Former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg is an independent who generally sees some positives on both sides of the political spectrum. But this year, Bloomberg is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to get Democrats elected to Congress in the hopes that they take control of the House of Representatives.
“I’ve always believed that we should put country before party,” Bloomberg said in a statement announcing his planned donations. “Too many politicians practice the reverse, with terrible consequences for the American people. But although I don't believe in partisanship, I very much believe in the importance of politics and elections.”
To that end, Bloomberg announced he is going to spend upward of about $80 million from his own pockets to help Democrats win office.
He said the move is mostly in response to Republicans’ inability to govern.
“[Republicans in Congress] have done little to reach across the aisle to craft bipartisan solutions — not only on guns and climate change, but also on jobs, immigration, health care, and infrastructure,” Bloomberg said. “As a result, Congress has accomplished very little.”
Congress has failed, legislatively & constitutionally. We need new leadership that will re-assert Congress as a co-equal branch of government. In the midterm elections, I will be supporting Democrats & their bid to take over the House. My full statement: https://t.co/JWmUegL4J1— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) June 20, 2018
Bloomberg said he still intends to give some Republican candidates running for governor his money — but only to candidates who have dedicated themselves to supporting “gun safety, the environment, education, and other critical issues facing the country.”
Bloomberg is no stranger to using his money to fund projects that help his political desires. His plan to use his own funds to help jumpstart Democrats in the midterms will certainly go a long way toward helping many who are either challenging an incumbent lawmaker or fighting for an open seat, especially.
But money in politics is frightfully too influential. Who is to say that lawmakers, even Democratic ones, wouldn’t feel beholden to supporting some of Bloomberg’s ideas, even if it runs counter to their own philosophies?
The impending blue wave that’s likely coming this November probably would have been successful without Bloomberg’s donations, which is encouraging and signals that money from a billionaire isn’t necessary in order to win a Congressional election. However, for the sake of saving democracy as we know it today, let's hope it helps.
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters