Democracy Now! (2/17/20)
With the Nevada caucuses less than a week away, many Democratic candidates are courting voters in state and increasingly targeting their attacks on a new challenger — billionaire Michael Bloomberg — whom they are accusing of buying his way into the election. In the lead-up to Super Tuesday on March 3, when voters in 14 states go to the polls, Bloomberg has spent an unprecedented $417 million of his own $60 billion fortune on advertising. He’s also paid meme influencers to share sponsored content on Instagram, and hired thousands of on-the-ground political operatives to work in more than 125 offices around the country.
The Washington Post reports several lawsuits have been filed over the years alleging that women were discriminated against at Bloomberg’s business-information company, including one case filed by a former employee who blamed Bloomberg for creating a culture of sexual harassment and degradation. But a major investigation in Sunday’s New York Times, headlined “In Bloomberg, Liberals See a Wallet Too Big to Offend,” lays out how Bloomberg established a foundation for potential critics to stay silent during his presidential bid by making major donations to progressive causes and advocacy groups in dozens of states and cities. The Times estimates Bloomberg has spent at least $10 billion on his charitable and political pursuits related to his political ambitions. We speak with Blake Zeff, a journalist and documentary filmmaker who has covered New York politics and Michael Bloomberg’s terms as mayor.
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
How Bloomberg-Funded Center For American Progress Censored A Report On NYPD Surveillance of Muslims
Democracy Now! (2/17/20)
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s self-funded campaign has flooded the airwaves with political advertisements, with the billionaire former New York City mayor having already spent more than $400 million on TV, radio and other ads — far outpacing other campaigns. But it’s not just Bloomberg’s unprecedented campaign spending that has raised eyebrows. As The New York Times reports, Bloomberg has also kept potential critics quiet by making major donations to progressive causes and advocacy groups around the country over the years. This may have played a part in obscuring Bloomberg’s checkered record as mayor of New York.
In 2015, researchers at the liberal Center for American Progress published a major report on anti-Muslim bias in the United States, and though the draft included a chapter of more than 4,000 words about New York City police surveillance of Muslim communities under Bloomberg, that chapter was excised from the final report — as was any mention of Bloomberg’s name.
We speak with Yasmine Taeb, one of the people behind the report, who says the authors were told to make major changes to the chapter or remove it. Other officials told the Times they revised the report to make it focused on right-wing groups targeting Muslims. When the report came out, Bloomberg had already given the Center for American Progress three grants worth nearly $1.5 million, and he contributed $400,000 more in 2017. Yasmine Taeb is now a member of the Democratic National Committee.
- Saagar Enjeti Exposes How Bloomberg Bought Neera, Emily’s List & The Democratic Establishment: Link To 8-Minute Video