Bloomberg spent a fortune on the 2020 campaign, his own and that of his party, with very little to show for it. While the Sanders campaign and Warren got a seat at the table in the Biden administration, the billionaire has little to show for it. Sure his pet causes, bans on coal and guns, move forward, but his big win, getting his own guy at the top of the ATF appears imperiled.
Biden is nominating David Chipman as the next director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Chipman is a longtime activist against the 2nd Amendment who had worked for Bloomberg’s Everytown/Mayors Against Illegal Guns, before moving on to Giffords’ Courage to Fight Gun Violence anti-2nd amendment activist group.
Michael Bloomberg was infamous for funding a variety of front groups against the 2nd Amendment and he had made a sizable six-figure donation to Giffords’ old anti-2A group.
So count this as a Bloomberg appointment.
But while virtually every Biden admin nominee has gotten by, Democrat and independent gun owners are a significant enough demographic, especially in some states, that Chipman is considered a toxic nominee.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said Monday that “there are a lot of issues” with President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee the nation’s firearm regulations.
The Senate has yet to move forward on David Chipman’s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. A handful of moderate Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), have yet to say whether they’ll support his nomination.
There’s not much of an upside to Manchin voting to confirm Chipman. And a major downside.
King and Manchin signaled earlier this month that they hadn’t been sold on Chipman’s nomination.
“The issue is whether he’s the right guy for the job,” King, who caucuses with Democrats, told CNN. “My question is whether he can be an effective director. I haven’t decided yet.”
When asked he’d back Chipman, Manchin said, “We’re still working on it,” adding that they had a “very candid conversation.”
Public concerns about gun violence have shifted from mass shootings to gang violence, and unless that changes soon, Chipman is not the ideal messenger for the anti-2nd amendment lobby.
And that’s even without the racism.
“He made some comments that he was surprised by the number of African Americans who have made it onto a specific promotional list,” a current ATF official told The Reload. “So, his insinuation was that they had to have cheated. Which is kind of despicable.”
A former ATF agent who worked directly with Chipman said he heard the same story.
Being an anti-gun fanatic isn’t fatal in an administration which has tilted so far leftward that it can hardly see the center, but in an administration whose base is heavily black and which built its identity around nominees recommended by the Congressional Black Caucus, racial comments are much more poisonous than opposition to the Bill of Rights.
The only reason the Biden admin hasn’t swapped out Chipman yet is likely because it’s looking to get the best deal possible in exchange for pulling his nomination. It also means that Bloomberg wasted an insane amount of money and yet is getting nothing for it.