Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), the pro-gun control group backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, released an ad targeting Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), one of the opponents of the Senate’s high-profile background check amendment that failed last month.
The ad features Caren Teves, whose son, Alex, was killed protecting his fiancee in last summer’s theatre shooting in Aurora, Colo. In April, Teves told the New York Daily News that Flake had lied to her about supporting background checks after he wrote a letter to her claiming he agreed with her on the issue.
Flake voted against the bipartisan amendment sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), instead voting for a Republican alternative sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
“The issue isn’t just background checks — it’s keeping your promise. And Senator Flake didn’t,” Teves says in the 30-second ad.
The ad will run in the Phoenix and Tucson markets beginning on May 30, the group said in a statement. A spokesperson didn’t immediately specify the extent of the buy.
Flake has been one of a few Senators whose poll numbers have plunged after opposing the background check amendment, which would have expanded background checks on gun purchases to online sales and sales at gun shows.
Flake acknowledged the poll drop, lamenting that a Public Policy Polling survey labelled him as the most unpopular senator, which he said put him “somewhere just below pond scum.”
The Arizona senator is considered a potential swing vote if the measure comes before Congress again. On Friday, he defended himself on Facebook by saying he supported the Grassley amendment.
“Mayor Bloomberg can spend millions trying to get me to support his view of background checks,” Flake wrote. “That’s his call. But we Arizonans aren’t easily bullied. The legislation that would have done the most to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them was the Grassley Amendment. And that’s the amendment I supported.”
Here’s the ad:
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