Mike Bloomberg plows US$400m into Democrat nomination push

World | 21 Feb 2020 10:08 am

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has plunged over US$400 million of his personal fortune into his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, an astronomical sum that has led many of his rivals to charge that he is trying to buy the crown.

The figures, which his campaign released ahead of Thursday’s campaign finance reporting deadline, lay bare the massive operation the billionaire has built since his late entrance into the race at the end of November.

Other leading contenders have yet to detail their finances, which weren’t due until midnight. But the sheer size and scope of Bloomberg’ spending left little doubt that he is vastly outspending even his best financed rivals like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

It’s enabled him to build a sprawling apparatus, hire staff, court influential political figures and communicate with voters both online and on TV. That gives him an edge in the states that have yet to vote where the other contenders have only minimal operations.

“Our campaign has built a nationwide organization that is engaging voters daily about Mike’s record of taking on tough fights and winning,” campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement. “With over 2,400 staff across 43 states today, Mike is the only candidate with the record and resources to build the national infrastructure Democrats need to beat Donald Trump.”

Bloomberg’s campaign reported spending US$220 million in January alone. Forty-five million of that went toward digital advertising; another US$126 million was spent on TV.

Payroll in January for his legions of staffers, who are paid above market-rate salaries, was US$7.7 million, while corporate housing for many staffers cost an additional US$1.2 million

Rent for his more than 100 campaign office cost US$1.3 million.-AP


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