Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Did Bloomberg Buy You?

We received three pieces of mail from Mike Bloomberg at our house yesterday:
1 of 3 Bloomberg mail pieces
we received yesterday
1. A fancy, unfolding, 5-panel contraption in heavy cardstock and full color with each fold teased by a "WE WANT" headline, as though we are children clamoring at the ice cream truck. Don't worry. The rich man will give us sweets. (The photo here doesn't really do it justice -- especially the expense of producing a mailer like this.)
2. A one-page letter in a No. 10 envelope purporting to be a personal letter to us from Mike Bloomberg in which he mainly evokes 9/11 and reassures us -- though usually letters like this from candidates are asking for money -- he doesn't want a dime from us. Not one dime.
3. An oversize, glossy, folded flyer whose main pitch is anti-NRA.
Okay, we get it. The billionaire can waste this much money on voters who've already voted early in the North Carolina primary. He can't buy us but he sure as hell can bury us in paper.

But is he buying others, particularly elected Democratic office-holders who've been piling into the Bloomberg limo at a depressing clip? Vy Liles, the mayor of Charlotte. Current Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin and former Raleigh mayors Charles Meeker and Nancy McFarlane. Most recently, the two Democratic leaders in the NC House and Senate, Darren Jackson and Dan Blue. Jeez.

The inevitable and logical question: Did they get the Bloomberg gift bag? What were they promised?

Because Bloomberg himself obviously thinks in terms of buying people like assets. His slip of the tongue during last night's debate was perhaps the most iconic self-identifier we'll ever hear from the ex-mayor. In talking about how he helped about half of the Democrats who won in the midterm elections of 2018, he bragged,
Twenty-one of those are people that I spent a hundred million dollars to help elect. All of the new Democrats that came in and put Nancy Pelosi in charge and gave the Congress the ability to control this president, I bough — I, I got them.

If I were one of the Democratic progressives running for a seat in the NC House or Senate this year, I would be depressed that the Democratic leaders in those chambers had put themselves so publicly in Bloomberg's pocket.

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