Mayor Michael Bloomberg Donates $2,500,000 to PAC that Supports Democrats in U.S. Senate Races

On January 7, the news was released that former New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently gave $2,500,000 to a PAC that spends independently on behalf of Democratic nominees for the U.S. Senate. See this story. In a rational system, Bloomberg could have given the money directly to the Democratic Party, or its U.S. Senate nominees. Instead, this spending must be conducted independently of the Democratic Party and its various nominees.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg Donates $2,500,000 to PAC that Supports Democrats in U.S. Senate Races — No Comments

  1. in a “rational system” millions of dollars could be exchanged by a individual to support a political party?

    I have much respect for Richard Winger work on political reform. but it the reform is just to give millionaires the ability to buy elections, that’s not so much reform is it?

  2. Any body see a dollar amount in the 1st Amdt ???

    Direct = Indirect, as a matter of LAW.

  3. Does anyone really think Bloomberg is giving the money because he is trying to buy access in Congress? He happens to believe in certain social and political goals and he is using his money to help get them.

    Just because a politicians has a lot of money to spend, or lots of money spent on him or her independently by someone else, does not mean that politicians necessarily wins. Meg Whitman spent over $100,000,000 in her 2010 race for Governor of California and she still lost. Senator William Proxmire always get re-elected easily even though he spent nothing on his campaign. Jesse Ventura won even though he only had one-tenth as much money as either of his major party opponents. If a candidate has enough money to get the message out, and the message is appealing to voters, it is not necessary for the candidate to out-spend all opponents. It insults the voters to think that money always equals success.

  4. Right now kooks give to their favorite kooks (Foster Friess/Rick Santorum, Sheldon Adelson/Newt Gingrich etc.) – with party based funding at least the parties serve as a firebreak against insanity and give support to more rational, electable folks.

  5. If that were the case, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein would have gotten far more votes than they actually did in 2012. Part of the problem is the sheer volume of advertisements the well financed major party candidates are able to field. There are a few exceptions to the rule, ie, celebrities, incumbents, and independently wealthy individuals, but in most cases it’s like trying to hear a whisper in the middle of a packed sports stadium. Voters simply aren’t going to pay much attention to the previously unknown candidate that fields far fewer ads than his or her competitor.
    And that leads to the crux of the issue, the voting public. While some people, like many of the regulars here on BAN, are well informed, many voters either don’t bother to do that kind of research or are blindly loyal to their party. I also frequent Yahoo, and the ignorance and blind loyalty evident on many of the users’ comments there is almost suffocating. That is the major reason why the Democrats and Republicans continue to rule this country despite massive evidence of their corruption. And that is also the reason why I still post comments on Yahoo, to try and inform people so they can make more enlightened choices.
    You’re right though; money wouldn’t matter as much in elections, but if only voters were better informed before they voted. To that end, I often suggest to people that they come to your website. It is also one of the reasons why I changed my college major from English to Journalism, because websites like yours (and other sources such as books and documentaries) are too few and far between to counteract the stadium effect I mentioned earlier.

  6. Richard – So then, we need to establish that individuals who spend gobs of money are assured that their candidates will win before we as a society can choose to limit the amount of money an individual can spend to influence the results of an election?

    How about this? How about if we establish a system that permits individuals to contribute money proportional to the level of education they’ve achieved? If you’re a high school dropout, you can contribute up to a hundred bucks. If you have a high school degree…$1,000. And if you have a PHD…well, then you can contribute as much as you want.

    If such a system were to be established I could counter objections to it by stating, just as you do, and with just as much evidence to back me up, that there is no guarantee that achieving a high level of education assures an individual the ability to successfully influence the results of elections.

    Is it your contention that money in politics is irrelevant? If so you might want to alert the Representatives and Senators who spend an inordinate amount of time, while supposedly representing their constituents, attempting to aggregate as much cash as possible for their reelection bid. And you might want to consider why freshman Congressmen on both sides of the aisle are routinely appointed to so-called “money” seats on committees which deal with the affairs of banks, insurance companies, etc.

    Your argument is feather weight.

    Just for the record…are you opposed to placing limits on contributions that individuals can make directly to candidates’ campaigns?

    And also for the record…are you opposed to a plutocratic form of government?

    Frankly I’m beginning to suspect that you aren’t.

  7. I favor public funding of campaigns, as long as it is nondiscriminatory. Also I want greater economic equality.

    Be sure to read the Jan. 8 post about how much campaign spending is wasted.

  8. Baw…HAH!!

    More economic equality?

    Jesus, Richard…you’re pulling my leg, aren’t you?

    Tell me how “economic equality,” politics, Andrew Soros and the Koch brothers coexist in your fantasy world of “equality,” please?

    What a load of shite.

    Your Libertarian background must make sleeping at night a difficult enterprise for you.

  9. So…do you favor the establishment of an Amerixan plutocracy in favor of a democracy? If not, how do you reconcile that position with your support of unlimited expenditures by the wealthy in support of political campaigns?

    Pleas answer this question, or let the amazing Republican tool Jimbo Rilet answer it for you. You seem to be kindred spirits.

  10. Baron, I am sure that you cast your vote for the candidate you prefer, and it doesn’t make any difference if some candidate you don’t like send you lots of postal mail and you hear his or her campaign ads on TV or radio.

    So do you think that you are an unusually superior being, and that the average American is dissimilar to you, and is suckered into always voting for the candidate who spends the most? If massive spending doesn’t sucker you, why do you think it suckers other voters? It seems your underlying belief is that most people are stupid but you are not stupid.

  11. Richard…you astonish me. And as to your opening sentence in your last post, you are wrong.

    Why do you think money was spent to produce, promote and air the movie that was the basis of argument in the Citizens United Case? Do you think the money was spent on it (or the other 20 or so “documentaries” they’ve produced) just to make the Koch brothers feel good? Do you think the Koch brothers are merely stupid spendthrifts? Do you think Andrew Soros is a simpleton who likes to burn his money for the heat it throws? Do you think the entirety of the American electorate is totally unaffected by campaign output? Really?

    Let me speak for my own votes. I vote on the candidates I think will do the best job of representing my own interests and the interests of the country in general. BUT…at least I recognize that the “facts” that I take into consideration when making my decisions may not be “facts” at all but rather a carefully scripted series of embellishments and even outright lies that came to me because the candidates’ campaigns had sufficient cash to tell the stories repeatedly throughout the campaigns, traveling on the road to campaign events, renting halls to speak in, producing television and radio ads, scripting and purchasing robo calls, paying experts for focus group studies, hiring political consultants and…Jesus Richard, you’re not really this naive, are you? Of COURSE some of this can have an influence on voters’ decisions, including my own. Do YOU think you are so “superior” to all other voters that YOU make your decisions without being influenced in any way by the output of campaigns? And even if you think Americans just disregard what the campaigns and the candidate have to say, do you think that false narratives paraded out as “documentaries” and funded by political contributions on both ends of the political spectrum have no effect on voter’ thinking?

    Are you kidding?

    Do you think wealthy people are innately stupid?

    By the way…you didn’t answer any of my questions above. Apparently you’re taking a more cues from Jim Riley. That’s too bad.

  12. What question haven’t I answered?

    Did you read the post that says research establishes that much campaign spending is wasted? I wish you would respond to that.

    If you think wealthy people support policies that are bad for the public welfare (and obviously you do), isn’t that also stupid of them? Isn’t it foolish for a billionaire to support policies that will lead to the decay of the very society that gives him or her such privilege and luxury?

  13. Don’t bother answering my questions because the answers are self-evident. You clearly DO believe in the idea of an American plutocracy, with enlightened billionaires supporting only those politicians and public policies which work to promote the interests of the American people, rich and poor, and our society as a whole. Because after all, that’s how the free market works in your cockeyed Libertarian view of the world, isn’t it?

    Go ahead, Richard…lead on. Lead us back to the fucking 19th century. Your billionaire darlings will be delighted.

  14. Economic inequality isn’t solved by treating the symptoms/knocking down people at the top. Punishing wealth by extreme taxation, for instance, primarily moves that wealth to government, not others (if you think our government is efficient and fair when redistributing wealth, then you might want to take James Ogle’s meds). Inequality is a problem, but anyone who complains about it without mentioning at least one of these 3/4 issues isn’t really being serious:
    1.The pursuit of inflationary policies, both monetary and fiscal, drives down real wages via sticky wage principle (if everything in the supermarket cost $1 more tomorrow, how long do you think it would take for your employer to give you a raise?)
    2.The lack of any fixed currency standard allows countries to lie on balance sheets (Greece) and manipulate exchange rates as they see fit (China), increasing flexibility but decreasing stability and sapping our manufacturing base.
    3.Quantitative easing has radically redistributed wealth upward (Jack Rasmus of the Green Party has written good stuff on this).
    4. -More along the lines of fiscal rather than monetary issues and perhaps less important- CFMA, signed in 2000, has pushed up food prices, though more dramatically in third world countries.

    Sorry to be a bit off topic but I just wanted to suggest a different direction to achieve your goals. You know what they say, don’t hate the playas, hate the game. Not that that necessarily changes your views on campaign finance.

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