Pro-gun activist blasts state Senate GOP; offers to help Dems
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By MARC HUMBERT
AP Political Writer
February 6, 2006, 6:42 PM EST
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A longtime pro-gun activist said Monday he is fed up with the state Senate's Republican majority and is willing to help Democrats win the few seats needed to wrest control of the chamber from the GOP.
"You are no longer the lesser of two evils," wrote Gerald Preiser in an e-mail to state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and other Senate Republicans. Preiser gave a copy of the e-mail to The Associated Press.
A top Bruno aide dismissed Preiser's e-mail, saying he doesn't represent the interests of legitimate gun owners and "lives in New Jersey."
Preiser' move came a day after The New York Times, quoting unidentified aides to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reported the Republican mayor is considering helping a Democratic City Council member take on a veteran GOP state senator from Queens this year.
The Times said Bloomberg, upset with what he sees as a lack of support from Bruno and a lack of state financial aid for the city, might back Democrat Joseph Addabbo Jr.'s possible challenge to Serphin Maltese, a Republican and former chairman of the state Conservative Party who has been in the Senate since 1988.
Bruno spokesman John McArdle declined to comment Monday on the Times report.
Asked Monday if maintaining a Senate GOP majority was one of his priorities, Bloomberg said: "My priority, No. 1, is to do what's right for this city, and I'm going to do that to the extent I can. And, I'm going to look at anybody that's running and see how they have, or have not in the past, helped this city."
Republicans currently have a 35-26 edge in the 62-seat Senate where there is one vacancy _ a seat representing a heavily Democratic part of Buffalo. Democrats already have a firm grip on the Assembly and polls show state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer far ahead of his potential GOP rivals in this year's race for governor. Republican Gov. George Pataki is not seeking re-election.
Bruno and his GOP colleagues lost three seats in 2004 and came within 18 votes of losing a fourth. In New York, all state legislative seats are voted on every two years.
Preiser, the longtime president of a now-defunct group he created, the Federation of New York State Rifle and Pistol Clubs, has long maintained a mailing list of gun owners and hunters that he has made available to favored candidates for a fee. Candidates use the lists to drum up financial support and votes among special interest groups.
Preiser said Bruno has never purchased the list.
The list now contains about 900,000 names that Preiser will make available to Senate Democrats if they want it.
"This would include Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo Jr.," Preiser wrote.
"You folks have never prioritized solving abuses against NYC (New York City) pistol license holders nor applicants, and have gone along with so-called `gun control' measures of Gov. Pataki," Preiser wrote. "This abuse has continued for decades. You never went beyond `token legislation' to solve the problems."
In an interview with the AP, Preiser said he didn't expect a Democratic Senate majority to be any more sympathetic to his cause but felt Republicans needed to be sent a message.
"They've sold out on a wide-range of issues, not just gun control," said Preiser, who does now live in New Jersey. "They've become more Democrat than the Democrats."
While Bruno has moved the Senate majority to the left to deal with the political reality of a state where there are 5 million Democrats and just 3 million Republicans, McArdle said Monday the Senate GOP remains a staunch defender of the rights of legitimate gun owners and dealers.
Tom King, president of the National Rifle Association-affiliated New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said Preiser had no connection to the association and was wrong to attack the Senate GOP.
"To call the New York state Senate (Republicans) anti-gun is ludicrous," King said. "They are the only ones who have been preserving the 2nd Amendment in New York state."
King also said Preiser has no following and no worthwhile mailing list.
"He's doing this because he hasn't had any press in five or six years," King said.
Stuart Osnow of Prime New York, the company that maintains Preiser's mailing list, said Monday the list has been used by, among others, billionaire B. Thomas Golisano's unsuccessful 2002 Independence Party campaign for governor.
Associated Press Writer Sara Kugler in New York City contributed to this report.
If anyone was wondering, this is the definition of, "Cutting off your nose to spite your face." But he's from jersey, so what can we expect from him anyway?
seriously, what are the chances of us losing the senate this election? if we do, we almost certainly will get the new more restrictive AWB.
I would rather he help blind retarded monkeys in an animal hospital then the DemocRats.
I don't see the state Democrats being better than the Repubs, sorry.
Bullshit, bullshit and more bullshit....................