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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Bloomberg: Expensive Flop, Promise-Breaker

In Defying the Odds, we discuss the 2016 campaign. The 2019 update includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms. The 2020 race, the subject of our next book, is well under  way.  

Coronavirus presents unprecedented challenges to public policy and the electoral process.

Shane Goldmacher at NYT:
It was a billion-dollar flop.
Michael R. Bloomberg spent more than $900 million on his failed bid for the White House by the end of February, a spectacular sum and the most ever for a self-funded politician in American history. But it was not enough to help the billionaire candidate win a single state before he dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary in early March.
Mr. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, poured more than $500 million into television advertising and $100 million on digital ads during the course of his roughly 100-day campaign, according to a new filing made Friday with the Federal Election Commission. He spent tens of millions of dollars more on a raft of media consultants, pollsters and digital strategists, the filing showed.
Mr. Bloomberg paid more than $15 million for polling, including $11.5 million to the firm of the pollster Douglas Schoen. He spent more than $11 million on the firm created by ad-maker Bill Knapp to work on the 2020 campaign and another $4.8 million on the firm of Jimmy Siegel, another ad-maker. He directed $45 million to Hawkfish LLC, a private digital firm he owned and created before he entered the race. More than $30 million was spent on direct mail. And more than $1 million on meals for his staff that swelled to more than 2,000 in a few short months.
...
The lavish spending came to a crashing halt after Mr. Bloomberg exited the race. Mr. Bloomberg had attracted aides with outsize salaries, perks that included Manhattan apartments for some in his headquarters and the promise of a steady job — whether he won the nomination or not — trying to defeat President Trump through November.
 But plans for an independent super PAC have since been scrapped and former Bloomberg campaign officials said Friday they were transferring $18 million in leftover campaign funds to the Democratic National Committee instead. Campaign aides could reapply for jobs — at reduced salaries.
Molly Hensley-Clancy, Ruby Cramer, and  Rosie Gray at Buzzfeed:
That means many Bloomberg organizers are out of a job. Organizers in six swing states were informed this morning that they were being let go and given instructions for applying to the DNC.

“He’s chopping his employees in a pandemic,” said one staffer in Florida, who asked to remain anonymous because they had signed a nondisclosure agreement. “My life is now uprooted and I’m effectively homeless.
... 
”Bloomberg had already broken a promise of employment through November to some of the vast army of organizers he had hired throughout his three-month presidential campaign, on which he spent a record $687 million of his personal fortune. Staffers who were not in swing states were let go earlier this month.
But at the time, said the Florida staffer, they were still under the impression they would be employed by a Bloomberg campaign entity. “We got the message, ‘Hey don’t worry, you guys are fine.'”
The Bloomberg spokesperson said staffers were being encouraged to apply to work for the DNC: “The DNC Coordinated Campaign is hiring in every one of the six battleground states we identified — and more. And we will assist the DNC as much as we are able to, including by providing names of staff and working to help them onboard and grow their program as expediently as possible.”