Greg Sargent scoops that Kenneth Lerer and David Bohnett—philanthropist/donors from New York and L.A., respectively—will “withhold any and all future financial contributions from any Democrats who don’t support” extended background checks in a gun bill.
It shouldn’t be too hard for them. In the 2012 cycle, Bohnett donated a total of $219,500, but none of it went to Democrats who might oppose a gun control bill. Among the recipients who are still in office: California Rep. Janice Hahn ($5,000), Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin ($5,000), and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein ($2,700). The only red stater who got the money was new Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who represents a blue-tinged swing seat. Lerer’s portfolio is pretty similar; these weren’t rich guys funding whatever Democrat the DSCC asked them to fund.
That’s why the ask is so revealingly small.
“At some point you have to draw a line in the sand — for me that time is now,” Lerer told me in an interview. “If candidates or officeholders can’t support something like comprehensive and enforceable background checks, then I wouldn’t think of giving them any money going forward.”
Lerer and Bohnett aren’t demanding that Democrats vote for the assault weapons ban as an amendment to a gun bill. They’re demanding support for a bill that’s already been watered down. That’s an impressive amount of ideological realism!