WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ramped up his efforts to fight gun violence on Wednesday with a plan to spend $50 million on a grassroots network to organize voters on gun control. The initiative's political target is the powerful pro-gun lobby, including the National Rifle Association, that spends millions of dollars each year to back gun-rights supporters. Bloomberg's group, called Everytown for Gun Safety, will focus on state and local lawmakers, corporate boards, and state and federal elections - "fields of play formerly occupied almost solely by the gun lobby," according to a statement. The billionaire Bloomberg told NBC's "Today" show he did not view his $50 million investment as a "heavy political lift." "Thirty-one thousand Americans either get murdered or commit suicide with illegal guns. That's the heavy lift," he said. The staunch gun control advocate already bankrolled a $12 million advertising campaign last year that promoted background checks and targeted key members of the U.S. Senate. The new initiative will focus on expanding background checks for gun buyers at state and national levels rather than on sweeping federal weapons bans that have been stymied in Washington. "I think the NRA should be very afraid," said Shannon Watts, a founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is a member of Everytown for Gun Safety. "The gun lobby has done a good job over the last 30 years of making a local minority afraid that people would take their guns away," she said on a conference call. Gun control advocates have long called for a better system of background checks. After 12 people were killed in September at the Washington Navy Yard, President Barack Obama said the United States needed a better way to check whether gun buyers have mental health problems. The NRA, the largest U.S. lobby group for gun rights, spent $20 million in the 2012 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The NRA, which claims nearly 5 million members, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bloomberg has been particularly outspoken about tightening existing gun laws since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school in 2012. The three-term New York City mayor also advocated for measures to curb obesity, smoking and even salt content in food. He told The New York Times he was proud of the work, which some critics said interfered with personal choice. "I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I'm not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It's not even close," he told the newspaper. Bloomberg will chair the new gun control network, which includes the 1.5 million members of existing groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which he co-founded, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. (Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington and Victoria Cavaliere in New York; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Ellen Wulfhorst, Bernadette Baum and Andrew Hay) nL2N0N817R
Rep. Adam Kinzinger says some of the documents recovered in the raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago may be 'so classified' they can't be revealed
Former President Donald Trump and his allies have called for the affidavit to be released after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago and seized documents.
Newly unsealed documents from the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago put Trump in even worse legal peril, experts say
A federal judge unsealed documents Thursday that contain new information on the legal woes facing Donald Trump over the Mar-a-Lago search.
Christina Bobb's comments on Fox News sounded more like an admission to some of Trump's critics.
- The Root
Previously The Root wrote about how Senate Republicans have no plan to present to the American people as to why they should take control after the midterm elections. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t helping matters by thinking people still have stimulus money to spend as inflation remains high. With 21 Republican seats up for election, McConnell is facing the hard realization that he may not be getting the Majority title anytime soon.
Even the former president fears Republican Mehmet Oz could be a loser, sources tell Rolling Stone.
- Rolling Stone
The singer-songwriter hops on a boat and rows away from the shore in the new visual for the Solar Power closer
Ex-official who investigated Hillary Clinton's emails said there would be evidence if Trump declassified documents: 'It can't just be an idea in his head'
"Programs and officials would have been notified," former DOJ official David Laufman said of Trump's claim he declassified all the Mar-a-Lago docs.
- Business Insider
Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham thinks there's nothing surprising on Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes: 'I think what we would see is hardworking FBI agents doing their jobs'
Stephanie Grisham said she's not "surprised" Trump hasn't released the footage yet "only because I don't think there is anything there."
- The Hill
Trump said in a post on his social media platform Truth Social that a “major motion” related to the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution will soon be filed related to the search. He claimed his rights have been violated at a level “rarely seen” before.
'I think he'll get indicted': Legal insiders warn that Trump could soon face criminal charges he can't talk his way out of
"He should be worried about all these investigations," one person said. "I think he's a target of all of them and I think he'll get indicted."
- The Daily Beast
HBOOn Friday night, Bill Maher welcomed an unlikely guest to Real Time: B.J. Novak, the Office writer/co-star, bestselling author, and filmmaker.Novak visited the HBO program to promote his feature directorial debut Vengeance, an indie screwball about an opportunistic New York City journalist/podcaster who ventures to red-state Texas to investigate the death of a former flame. So naturally, Maher tried to engage Novak on a number of hot-button cultural issues regarding the political divide in th
- In The Know by Yahoo
American woman dumbfounded by plate after ordering ‘chips and salsa’ in Italy: ‘I’ll never get over it’
A word to the wise: "Chips and salsa" doesn't mean the same thing everywhere.
- Harper's Bazaar
The singer, meanwhile, channeled Miami Vice with his look.
- Chicago Tribune
R. Kelly’s former goddaughter breaks down at his federal trial in Chicago, telling jury he filmed them having sex while she was a minor
CHICAGO — For the first time after two decades of swirling allegations, R. Kelly’s former goddaughter has taken the stand as a prosecution witness in a case against the disgraced singer. Dressed in a white blazer with her hair in long braids, the woman, now 37 and testifying at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago under the pseudonym “Jane,” told the jury she had sexual contact with Kelly for the ...
- Portsmouth Herald
Fresh from his “triumph” in obliterating a half century of protection for legal abortion, Samuel Alito gave a speech in Rome on July 28 aptly demonstrating his enormous self-regard, what’s sometimes called “the arrogance of power.”
- NBC News
A bride and her father have danced their way into the internet’s heart after a video of their routine at her wedding went viral.
- Business Insider
Explosions at a Russian base knocked out over half the Black Sea fleet's combat jets, crippling its warfighting ability, Western officials and intelligence say
UK intelligence said the "fleet's naval aviation capability is now significantly degraded" after an attack at the Saki Air Base in early August.
The model is mom to sons Kenzo, Gary, and Wolfe, plus daughters Aoki and Ming
This one may not help the former president's case.
- Detroit Free Press
All of a sudden, UCLA isn't sounding 100% in on joining the Big Ten in 2024. We've got a (familiar) solution for that problem.