In Parts 1 and 2, we looked at Shannon Watts’ history, where she came from, and her longstanding connections to Michael Bloomberg, which currently stretch back over 10 years. We have seen a string of employment, events, and inter-personal relationships that show that Moms Demand Action is nothing more than a manufactured front led by a handpicked professional PR maven to dupe unsuspecting people into believing that her organization is grassroots when in reality it is anything but. In this, the conclusion to our series, we will delve into the very beginnings of the 1 Million Moms for Gun Control Facebook page and Shannon’s instantaneous and meteoric rise to international fame through the mass media.
The day was 14 DEC 2012 and the Sandy Hook mass murderer (I refuse to name him and give him more fame than he has garnered already) had killed his mother, stolen her firearms, and murdered 20 children and 6 adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. I recall hearing about the event on al-Jazeera English (I was in northern Iraq at the time) and my first reaction was to contact a friend from high school who lived in Sandy Hook and whose young daughter attended that school. She was uninjured and wasn’t in the same grade as the children that were killed. My reaction after that was one of sadness as well as wishing I had been there when the shooter was getting his 15 minutes of fame. I daresay this was the reaction of every cop, Veteran and firearm owner in the country- to wish to have been given the opportunity to stand in harm’s way to prevent the deaths of innocents. Shannon Watts however (in her own words) had a different reaction.
She was in a yoga class and “fled”. That’s right she “fled” her yoga class, not because she knew anyone in the school, not because someone close to her might have been injured, but she “fled” in order to set up a Facebook page. Her first reaction to the slaughter of 26 people in an elementary school (a Gun Free Zone by the way) was to flee her yoga class to make a Facebook page. Reread that, let it sink in, and ask yourself if that passes the sniff test. Personally I think the stench coming off of that bit of fiction would knock a buzzard off of week old roadkill in August but that’s just my opinion.
The first post on the page she created after fleeing her yoga class had no mention of sympathy or sadness over the death of 26 innocents at the hands of a madman. No mourning the loss of children, our most precious creations. No care or concern for those who had lost loved ones. None of that from her, just a statement that read: “We need to organize a One Million Mom March in 2013. Join us — we will need strength in numbers against a resourceful, powerful and intransigent gun lobby”. Even if I hadn’t known someone whose child was in that school, my first reaction wouldn’t be to attack the NRA or the “gun lobby” but to be deeply saddened by the indiscriminate loss of life. Shannon however thought politics should come before mourning to the point of not even mentioning the shooting itself. To each their own.
Three days after Sandy Hook, with one single original posting on Facebook, it is now revealed Shannon has “Chapters” in other States. This is singularly odd as there is no call on the page to start Chapters, no information on how to start Chapters, as a matter of fact there is no mention of an organizational structure whatsoever- but there are now State Chapters. Even more curious is that there are loads of people posting on the page yet there is but one single post made by the page owner. Most of us know how Facebook works and we know how hard it is to get exposure and page views, yet hundreds of people are posting on a page with one single piece of content. 1MMAGC works hard to keep our readers engaged, to reach new audiences and to get our message out. Apparently all it takes is one post about “the gun lobby” and you have Chapters in multiple States and people from all over the world ready to march with you.
In a later post, the page references a story sent in by one of their “Members”. Keep in mind there is no mention yet of any organizational structure, no mention of how to join, no mention of a process to become a member- yet Shannon has lots of them. To quote a rather famous television commercial: That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
On the 4th day, the first domain name for the group is registered with GoDaddy using a service called DomainsByProxy in which you pay a fee to hide who owns the domain name. Now we all know Shannon isn’t shy. Probably the most dangerous place in the world to be is between her and a camera. She’ll splatter her name all over creation like a toddler with fingerpaint… but she needs to hide the fact that she owns the domain name of the organization she supposedly runs? Smells like more vultures are going to be going hungry today.
She also posts on her Facebook page that she is making national news, to include an article in USA Today. Why exactly is USA Today running an article about a woman who started a Facebook page with a grand total of 15 posts, most of which are simply links to other people’s work? I remember something else happening that was quite similar to this, something about Bloomberg’s news organization running a story about a small art gallery in a tiny Midwestern town. Quite a coincidence that Shannon keeps getting national news attention for essentially doing nothing.
On the 5th day she is on MSNBC. Looked at objectively she is there based on a Facebook page with less than 2 dozen total posts, no mention of an organization being ramped up, no original postings or articles other than the first one, no stated agendas and not even a date for their supposed march. Nothing. Yet there she is on MSNBC referencing Mayor Bloomberg’s agenda. For someone with no ties to Mayor Bloomberg she sure knows a lot about what he is up to, especially since at this point neither the NRA nor President Obama has made any policy statement whatsoever in reference to the shooting. This keeps getting curiouser and curiouser (sic).
On the 7th day she releases a statement on her Facebook page saying she now has 50 Chapters and over 8,000 members. That’s right- she has formed 50 Chapters with 8,000 members in 6 days from scratch without any call to organize. She is again quoted in USA Today based on doing nothing but making a Facebook page with (now) 2 original postings on it. Reflect a minute or two on how much work would be involved processing 8,000 membership applications in the timeframe she lays out. The website has been in operation for 3 days. There are now 8,000 memberships and 50 Chapters in those 3 days. Do the math and realize why those buzzards are winging it over the horizon.
The 8th day has her in USA Today again (the 3rd article on her) based on her week old Facebook page she made when she fled her yoga class. She is referenced as a “National Gun Control Leader” by reporters.
On the 10th day she is back on MSNBC for a second time based on her Facebook page which has a grand total of 36 posts of which 90% are links to other people’s material.
On the 12th day Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America is incorporated. This is on 26 DEC 2012. From the time she fled to the day of incorporation one day was a holiday, 4 days were weekends and Christmas fell on a Tuesday which means government offices were closed on Monday. That leaves 6 working days to get Articles of Incorporation done… right before Christmas… by a stay at home mom. Those buzzards are most likely on the other side of the globe right now running away from the stench coming off this series of events.
So there you have it gentle readers- the story of a highly paid and highly successful corporate PR executive with experience being the mouthpiece for multi-national conglomerates, who is also a stay at home mom, who has a history of donating to anti-gun politicians and working for anti-gun politicians took a job with WellPoint in 2005. She marries another executive at WellPoint who manages the health care plans for New York City while Michael Bloomberg was Mayor. When they leave (or are forced out), they open an art gallery in their tiny little town in the Midwest that is trumpeted and promoted on Bloomberg’s international business website. Immediately following the Sandy Hook shootings, she flees her yoga class to put up a Facebook page which is a natural reaction to tragedy. She then forms a group called 1 Million Moms For Gun Control and in under a week it has 50 Chapters, 8,000 members and she is featured in USA Today and appears on MSNBC twice in a week based on 2 original Facebook posts on a 10 day old Facebook page. She then gets her organization incorporated in 6 working days immediately preceding Christmas. The stay at home mom / international PR executive later takes to Twitter to say she isn’t receiving a dime from Bloomberg and literally DAYS before she would be required to file public documents regarding her organization’s finances, she merges her group with Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety exempting her from filing that form. Pay no attention to the multi-billionaire behind the curtain- all of this is the work of a stay at home suburban mom.
- Mr. Decker
I’d like to take some time to thank everyone who has read, "Liked", Tweeted and shared this series of articles. I'd also like to ask you to consider joining 1MMAGC and to donate a few bucks to the organization. Unlike Shannon we DO volunteer our time and effort but running this organization does take money and we don't have access to a billionaire's wallet. Please help us to continue doing what we do.
In part one we looked at the background of Shannon Watts, the “founder” of Moms Demand Action (then called 1 Million Moms for Gun Control). In this part we will continue with some of Ms. Watts’ background, her ties to Michael Bloomberg as well as delve into emails from Mayor Bloomberg’s office from Bloomberg advisor John Feinblatt showing the origination of the “Moms Demand Action” brand with the assistance of NYC employees on NYC time using NYC government emails to work on Mayor Bloomberg’s MAIG group projects with other gun control groups.
Shannon Watts is no stranger to the world of high powered public relations posts, having served as the mouthpiece for Monsanto, WellPoint, GE and several public relations firms. What she is a stranger to is the world of fine art, which makes the following bit of information rather odd if taken out of the context of the long standing close ties she has with Michael Bloomberg.
In April of 2010, Bloomberg.com ran a story on a fine art gallery opening in an obscure Mayberry-like hamlet in Indiana named Zionsville. It is a tiny town of 14,000 residents with a brick paved main street where one could envision Andy Griffith and Don Knotts on patrol with Opie in tow. There is literally nothing to distinguish it from thousands upon thousands of other small mid-western towns sprinkled across the American heartland. Actually I take that back. There is one thing that distinguishes it and that distinguishing factor is Shannon Watts living there.
That gallery opening, trumpeted on Bloomberg’s website with much fanfare and hoopla, was a direct result of Shannon’s connections with Bloomberg dating back 5 years. I don’t think there is one person on the planet with more than 2 functional brain cells that can say a major article on an art gallery opening in a podunk town in the Midwest is a normal thing for a worldwide news service to run with. I suppose it could be a mere coincidence that Bloomberg’s news service decided to run a full page article on the opening of a tiny art gallery in a random tiny Midwestern town. It could also be just a coincidence that the owners of that gallery the article references had direct contact with Bloomberg for 5 years prior to opening. It could be just a coincidence that one of the owners went on to found a gun control movement associated with Bloomberg 3 years later. It could also be just a coincidence that when I get in the shower and turn it on, I get wet.
As shown previously Moms Demand Action began as a Facebook page called 1 Million Moms for Gun Control. This is why the organization I am writing for is called 1 Million Moms AGAINST Gun Control. Early on in the game Feinblatt and Mark Glaze (head of Bloomberg’s MAIG) realized that the “Gun Control” moniker was a political loser and sought to rebrand Shannons organization. During a flurry of emails the phrase “Demand Action” was put forth and agreed upon by several individuals within Bloomberg’s inner circle. Lo and behold, a short time later 1 Million Moms for Gun Control morphed into Moms Demand Action. While there is absolutely no evidence to suggest Watts played a part in the rebranding of her astroturf farm, please refer back to the shower / wet coincidence statement that closed the previous paragraph.
Now we all know that Shannon has denied having any previous ties with Bloomberg and has stated on many occasions that she has never received a salary or monies from Bloomberg. There is a rather easy way to check the veracity of those claims- all you need to do is request a copy of the IRS Form 990. For example the 990 for Mayors Against Illegal Guns shows that Executive Director Mark Glaze received zero salary in 2011 and 2012. You will also find payments of over 200,000 dollars per year to The Raben Group from MAIG. The Raben Group just happens to be Mark Glaze’s employer. We all waited for the Form 990 for Moms Demand Action to come out so we could verify her claims however that has proven to be impossibility. Why is that?
Mayor Bloomberg’s umbrella group “merged” with Moms Demand Action at the end of the first year they would have been required by law to file a Form 990 as a 501(c). In 2012 Watts’ organization had been in existence for just a few days and conceivably had zero income. After the New Year however she went big time, appearing on MSNBC constantly, having chapters in all 50 states within a week of forming her organization and claiming 130,000 members. She was spending money like it was free (and I suspect it was) and would have had to report it by law on the IRS Form 990. That is of course if Moms Demand Action was a separate entity, but on 18 DEC 2013 Moms Demand Action was “merged” with Everytown for Gun Safety. MDA was no longer an independent 501(c) and the Form 990 requirement no longer applied, thereby allowing Shannon to forever hide the records that would have shown how much money Bloomberg gave to her. Of course this could be just a coincidence as well but if this is the case, the woman attracts them like cake attracts Rosie O’Donnell.
Let’s sum up what we have so far for those coming in late:
A highly paid and highly successful corporate PR executive with experience being the mouthpiece for multi-national conglomerates, who is also a stay at home mom, who has a history of donating to anti-gun politicians and working for anti-gun politicians took a job with WellPoint in 2005. She marries another executive at WellPoint who manages the health care plans for New York City while Michael Bloomberg was Mayor. When they leave (or are forced out), they open an art gallery in their tiny little town in the Midwest that is trumpeted and promoted on Bloomberg’s international business website. Immediately following the Sandy Hook shootings, she forms a group called 1 Million Moms For Gun Control. Bloomberg advisors and the head of his organization MAIG email back and forth about “gun control” being a political loser and suggest “Demand Action”. Shortly following those emails, 1MMFGC becomes “Moms Demand Action”. The stay at home mom / international PR executive takes to Twitter to say she isn’t receiving a dime from Bloomberg and literally DAYS before she would be required to file public documents regarding her organization’s finances, she merges her group with Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety exempting her from filing that form and all of this is nothing but a coincidence.
To be continued in Part 3
- Mr. Decker
Click Here to read part 1
Click Here to read part 3
Everyone involved in the shooting sports / 2A rights movement as well as supporters of the gun control industry has heard of Shannon Watts, the so-called founder of Moms Demand Action by now. What many don’t know is what her background is, who the REAL Shannon Watts is. Far from being the Suzy Soccer Mom she portrays herself as, she is a high powered corporate mouthpiece hand selected to shepherd suburban upper middle class housewives under the banner of “gunsense”. In this 3 part series I will deconstruct the fiction she has built up that many believe to be true. Far from being a hit piece, these articles will simply lay out the facts of her background based on her work history, that of her husband, her own LinkedIn profile and the timeline of the Moms Demand Action (then called 1 Million Moms for Gun Control) Facebook page along with her various media appearances during the first few months of the group’s existence. Nothing more and nothing less than cold, hard truth.
Please CLICK HERE to read the rest of part 1.
Mr Decker is former military and former LEO that spends his free time with his family, and writing for 1MMAGC.