The Bloomberg effect

Published 10:40 am Thursday, November 5, 2015

While I am writing this before Election Day, it will appear after polls have closed. By that time, we will have a clearer picture whether billionaire former New York City Mayor Bloomberg and the son of multi-billionaire Warren Buffet have bought the Virginia Senate.

Buffet is simply a liberal, excuse me, progressive New Yorker who our Governor has convinced that Virginians are dumb. We are too dumb to figure out who to vote for without television commercials one after the other. Bloomberg not only believes that Virginians are too dumb to not have his guidance, but also his fellow New Yorkers are just as dumb.

While he was mayor of New York City, he decided that consumers needed to be told what size soft drink they should be able to buy.  In addition, he decided that restaurants needed to be told how much salt their chefs could use in preparing meals  In each case, New York consumers figured out how to get around these rules.

In Virginia, the stated goal was to infringe on your right to own a gun. This was ludicrous on the face. Without a massive turnover in the House of Delegates, the chances of strict new laws affecting gun ownership could not change.

More likely, the real goal that Bloomberg dumped nearly two and a half million dollars in commercials was to intimidate legislators across the nation.

The message being, he is rich and powerful enough to make elections more difficult for those who differ from his opinions.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) put in one dollar for every six dollars that Bloomberg spent. Their goal was not to match his investment but rather to show that there are two sides to safety and Second Amendment issues.

Governor Terry McAuliffe invested over $2.5 million in just five races. I do not blame him for this. Clearly he had plenty of money gathered from around the nation. Therefore, he certainly had every right to try to regain control of the State Senate.

Between the various Republican organizations, we were able to almost match the Governor and other Democrat organizations. The League of Conservation voters, for example, gave 100 percent of their money this fall to Democratic Senators and not a penny to Republicans.

None of this is to say that there is a problem with contributions to elections; it is fair and reasonable.

However, all should be aware of who is giving and to whom. The Virginia Public Access Project organization has done a great job of compiling where money is coming from and where it is going. They work through the information that is sent by the campaigns to the Department of Elections and make it available in a form that is easily available to the public.

Frank Ruff, a Republican, represents Lunenburg County in the Virginia State Senate. His email address is