the committee called Independence USA PAC, confirmed the purchase. Previously, the committee had spent roughly $265,000 on mail in the race on direct mailings supporting Negrete McLeod and opposing Baca.”

Baca has raised over three times the amount of money that Negrete McLeod has, plus he has the advantage of the incumbency. But interestingly, Negrete McLeod did receive a “B-” rating from the National Rifle Association Political Fund in 2006. However, on this year’s NRA report card, her score has dropped to a “D,” while Baca now has a “B+” grade.