Former NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg has officially entered the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, but not without some controversy.
As you know, Bloomberg is the head of a media empire that bears his name, and that could present some ethical issues for the now democratic candidate. With Michael Bloomberg running for president, the news service that bears his name said on Sunday that it will not “investigate” him or any of his Democratic rivals, and Bloomberg Opinion will no longer run unsigned editorials.
Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait announced the new rules in a note to his news organization’s 2,700 journalists and analysts Sunday, shortly after the former New York City mayor announced his candidacy.
“There is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy for a newsroom that has built up its reputation for independence in part by not writing about ourselves,” Micklethwait wrote.
Bloomberg started his news service in 1990 to complement the financial information he sold to customers. It has since expanded, with its news available in many formats, including a television and radio network and Bloomberg Businessweek magazine.
The entry of Bloomberg into the presidential race also raises potential conflict-of-interest questions involving his extensive business holdings, which go well beyond his news service. Bloomberg’s businesses, which include selling financial data services, employ more than 19,000 people in 69 countries.
Democrats React to Bloomberg’s Entrance
Meanwhile, the billionaire’s bid is seen as a political gift to far-left candidates Sanders and Warren, and their allies. “This may be one of the most important things that happened to her campaign,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which is supporting Warren.
Both Warren and Sanders have labeled “billionaires” as to blame for most of the ills that face this country, and now they have a real one in the race to shake their progressive fingers at. “Bloomberg’s entrance centers the conversation to the core themes that have been instrumental to Elizabeth Warren’s rise,” Green continued, including “the systemic corruption of our democracy by billionaires. The more the campaign is grounded and centered in those issues, the more likely it is that Elizabeth Warren will win.”
In announcing his bid on Sunday, the former New York City mayor said he is running to “defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America.” In a statement and accompanying video, he said, “we cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.”
As of now, Bloomberg has no chance of getting on a debate stage with his fellow candidates under current Democratic National Committee rules, since he’s said he’ll refuse all donations and the party requires candidates to show broad support from hundreds of thousands of grassroots donors.
The DNC could change its debate qualification rules in the future to accommodate Bloomberg, but Bloomberg and his allies say he doesn’t need to be at the debates, since his vast resources allow him to reach voters directly.