Yeah, even with the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic spreading, we’re going to—for a little bit—be subjected to the lectures from the far left about money in politics. Why? Well, it’s because former 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg decided to screw over his campaign staff and give a boatload of money to the Democratic National Committee. Eighteen million in change will be wired to the debt-ridden political committee, a large sum but one that is still dwarfed by the fundraising hauls the Republican National Committee has pulled in in past months.
Bloomberg got into the race late, spent nearly a billion dollars, and got nothing for it. The questions about his NDA agreements with former employees killed him. Former 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren did well bashing him up on the debate stage. Bloomberg also promised to pay his campaign staff through November. That’s now not going to happen. So, the DNC got a nice gift, while his former foot soldiers got a middle finger. The initial plan for Bloomberg to use the rest of his war chest to start a super PAC aimed at attacking Trump was also nixed (via Politico):
Mike Bloomberg is sending $18 million from his defunct presidential campaign to the Democratic National Committee, a dramatic investment in the national party that appears to push the boundaries of campaign finance law.
The massive transfer signals a change of plans for Bloomberg, who is nixing an earlier idea to form his own super PAC to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.
A press release accompanying the memo said that staff in six battleground states will be "employed and paid" through the first week in April and have "full benefits" through the end of that month.
Bloomberg would not be able to give the DNC such a massive sum of money as a regular donor. But presidential candidates are allowed to transfer unlimited amounts to their national party committee — though usually those candidates have raised the money from donors operating under campaign finance limits. Bloomberg self-funded his whole presidential campaign from his personal fortune.
NEW: @MikeBloomberg is scrapping his plan to fund an independent expenditure campaign to support the Democratic nominee (he's endorsed @JoeBiden).— Maura Barrett (@MauraBarrettNBC) March 20, 2020
Instead, he's laying off his staff & transferring $18mil to the DNC.
Story tk, w/ @aseitzwald @JoshNBCNews
NEW: Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign organization announced that instead of creating an outside group to support Democrats and campaign against President Trump, it is transferring $18 million to the DNC and will transfer several former field offices to state parties.— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) March 20, 2020
So Mike Bloomberg lied to all the campaign staff he hired. https://t.co/LCSlK4wE5J— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 20, 2020
So ordinarily, direct contributions to a party are limited, no? But candidate committees can make unlimited transfers to the national party.— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) March 20, 2020
But didn't Bloomberg self-fund his candidate committee? Isn't this just money laundering? https://t.co/xBGkK4E6B0
Scoop: Bloomberg camp staffers in NYC HQ were notified late last night of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the office, potentially exposing several dozen ppl who were laid off Fri. & are set to lose insurance Mar. 31st— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) March 20, 2020
Said one: "This is not how you treat ppl" https://t.co/oXUXyvzrMC pic.twitter.com/84eQw3iAki
Bloomberg broke his promise for aides to be paid until November if they worked for him. "He's chopping his employees in a pandemic," one aide said. Another staffer said he was "blindsided" and that it was "f--king scary." https://t.co/7iINA7fI21— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) March 20, 2020
Wow, $18M is a lot of PPE, ventilators, medicine, hospital bills. https://t.co/Al0GguYSyw— AR-14 Lizzy (@StarChamberMaid) March 20, 2020
Oh, you bet there were some intense reactions. From questions about money laundering to whether the $18 million could be used to fight the Wuhan virus outbreak, Mike Bloomberg has certainly elicited similar reactions to his presidential bid. And like his behavior in that contest, he’s coming off as cold and calculated. Yet, we all saw this iceberg, right? Did anyone really think that he was going to pay these folks through November? Apparently, some did. When it comes to screwing people over, Mike will get it done that’s for sure.