Over the last decade, Bloomberg helped Republicans take and maintain control of the U.S. Senate.
By Alex Kotch
The Center For Media & Democracy (2/14/20)
In June 2018, billionaire business executive and former Republican Michael Bloomberg hosted a fundraiser for Long Island GOP Rep. Peter King. At his lavish home in New York City, Bloomberg urged co-hosts to raise at least $10,000 for King, with whom he has “a long-standing relationship,” according to his adviser Howard Wolfson.
King was running against Democratic challenger Gretchen Liuba Shirley, who had strong fundraising and the endorsement Emily’s List, a liberal political group that helps elect women. But a few months later, Emily’s List invited Bloomberg, one of its major donors, to be a featured speaker at its conference. Not only had Bloomberg raised money for the opponent of one of the group’s candidates, but he was under fire for dismissive comments about the Me Too movement.
In October 2018, just after his Emily’s List speech, and as he mulled a run for president, Bloomberg became a Democrat for the first time since 2000. His partner switched from Republican to Democrat. In 2000, Bloomberg had been a lifelong Democrat but morphed into a Republican to run for New York City mayor after popular GOP Mayor Rudy Giuliani termed out. Bloomberg was a Republican for the first half of his 12 years in office before becoming an independent.
Over the years, Bloomberg’s large donations to gun control groups and liberal super PACs have made him many liberal friends. He may no longer be the Republican mayor who endorsed George W. Bush and hosted the Republican National Convention in 2004, but his financial support for the GOP continued through 2018.
Since 1987, according to Federal Election Commission records, Bloomberg donated over $900,000 directly to Republican candidates’ campaigns, national GOP party committees, and federal PACs of state Republican Party committees. Recipients include former Rep. Dan Donovan of Staten Island, New York, whom he has given a total of $10,800, including $5,400 in 2018; former Sen. John McCain ($13,700 total); Giuliani, who has become one of Donald Trump’s closest devotees ($5,000); and Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby ($4,000).
Bloomberg has given $4.6 million to New York state GOP party committees and roughly $300,000 to Republican state and local candidates.
But the billionaire’s donations to outside political spending groups, including one he founded, represent far more money, and some of these groups have helped Republican candidates win elections.
Bloomberg Helped Hand Over U.S. Senate To Mitch McConnell
Over the last decade, Bloomberg helped Republicans take and maintain control of the U.S. Senate, which, in the Trump era and under Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) leadership, has confirmed scores of right-wing judges, blocked liberal legislation passed by the House, and shielded the president from any repercussions after seeking foreign election assistance, tampering with witnesses, and defying congressional subpoenas.
Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC, which he funds exclusively, spent nearly $10.1 million supporting Republican federal candidates from 2012-16. The majority of that, $5.9 million, helped Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) win re-election in 2016 against Democrat Katie McGinty, an environmental policy expert and another Emily’s List endorsee. In 2014, the super PAC boosted Republican House candidates Bob Dold (IL; $1.9 million) and Michael Fitzpatrick (PA; $174,000). Two years earlier, Independence USA had spent $1.7 million backing Connecticut House candidate Andrew Rorabach, as well as $963,000 supporting Dold. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
‘Grotesque Corruption’ Emily’s List, Center For American Progress Sold Out To Michael Bloomberg
Common Dreams staff (2/14/20)
Billionaire Republican-turned-Democrat Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg was hit with two damaging front-page headlines Saturday.
The Washington Post reported, “Bloomberg for years has battled women’s allegations of profane, sexist comments.”
“Now, as Bloomberg is increasingly viewed as a viable Democratic candidate for president and the #MeToo era has raised the profile of workplace harassment, he is finding that his efforts to prevent disclosure are clashing against demands that he release former employees and complainants from their nondisclosure agreements.”
“The allegations that he tolerated a hostile office culture could undercut his ability to criticize President Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct and efforts to keep such claims private.”
And in a headline titled “Bloomberg’s Billions: How the Presidential Candidate Built His Influence” the New York Times exposes the corruption of two faux-progressive DNC-affiliated organizations, Emily’s List and the Center for American Progress who sold out their organization’s missions in return for millions of Bloomberg’s influence buying:
“In the fall of 2018, Emily’s List had a dilemma. With congressional elections approaching and the Supreme Court confirmation battle over Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh underway, the Democratic women’s group was hosting a major fund-raising luncheon in New York. Among the scheduled headline speakers was Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor, who had donated nearly $6 million to Emily’s List over the years.”
“Days before the event, Mr. Bloomberg made blunt comments in an interview with The New York Times, expressing skepticism about the #MeToo movement and questioning sexual misconduct allegations against Charlie Rose, the disgraced news anchor. Senior Emily’s List officials seriously debated withdrawing Mr. Bloomberg’s invitation, according to three people familiar with the deliberations, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”
“In the end, the group concluded it could not risk alienating Mr. Bloomberg.”
And the Times on the Center for American Progress:
“In interviews with The Times, no one described being threatened or coerced by Mr. Bloomberg or his money. But many said his wealth was an inescapable consideration — a gravitational force powerful enough to make coercion unnecessary.”
““They aren’t going to criticize him in his 2020 run because they don’t want to jeopardize receiving financial support from him in the future,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the good-government group Common Cause.”
“That chilling effect was apparent in 2015 to researchers at the Center for American Progress, a liberal policy group, when they turned in a report on anti-Muslim bias in the United States. Their draft included a chapter of more than 4,000 words about New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities; Mr. Bloomberg was mentioned by name eight times in the chapter, which was reviewed by The Times.”
“When the report was published a few weeks later, the chapter was gone. So was any mention of Mr. Bloomberg’s name.”
“Yasmine Taeb, an author of the report, said in an interview that the authors had been instructed to make drastic revisions or remove the chapter, and opted to do the latter rather than “whitewash the N.Y.P.D.’s wrongdoings.” She said she found it “disconcerting” to be asked to remove the chapter “because of how it was going to be perceived by Mayor Bloomberg.””
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