Mike Bloomberg

$100m to help Biden beat Trump in Florida

Billionaire’s cash infusion aimed at boosting early voting

Mike Bloomberg will spend $100m to help Biden beat Trump in Florida

.biz
BIZ PRESS GROUP

The former New York mayor and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Mike Bloomberg will spend at least $100m to support Joe Biden in Florida, in an attempt to counter any infusion of personal cash by Donald Trump and to seek a decisive victory in early voting.

Bloomberg, a media billionaire reported to have 17 times as much money as Trump, is reckoned to have spent around $1bn on his failed bid for the Democratic nomination. Such spending did however appear to get under Trump’s skin.

News of Bloomberg’s intervention in Florida prompted a characteristic response from the president, who was campaigning in Nevada.

“I thought Mini Mike was through with Democrat politics after spending almost $2bn,” Trump tweeted, with a familiar insult aimed at Bloomberg’s height.

He also used a racist nickname for the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, who famously attacked Bloomberg on the debate stage, and advised the former mayor to “save New York City instead”.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey said: “Voting starts on 24 September in Florida so the need to inject real capital in that state quickly is an urgent need. Mike believes that by investing in Florida it will allow campaign resources and other Democratic resources to be used in other states, in particular Pennsylvania.”

Trump has been out-raised by Joe Biden, amid reports of cutbacks which the president has called fake news.

Earlier this week, before a rally in North Carolina, another swing state, Trump told reporters he might spend his own money on his campaign.

“If I have to, I will,” he said. “Whatever it takes, we have to win.”

Florida offers 29 electoral college votes, vital in a close race. No Republican has won the White House without it since 1924. Infamously, George W Bush, the last two-term Republican president, won Florida against Al Gore in 2000 after multiple recounts and with the intervention of the US supreme court.

In 2016, Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Florida by 1.2%. The state is close again, polling averages putting Biden ahead but not by much more.

Bloomberg is aiming to encourage early voting, to counter Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that such voting is vulnerable to fraud and fears that the president may use any uncertainty over the result on election day to attempt to hold on to power.

Hawkfish, a technology firm funded by Bloomberg, caused a splash earlier this month when it detailed what it called a “red mirage”, meaning an apparent win for Trump on election day that would disappear when all votes were counted, after delays likely to be exacerbated by coronavirus precautions.

“We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump,” Hawkfish chief executive Josh Mendelsohn told Axios on HBO.

“When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after election day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage. It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted.”

On Sunday Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson told the Post heavy early voting for Biden in Florida “would give lie to what we expect to be Trump’s election night messaging that Democrats are stealing the election, because unlike other battleground states, Florida counts its absentee ballots on or by election day. We think Florida is incredibly close but winnable.”

Bloomberg, a former Republican and independent, endorsed Biden and spoke at the Democratic convention. He has also used his money to back groups including Everytown for Gun Safety, Fair Fight and Swing Left.

In May, Abe Rakov, a veteran Democratic operative, told the former mayor “was one of the biggest contributors to Democratic causes before he ran and he still is after. There are a lot of organisations and programs across the country that would be in really bad shape if he decided to disengage after he ran.”

The Post reported that an unnamed Democratic consultant said large sums would be needed for effective advertising in Florida, where such buys are expensive.

“The bottom line is when you have additional resources, you can solidify your voters and then communicate with those who are still on the fence for some reason,” Florida representative Val Demings said.

“One hundred million can do just that.”

Read more

Inside Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump's epic bromance

Beginning in the late ’80s, the infamous sex trafficker and the future president (and their mutual friend Ghislaine Maxwell) palled around for almost two decades. In an excerpt from his new book, American Kompromat, Craig Unger exposes their shared tastes for private planes, shady money, and foreign-born models—many of them “on the younger side.”

Florida bank says it has closed Trump's accounts

A Florida bank announced Thursday that it has closed down former President Trump’s account, joining a growing list of entities that have cut ties with the former president following the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci says it's 'liberating' working under Biden

Anthony Fauci on Thursday said it has been “liberating” to work as the nation's top infectious diseases doctor under President Biden after his experience working for former President Trump. Speaking at the White House press briefing, Fauci was asked if he feels "less constrained" in the new administration after clashing with Trump and eventually being sidelined last year.

Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem is a stunning vision of democracy

Among the firsts in Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” is the concept of democracy that it assumed. Democracy, according to the twenty-two-year-old poet, is an aspiration—a thing of the future. The word “democracy” first appears in the same verse in which Gorman refers to “a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it.” The insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th took place while Gorman was working on the poem, although the “force,” one may assume, is bigger than the insurrection—it is the Trump Presidency that made the insurrection possible, and the forces of white supremacy and inequality that enabled that Presidency itself.”