A ‘Second Amendment Rally’ is being held in Albany this Thursday the 28th, and will feature National Rifle Association President David Keene, and various other speakers opposed to new gun legislation passed last month in New York state.
The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act of 2013 currently hails as the single most restrictive assault on Second Amendment rights in the country, and was forced through the legislative process without public review – a tactic that even Governor Cuomo admits was the only way to enact the law.
As a counter to the massive Second Amendment support being demonstrated by New Yorkers, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) started to organize their own counter protest. The SEIU has strong ties to Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and the state Democratic Party.
But they weren’t alone. That effort garnered support from the Obama campaign arm, Organizing For America (OFA), which also made announcements regarding the counter protest. Together, the SEIU and OFA, an organization who recently changed its mission statement to specifically say they will not “be involved in any way in … partisan political activity“, announced they would pay protesters to take a trip to Albany to battle the evil NRA. Payment would involve the cost of the bus trip, as well as free meals for breakfast and lunch.
Here is the SEIU announcement on their site:
Complete with a request for the last four digits of one’s Social Security number:
And here is a screen capture of the OFA announcement:
You’ll notice the use of the word ‘free’ twice during the announcement. Bus fare and two free meals is nothing to sneeze at.
Roughly estimating, most reports of bus fares for those attending the original pro-gun rally (you know, those not being paid by the Democrats) have the rate at $25. New York state per diem rates for breakfast and dinner with Albany as a destination amounts to $61. Since lunches aren’t typically covered, we can only use that as an estimate – which gives us about $86 per individual attending this clearly partisan event.
While it is unclear who would be paying those expenses (my best guess would be that money would come out of union dues), both organizations appear to have decided that paying protesters, is in reality a pretty bad idea … for now anyway.
The SEIU on Sunday deactivated the sign up link, and OFA has also pulled their link. Clicking on it now brings you to a page that reads, “The URL you clicked references an event that does not exist.”
Additionally, the 1199 SEIU of Central NY Facebook page has announced the counter rally will be “postponed”.
Feb 28th Rally in Support of Gov. Cuomo’s NY SAFE Act has been postponed… please stay tuned for details regarding the statewide action coming soon!
Fred Dicker at the New York Post considers this having averted a “potentially explosive confrontation”.
And Assemblyman Bill Nojay (R-Rochester) added, “Rent-a-mobs to provoke a confrontation cannot have a good ending.’’
For now, the rent-a-mobs and union thugs have backed down. For now, the voices opposing New York’s Constitution-trampling new gun legislation will not be drowned out by paid union protesters on the 28th. And that is a rare victory for both the Second and First Amendment here in New York.