Michael Bloomberg Campaign Transfers $18 Million to DNC to Beat Trump

Mark Niquette

(Bloomberg) -- Michael Bloomberg said Friday he is transferring $18 million to the Democratic National Committee from his presidential campaign and turning over several of his field offices to state parties in an effort to help Democrats defeat President Donald Trump.

Previously, Bloomberg had said even if he wasn’t the nominee, he was willing to spend a lot of money -- but “hopefully not” as much as $1 billion -- to keep staff and offices in six battleground states to help any Democratic nominee defeat Trump and elect other Democrats. His campaign had explored doing that forming an outside group that would not be able to coordinate with a candidate or the national party.

But the former New York mayor’s campaign said today because of the need to coordinate efforts and the dynamics of the race changing with Joe Biden in control, he’s giving $18 million to the DNC’s coordinated campaign and transferring leases from several campaign offices to state Democratic parties. A list of “hundreds” of staff members will be given to the DNC with the expectation and hope they would be hired, a campaign aide said.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, also sought the Democratic presidential nomination. He endorsed Joe Biden on March 4.)

Staff in the six battleground states are being notified they will be paid through the first week in April and have full benefits through the end of April, the campaign said.

“While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the president accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution,” Bloomberg’s campaign said in a memo to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. “We therefore believe the best thing we can all do over the next eight months is to help the group that matters most in this fight: the Democratic National Committee.”

Bloomberg had pledged a robust effort during the campaign and after he left the race and endorsed Biden.

“I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life, and I hope you won’t walk away either,” Bloomberg said in an emotional speech to campaign staff and supporters on March 4, the day after a disappointing showing in Super Tuesday races prompted him to end his Democratic presidential campaign.

Bloomberg’s donation will support the DNC’s “Battleground Build-Up 2020” program and continue organizing in key states, funding hundreds of organizers, according to a Democratic official.

“This will help us invest in more organizers across the country to elect the next president and help Democrats win up and down the ballot,” Perez said in a statement.

Democrats need to compete with “the war chest” that Trump, the Republican National Committee and their allies have amassed, and Bloomberg’s “extraordinary investment” will help ensure that needed grassroots efforts in key states will be funded, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement.

The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and supporting entities said they had $225 million in the bank at the end of February, according to a statement from the campaign.

Besides the the donation to the DNC and transferring of offices to state parties, Bloomberg also plans to continue spending money separately to defeat Trump, but there’s no firm amount and details are still being discussed, the campaign aide said.

The former New York mayor has continued spending on the race since ending his campaign, including a $2 million donation to Collective Future to register 500,000 black voters in key states plus $500,000 for Voto Latino to register new voters. He also announced a $2 million donation to Swing Left to help Democrats in competitive races.

He also pledged to spend $15 Million to $20 million to register voters in five battleground states and $10 million to help protect House Democrats targeted by Republicans for their support of impeachment proceedings against Trump. He gave $5 million in December to Fair Fight 2020, the group Democrat Stacey Abrams founded in Georgia to encourage voter-registration and oppose voter-suppression measures.

Bloomberg had spent a record $687 million of his own money on the race when he dropped out. His campaign said $275 million of Bloomberg’s media blitz was focused against Trump, and it’s making all ads available to the public to download and share on their networks.

“By supporting the Democratic Party, we look forward to November and taking on our unified goal of beating Donald Trump,” the campaign said in its memo to the DNC.

(Updates with comment from Biden campaign from 11th paragraph.)

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