Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Michael Bloomberg to Donate $20 Million for Senate Democrats

Michael Bloomberg who suggested that he might be considering a 2020 run for president has announced that he is donating $20 million to aid Senate Democrat races.  The funds will hopefully increase Democrat odds of flipping control of the U.S. Senate as well as the House of Representatives which has been the prime goal of Democrats.  The donation comes on top of a previous huge donation made to boost Democrat efforts to capture control of the House.  And, yes, it should make Bloomberg much more attractive to Democrats as 2020 nears.  A piece in the Washington Post looks at Bloomberg's action.  Here are excerpts:
Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City who is considering a 2020 presidential campaign, will give $20 million to the main Democratic Senate super PAC this week — jolting the national battle for control of the chamber just five weeks away from the midterm elections.
Bloomberg’s intervention bolsters the Democrats’ Senate chances by infusing significant late-season capital into the Senate Majority PAC, a group that had $29 million on hand at the end of August and has been purchasing advertising in expensive media markets.
Bloomberg — a former Republican and declared political independent — says the emotional national debate over ­sexual-assault allegations against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh has energized Democratic voters and provides an opening for the party to be more competitive in rallying women and swing voters, his advisers said Tuesday, adding that he sees last week’s contentious hearings as a tipping point.
“Mike was extraordinarily disappointed in the Republican leadership in the Senate and feels increasingly passionate about changing it,” Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey said. “And he’s already enthusiastic about the impact he’s having on House races and increasingly confident that he can contribute to a Democratic takeover.”
The enormous sum brings Bloomberg — who has already pledged to spend $80 million to support Democratic congressional candidates — up to $100 million in spending commitments for the 2018 election cycle, firmly positioning himself in the Democratic camp as he contemplates a bid for the White House.
Sheekey said Bloomberg would send the $20 million check in coming days to the Senate Majority PAC, which works to elect Democrats and is closely aligned with Bloomberg’s longtime friend, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Trump’s continued unpopularity among voters nationally and the charged cultural environment around Kavanaugh’s nomination have prompted top Democrats to increasingly turn their attention to the Senate, even as flipping the House remains the party’s focus.
As Kavanaugh’s nomination has stalled, Democrats have seen an opportunity as Republicans defend him. Democrats have hoped to strengthen their connection with the #MeToo movement and women nationally, with Democratic senators such as Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) emerging as party stars.
Bloomberg’s political group has targeted expensive House races in places such as California, looking to lift Democrats in areas where advertising comes at a steep price. “Right now I’m only focused on the midterms,” Bloomberg told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria last month. “I believe that the Republicans have not done what they should have done in terms of providing some counterbalance to the executive branch.”
Bloomberg is one of the rare mega-donors in national Democratic politics who is seriously eyeing a 2020 campaign. Billionaire former hedge fund chief Tom Steyer, who has funneled millions behind the causes of impeaching Trump and climate change, also has said that he would not rule out a presidential run.

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