The Michael Bloomberg for President road show came to Anchorage a few weeks ago. For a mere million-dollar donation to the Anchorage Museum, Bloomberg purchased sufficient good will to score an endorsement of his presidential campaign by Mayor Berkowitz.
Bloomberg announced the City of Anchorage was a winner of the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge. The money is to fund a public art project addressing climate change and economic development. The Muni will partner with the Anchorage Museum to create what they call “seed lab.”
Free money, right? Truly a wonderful thing. Right? Or is it?
In response, Mayor Berkowitz endorsed Bloomberg for President. Alaska Public Media quotes Berkowitz saying:
“Michael Bloomberg, of all the candidates in the race, Democrat or Republican, has the greatest ability to unite this country. And I think that the divide that is splitting America apart poses the greatest threat to our country that we’ve seen in generations.”
Quite the endorsement, that. And it only cost Bloomberg a million dollars to get the endorsement of the highest-ranking elected democrat currently in office in the State. For a guy expected to spend over $2 billion in his attempt to defeat President Trump in November, this is money well spent.
A week or so later, I ran across an article in the American Thinker entitled Bribery is at the heart of Bloomberg’s political career. The article recounts Bloomberg’s practice of buying off opposition, usually in the form of charitable (tax deductible) or political contributions to people who would otherwise oppose him. This practice is totally legal. Unfortunately, it is also totally corrupt, as it buys off words and actions of people who would otherwise oppose him or at least be a bit skeptical of his intentions.
As NYC Mayor, Bloomberg spent extensively, giving massive sums to nonprofits and arts groups (sound familiar?). He funded nonprofits that supported his political agenda. When church groups or community organizations threatened to oppose him, he wrote checks and they quieted right down. During his first nine years in office, the Carnegie Corporation funneled over $200 million of Bloomberg money to NY civic and arts groups.
In 2018, Bloomberg spent $24 million to boost 24 democrat candidates now in congress. It turns out that a $2 million donation to a congressional campaign is indeed the start of a beautiful friendship. His Bloomberg Philanthropies is busily, proudly and loudly doing the same thing with mayors. And Ethan is simply one of at least 34. Bloomberg also purchased a democrat majority in the Virginia legislature that is busily passing legislation turning Virginia into California.
Total spending in NYC during Bloomberg’s nine years in office aimed at shutting down opposition or currying favor is estimated at around $300 million. That spending purchased him a third term as Mayor. NYC has a population of 8 million. Scale that up and it will take Bloomberg a mere $10 – 12 billion to buy the presidency and a congress that will support him and stay out of the way of his goals.
With this, I am reminded of the old (1937-ish) story about a famous man who asks a woman if she will sleep with him for a million dollars. She says yes. He asks how about $5? Whereby she slaps him, asking what sort of woman he thinks she is. He responds that we’ve already established that. Now we’re just haggling over the price.
And it only took $1 million to purchase Ethan, his democrat and union backed Assembly, and the support of Alaska Public Media. Imagine what another similar donation will buy.
Alex Gimarc lives in Anchorage since retiring from the military in 1997. His interests include science and technology, environment, energy, economics, military affairs, fishing and disabilities policies. His weekly column “Interesting Items” is a summary of news stories with substantive Alaska-themed topics. He was a small business owner and Information Technology professional.