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Mike Bloomberg gives $60m to help Democrats in November as former campaign aides turn against him

Funding matches amount invested by former New York City mayor during midterms in 2018

James Crump
Tuesday 18 August 2020 16:49 BST
Bloomberg campaign video taunts Donald Trump

Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is planning to spend around $60m (£45.5m) to help strengthen the Democratic House Majority in November, as his former aides have called for him to be pulled from speaking at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week.

The investment, that was announced on Monday, will match the amount Bloomberg spent in midterm elections in 2018, that helped the Democrats flip control of the House away from Republicans, according to the Washington Post.

The spending will include both television and digital ads that will be targeted in areas to help the 20 Democrats who were newly elected in 2018 keep their seats.

Funding will be split between Bloomberg’s political group, Independence USA, and the House Majority PAC, which is closely associated with House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Speaking about the funding on Monday, one of the former mayor’s advisers told the Post: “Mike’s view is that the investments he made last time are some of the best investments he has ever made.

“We are going to be looking at the same kinds of places, which is to say suburban, swing districts. There will be some overlap with presidential contest states.”

Ms Pelosi released a statement about the funding on Monday, where she praised Bloomberg for his continued help in House elections.

“Mike Bloomberg played a role that was pivotal to our success two years ago,” Ms Pelosi said in a statement. “We are so glad that he is staying in the fight to protect and expand the Democratic majority in the House,” she added.

Earlier in the year, Bloomberg donated $18m (£13.6m) to the Democratic National Committee and another $35m (£26.4m) to Hawkfish, a data consultancy firm working with the Democratic Party.

His donations came after he pulled out of the US presidential race and endorsed Joe Biden, who will be confirmed as the Democratic candidate for president at the DNC on Thursday.

Bloomberg, who spent over $1bn (£758m) in four months during his unsuccessful presidential campaign, is scheduled to speak at the DNC later this week.

In reaction to the announcement, a group of six former staffers on Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, sent a letter to convention organisers that asked for him to be taken off the speaking schedule.

The staffers are currently in a legal battle with their former boss, as they have accused Bloomberg of violating promises that they would keep their jobs until November, when he fired them after ending his presidential bid.

In the letter obtained by CNN, the staffers wrote: “This is the type of greedy, anti-worker move we’d expect from Donald Trump, but not from a Democratic presidential candidate.

“The Democratic Party and its platform strongly oppose the immoral and unfair things that Mike Bloomberg did to thousands of his staffers during his presidential campaign.”

The staffers added: “Whether or not you can honour our request, we hope that you will ask Mike Bloomberg to make good on his promises to his staffers.

“It’s not too late to put many of us to work to help elect Joe Biden, retain the House, and take back the Senate. And it’s not too late to ensure that all former field staffers receive the pay and benefits that Mike Bloomberg promised us.”

A representative for Bloomberg told CNN that heath benefits for everyone employed on his campaign were extended until November’s election, and claimed that no one was promised employment until then.

The spokesperson said: “Although no one was promised employment through November, Mike Bloomberg remains the biggest supporter of the Democratic Party, including through a transfer of $18 million to DNC (Democratic National Committee) organising efforts to hire hundreds of organisers in battleground states.”

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