The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Bloomberg: I’m Giving Cash to Candidates, but Won’t Reveal Which Ones


A reader had asked for more congressional-race coverage here on Campaign Spot, and so I will attempt to oblige, but note that there has been some excellent coverage of House and Senate races around NRO lately.

Today Charles C. W. Cooke examines Republican Andy Barr’s effort to unseat Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler in Kentucky’s sixth district, a rematch of one of the closest finishes in the 2010 midterms.

Betsy Woodruff looked at the Massachusetts Senate race and Elizabeth Warren’s legal work, earning big bucks defending a corporation against the claims of asbestos victims.

And in today’s Jolt, I took a quick look at New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to spend $10 million to $15 million to help out his favorite candidates, focusing most on those who strongly support gun control, a.k.a., gutting the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

Mike Bloomberg’s Secret List of Favorite Candidates

New York City Mike Bloomberg likes the idea that he can send millions to the candidates he prefers and not tell anyone until he’s legally required to by the Federal Election Commission.

Now, lefties and righties may disagree pretty strongly on whether there ought to be limits on what individuals, corporations, unions, etc. can spend in advocating their causes — the Right tends to believe that if you limit the amount of money that can be used on political speech, you’re limiting speech itself — but there once had been something of a bipartisan consensus in favor of disclosure. Let everybody know who’s giving to whom, as quickly and easily as possible, and let the public draw their own conclusions about the candidates and their donors.

Instead, Mike Bloomberg likes the idea of announcing he’s spending millions, and he’ll tell you who he’s going to try to help later — after the checks have cleared.

Today Mayor Bloomberg aptly dismissed as “gibberish” the presidential candidates’ attempts to explain why American civilians have access to AK-47s. Now Bloomberg is backing up his words with his wallet. The mayor will be spending roughly $10 to $15 million to back between six and twelve candidates in U.S. senatorial, congressional, and local races — with gun-law reform Bloomberg’s main priority…

The recipients of the new Bloomberg boost will be a mix of incumbents and challengers, Republicans, Democrats, and independents.To increase the tactical edge — and to avoid turning his favorites into targets for opponents — Bloomberg won’t identify the candidates he’s planning to bolster, though the beneficiaries should become obvious as the money starts to flow. Some will get help because they’re in agreement with the mayor’s views on public education, gay marriage, or bipartisanship. The biggest issue, though, will be tightening access to illegal guns.

My buddy Cam quips, “Bloomberg’s gun control proposals are so popular he’s refusing to identify the candidates he’s giving millions.”

Tags: Andy Barr , Ben Chandler , Elizabeth Warren , Mike Bloomberg


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