Commentary

We Don’t Need Bloomberg’s Nanny State Restrictions

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It’s pretty clear by now that billionaire and former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, is not a fan of the Second Amendment. In fact, he has already dropped millions of dollars in Maine just to dictate how, when and where you can shoot, lend or purchase a firearm.

While many Mainers fail to understand why a New Yorker would care at all about how law-abiding Mainers exercise their rights, on their own property, in the second-safest state in the nation, Question 3 is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Bloomberg’s pet projects.

Mr. Bloomberg, also referred to as “Nanny Bloomberg,” believes that you need someone to make your decisions for you and that there are times when government “should infringe on your freedom.”

Bloomberg made the headlines regularly during his tenure as Mayor for all sorts of far-reaching “health initiatives” that were designed to limit choices and control the behavior of New Yorkers.

In a 2011 interview with the Huffington Post, Bloomberg went as far as to take credit for the fact that New York City residents are living longer.

So just to give you an idea of who is funneling money into Maine’s “Universal” background check initiative, here’s a list of some other nanny-state initiatives Bloomberg has supported in the past:

  • Alcohol – Bloomberg attempted to limit the number of establishments serving alcohol, reduce exposure to alcohol products and reduce the advertisement and promotion of alcohol in an effort to target “moderate” alcohol drinkers.
  • Calories – Bloomberg required restaurant chains with 15 outlets or more to display calorie counts on menus, resulting in customers actually consuming more calories than before.
  • Cell phones – “You can’t use cell phones in schools, you can’t use IPods. Why can’t you get the message? They’re just not appropriate.”
  • Coal – In partnership with the Sierra Club, Bloomberg invested $80 million to shut down US coal plants, saying “We need energy, nobody disputes that. The question is: Do we have to kill ourselves while we’re getting it? I don’t think we have to do it, and nor do you.”
  • Food waste – Bloomberg required restaurants that generate more than a ton of food waste a week to compost their food garbage, impacting about 1,200 establishments.
  • Noise – Bloomberg established 45 pages of legislation detailing noise control in NYC, going as far as describing how long dogs are permitted to bark for. According to Bloomberg, “Noise disturbs our sleep, prevents people from enjoying their time off…and too often leads to altercations.” His solution? Impose fines for noise and ticket citizens.
  • Personal music players – “With public and private support, a public-education campaign is being developed to raise awareness about safe use of personal music players . . . and risks of loud and long listening,” said Nancy Clark, the city Health Department’s assistant commissioner of environmental-disease prevention.” That campaign cost New Yorkers $250,000.
  • Poor people – According to Bloomberg, tenants of city public housing should all be fingerprinted. Bloomberg said, “What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in.”
  • Salt – Bloomberg passed an initiative to reduce salt, saying “We have been able to accomplish something may said was impossible; setting concrete, achievable goals for salt reduction.”
  • Smoking – In addition to donating hundreds of millions of his own dollars to curb tobacco use, Bloomberg banned smoking in almost all restaurants and bars, increased cigarette taxes by 58 percent, making it the highest cigarette tax in the country and raised the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18-21.
  • Soda – In his war against sugary drinks, Bloomberg eliminated the big gulp by limiting the size of containers the beverages may be sold in to 16 ounces.
  • Styrofoam – Bloomberg backed a law to ban foam containers for food and drinks. This law was later reversed by the state Supreme Court.
  • Tanning booths – Bloomberg launched a public education campaign against tanning salons to warn New Yorkers of the dangers of UV radiation, requiring warning signs within three feet of a tanning device. He also required UV equipment operators to undergo training and provide patrons with eye protection and increased the frequency of tanning salon inspections.
  • Taxi cabs – A longtime foe of the yellow taxi-cab, Bloomberg set out to “f-ing destroy” the industry and put forward a plan to replace existing cabs with a hybrid fleet in his “Taxi of Tomorrow” initiative, resulting in a lawsuit.
  • Trans-fats – Under Bloomberg’s regime, NYC became the first city in the country to ban artificial trans fats in restaurants, in spite of FDA approval of the product.

It is safe to say that as long as Bloomberg has cash on hand, he will do everything he can to restrict personal freedoms and find a way for government to extend its overreaching arm into our lives, but his nanny-state policies do not belong in our neck of the woods.

About Krysta West

Krysta West is the Communications Director for The Maine Heritage Policy Center. Prior to her time with MHPC, Krysta served as a Legislative Assistant at the National Rifle Association. Krysta is a native of Arundel, Maine, and has served as an aide in the Maine Legislature.

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