There are few things more frustrating and infuriating about the current Democratic primary race than the presence of Michael Bloomberg. Despite a history of racist rhetoric and policies and not having appeared in a single debate, Bloomberg has remained in the race and has even seen his poll numbers continue to rise.
There’s a simple explanation for his apparent success: money. He has a ton of it and he’s been pouring it into maintaining and increasing his name recognition, which, in a race like this is an incredibly important factor in winning over voters. So he’s been spending a reported $1 million dollars a day on Facebook ads alone, not to mention his $11 million Super Bowl ad and also … whatever this is:
— Jesselyn Cook (@JessReports) February 13, 2020
I’m sure many will argue that Bloomberg can do whatever he wants with his billions. And he can. The rest of us are fully within our rights to side-eye and criticize his choices, but if he wants to pour a billion dollars into running anti-Trump ads, that is his choice to make. (He’s up to $300 million so far.)
Except this doesn’t just affect him. According to a report from The Intercept, Bloomberg’s campaign isn’t just targeting Trump or his fellow Democratic candidates; it’s doing real damage to Democrats running for local and state offices.
The Intercept’s Ryan Grim writes:
Beyond pushing out his competitors, though, Bloomberg’s spending is having a shockingly disruptive effect on Democratic politics throughout the country: He is hiring armies of staffers and canvassers in nearly every state in the country at eye-popping salaries, poaching talent from other campaigns and progressive organizations that are now struggling to fill jobs. In just three months, the Bloomberg campaign has hired thousands of people to staff more than 125 offices around the country, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Bloomberg is poaching staffers from smaller races, paying well above market rate and offering huge perks like housing and free laptops and iPhones. What’s really terrible is that it sounds like he’s repeatedly done this right before those candidates’ elections or other critical points in their campaign, “hobbling their political program,” as one operative put it, and leading to the election of Republican opponents.
I’m not going to fault anyone for taking such a lucrative offer (even though it’s really unsettling to read about staffers who take a position with Bloomberg and continue to knock doors for Sanders in secret) but I absolutely will fault Bloomberg for presenting himself as someone who wants to use his money to fix the Democratic party while also causing so much damage to actual Democrats.
Because Bloomberg is not a Democrat. He’s made it clear he cares about a Party of One: himself.
Bloomberg backed Scott Brown in 2012.
Bloomberg gave $250K to Lindsey Graham’s PAC in 2014.
Bloomberg spent $12M helping Pat Toomey in 2016.
Bloomberg has a history of supporting GOP Senators. He can’t be counted on to help Democrats flip the Senate blue.
— Adam Best (@adamcbest) February 13, 2020
Mike Bloomberg spent $12 million in 2016 to get this person re-elected. https://t.co/tataEndCen
— marisa kabas (@MarisaKabas) February 13, 2020
(via The Intercept)
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