Despite a history of making racist statements, former New York City Mayor and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is “buying” Black political operatives in an effort to win the Black vote.
Elijah Manley, 20, the youngest person to run for the Florida House of Representatives, tweeted about it: “Received a call from the Bloomberg campaign last week offering $6,500/mo with benefits for an advisory role on the campaign. That’s 100% more than I’m making now. My answer was of course— No. I’m with @BernieSanders. They out here stealing people y’all!”
Some of the other recent moves Bloomberg has made support the idea he is trying to “buy” Black political operatives.
He recently tapped ex-Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter as his national campaign chairman.
Bloomberg and Nutter go back to Bloomberg’s time as mayor when they worked together on urban issues. Nutter and Bloomberg bonded on a law-and-order platform. Like Bloomberg, Nutter supported the stop-and-frisk programs used by police. Also, more notably, Nutter’s city, Philadelphia, has benefitted from billionaire Bloomberg’s philanthropic generosity.
“In the last year alone, Bloomberg Philanthropies has awarded the city $3.5 million to combat climate change and other urban challenges. Pittsburgh also received a $2.5 million climate grant and the state of Pennsylvania was awarded $10 million to combat the opioid epidemic,” The New York Post reported.
Now, Nutter will be Bloomberg’s top national surrogate and a key adviser on campaign policy and strategy.
“Mike Bloomberg is my kind of leader,” Nutter said in a statement provided by the campaign. “Mike is a man with a plan. He’s a doer. He won’t let us down.”
Bloomberg said, “Mike Nutter knows that real leadership means delivering results for the people you serve, and I’m honored to have his support. We share a belief in the power of government to unite people and get big things done.”
In late January, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, the first Black woman to lead the city, endorsed Bloomberg for president. She will also serve as the first Chair of African Americans for Bloomberg’s campaign.
“In a field of strong Democratic candidates, I am proud to support Mayor Mike Bloomberg for President, and I am doing so for three main reasons,” Breed said in a statement explaining why she thinks Bloomberg would be good for Black America. “First, Mike is a pragmatic leader who is committed to improving the nation’s cities, and has a track record of actually doing it. His efforts to fight climate change, make local governments more effective and efficient, tackle homelessness, and improve public health are making a real difference, and I believe he’ll bring this kind of leadership to the presidency.
“Second, Mike is the only candidate for president who has a fully articulated plan to improve the lives of African Americans. The recently announced Greenwood Initiative provides an actual roadmap to create generational wealth and economic empowerment for Black Americans. By boosting homeownership, doubling the number of Black-owned businesses, and investing $70 billion in the nation’s most distressed communities, this plan could be transformative for the lives of Black Americans and our nation as a whole.
“Finally, I am supporting Mike because he has the best chance of beating Donald Trump, and ending this administration’s assault on the poor, on communities of color, on women, on the Constitution, and on common decency. Mike is all in, and so am I.”
Another Bloomberg endorsement has come from Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, who is African American. Bloomberg has named him as a national co-chair of the 2020 Campaign.
“I am excited to endorse Mayor Bloomberg for president as he has the record, the relationships, and the resources to defeat Donald Trump and reclaim our democracy,” said Tubbs. “Today’s announcements around affordable housing and extending the Earned Income Tax Credit point to Bloomberg’s commitment to eradicating poverty and rebuilding the middle class so that every child in America has the same opportunities he had.”
Tubbs will help Bloomberg win over voters in California, according to Kevin Sheekey, campaign manager for Mike 2020. Tubbs was elected in 2016 and became the nation’s youngest mayor and Stockton’s first African-American mayor.
And the list continues with more Black politicians endorsing Bloomberg and in turn getting a spot on his campaign as well as those who have financial ties with him.
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Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), a gun regulation activist whose son was shot and killed, has announced she has endorsed Bloomberg.
“The relationship between Bloomberg and McBath, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, started years before her 2018 election, when she worked closely with groups he funded on increasing gun regulation in Georgia,” The Washington Post reported.
“I first met Mike when I was searching for ways to fight against the dangerous gun laws that ripped my son from my life,” McBath said in a statement. “Mike gave grieving mothers like me a way to stand up and fight back. Nobody running for president has done more for the gun violence prevention movement than Mike.”
A group co-founded and significantly funded by Bloomberg, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, spent $1.25 million to elect McBath, according to Federal Election Commission records, The Post reported.
“She showed that gun safety can help Democrats flip red districts to blue, and that’s what I’m working to do all over the country in this campaign,” Bloomberg said in a statement accompanying McBath’s endorsement.
Is Bloomberg calling in his favors with the Democrats? Some would say so.
Among the other Black Democrats to back Bloomberg are: