Mr. Monopoly Mike Bloomberg Breaks Promises To Campaign Staff, Sends Them Directly To Unemployment
Shortly before the world ended, Mike Bloomberg was running for president. The billionaire's self-funded campaign was a Shangri-La for employees who received record-high salaries and perks beyond belief. A January Politico piece detailed the Robin Leach-style spectacle.
Bloomberg now has more than 1,000 people on his campaign payroll. Those employees got iPhone 11s and MacBooks and were put up in furnished Manhattan apartments if they relocated. Now, they enjoy catered meals throughout the long days they're expected to clock. The campaign's $750,000 travel tab, which includes the use of a private plane owned by Bloomberg's eponymous financial news organization, doesn't include airfare and hotels racked up this month as he zoomed in on California, Texas and Florida.
The campaign spent $10,000 on sushi alone.
Unfortunately, as with so many lifestyles of the rich and famous, Elizabeth Warren came along and ruined everything. Bloomberg's presidential ambitions are all over, and instead of sushi, his former campaign staff will have to settle for egg noodles and ketchup. Bloomberg fired everyone in early March, despite having promised most of them employment (at $6000 a month) through at least November. He graciously allowed them to keep their iPhones and MacBooks.
Wonkette said nice things about Bloomberg's beautiful promises before they were revealed as nothing but lies. We officially retract that and declare him a big suckball.
FEC rules do require that Bloomberg set up a new entity outside of his failed campaign to fund Democratic efforts, but some felt he used this as an excuse to cut bait and move on. He was supposed to form an “independent committee" that would focus on a pro-Democratic-nominee effort in six battleground states, but dismissed staffers were expected to "reapply" for jobs with the committee. That's when you know you're getting screwed.
"I didn't think I was going to have to apply for a job," a different Bloomberg aide told POLITICO. "It was presented as being automatic. Field organizers were told during interviews that they had a guaranteed job through November."
Bloomberg ditched the independent committee idea. Instead, he sent the Democratic National Committee
a jelly of the month club membership $18 million. Transferring such a large sum directly to Democrats raised concerns of legal sketchiness, which left DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa with no choice but to claim that Bloomberg was “in earnest running for president." Pro-Donald Trump groups are filing FEC complaints over the transfer.
Bloomberg spent $900 million of his own money to mildly inconvenience Biden plus whatever it cost to have Warren's foot removed from his ass. We could've used that money on almost anything that's not a waste of time, as traditional fundraising methods are mostly off the table for Biden or Democratic Senate candidates. Bloomberg's the former mayor of New York, which could benefit more from ventilators than sushi right now.
From the New York Times:
"I'm so sorry I worked for this guy. I thought he was totally different," said Jane Conrad, a former field organizer for Mr. Bloomberg in Minnesota whom the campaign recruited away from her work as a union field representative in February. "He took me out of my job for his own gain."
His campaign workers are paid through the first week of April, and their benefits extend just through the end of the month. Then they all become unemployed at the worst possible time. I don't love super PACs but if Bloomberg had kept his staff on payroll so they could work on a pro-Democratic one for the rest of the year, he'd have performed a public service.
Last week, two separate class-action lawsuits were filed against Bloomberg's campaign. His one-time gravy train is accused of fraud and breach of contract. As Cerebus writer Dave Sim said (and it's not misogynist drivel!): “No company will ever pay you enough to sue them successfully." That truism unfortunately also applies to billionaires.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).