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June 21, 2013

Is Michael Bloomberg Using City Resources For His "Mayors Against Illegal Guns" Group?

I really hate doing the question headline, but this definitely needs answering. I started poking around last night.

At first I pinged mayorsagainstillegalguns.org and found that it was resolving at a New York City government IP address.

Pinging NYC.gov returns the same information.

It turns out I didn't even have to look that closely, because the mayorsagainstillegalguns.org domain is registered to the city of New York. As you can see there, the registrant name is "NYC DoITT", which is the New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications.

According to this, Mayors Against Illegal Guns appears to be a 501(c)(4).

Bloomberg's group, a social welfare organization set up under section 501(c)4 of the tax code, is the first to comply with a U.S. District Court ruling requiring such organizations, which normally keep their donors secret, to disclose them if they run issue ads that mention federal candidates. The case, Van Hollen v. Federal Election Commission, was settled March 30, 2012.
The action fund arm of MAIG is labeled a 501c.

Even if MAIG is reimbursing the city for these services, questions would still remain. Like, would New York City offer these same services to NYCTeaParty4Eva.org? Section 1072(p) of the city's charter on information technology appears to give the Mayor a little leeway, but I can't imagine it would cover his personal nonprofit groups.

p. to perform such other responsibilities with respect to information
technology and telecommunications matters, including responsibilities
delegated elsewhere by the charter, as the mayor shall direct.
Another Bloomberg group, Renew Our Economy, has their domain registered to Mayors Against Illegal Guns. This is all a bit of a mess, which shouldn't surprise anyone at this point.

At best, this is really sloppy. At worst, this could be pretty serious. We'll see what develops.


digg this
posted by JohnE. at 01:38 PM

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