Ad Slams Arizona Sen. Flake for Flaking on Background Checks

Last month, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake broke with his Arizona colleague John McCain to vote against the background check compromise brokered by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Soon after, Caren Teves, the mother of Aurora mass shooting victim Alex Teves, went public with a note she had received from Flake the week before he, well, flaked. In the note, the junior senator wrote that “strengthening background checks is something we agree on.”

On Friday, Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) released an ad featuring Caren Teves that will air in Phoenix and Tucson through the end of the month. In the ad, Teves shows the handwritten letter Flake sent her. “The issue isn’t just background checks,” she says. “It’s keeping your promise. And Senator Flake didn’t.”

Flake has disputed the ad’s claim in a Facebook post. “If you are anywhere close to a television set in Arizona in the coming days, you’ll likely see an ad about gun control financed by NYC Mayor Bloomberg,” he wrote. “Contrary to the ad, I did vote to strengthen background checks,” referring to his vote for the alternate gun amendment introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that included weaker measures to strengthen background checks (and was also voted down).

MAIG and other gun reform groups have vowed to hit Manchin-Toomey opponents hard. Opponents of the compromise have seen their poll numbers drop, and polling by MAIG and other organizations has consistently shown overwhelming support for expanded background checks.

There have been quiet discussions on the Hill about reintroducing an amendment with further concessions to Republicans. But in a meeting with reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that although he’d been in daily talks with senators about bringing background checks back for a vote, the Democrats still didn’t have the 60 votes needed to get it passed. Asked if there were any new supporters, Reid replied, “Maybe.”

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.