Showing posts with label Bloomberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bloomberg. Show all posts

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Bloomberg's Political "Innovation:" Money Heavy

"Money talks."
-- Mike Bloomberg

‘Mayors for Mike’: How Bloomberg’s Money Built a 2020 Political Network Michael Bloomberg is relying on powerful city leaders as allies in his presidential campaign. Several have received grants, training and support packages totaling millions from his foundation. ...... Mr. Tubbs had reason to feel kinship with Mr. Bloomberg. Last year, he graduated from a mayoral training program that Mr. Bloomberg sponsors at Harvard University. Mr. Tubbs had attended a conference co-sponsored by Mr. Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation in Paris in 2017, and was featured in its 2018 annual report. And this past June, Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation donated $500,000 to an education reform group based in Stockton, a struggling inland city in Northern California......... Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has assets totaling $9 billion, has supported 196 different cities with grants, technical assistance and education programs worth a combined $350 million. Now, leaders in some of those cities are forming the spine of Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign: He has been endorsed so far by eight mayors — from larger cities like San Jose, Calif., and Louisville, Ky., and smaller ones like Gary, Ind., representing a total of more than 2.6 million Americans............

the extraordinary nature of Mr. Bloomberg’s candidacy

...... After an onslaught of self-funded television ads, he reached 5 percent support in two national polls this week........... Mr. Bloomberg is one of the richest people in the world, with a net worth estimated at more than $50 billion....... “Unlike Donald Trump, Mike Bloomberg has a real foundation that does real work addressing people’s serious needs ........ One graduate of the Bloomberg program at Harvard is a leading opponent in the presidential race — Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., whose city also received $1 million from a Bloomberg program in 2018.

To skip the first four contests entirely, that is something. That has never been attempted before.

When you are Mayor of NYC, you are already holding the second most high profile political office in the land.

He was a Democrat. Then he was a Republican. Then he was an Independent. Now he is a Democrat. The claim to being "basically nonpartisan" rings true.

He is formidable. No doubt. As to how this will play out, we will just have to wait and see.

Mike Bloomberg’s money buys him a very different kind of campaign. And it’s a big one. After two weeks in the presidential race, Mike Bloomberg now employs one of the largest campaign staff rosters, has spent more money on ads than all the top-polling Democrats combined and is simultaneously building out ground operations in 27 states........ with the Bloomberg campaign, it is not at all clear what established rules apply, if any. Everything he is doing is so unlike what has been done for decades that it is difficult to decipher how voters will react............ Rather than focus on the early states, he is campaigning for votes deep in the 2020 calendar, in places where voters are less tuned in to the nominating process. Rather than worry about a budget, he has put no limit on the money he is prepared to spend. Rather than run in a Democratic primary by appealing to ideological die-hards or partisan flag bearers, he describes himself as “basically nonpartisan.” ........ As a former three-term New York mayor, he comes to the race with more executive governing experience and has represented more voters than most of his competitors, as well as a philanthropic record he has emphasized in campaign ads while pushing several core liberal priorities, including increased gun regulation and the reduction of carbon pollution. His campaign message is focused on his own competence and electability............ no one has ever run a national primary campaign since Kennedy in 1960.” ........ there are hundreds of staff members working remotely or out of the temporary campaign headquarters in one of Bloomberg’s Beaux-Arts limestone mansions on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where the blinds rise and fall with time of day, the food is free ......... The campaign has been offering field organizers salaries of $6,000 a month, a 70 percent premium from the going rate of $3,500 paid by the campaigns of ........ and Gary Briggs, a former top marketing executive for Facebook and Google......... Since his campaign launch on Nov. 24, Bloomberg has spent or reserved about $60 million in television and radio ads, with no sign of slowing down. Taken together, the top four polling Democrats in the race — former vice president Joe Biden; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sanders and Warren — have spent about $28 million on similar ads all year.......... He has also purchased $4.6 million of Google ads ...... On Facebook, his spending over the past week ran at more than $170,000 a day, 2½ times the level of President Trump’s reelection campaign and about three times more than Tom Steyer, the other billionaire Democrat seeking the nomination. All of his digital ads are focused on increasing his support and recruiting staff........... When he entered in November, he decided to skip the first four contests, which tend to pick presidential nominees by showing early momentum and redirecting the national focus.......... Instead, his operation is aimed at the 25 states that will award nearly two-thirds of the available convention delegates over a 15-day period that begins March 3........

it is something no one has ever tried to do before.”

......... Rival Democratic strategists remain skeptical of the effort, as they focus on finding a way for their candidates to catch fire in the early states. Bloomberg’s campaign skills are rusty ....... The Trump campaign, by contrast, has chosen to attack Bloomberg early, with Trump tweeting about “Mini Mike Bloomberg” and announcing he would bar reporters for Bloomberg’s eponymous news organization from his campaign events....... Through the Bloomberg campaign and a separate anti-Trump digital effort he is funding, a campaign adviser said, Bloomberg has already spent more than $8.3 million in television and digital ads in six core swing states: Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina............ since then, Bloomberg, who has always cast himself as a competent manager able to build and run large organizations, decided that Biden and the rest of the field were not up for the job of beating Trump........ “He is not afraid of them winning,” said Howard Wolfson, another top political adviser. “He is afraid they are not going to win.” ......... In 2018, he said, he gave away $767 million. Recipients have included groups such as Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, smoking-cessation efforts and a number of grant projects for cities and mayors around the country........

Bloomberg used the platform to assail Trump — saying he was the only New York billionaire in the race

....... “The way I see it, Texas is the biggest battleground state, and I’m going to fight like hell to win its 38 electoral votes,” Bloomberg said.

P.S. I got to meet him once. Him, and one other billionaire standing next to him. This was an event at the Bloomberg Foundation on the Upper East Side where the LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman was the featured speaker. Curiously the person I talked to most at the event was Arianna of the Huffington Post, a sleep specialist and crusader.

Late in 2015, I wrote a long memo that I dropped off in person at that same location urging him to run. About 20 pages.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bill de Blasio And The Democrats Of New York City

Bill de Blasio
Bill de Blasio (Photo credit: Kevdiaphoto)
(written for Vishwa Sandesh)

Bill de Blasio And The Democrats Of New York City
By Paramendra Bhagat (

For a city that is so dominantly Democratic, it has had non Democrats for Mayor a long, long time. Rudy Giuliani did two terms, Mike Bloomberg did three terms. Primaries tend to be so fragmented, and the winners of the past were so torn apart by the various groups that helped them and now needed favors done, the electorate has been just fine electing the likes of Bloomberg. Point to be noted, Bloomberg was a Democrat before he decided to run for Mayor. When he did decide to run, he figured ploughing through the mud of a Democratic primary was just not worth it, and so he switched parties, just because.

This city is like an ATM that Democrats across the country use. They come, they raise money, and they go wherever it is they have to go.

Bill de Blasio was not the early lead. But once he gained momentum, he really gained momentum. His decisive primary victory and an even more decisive general election victory is a liberal city going back to its liberal roots with gusto. It is to be seen how he will govern. Will he prove to be a good manager? You can accuse Bloomberg of having had somewhat of a class bias, but there is no doubting the guy was a good manager of the city.

The turning point in the de Blasio campaign was an ad featuring his teenage son from his inter-racial marriage. His wife is African American. For the most diverse city on earth that sometimes can tear along racial and ethnic lines, an inter-racial family at the helm is a soothing message, sure. And, sure, progressivism is good in a city that is decidedly progressive. Both Giuliani and Bloomberg were social liberals that Republicans elsewhere could not relate to.

Bill de Blasio will govern “a city government with some 300,000 employees, a $70 billion budget and a dizzying web of intersecting interests.” He might have campaigned with a theme captured in the phrase a tale of two cities. But it is one city you govern.

It will be an experiment to watch. Could he bring about the changes he says he will? Will inequality be lessened as a result? Could he narrow the gap without alienating the business interests? Could he take labor along? Could he win re-election? Because if de Blasio bombs, the city might then again look for another non-Democrat in four years.

A stand that caught much attention on the campaign trail was the “stop and frisk,” a signature Bloomberg initiative. I experienced it once when I was living in Ridgewood. I had a pen in my trouser pocket. The police from afar thought it might have been a knife. The lady officer looked straight at me while reaching out for the pocket.

During his young days de Blasio apparently was a raging liberal activist. He made trips to Nicaragua and the then Soviet Union. As Public Advocate he once got arrested: that was the plan of the protest. But then he also ran a Hillary Clinton campaign at one point.

I once attended a debate at a church in Brooklyn when de Blasio was running in the primary for Public Advocate years ago. He was composed, but not outstanding, and that might be a good thing. That demeanor is good for governance.

The same electorate also is served by a state government and a federal government. And so a city Mayor’s reach has its limits. On the other hand there is a Rahm Immanuel in Chicago who claims some of the most interesting public policy headways are being made at the city level.

And, of course, should he do well in the office there might be national level speculations.

I did not follow the election closely enough nor do I have a deep enough knowledge of the city’s government to be able to forecast how well de Blasio will actually end up doing. But one hopes he does well. If he governs as well as he campaigned, the city should be fine. But if the numerous Democratic interests end up tearing him up, the party will have itself to blame. For a Democratic city to have a progressive Mayor is a good match. If the job is done right, the reverberations will be heard around the world. Surprisingly there is a foreign policy angle to the job. If he performs well, his youth spent as a leftist activist (Obama never was the Socialist he gets accused of being by those on the right, but de Blasio was quite a leftist when young) will gain validation. And de Blasio will help soothe America’s image around the world. Dog eat dog capitalism can also be home to pragmatic leftist moves like expanded pre-kindergarten. I don’t know about you, but that is just common sense to me. That and after school programs the Mayor elect has talked about.

Those two alone will not diminish inequality in the city, but they will be steps in the right direction. The number one thing that will diminish inequality in the city would be citywide free wifi. But I did not hear that talked about on the campaign trail. Maybe there was too much shame about Anthony Weiner’s tweets. So not bringing up the Internet thing just made sense.

Here’s to wishing all the best to the new Mayor.
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